NP Salary vs. RN salary - page 7

by Health-Nut

39,349 Views | 87 Comments

I have a friend who ust starterd working as a NP about a year ago and she said she is really disappointed she didn't go to CRNA school because she is make the same money she made as a RN in the hospital and whe she did agency... Read More


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    Yes it really does depend on what are area of the country you work in. New york and san fran nurses get paid well.

    But honestly nursing out here in Chicago isn't the best. The working conditions are not good. It's very stressful no matter what hospital you work at. The nurses here have plenty of headaches. I have way fewer headaches as an NP where I work, than as an RN. The ratio is always 5:1, some units 6:1 and that's hard especially with a high acuity. Not mention all of the physical work that nurses do, all of the lifting, cleaning patients up, transferring - to me that was more than I could handle. My body just couldn't take it anymore. I wouldn't go back to being a nurse if someone paid me 200K. It just wouldn't be worth it to me.

    I don't miss being on the floor, being hassled by residents, yelled at over the computer by interns, listening to my pager go off while I am starting on an IV and then getting yelled at by staff because I couldn't answer the page, being tortured by the admitting dept, ER, and a host of other departments. Oh I forgot to mention those really needy patients who constantly put their call light on every 2 minutes. Aside from this, I don't miss the politics of being on the floor, the busy body girls that love to gossip and the bad morale that circulated around the units. Oh, and I forgot to mention...lunch? What's that? Food? Who needs food? There is no lunch!! Oh, and potty breaks...what are those? There are no potty breaks because nurses are too busy answering to every beck and call that everybody else needs and furthermore, practically every administration out there doesn't care and give a lick for nurses and the fact that they can't take two minutes to go to the bathroom because they are so overworked. Need I say more? And I imagine that most nurses out there know exactly what I am talking about.

    So if we want to compare...we can do that...as an NP, I work regular hours, no weekends, holidays or nights. I actually made my own schedule and I love it. Furthermore I can eat and go potty whenever I feel like and no one is going to interrupt me, not if I can help it. I have more autonomy, more respect and I enjoy my job a whole lot more. And I get paid very well for all of this.

    My body, my mind, my health and my well being are more important to me than my pay check. Besides, it does you no good if you make all that money and it kills you in the end. After all, you woudn't be there to enjoy it now, would you?

    That's just my two cents worth INMHO.
    eklecticsol, gerry79, and qaidowu like this.
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    don't take this the wrong way but you said ďiím an immigrant who came to this country with pennies and didn't even speak english." those are the things that get you a free pass in america. i'm sure you didn't have to pay anything for your education. i'm a middle age white male, one of the worst things you can be for grant, loans, bonus, or opportunities. you also said you live in ny and that is why you making so much. you have to spend $24 or more just to drive car across bridges and drive through tunnels. it's all relative. you probably have no kids and live in a 2 bedroom apartment.
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    Quote from Cardiology EP NP
    Oh something I wanted to mention about CRNA school. I have a friend who is in CRNA school and her primary motive for going to CRNA school was strictly for the money. To be perfectly honest, I really think this person should have never considered a career in healthcare. It's clear to me that caring for patients is NOT something this person enjoys doing. In the end, I think when we do things for the money, we may become embittered and disillusioned because we are so disatisfied.

    You have to decide what is important to you in life. Some things just aren't worth the money IMHO.
    Although I agree with most of your post the part I disagree with is the part about the CRNA. I believe bedside nurses who don't have a love for patient care have a PROBLEM since thats their primary function. The role of a CRNA is more technical and more closely to the role of the anesthesiologist. and after all isn't the patient asleep. I would be willing to bet that if you spoke with CRNA's they would tell you money was definately a motivator...
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    Quote from tulips134
    I guess it depends on how you view your life and your expectations. I have a very different mindset when it comes to financial well-being than most of the nurses. I have goals that I am working on which include being financially independent( millionaire at 40), retire early at 50 with several millions.

    I wanted to maximize my earnings without spending a lot. So I went back to school to further my education( I have 2 NP certifications) on my employers' dime. I'd never in a million years pay for my grad schools on my own. I went to very expensive private schools(NYU,Columbia). I never understood the mentality of many nurses who spent a boat load of their own money going to school to become an NP. Let your employer pick up the tap.

    And I don't buy the craps most people sell you about being an NP. I was an NP for a couple years actually making LESS than I was making as an RN. I was offered in high 80s when I was making low 90s WITHOUT OT as an RN with several specialty certifications. The hospital I worked as inpatient NP is a nationally well-known hospital here in NYC so the pay was very similar amoung other hospitals.

    I can't speak for other work places but the NPs here worked their butts off to make a living. Yep, you still get dumped on by attendings who refused to do anything! There are many MDs who expect us to do their job and NP job. Yes there were many days we didn't get to eat lunch at lunch hrs or lunch was interruped bec our beepers kept beeping nonstop. It was never 9-5. Many of us stayed past our hrs to finish notes,order labs for tomorrow. Many of us came in extra early to prepare for the pts who were going to cath/OR,etc. and all the responsibilities of being an NP.

    Yes I loved holidays off, no weekends and going home at decent hr but by the time I got home it was 7+pm. 2 days off was not enough for me. I was exhausted all the time. Working 5 days meant, I spent more money... on food, clothes, gas, tolls, wear and tear on my car,etc. and most of all my love for travelling was put on hold bec I couldn't just get away for a few days. I really really missed going away for 5-6 days without taking a vacation time off. I kept thinking, maybe things will get better....but didn't.

    The last straw was when I confided a senior NP about my salary(94k) and career advancement/raises/bonues. She told me she's been there for 14+yr as an NP, her salary was 113K plus 1.5K bonus after 10 yrs . I was floored. I couldn't believe it. I could make that salary as an RN and I didn't have to work that hard.


    so I finally went back to work as an RN like some other NPs on my floor. now as an RN, I don't have the same responsibilties, very flexible work schedule, less headaches and MORE money. I made 122K last year. I did some OTs maybe 1-2 a month. My love for travelling is increased since I am able to travel more working 3-4 days/wk. I take care of 4-5 pts on a regular floor, 1-2 in critical care. Since I am a senior nurse, I precept 1-2 new student a year( $750 extra per preceptorship), act as a charge nurse( $2hr/hr extra), do some OTs ($72/hr). I get almost all the holidays off including thanksgiving,xmas but I choose to work on xmas bec I am not christian. I know plenty of senior RNs 15+ yrs + who make 100k WITHOUT doing any OTs.


    for me, life is better for me as an RN. I can save and earn a whole lot more. I don'tcare when people say why are you working as an RN when you are an Np? bec it's financially better for me.
    In my area RN's making $122k a year are almost unheard of.... Im happy for you though
  5. 3
    Quote from spencer2002
    don't take this the wrong way but you said ďiím an immigrant who came to this country with pennies and didn't even speak english." those are the things that get you a free pass in america. i'm sure you didn't have to pay anything for your education. i'm a middle age white male, one of the worst things you can be for grant, loans, bonus, or opportunities. you also said you live in ny and that is why you making so much. you have to spend $24 or more just to drive car across bridges and drive through tunnels. it's all relative. you probably have no kids and live in a 2 bedroom apartment.
    stop judging and assuming... get over yourself.... oh the disadvantages of being a middle aged white male in america.....surely you jest
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    Apparently you are not leaving in reality either. Have you applied to school lately? Why are people always so quick to defend the underprivileged and immigrants? Is that fair to the rest of us? I’m part of the reason people want to come this country and follow their dreams. I have to six years in the military during active war to have my education paid for. Don’t tell me about having to sacrifice to get ahead!
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    Quote from Spencer2002
    Apparently you are not leaving in reality either. Have you applied to school lately? Why are people always so quick to defend the underprivileged and immigrants? Is that fair to the rest of us? Iím part of the reason people want to come this country and follow their dreams. I have to six years in the military during active war to have my education paid for. Donít tell me about having to sacrifice to get ahead!
    Serving in the military is honorable. It doesn't however give you the right to judge the underpriviliged or immigrants, or anyone that is not a "middle aged white male". and the last time I checked WE ARE ALL IMMIGRANTS. Just some of us got here later than others..
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    Quote from GM2RN
    $100K per year is $53/hr based on 52 wks/yr and 36 hrs/wk. If you really make that much it's only because you live in NYC where cost of living is sky high. The top wage for senior RNs in the midwest is in the mid to upper $30s except for maybe Chicago.
    Exactly. NY nurses get paid alot more b/c of cost of living-just like some places in California.

    NP is definitely the way to go. Nursing is a jealous profession-it's interesting to witness RNs bashing advanced practice nursing and how the money sucks, etc. Talk with some NPs in real life and not these virtual beings lol-they singing a different tune.
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    Quote from chosen50
    Exactly. NY nurses get paid alot more b/c of cost of living-just like some places in California.

    NP is definitely the way to go. Nursing is a jealous profession-it's interesting to witness RNs bashing advanced practice nursing and how the money sucks, etc. Talk with some NPs in real life and not these virtual beings lol-they singing a different tune.
    I didn't get that impression at all. Besides which I LIVE in the real world even if I post here on occassion, so I HAVE spoken with NPs about their profession. What I don't get is the condescending attitude that comes across in your posts that seems to suggest that you think you are better than everyone else. They read like the only reason you posted here was to brag about how much money you make and how you seem to know something about becoming a millionaire that nobody else here does. I don't buy it. Besides, your six figure salary doesn't go any further than anyone else's does by the time you factor in the cost of living. If you choose to live frugally on what's left in your quest to become a millionaire, then that's your choice and you have a right to it. But don't talk like you're better than everyone else because of it.
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    Quote from GM2RN
    I didn't get that impression at all. Besides which I LIVE in the real world even if I post here on occassion, so I HAVE spoken with NPs about their profession. What I don't get is the condescending attitude that comes across in your posts that seems to suggest that you think you are better than everyone else. They read like the only reason you posted here was to brag about how much money you make and how you seem to know something about becoming a millionaire that nobody else here does. I don't buy it. Besides, your six figure salary doesn't go any further than anyone else's does by the time you factor in the cost of living. If you choose to live frugally on what's left in your quest to become a millionaire, then that's your choice and you have a right to it. But don't talk like you're better than everyone else because of it.
    I'm sorry you feel that way. However, not once-has money etc. been mentioned in my post. I don't sense a pompous attitude-most people are trying to be helpful. SOME RNs convey that NP route is a waste of time and start rationalizing the salary, etc And THAT is silly.
    I will admit that I did not elaborate on my strong preference for NP and I can understand why you received a misinterpretation, hence the title of this thread. Nonetheless, nursing is a great profession. Whatever you decide to do-it's up to you in the end.

    BTW, excuse the poor typing error in my previous post: "they're" singing a different tune-not "they"
    Last edit by chosen50 on Feb 22, '10


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