ED Pay vs Med/Surg Pay

  1. Hi all,

    I was just wondering if where you work, do the nurses that work in the ED get paid more than nurses that work on Med/Surg floors?
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    Nope. The base pay is the same. Differentials and on call pay may make a difference in what annual salary gets reported to the IRS, but the pay is the same.
  4. by   Nalon1 RN/EMT-P
    Most places I have seen are the same. I know all new grads in our system start out at the same hourly rate regardless of what unit they are in.
    As Ruby said, there can be different shift diff rates, on call/call in rates that one area may have that another does not.
    Also, if there is a shortage in one area, that area may get a little more pay to attract people to it. Sometimes it is just a sign-on/retention bonus, other times (less often and better for employee) it is an hourly rate increase that stays with you.
  5. by   HikingNinja
    In my geographic area, and at all the assignments I've taken as a travel nurse, the pay scale is different. ER is considered critical care and is paid more per hour, even for new grads. I've lived and traveled in Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada.
  6. by   Nalon1 RN/EMT-P
    Quote from HikingNinja
    In my geographic area, and at all the assignments I've taken as a travel nurse, the pay scale is different. ER is considered critical care and is paid more per hour, even for new grads. I've lived and traveled in Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada.
    Must be a west coast thing, althought I do have limited local/state data that I am speaking of.

    So ICU/ER get paid more than floor nurses (not just the travelers)?
  7. by   Pixie.RN
    At my hospital (located in southeast), certain units get critical care pay — it's like an extra $2-something per hour.
  8. by   CX_EDRN
    Base is the same but we get a critical care differential of an additional $3/hr.
  9. by   amzyRN
    there's no difference in pay where I"ve worked. This has been in the Midwest and CA. I've worked on a med/surg/tele floor and compared to the ED it was way lighter work. I sometimes feel like I'm doing the work of 2 people. Although we have techs, they rarely help in the regular part of the ED, but when a code is coming in will be all over it. Rarely for a code brown though.
  10. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from HikingNinja
    In my geographic area, and at all the assignments I've taken as a travel nurse, the pay scale is different. ER is considered critical care and is paid more per hour, even for new grads. I've lived and traveled in Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada.
    Must be a travel nurse thing.
  11. by   HikingNinja
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    Must be a travel nurse thing.
    Nope. This was perm jobs. I always find out the pay scale for regular perm jobs at the hospitals I've gone to as a travel nurse. I'm currently perm staff in Nevada & those in critical care get about $5-7 / hour more than med surg/ tele nurses. I guess this isn't the case in the midwest.
  12. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from HikingNinja
    Nope. This was perm jobs. I always find out the pay scale for regular perm jobs at the hospitals I've gone to as a travel nurse. I'm currently perm staff in Nevada & those in critical care get about $5-7 / hour more than med surg/ tele nurses. I guess this isn't the case in the midwest.
    Not only is it not a thing in the midwest, but it's not a thing in any of the hospitals in which I worked in Washington State, nor is it a thing in any of the hospitals I've drawn paychecks from on the east coast. (Ex-husband was in the military.) I've had countless HR departments tell me they DON'T do that.
  13. by   ICUman
    Quote from HikingNinja
    Nope. This was perm jobs. I always find out the pay scale for regular perm jobs at the hospitals I've gone to as a travel nurse. I'm currently perm staff in Nevada & those in critical care get about $5-7 / hour more than med surg/ tele nurses. I guess this isn't the case in the midwest.
    Really? I am regular staff in NV (Las Vegas) working for two different hospital systems and haven't heard of or noticed this to be the case. Maybe I'm wrong?
  14. by   HikingNinja
    Quote from ICUman
    Really? I am regular staff in NV (Las Vegas) working for two different hospital systems and haven't heard of or noticed this to be the case. Maybe I'm wrong?
    Here are the systems I've worked for, or am working at now, as perm staff in Las Vegas. Valley Health, HCA, St. Roses. All of these pay med surg/tele a lower base pay than critical care. This was for perm, full or part time. So these are the only ones I can attest to.

    Of course most of the hospitals out here are unionized so a med/surg nurse with a certain number of years experience could definitely make more than someone who is just starting out in critical care. But if you look at the union handbooks, critical care nurses will make more than med surg/tele nurses with the same step level. Valley is not union. But they class their RNs by steps also. An RN I (med surg) gets less than an RN II (IMC, progressive care), who gets less than an RN III (critical care). This is with all other things being equal like number of years with hospital, etc.

    I'm not sure if there is a difference for per diem positions. If you work for a unionized hospital system, just ask your union rep for a copy of the pay grade/step system. If working for a nonunionized you can ask the HR department.
    Last edit by HikingNinja on Mar 30 : Reason: spelling

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