Prospective Nursing Student with Career Questions

  1. I’m considering taking a buyout package to go back to school to be a nurse.
    I have some questions and hoping that I can get some feedback.

    1. Salary. I make about 58k a year now with no possibility of overtime.
    In Michigan, how much can I realistically expect to make as an LPN, & RN?
    What is the average starting salary?

    2. Overtime. Can I expect have overtime hours/ pay available if I want/need to make extra money?

    3. Schooling. How much of an impact will the school that I get my degree have on my employability?

    Basically, I’m trying to decide if I will really be making any sort of financial gains by switching to a nursing career. If I will be able to make more $$ then I am willing to put in all the hard work for the education. I'm afraid that after all of the hard work and sacrifice that I will end up making the same amount of money or less than I currently make and I don’t want to make a lateral move.

    Any insight that you can be provide would be very helpful.

    Thank you.
    Last edit by sirI on Mar 7, '07 : Reason: edit personal information - members may contact via private message
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   amybethf
    I think the average starting pay is $21-23. In others states it could be more due to cost of living expenses. Some hospitals pay more than others. U might make more if u have a BSN over an ADN. I do not know about OT but there would be shift premiums if u worked midnights. But with the shortage of nurses, I am sure there is a good possibility of OT.

    Sounds like u make a good living now but if u hate what u do then money isn't really an issue. Search the different program reqts. online. To get on any waiting list for nursing u must pass the NET (nurse entrance test) and then take any pre-req's while waiting.

    Good luck!
  4. by   MALE*RN*777
    You will get different answers depending on what state you want to work and what nursing career path you take, what hours you work, sign on bonuses, shift diffs, insurances, etc. I think there is a website something like salary wizard which should give you the average with the supplied info. As for Western MD the beginning rate is about 43k a year with anywhere from 2-35 percent rate shift diff for beginning medical hospital nurses.
  5. by   UMichSCN07
    1. salary. i make about 58k a year now with no possibility of overtime.
    in michigan, how much can i realistically expect to make as an lpn, & rn?
    what is the average starting salary? for what it's worth, the lpns that my wife works with (ann arbor area) all grumble that they should be called "low pay nurses" because they do much the same work as rns for much less pay, at least in the office setting. i can't speak to the hospital setting. at a local major hospital, your starting pay as an rn (after you pass the nclex) will be about 15k less than you currently make. however, the opportunity of advancement is pretty great. over time, you have the potential to make as much, if not more than you currently do.

    2. overtime. can i expect have overtime hours/ pay available if i want/need to make extra money? at most of the hospitals near me, you can get pretty much all the ot you want. it may be capped by the union contract (depending on the facility), but it is there. and as others have mentioned, you can get pretty good shift differential ($1-2 per hour increase) for working afternoons/evenings or nights.

    3. schooling. how much of an impact will the school that i get my degree have on my employability? imho, little to none. there are, of course, varying degrees of opinions on certain schools, but the quality of nurse you are will matter far more. which can mean, going out of your way to try to get the best education you can, regardless of your educational situation. right now, it's a toss up between an rn/associate's degree and a bsn... the waiting lists vary, the prerequisites vary. not all programs require the net test, i believe only the rn/associate's programs do. there are some programs that require you to do a nurse aide program first, even bsn. in hospital, the pay is the same, but bsn's can go into management, as well as future educational opportunities in nursing, like crna, clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, etc.

    feel free to pm me.

    mike in michigan
  6. by   ritarunningfeet
    Hello,
    I am an RN in Michigan, 2 years out of school with an ADN, this past year I made 55k in er on nights, with very little over time. As a nurse there seems to ALWAYS be opportunity for overtime. And the longer you do it the more you make. I worked for a year as an LPN and made a little over 1/2 what I make now and that is with over time. As far as BSN vs ADN, it kind of depends on what you want to do. If you just want to work on a floor usually an associate degree and BSN make the same. However if you want managment or administration most want you to have a BSN, and I'm not sure of the pay difference?
  7. by   LadyNASDAQ
    You will trade dollars for dollars and then owe a heap of money towards schooling. The other prolem is that there are cut backs and the places you work at aren't what you'd like them to be. Some hospitals are germy, some have strict rules, some don't give you job satisfaction. Always for every facility worrying about Joint Commission coming around and being fearful that their doors will stay open while they do cut backs for money sake. Unbelievable system out there. Be aware this isn't a glamor job. You will work hard, you will get sick from your patients and you will definitely be challenged.
  8. by   aviator411
    SMB,

    At the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor a "level A" RN earns $46,500, a "level B" RN earns $68,900. Not sure what the qualifications are, it's a union shop so determined by contract. A member of my family is a "level B" and earned $90,000 last yr w overtime. Overtime availability is regulated by seniority and contract. UM pays better than most in MI but there may be others who pay as well or better.

    You can examine the salaries of everyone from the President of UM on down by going to www.michigandaily.com and clicking on "UMSalaries" at the bottom of the column on the left side of the page. The nursing recruiters at UM are happy to discuss wages and qualifications if you call them.
  9. by   sexymonkeyboy
    Thanks so much for all of the responses. !!!
  10. by   juan de la cruz
    1. Salaries have some degree of variation depending on the nurse's place of work. Check salary.com so you can get an average picture of starting salaries for both LPN's and RN's. I can tell you, however, that you are earning more than what an RN or an LPN will earn fresh out of school in our state. Not that I am putting down LPN's, but I would advise you to pursue the RN instead because you will end up with a wider scope of possibilities for employment and a higher salary range.

    2. As a nurse who have only worked in non-union hospitals, I can guarantee you that there will be ample opportunities for overtime. And even if there is none, it is not unusual for some nurses to moonlight in other hospitals for extra money.

    3. With the exception of the LPN vs RN issue regarding employability, there really isn't much difference where and in what program you receive your nursing education in. ADN and BSN grads are both qualified to be hired for any entry-level RN position. ADN programs in community colleges tend to be easier on the pocket than BSN programs. Both are hard to get accepted to.

    Also remember that a nursing degree can be expensive but there isn't a better time to be a nurse than now when many hospitals are begging for nurses. It is also a career that you can bring with you whichever part of the country you plan on moving to.
  11. by   sarah6678
    Since the University of Michigan is a public university, their salaries are made public. If you go here:

    http://errwpc.umdl.umich.edu/public/3/3/1/3314612.html

    You can download an Excel file which contains the name, position and salary of every university employee...sort by position and you can see exactly what all of the nurses make.
  12. by   MySimplePlan
    All of the comments provided to you have been excellent.

    I can only add that if you pursue a 'two-year degree' it's not really 2 years. The pre-reqs needed to get into a 2 year nursing program will take anywhere from 1-2 years alone, depending on how fast you can take them. Then there's the lovely waiting list.

    If you are taking a buyout and factoring living and schooling expenses for 2 years while pursuing an ADN degreee, you might run out of cash before you finish nursing school. That's what Jenny G and her crew don't understand as they push the health career thing in Michigan: nursing school is much longer than the two years she is touting in her new plan.

    Good luck to you, whatever you decide. It's a big, brave step to change careers after being in a field for a long period of time, but the climate of this state has everyone pivoting.
  13. by   justjenny
    Quote from sexymonkeyboy
    Basically, I'm trying to decide if I will really be making any sort of financial gains by switching to a nursing career. If I will be able to make more $$ then I am willing to put in all the hard work for the education. I'm afraid that after all of the hard work and sacrifice that I will end up making the same amount of money or less than I currently make and I don't want to make a lateral move.

    Any insight that you can be provide would be very helpful.

    Thank you.


    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT go into nursing if all you are looking at is the "potential financial gain" !!!!!!!!!!!!

    I went into nursing and put in all the hard work and sacrifice because it is what I have always wanted to do...the money is truly secondary to me.

    If you want my opinion...keep looking for a career and good luck!

    Jenny

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