Nursing pay..Check this out! - page 4

Why is nursing pay across the board not standardized? What I am referring to is, why do nurses get paid more or less according to the cost of living across the USA and not according to skills a nurse... Read More

  1. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    I think when it comes to nursing pay there are definitely some macro-economic issues. For example; locality, type nursing, experience, education etc. that the individual nurse can't do much to control. I'm from Pittsburgh so I'm probably not going to make the same as a nurse from Manhattan. However, that only explains part of the equation. Micro economic issues pertinent to the individual nurse can be controlled by them. Have any of you ever the case of one nurse earning more on the same unit while the lesser earning nurse is far better at what she does? I have. Nurses need to self-advocate and not put up with BS. If you want to make more money drive a better deal for yourself where you are at or get out or your comfort zone and move on. Simply put nobody is (or should) in a professional setting love you like you.
  2. by   Julius Seizure
    Quote from SpankedInPittsburgh
    I think when it comes to nursing pay there are definitely some macro-economic issues. For example; locality, type nursing, experience, education etc. that the individual nurse can't do much to control. I'm from Pittsburgh so I'm probably not going to make the same as a nurse from Manhattan. However, that only explains part of the equation. Micro economic issues pertinent to the individual nurse can be controlled by them. Have any of you ever the case of one nurse earning more on the same unit while the lesser earning nurse is far better at what she does? I have. Nurses need to self-advocate and not put up with BS. If you want to make more money drive a better deal for yourself where you are at or get out or your comfort zone and move on. Simply put nobody is (or should) in a professional setting love you like you.
    My first job, after several years I discovered that another new grad who started at the same time as me was making significantly more...despite me getting excellent annual reviews and the max raise every year. I concluded that I must have been offered less as a starting salary, and kicked myself for not trying to get a better offer.
  3. by   Leader25
    come on really,look at anyone's pay.Alaska ,Russia, fiji?
  4. by   Nascar nurse
    So if we all make the same pay do we all move to small town USA in Mississippi or somewhere with a low cost of living to maximize our salary? And who's going to work in the high cost of living areas like San Fran when their pay would go so much further elsewhere?
  5. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    That is never gonna happen without a whole lot more socialism & even then people won't work if its not worth their while. Ask the former Soviet Union. Oh yeah you can't they are deader than Caesar. If you tried to force the issue and pay the Nurse in Manhattan as much as I make in Pittsburgh I doubt there would be many Nurses there
  6. by   kbrn2002
    Pay scales in different regions are incredibly complex. Of course a nurse in NYC or SF is going to make more than a nurse in rural Iowa. Even with a much higher wage the nurse in SF or NYC may still be worse off financially than that nurse in Iowa. Especially in the SF bay area housing costs have skyrocketed. A nice place in Iowa can probably be found for much less than $1000/month while a broom closet in the bay area will cost at least double that, if you can even find a broom closet sized place to rent at all.

    Then add the cost and inconvenience of commuting. I live less than 1 mile from work in a low traffic area, it takes me maybe 5 minutes to drive to work. Parking is free at my house and at my job. In big urban hospitals if a nurse is even able to drive in to work the traffic will be nearly impossible and the parking fees sky high both at work and at home leaving a commute by public transport the best if not only option. Guess what, that costs money too! Some of the tech giants in the bay area have gone so far as to provide their own bus service for the workers because they literally can't find housing anywhere close to the work site.

    Another factor to consider is local taxes. I can't rattle off the tax rates of different cities off the top of my head, but I can still say with comfortable certainty that I'll pay way more in taxes and way more for most services in San Francisco or NY than I would in rural Iowa.

    Of course where I live I'd love to make $75.00/hr, but if I lived in a high cost of living area I might barely make it on that.
  7. by   KelRN215
    Quote from FrankRN2017
    The quality and quantity of nursing care does not change that I know of as I always strive to do my best wherever I am, BUT the pay changes. Does the cost of medications vary from one city to another?
    I beg to differ that the quality of care doesn't differ across the country. I now work for a national home infusion company. I am on site at a hospital that attracts patients from all over the country- specifically because the care is better. I had the unfortunate experience of having to send a child home to Alabama on NG feeds earlier this year. There is no doubt in my mind, based on my communications with our staff in Alabama, that this child received far inferior care down there than he would have if he had stayed in New England.
  8. by   Guy in Babyland
    Nursing wages can be the same across the country. Only thing that needs to be done is to standardize rent, cost of houses, gas, food across the country.

    Cost of living in a particular area is the main factor in determining wages, not some evil scheme by the hospitals. The VA has a cost of living adjustment for different areas of the country.

    Let's set the national minimum wage for nurses at whatever the prevailing nurse wage is in Honolulu, HI. Those of us in low COL states can afford buy our mini mansions and the employee parking lot will be full of luxury cars.
    Last edit by Guy in Babyland on Jan 2
  9. by   brandy1017
    Quote from FrankRN2017
    Does the cost of healthcare services vary between states?
    Actually it does, and it even varies by cities. But as another OP mentioned the COL varies. I'm sure it's not just nurses that are paid differently re COL.

    All I can say if you are unhappy with your pay, move to where the pay is better even in relation to COL. I've heard North Dakota pays well, but I wouldn't want to live there. Usually in the south and rural areas pay less. Otherwise check out strong unionized hospitals or work for the VA, which has the best benefits across the board. There are only a handful of states scattered across the country where strong unions help raise the pay, but even they have problems with staffing ratios, short staffing and some even go on strike over pay and health benefits.
  10. by   BostonFNP
    Love that OP posts an op-ed article from the UK to support preconceived belief. Pseudosci and cb ftw.
  11. by   brandy1017
    To the OP he sounds disgruntled re his pay. There are resources available such as payscale and glass door that gives more info re average and median pay for nurses in different cities and even in hospital systems. It behooves oneself to check out that info before relocating.

    Besides the wage variation among different cities and states, there is also wage compression so that even with experience you are not paid much more than a new grad. I've been a nurse over 20 years and I make about $10/hr more than a new grad, and I'm not at the max yet! One good thing about unions is you know the min and max wages and are not left in the dark. The best unions have a step system where your pay increases in step with each year of experience, but you need a really strong union to get this!

    If I wanted to make more money I could choose to climb the ladder or switch to the system wide pool, but their are too many negative trade offs I'm not willing to make just for more money. The ladder where I work has a demotion clause and the requirements to maintain are constantly changing. To many people that frustration of jumping thru hoops and joining committees etc is a small price to pay for a 5-10% raise. For the pool you have to be willing to travel to half a dozen hospitals with your schedule changing on a daily basis and occasionally, even having to switch hospitals mid shift. Many are kept on standby notice where they don't even know where they are supposed to work until that morning! I'm not willing to do that even for another $10/hr. The pool has a lot of newer nurses trying to maximize their pay and some older ones nearing retirement. To each his own.

    It used to be you could get a raise by changing jobs to another hospital system, but even this is no longer a given. While if you are a new grad you may get a pay raise, I've talked to others who took a pay cut to work at my hospital. Even others who were pressured to take a pay cut during negotiations at another hospital and the best they would offer in the end was the same pay the person was already making. So switching jobs is no longer a sure thing. One frustrated nurse decided to do travel nursing when all the job offers in her area were either offering a pay cut or just what she was making. But even travel nursing pay varies by company and you need to check out various companies and be able to negotiate to get the best deal.
    Last edit by brandy1017 on Jan 2
  12. by   brandy1017
    Quote from Been there,done that
    The cost of living.. is what it is. It is an INDEX that measures differences in the price of goods and services. The value of your service depends on your location. I have made 60 bucks an hour in Hawaii, 25 bucks in Detroit.
    Wow! That must have been neat, living in Hawaii. I've had a real sweet vacation there, a once in a lifetime opportunity, and glad to check that off my bucket list. Next place to see is Alaska on a cruise tour in the summer. Hopefully one of these days! One of my coworkers took a travel assignment to Hawaii and spent a couple years there, but eventually went back home to be near family.
  13. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from SpankedInPittsburgh
    It's economics & capitalism. Labor is a commodity that hospital & other care providers purchase. They seek to spend as little as possible on this commodity / expense. It's like a physics experiment. They seek to apply as little force (money / resources) as possible to keep a nurse doing their job. Many of us do the same thing when we shop. If I want to purchase something I look for the cheapest price available for that commodity. For example, if I want to buy a particular model of TV I compare prices and go with the best deal. It's not a mean decision I just have to decide if I want to give the TV dealer more or less money. It's why there are no Mom & Pop TV stores left and Wally World and Amazon are booming. Ultimately its up to the individual nurse to decide how much she is willing to work for. If they don't offer you enough to keep working stop. If enough nurses agree with you wages will go up. One way to attempt to make this happen is unionization. I'm in a Union and I make considerably more money and with better benefits than the Nurses who work next door at another hospital.
    But the nurses who work next door probably still make more money than they would if they weren't next to a union shop. That hospital has to compete with the unionized hospital to retain nurses.

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