Nursing Pay - page 2

Hi- I am new to the forum and have a question for everyone. I will be starting an accelerated nursing program soon and have a question about nursing pay. Where I live, nurses start at about... Read More

  1. by   bamagrl
    WOW!! I live in a small town in alabama and as a new grad RN I was offered $15.75/hr at my local hospital to start out...of course night shift makes more.
    I think I need to relocate!
  2. by   Lady Nicole
    Wow!! If I could make 28 dollars an hour I'd be going over the moon for joy.... granted, I'm a student and not working as a nurse yet, but I don't make near as much money at the job I currently have.

    Why on earth do you think that this is a bad salary? Are you expecting to live like some movie star? And don't say its because you're in an expensive area, because I'm in a pricey California town, too and my husband and I manage to live very nicely off of our combined income of not quite 40 thousand a year.

    I don't know what your situation is, but I am very sorry if you're in a place where you think that a starting salary of 50K a year is not enough to support you or your lifestyle. My advice would be to keep in mind that this is the start of your career, not the end. In a few years when you have experience you will undoubtably make more.

    Best wishes to you!
  3. by   swatch007
    Quote from haninks
    Hi- I am new to the forum and have a question for everyone. I will be starting an accelerated nursing program soon and have a question about nursing pay. Where I live, nurses start at about $28/hour. At 36 hours a week, this comes to $48,384. Do most nurses work a lot of overtime? I always hear how nurses make "such great money", but $48,384 is hardly great money. How much could I realistically make my first year as an RN? Thanks.
    You make yourself sound like you just in more for the money. Nothing wrong with that if you can provide the same quality of care. In military, many of my comrades call an accelerated nursing program "Shake and Bake" because of the desperate attemp to supply the shortage of nurses. Not until you can prove your nursing skills, you can demand more for your cake. ( just a tough love).
  4. by   MuddaMia
    Quote from Lady Nicole
    Wow!!
    Why on earth do you think that this is a bad salary? Are you expecting to live like some movie star? And don't say its because you're in an expensive area, because I'm in a pricey California town, too and my husband and I manage to live very nicely off of our combined income of not quite 40 thousand a year.
    You live "quite nicely" on 40k? Well, perhaps this poster has kids..or a mortgage...or plans for her future...and her retirement! I think it is very naive of you to say that 40K is a comfortable salary ESP in California.

    BTW-- IMHO Nursing pay IS WAY TOO LOW and the working conditions/responsibility that go with the job are not respected or compensated.
    Last edit by MuddaMia on Sep 10, '06
  5. by   MuddaMia
    Quote from swatch007
    You make yourself sound like you just in more for the money.
    No she doesn't--she sounds like an intelligent woman who has both feet planted in reality. 50k isnt much to build a life on! You can live hand to mouth--but to carve out a future for yourself, your family, etc??? The current status of compensation for RN's (except maybe in Bay Area,CA)--its an insulting pay for the job
  6. by   MajorAl
    Okay, I'm going to show my age here. When I graduated with my BSN, business students expected their salary to match their age by the time they were 30. My salary matched my age 2 years ago for the first time. As I said earlier, you will never get rich being a nurse (well 99% of us won't) but you won't starve to death and you can fund a comfortable retirement and give your kids a fairly good education. (Nothing wrong with state schools, I graduated from University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh myself.)
  7. by   neetnik461
    haninks wrote:

    Do most nurses work a lot of overtime? I always hear how nurses make "such great money", but $48,384 is hardly great money.
    On the ICU where I work there is always opportunity for overtime. But . . .a couple of things to keep in mind. First, you probably will not be able to sign up for overtime until your orientation is over (that means 12 weeks or so into the job depending). Second, it's very possible that your overtime will be taxed at something like 40% (at least that's the way it is at our facility, because we are salary, I'm not sure how it is for hourly employees). Sure, the 42.00/hr for overtime looks great until you work 12 hours and get a little over 300.00 once taxes chop away at it.

    I'll tell you a little story if you are motivated to make "great money" as a nurse. I know a nurse who began doing agency work 6 months after graduating. Most agencies require 1 year experience, but there are some out there that will take nurses with 6 months under their belt. You just have to be real assertive. This particular nurse works 2 agency jobs and makes alot more than 48.000 a year (probably closer to 80,000 or 90,000). You need to be willing to work where your needed and when you are needed to make this kind of money. You also need to have a lot of self-confidence to go in and do nursing "on the spot" so to speak.

    For me, 48,000 or so as a new grad nurse is fine, but my income is just supplemental to my husbands white collar take home pay!
  8. by   CityKat
    Why do people think nurses make an atrocious amount of money? I know many RN's and they are making "decent" money, but it isn't "GREAT" money. The pay really depends on where you're located anyhow. Here in NYC, the new grads start out at $61k and even some places, $65k. BUT, the cost of living in NYC is the second highest in the world and quite honestly, $65k is still almost like living like a working student when you take taxes and your tuition loan payments every month.

    Many people continually go into it nursing b/c they think they will make a ton of money. I don't know. Me personally, I think RN's are under paid when you consider blood born pathogens, chemotherapy and needles, etc.

    When I was talking to a hospital in Colorado Springs, Co about their hiring of new grads, etc. She said they start new grads out at $20.15. And then she said to me "you also have to consider the "quality" of living you get here." I laughed b/c I was raised in Colorado, but with the dangers that I would encounter everyday with every shift...$20.15 idoesn't cut it.
  9. by   barbyann
    Keep in mind OP that nursing pay is not equal for equal work. At my place of employment I can work a shift with a nurse making half of what I am an hour and another nurse making double what I am getting paid for the same shift, same pt load.

    New grads make entry level, Agency nurses get top dollar and free housing/stipend/bonus, I am on Baylor program with weekly bonus/med benefits. It's all part of a big healthcare system that doesn't recognize skill, care, equality. It is about budgets, filling scheduling holes, and JHACO.

    You will be able to learn quickly how to "work" the system for your benefit. You will learn about differential pay, overtime, double time, retention bonuses, evaluation/merit bonuses, etc. There are many ways to make more and what you are describing is base pay. That being said I do agree that the base pay is not adequate considering the risks involved, especially in an acute care setting. Good Luck!
  10. by   royr
    I would really like to know where in the USA nurses are in high demand as new grads, the public schools are good, and housing is inexpensive. I will pack up and move as soon as I finish nursing school. Here where I am in my senior year in an RN program, we have several good nursing schools in driving distance - so new grads are happy to start at $10 - $12 per hour - if they are lucky enough to get a job locally at all. These hospitals know how many RN's are turned out every year locally - and they have an over supply of students all the time that do clinical work for free. It is all supply and demand - as in any other profession. Point me to a place I can make a good living relative to the cost of food, utilities and housing and I will be there shortly. All suggestions welcome.
  11. by   catlady
    When I graduated from nursing school, the minimum wage was $3.35 an hour, and I started at $9.06 an hour, no bonuses, no relocation, 10% for nights.

    Today the minimum wage is $5.15 an hour, and the average new nurse starts out at around $20 an hour with lots of perks. But we still have students complaining that $28/hr isn't enough.

    It's entry level, people. A new nurse hasn't proven herself to anyone, other than she can pass a school program. It will take months to years for that nurse to become even marginally proficient. Some things have to be earned, including pay and respect.

    This is an interesting snippet from the past. Keep in mind it took place during the last nursing shortage, and high cost areas were cited. Within four years, nurses around the country were being laid off and having pay and benefits slashed. Nothing is permanent.

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...gewanted=print
  12. by   barbyann
    I wonder if the above poster is currently working in an acute care setting. New grads are everywhere, doing everything. I have seen my floor leave four new nurses (less than one year out of school) to fend for themselves. I was given the task of choosing which one was ready to take charge report from me. We take new grads into ICU/ED right off the graduation stage. They are expected to know it all and it is so sad for them. The are truly baptisted by fire.

    I would also like to compare hospital CEO salaries from back then to now. Have they increased in proportion to nursing salaries? Have they increased substantially more? Please acknowledge that we now pay for healthcare coverage, we lost our great pensions, and cost of living has skyrocketed. I don't remember having to train for biological terrorism back then. MRSA/VRE/EBSL were not the norm. We now have lots of research that shows the damaging physical effects on the body of night shift workers.

    Like anything in life it all comes down to risk vs. benefit. All new nurses should acknowledge the risk they are exposed to and decide how much money it would take to make it seem reasonable to go to work.
  13. by   catlady
    Quote from barbyann
    I wonder if the above poster is currently working in an acute care setting. New grads are everywhere, doing everything. I have seen my floor leave four new nurses (less than one year out of school) to fend for themselves. I was given the task of choosing which one was ready to take charge report from me. We take new grads into ICU/ED right off the graduation stage. They are expected to know it all and it is so sad for them. The are truly baptisted by fire.

    I would also like to compare hospital CEO salaries from back then to now. Have they increased in proportion to nursing salaries? Have they increased substantially more? Please acknowledge that we now pay for healthcare coverage, we lost our great pensions, and cost of living has skyrocketed.
    Yes, I am working in acute care. I have been a nurse for 21 years, and about fifteen of them have been in acute care and most of those years were in ICU. I started out as a new grad on a med-surg floor with tele beds, although the head nurse refused to send me for training on how actually to read the tele. We had everything short of Swans on our floor, including radiation implants, CVP lines, pushing major IV drugs, doing all our own respiratory therapy and treatments, etc. I was doing charge in less than six months, and my orientation consisted of, "You've seen what the charge nurse does." What does that have to do with the fact that new grads are entry level workers, and that they shouldn't be making anywhere near what experienced workers are earning? When they have the experience, they should be paid for the experience. New grads are hired on spec. And BTW, IMNSHO, acute care nurses aren't any more deserving of higher salaries than other nurses.

    I am on my wage compression soapbox again.

    All industries have huge disparities between the workers and the CEO salaries, not just healthcare. We may not like it, but it's not likely to change; therefore it becomes just another strawman in the discussion.

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