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.