Nursing pay

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Reply Sat 22 Jul, 2006 03:25 pm
Hello Everyone!
I am a new grad (ADN) and will be starting my first nursing job this Tuesday the 25th!!! I will be working at a community hospital in the suburbs of Boston on a tele floor. The starting base pay here is $29/hr with evening dif of $1.90, nights are $4.75 and $2.00 on Weekends. But then again here you can't rent a studio appartment for less then $1000/month.
Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 09:16 pm
new wages
I recently started in philly and i started at 27 an hour,but the cost of living here is extremely high.For example a 1 bedroom apt would run you appx 1200 to 1500 dollars a month for a half decent place.
Reply Sat 26 Aug, 2006 10:57 am
Nurse's Pay
Sad I am a nurse with 34 years experience. Presently, I work nights in a ICU. My pay is ridiculously low for what I do. This year I will be lucky to clear $45,000. I have a sister who is an elementary school teacher in the same city I live in and she makes $15,000 more a year working only 190 days! There is something wrong with this picture.

There is such an emphasis on keeping nurses at the bedside and yet hospital management will not make the pay worthwhile to do so. When you consider the amount of responsibility a nurse carries - afterall, if I make a mistake it has an impact on a person's health and/or life. I understand that labor costs is the greatest cost to a facility, however, your nursing staff has the major impact on the financial viability of a hospital. As such, the bedside nurse's salary should reflect his/her importance to the financial viability of the facility.

I worked several years in hospital management before returning to bedside nursing. I went into management with the hope of "making things better" for nurses. How stupid was I? What I found was that Senior management did not understand the important role that the bedside nurse plays nor the stress and heavy responsibility of the job. Most of your senior management do not have degrees in nursing nor have they ever worked on a nursing unit. Due to this ignorance they tend to under-estimate how important the nurse is and how poorly the bedside nurse's pay reflects the skills required, responsibilities, and stress of the job. I might also point out that these same Administrators are highly paid with much better benefits.

So, I guess my question is: How do nurses obtain better pay? You would think that with the critical shortage of nurses in this nation that nurse wages would skyrocket ---why haven't they?
beenthere 1
Reply Thu 31 Aug, 2006 03:00 pm
low pay
I am not a nurse. I am a 70 yr. old retired school teacher. My daughter is an underpayed nurse like all of you. After reading all of your complaints and wishes I can not understand that you do not know why teachers get paid more than you. Teachers have unions and National Associations. They are vocal and are able to help themselves by a united voice. Please! Stand up for your selves. Shout it too the rooftops until you are heard. Things will never change if you don't. Crying or Very sad Idea Join all of your associations and join the UNION!!!!
Ginger Snap
Reply Thu 31 Aug, 2006 03:19 pm
you do not know why teachers get paid more than you

I don't think that's true. Most teachers I know make less than I do.
Reply Sun 8 Oct, 2006 09:01 pm
I think all of us nurses SHOULD live in the single wides!!!! We could really rake in a lot of money, and also drive our BMW's or Mercedes. That would certainly be a gas!!! Instead of communities for 55 and older, it should be for the injection wielding workforce.
Reply Sun 10 Dec, 2006 07:31 pm
I work in the DFW area and have an hourly of almost $29.00, I have 8 yrs of nursing experience. I work nights and get $4.50 shift diff, and $6.00 for w/e diff when I work the w/e. I haven't seen a decrease in pay rates in 8 yrs and I have work in Texas, PA and Ohio.
Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 07:12 am
You have to look at more than just the salary, really take into account the cost of living, too! I work at a hospital in Columbus, OH which seems to be the median of the US. New grad RN's there start at around $22/hr, plus shift diff. An average new home there is around $150k-$180k, older homes of the same quality/setting a little less. I grew up in Columbus, and many of the neighborhoods I would consider if living here would be at the high end this range, simply because of crime, etc. I live in SE OH (Appalachia), where you can buy an existing average home for around $55k-70k, new construction around $120k-$150k. We paid $35k for a 2 BR in a nice neighborhood with nearly an acre, not quite big enough, but the price was right. New grads where I live start around $17/hr.

When you work out the salary:cost of living differences, it all pretty much works out wherever you go with nurses closer to the top 3rd of the food chain, especially being able to practice at an Associate degree level. I chose to commute 90 min. so that I could work in my field of specialty. If you have a fuel-efficient car, this is a great way to bridge the salary gap, and I also find the drive just long enough to unwind so that when I get home, I am HOME in every sense. Gas prices go back up? I'll ditch my Explorer for a bike Smile Seriously, really look into all aspects before jumping for higher pay. It may not be worth it.
Reply Mon 29 Jan, 2007 07:05 pm
There is a very wide array of salaries across the country. Granted, overall, most RNs don't make what they're worth. I'm currently a Flight RN in Nevada and made appx. 72K(net) last year. But, I only worked 10 days/month. After a while, my lifestyle dictated that I return to work. Now? Between flying and the lucrative travel assignment I have now, in which I work 14 days/month, I'll bring in appx. 155K by the end of the year. That is, if I decide to keep the travel gig until then. There are many options for "Us" as RNs. Our field is wide open...
Ken Wink
Reply Mon 29 Jan, 2007 09:16 pm
Pay for Nurses
I agree with those who commented that salaries are based on the cost of living in that area. It seems logical. I have seen the salary surveys on

I live in the northeast and salaries are decent but cost of living is sort of high. My friend who just graduated started with a base salary of 24.50 per hour and she makes 3.00 hour shift differential for night shift. Most of the nursing shortage is on evening and night shift as we all know.

In my position, I work a salaried case management position and make 63K. I work Mon-Fri but frequently work more than 40 hours though my hours are flexible. Money is important but we need to feel rewarded by the work we do. Sometimes I think that I could stand to make less for work that I enjoy....Then the bills come in.

You have to like where you live too!!
Reply Mon 29 Jan, 2007 10:00 pm
nurse salaries
I am in the field of placing nurses to work in Per Diem positions. I have mixed feelings about salaries. I left a career as a newspaper editor, one that required an advance degree in journalism with a post graduate degree in history, just so I could make a little more money in registry (yes, I make considerably more money peddling nurses to hospitals than I did as a newspaper editor) My former position makes much less than an active nurse makes doing registry, which is more than what a staff nurse makes.
Here in LA, I see lots of people working day in and day out, doing a myriad of honorable work, who don't make a third of what my nurses make. This is not an indictment on nurses, but it does go to the argument that nurse wages have not increased, and in some cases have decreased. With all the funding issues, insurance problems, compulsory treatment laws, hospitals are HORRIBLE businesses from a profit standpoint. Much of the reason why registries have sprung up is to ease the burden on hospitals having to pay benefits.
All businesses survive by controlling the one cost factor that is reinable, and that is payroll. Payroll for hospitals is way out of the norm when judged against the average gross profit margin.
It was apparent when I got in this business that wages for nurses would come down. Nurse unions did their jobs well and set a great wage for nurses a decade ago, it was well beyond the national average, which isn't saying it shouldn't be, but it was also beyond the GPM of the very facilities they were working for.
As a registry, knowing that it was going to be curtailed, we set out to counter balance the blow felt by nurses by creating affordable insurance plans, (not garbage HMO's either, but rather working PPOs), stipending locals as well as travelers, educating our nurses on tax breaks, and so on.
Nurses are going to have to get educated on how to make their dollar stronger because the trend is going to be less money. Count on it, I have seen EVERY ONE OF MY HOSPITAL CONTRACTS reduced, not increased when they came up for renewal. I had the county of LA reduce one of my rates (C.N.A.s) 8 dollars an hour. That is staggering, but in reality, they are still about 2 to 4 dollars higher than the cut that private facilities made. Don't get me started on religious facilities, they are rock bottom and leading the way to reduced rates.
Reply Sat 3 Feb, 2007 05:14 pm
Teachers get paid more...
Ginger Snap wrote:
you do not know why teachers get paid more than you

I don't think that's true. Most teachers I know make less than I do.

I live in Suburban Philadelphia and many teachers here DO make more than I do. At our middle school and high school levels, we have teachers making 80-90K+ with the average teacher in my school district making 55-60k (elementary level). They pay way less than nurses for their benefits and the best part, and most important part, is that they will have medical benefits as part of their Retirement!!!! How many of us nurses can say that??? We are delivering the care and our hospitals dont even offer us medical benefits at retirement!! Consider how much we will have to pay for our supplemental medicare package (if we even have medicare when WE retire) Teachers unions are very strong and vocal, there is something to be said about unions and associations.
Reply Mon 5 Feb, 2007 09:44 am
Teachers are state paid
Although teachers in California don't make nearly what nurses make, the comparison is apples to oranges. Teachers are public servants and get wages dictated by the state. Again, my original argument isn't an indictment but rather an observation.
Reply Thu 8 Feb, 2007 11:47 am
peaches wrote:
I got an ADN first, then went and got the BSN. I have to say I learned far more in the ADN program. The BSN program was so easy, and the courses had nothing to do with clinical nursing. In the ADN program, you had to make an 84 or above on everything; an 83 was an F. In the BSN program, a 70 was passing and considered a C. The BSN students got out of school and couldn't do anything. The ADN students got out of school and could function in ICU or anywhere. The biggest difference was that the BSN program required more humanities classes. I have never understood why people think a BSN is superior, because a few extra literature or history classes does not make you a better nurse. I love being a nurse that can function in any environment; most of the BSN nurses that I know cannot function and prefer to sit behind a desk. That is not what I went into nursing for. By the way, I had a bachelor's degree already before I ever went into nursing, so don't think I don't like school. I have only two classes left for my psychology degree, also. My son has four bachelor degrees. I am just saying I think the ADN nurses get a better education for an actual nursing job.

I think this all depends on what nursing school you graduate from and what kind of work ethic you have. I will be graduating from a BSN program in May. I feel confident going onto the floor and performing as an RN, because in my last semester I am already taking on a full patient load in clinicals.

I am definitely not saying that nurses with a BSN are any more superior, but it is not fair for you to say that every nurse with a BSN cannot function and those with an ADN can.
Reply Wed 14 Feb, 2007 03:37 pm
I am a new grad and got hired on in Idaho at a rural hospital for $22.90/hr plus 12% night differential. The hospital here payed more than the city hospitals in this state.
murphy 1
Reply Fri 16 Feb, 2007 05:51 pm
I am a student nurse, working towards a BSN. At my last clinical, a community hospital in the suburbs of Chicago, they told us that, as new grads, we could work 12 hours shifts, F, S, Su, 7am to 7pm, and they would pay $42/hr. Plus benefits. You can still get townhouses here for under $200k and homes probably start at $250K although you can still live an hour away and get a little place for $175K.
Reply Wed 27 Jun, 2007 11:07 pm
I'm sorry, but in regard to an old post about the 2 degrees - I strongly disagree with you in that an ADN nurse is not going to be ready for the ICU upon graduation. No nurse is - BSN or ADN. I started in ICU when I graduated from college. It's insulting to ICU nurses to say an ADN is "ready for ICU." I spent 6 months learning intricacies I did not learn in school nor in internships - I had 2 years worth of internships, 9 months of which were in ICUs.

The BSN is important because it makes for a well-rounded education, and a higher level of education will bring nursing up in the world. I think the BSN should be the minimum level of entry for an RN.
stellar 1
Reply Thu 26 Jul, 2007 09:11 pm
In Tampa, Fl I just got a raise and make $33.00 after 30+ years of ICU nursing. I have a BA and my diploma RN, no BA/BSN diff, just approved $1000 one time for CCRN and with each renewal. I work a weekend plus on nights $3 diff 7-11/$4 11-7, work 2 12s one week, and 3 the next. That leaves a lot of time for overtime which is paid at double time, and almost always available. No state tax, but to come new the property taxes are rough as is home owners insurance. We are hit very hard right now with the housing slump, so prices are dropping, but still well over 200K. My hospital is one of the highest paying; I don't think they are all this rate, but similiar though. Standard benifits, although $4-5000 tuition book reimbursement is great.
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2007 09:45 am
the problems as I see it, will not be solved until we as nurses stop eating each other alive. I have seen it in this very thread. the backbiting, the accusing, its horrible. BSN vs. ADN, male nurses vs.female nurses, travel vs. staff...its appalling.

In terms of BSN vs. ADN, a couple of things I would like to point out...ADN programs statistically have a higher pass rate on the NCLEX exam the first time out then BSN programs overall. Check your state statistics- even looking nationally at the states with the highest pass rates and this bears out. Kentucky is the leader with 91% pass rate statewide, with not one BSN program at 100% and the ADN programs far outstripping them, even more so when adjusting for differences in class sizes.
Additionally, most ADN programs are state mandated to include many of the "well rounded" curriculum, including statistics, ethics, speech, history, electives, etc. This is on top of the core pre clinical requirements of A&P I-II, microbiology, pathophys, 2 english classes, math, and so on. most ADN programs actually take 3-4 years to complete.

I went to school in the Baltimore Maryland ADN program had and still has a long history of 100% pass rate, while Hopkins and the like were in the 85th and below percentile. I also had 2 years of pre-reqs and 2 years of clinicals. In terms of ICU, or any specialty nursing, I don't think either program "prepares" you for that as a new grad. The most specialized I would say you could do, with the right orientation program is telemetry.

somewhere along the lines, the national nursing associations fed us the story that all our salary and work issues would be solved if we would all just become "professionals", and that was defined by having at least a BSN. That is patently untrue, as evidenced by the legions of BSN nurses who are still not treated like professionals. In order to be treated as professionals, we must demand to be treated that way. We must interact with the medical team as PART of that healthcare delivery team, believe in ourselves as professionals, act as professionals, and most of all treat each OTHER as professionals. not bicker and in-fight over who is better at what and more prepared for such and such. Until we stop "eating our young", tearing each other down, competing with each other, and start SUPPORTING each other by presenting a united front, we will never get anywhere with these issues that plague the nursing profession.
stellar 1
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2007 01:17 pm
I absolutely agree! I don't know how long you have been a nurse, but 30 years ago the ANA, who I abhor, perpetuated the decline of nursing with their, let's all be professionals with a BSN garbage, alienating the majority of nurses who had diplomas at the time. Of course they also missed the boat in that today's nurses mainly have Associates...Anyway, the California Nurses Association withdrew from the ANA years ago in that they recognized they were not NURSE advocates, rather an elitist organization that advocated for their own self perpetuating and ineffective "leadership" positions. Can you tell I am cynical! California then grew the SEIU, the only union representing nurses that had any clout or credibillty, who then worked together to get the nurse ratio act passed. If you have issues with unions, which many including me have, or worry about the baggage of unions, I say, lets all join the ANA local chapters for one year, paying the rediculously high fee, which is proportionally three times the rate physicians pay for the AMA calculated for average salary, then vote all the antiqued and entrenched old guard OUT!!!! Then lower the fee for membership or even give it free for a year or two, get a drive going to get as many nurses registered as possible, then go to town in Washington with the clout the numbers of nurses have!!! What do you say????

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