Thinking about becoming a RN...please advise.

  1. Hi all,

    I first want to express thanks for all who are here helping each other. Thank you! I hope I can help here someday too!

    I have a BS in Chem and an MS in Industrial Hygiene (School of Public Health). I am thinking about becoming a nurse, but I have some questions...

    For example, my local community college offers a RN Associates degree I can complete in 5 semesters. I like this idea, but what would I be considered - an RNA or something? Is there a difference in title and/or pay for an RN (Associates) versus an RN (Bachelors)?

    I believe money is very important to give and to receive; I want to know what my pay might be as an RN (Associates degree) staffer versus an RN (Associates) agency nurse or traveling nurse.

    Also, what is the difference between an agency nurse and a traveling nurse if any? Do agency and/or traveling nurses get paid more money than staff nurses? Someone on a nursing forum said he is so happy as a nurse, because he feels appreciated through his $50 per hour pay. I thought "Wow...I believe he really does feel happy and works harder than those who may feel underappreciated and underpaid." I want to make sure I try to put myself in a position where I am content, so if anyone is kind enough to break down pay scales, opportunities, and wisdom, I appreciate it (please hold comments about how money isn't important - I study Deepak Chopra, and we believe money is very important - it is energy and giving and receiving).

    In a nutshell, I would really like to know the difference in pay and job tasks between RN-Associates and RN-Bachelors. I'd also like to know the difference between staff versus agency or traveling.

    Thanks,
    HeatherAnn
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    Two-thirds of all American RNs are associates degree-educated. In the hospital setting, RN-ASNs and RN-BSNs earn about the same pay rates. The BSN will open up opportunities for managerial positions, education, research and other non-hospital areas.

    Traveling RNs and agency nurses do tend to earn more money than staff nurses; however, the major catch is that these jobs don't offer medical insurance, retirement, and other benefits.
  4. by   EricJRN
    Welcome to the site, HeatherAnn! Good luck to you.
  5. by   Tweety
    Welcome to Allnurses.

    If you are only interested in making money, then the Associates Degree will get you the RN. Both the ADN and BSN take the same NCLEX exam and both have the same title of "Registered Nurse". As was stated above both start out at the bedside on equal footing making about the same amount of money. Some hospitals pay a small premium to the BSN, but it doesn't justify the expense.

    To be an "Agency Nurse" and a "Travel Nurse" you need experience. After you get the experience you sign up with an agency and work per diem at different facilities, but are not employed by those facilities. The salary is higher because they call the agency only when they need you when they are really in need.

    Travel nurses take assignments typically for up to 12 weeks. They make a slightly higher salary, and also get their housing paid for. Often they get a bonus when they are finished with an assignment.

    Finally, the salaries vary according to where you live. Agency nurses typically make about $35/hour here.
    Good luck!
  6. by   HeatherAnn
    Thank you both; Thank you so much for the prompt response.

    Cheers and Happy New Year!

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