Montana RN Salary

  1. 2
    Does anyone have any idea why the average RN salary in Montana, particularly in Kalispell, is so poor? That hospital keeps expanding, but can't pay nurses a decent wage or give annual raises that are anywhere near keeping up with inflation.

    I wonder how it is possible that there is not a stronger nurses union presence in Montana with the way these hospitals compensate and treat nurses.

    Anyone?
    mo-mo and lindarn like this.
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  4. 7 Comments so far...

  5. 2
    I think the fact that there isn't a strong union presence is part of the reason nurses get paid so poorly in MT.
    Too bad cuz good nurses(LIKE ME!!!) move in and try to make a living, but sooner or later move away because they can't make ends meet in towns like Bozeman and Missoula where cost of housing is high (as well as everything else).i would call MT my home if I could afford a mortgage there...Lived there for 10 years total, but believe it or not, its easier to pay the bills living in Hawaii!
    kjfreeman and lindarn like this.
  6. 4
    I have been an RN for 20 yrs now. For the entire time I think that we (nurses) are just a number. Management takes the attitude that we can get someone else to take your place. Where I work, if you are not part of the management team, you don't mean too much. It's all about the dollar. Take care of the management, but the people that put there hands on the patients (take care of them)are just workers and can be replaced easily if they don't conform to the wishes of the leaders. I work in a small rural hospital where I make rounded off - $30 an hr. We are union here and management will still push things when it comes to pay. Morale is at rock bottom and we have quite a few agency now and management will pay agency instead of staff for say - work extra shifts. Cheaper in the long run for them , but it kills incentive to help (morale) on top of all the politics. Cost of living has gone up considerably here in the past 2-3 yrs also. Nurses for the most part do not stick together as a whole. If we could stick together (100%) then maybe we could change things in nursing that need changing. But, there is always someone in the bunch that is out for right now or themselves in general and defeat the whole purpose of sticking together. For me, if I could find another job where I could make close to what I make now, I would do it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, nursing for me has simply turned into paying the bills and getting my daughter through high school/college. Part of this attitude may stem from just working where I work which is why when my daughter graduates from HS - I am out of here. Going to go try Arizona or New Mexico just for the change. Pay sucks everywhere for nurses and I don't think things will change unless WE as a whole learn to stick together. If I had only gone to work for GM (haha).
    Last edit by nord11 on Dec 9, '08
    tokidoki7, lindakrn, kjfreeman, and 1 other like this.
  7. 1
    Quote from wiking
    I have been an RN for 20 yrs now. For the entire time I think that we (nurses) are just a number. Management takes the attitude that we can get someone else to take your place. Where I work, if you are not part of the management team, you don't mean too much. It's all about the dollar. Take care of the management, but the people that put there hands on the patients (take care of them)are just workers and can be replaced easily if they don't conform to the wishes of the leaders. I work in a small rural hospital where I make rounded off - $30 an hr. We are union here and management will still push things when it comes to pay. Morale is at rock bottom and we have quite a few agency now and management will pay agency instead of staff for say - work extra shifts. Cheaper in the long run for them , but it kills incentive to help (morale) on top of all the politics. Cost of living has gone up considerably here in the past 2-3 yrs also. Nurses for the most part do not stick together as a whole. If we could stick together (100%) then maybe we could change things in nursing that need changing. But, there is always someone in the bunch that is out for right now or themselves in general and defeat the whole purpose of sticking together. For me, if I could find another job where I could make close to what I make now, I would do it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, nursing for me has simply turned into paying the bills and getting my daughter through high school/college. Part of this attitude may stem from just working where I work which is why when my daughter graduates from HS - I am out of here. Going to go try Arizona or New Mexico just for the change. Pay sucks everywhere for nurses and I don't think things will change unless WE as a whole learn to stick together. If I had only gone to work for GM (haha).
    I worked in MT for a yr and a half. In that time I racked up so many bills I had to leave. The cost of living was way higher there than where I live now and the pay was way less. Too bad too...my familly lives there.
    lindarn likes this.
  8. 2
    If you google around long enough, you will see the the CEO of Kalispell Hospital has a salary of almost half a million dollars a year. Does that answer your question? She makes more than most of the doctors. A lot of the admin that is on staff is from her neck of the woods, being East Texas. I read somewhere in this thread that they are now using agency. That was unheard of when I was working there, and that wasn't too awfully long ago. It's the "good old-boy" system there and unfortunately you get paid for who you know, not what you know. Good luck with finding a good income there, I do know that the staffing agencies pay "fair" and there are usually shifts in Polson and surrounding areas that you can pick up. Hope all works out for you.
    kjfreeman and lindarn like this.
  9. 2
    It is very political here with the unions, etc. The unions have done a lot to bring up nursing wages in Montana, but not all hospitals are union. There is also the mindset that people LOVE to live here, so they will accept lower wages.
    kjfreeman and lindarn like this.
  10. 0
    that is ridiculous!
  11. 0
    That does really suck cause i really want to move back to montana to be with my family but the whole thing is the fact of income. I am hoping by the time that i am ready to move that things will have changed a little more then they are now. In California they start you off at 34.00 and hour


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