An appropriate hourly rate of pay for a Registered Nurse at the bedside?

  1. I know that cost of living is said to vary from one area to the next but with few exceptions the cost of living is actually comparable.

    I have lived or journeyed to many areas in the us and can say the basic costs of living are not that different except when it comes to housing costs.

    The price of a new vehicle, and maintenance is very similar.
    Some places rent is lower yet the utilities are higher.
    State taxes some times are higher in places where you would least expect it.
    Some people have the added burden of city taxes.
    The cost of day care from what I have heard is similar as well as private schools.
    Clothing costs are similar.
    Food prices in grocery stores are basically the same with the only major variable being the price of meat or seafood depending on the area.

    Answer based on duties and responsibilities
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  2. Poll: What is an appropriate hourly RN wage at the beside at greater than 1 yr experience?

    • $10 - $15 per hour

      0.98% 3
    • $15.01 - $20 per hour

      3.92% 12
    • $20.01 - $25 per hour

      17.97% 55
    • $25.01 - $30 per hour

      21.24% 65
    • $30.01 - $35 per hour

      16.34% 50
    • $35.01 - $40 per hour

      12.75% 39
    • $40.01 - $45 per hour

      7.84% 24
    • $45.01 - $50.00 per hour

      7.19% 22
    • $50.01 or greater per hour

      10.78% 33
    • I am not in nursing in order to recieve a pay check, I would work for next to nothing

      0.98% 3
    306 Votes
  3. 72 Comments

  4. by   RNKitty
    Come on, nurses! The question was not what you are paid, but what you are worth. Looking at the results, we still under value our time and skills. Lift your head up and say - I am worth at least as much as the garbage man!
  5. by   tonchitoRN
    How much does a garbage man make?
  6. by   canoehead
    I think that based on responsibility TO START that nurses deserve $40/h. But I put down $50 or greater for myself with experience and the ability to work in multiple specialty areas.

    For the record I think all you guys putting in the $20/h range are out of your minds. If they want us to make life and death decisions, and expose ourselves to disease and some of the violence that comes through the doors of hospitals they'd better pay us more than a factory worker.
  7. by   RNKitty
    Right on, canoehead!
  8. by   SharonH, RN
    Rock on canoehead! I put down $40-$45 myself but I do not feel that $50+ is too much.
  9. by   deespoohbear
    I think the $40 dollar range is a good place to start. When you weigh in all the factors a nurse who is doing bedside nursing, they should be amongst the highest paid in nursing. We have peoples' lives in our hands and one wrong decision could mean the difference between life and death. Plus, the emotional and physical stress we go through is amazing at times. I have cousin who works for a bank as a loan collection officier or some such title. She has taken some college classes, but does not have a degree. She is making more than I am in a year!! Plus, she gets every known holiday off plus lots of other perks. Just doesn't seem fair, does it? I really enjoy being a nurse, but I can understand why a lot of high school grads don't pursue nursing as a career. I also understand why nurses are leaving the bedside in masses and leaving the profession all together. Interesting poll.
  10. by   P_RN
    In 1978 I made $4.03/h. My new Toyota Corona station wagon that year cost $3600.

    My last job I made ~/= $25/h and my Ford Aerostar (all be it a 1996 used one) was > $12k. So cars tripled but wages increased by 6x.

    So.......what are we worth? Over $40 I think, cause I was worth over $4 way back then!!!
  11. by   kaycee
    I think to make it a more specific poll you should have ranges of years of experience. Example 1-5yrs
    6-10yrs ect. I think we are all worth more then we are paid now regardless of experience but should a nurse with 2yrs experience make the same as a nurse with 10yrs. I don't think so.
    It would be a more interesting poll if you added ranges.
    Last edit by kaycee on Dec 3, '01
  12. by   mattcastens
    I think a good place to look at entry-level wages (for comparisson) is to see what agency nurses make in your area. In my staff job (CVICU -- three years experience) I make $27.10/hour including shift differential.

    In my agency job (Critical Care -- three months experience) I make $45/hour including shift differential.

    If hospitals can afford agency prices, maybe they should increase the hourly wage for staff -- it might keep the nurses from leaving for agencies. After all, they can still work in the same hospitals, with the same patients, for more money. Hmmmm....
  13. by   wildtime88
    kaycee,

    I can see your point, but to be completely fair it would have to be experience in the area of practice. Should a nurse who has worked 15 years on a psych unit walk into an ER without any area experience and make more money than a nurse who has worked there 10 years or vise versa.

    These polls only give you limited space and options and we need to start somewhere. Right now there are so many people saying that we are already making the correct amount at 15 - 25 dollars and hour that I am really looking forward to a new career in real estate in the late spring. Better money, working conditions, and a lot less stress as well as a better future overall. I can almost hear my self saying, if that is how they truly feel then let them do it for that. I know that sounds mean, but in many ways that is how I feel about what this profession continues to let happen to it. In the last year, it truly has not gotten any better. In fact, it just seems to keep getting worse.

    For what ever reason some people so not want to advance and they will be the ones who in many ways will probably be the ones who fight and claw to hold everyone else back. I am not just talking about money either, but also the basic conditions which need to change. I can not see other nurses kicking them in the behind to wake them up or forcing to change for the good of everyone. Can you?

    Although that seems mean and unthinkable, that is probably going to be what it takes. I personally believe that a lot of the nurses who have left and are planning on leaving have come to the conclusion that it is a no win situation? So why not cut your loses early and reap the benefits of something else. And this is from a guy who really truly enjoys working at the bedside in the ER and does not find anything else in nursing interesting or as enjoyable enough to move into. I am also not going to put up with be treated and worked like a dog as regular staff the rest of my life either to retire on next to nothing. I would like to be regular staff somewhere so I could have a home, but not the way that most places treat them.

    Sorry, kind of went off on a different tangent.
  14. by   deespoohbear
    Why would admininstrators want to do something as logical as that? You mean, actually pay the staff nurses what they are worth? What a novel idea.
  15. by   wildtime88
    After seeing some of these low wages that nurses value their services as worth, I have begun to wonder why.

    Do some RNs actually value them selves, their knowledge, and their responsibilities this low? Then I thought a little more.

    There is no way to control who answers these polls. It could be some one who is made at an RN or the group as a whole, John Q. Public who thinks we are not worth that much, an inexperienced nursing student, or someone else who in one way or the other trying to make nurses feel slightly guilty. It could also be an actual RN who truly believes this is an appropriate wage.

    Who ever it is, I wish they would explain why they feel this way. As a group we need to hear why?

    Maybe there is something about our education, our actual duties, or our professional and legal responsibilities we could clarify.

    Please take the time to explain why?

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