Graduate Nursing Salaries in Central PA

  1. I'll be graduating with a BSN in December 2017. I've begun applying for jobs and just had my first interview.

    A large regional hospital in Lancaster, PA offered me what I thought was an offensively low salary, even for a graduate nurse. They said all incoming graduate nurses start at....$25/hr.

    Does anyone care to share graduate nurse salaries from the likes of Hershey, Lehigh, Reading, York, Pinnacle (Harrisburg). I can't believe anyone who has worked so hard could accept such low pay. Other useful information are pay scales that include the minimum, mid-range and high end pay for RNs.

    Thank you all!
    The TokenMaleNurse
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   llg
    What pay neighborhood were you expecting -- based on the research you did before deciding to become a nurse.

    I don't have any figures for hospitals in that region, but because I used to live there and plan to retire there ... I have kept a casual eye on the salaries there. A typical starting salary for a new grad where I currently (and where the cost of living is similar) is $25/hour with differentials added for off shifts and weekends. So that quote as a base salary does not seem "offensively low" to me.

    What have you been quoted for differentials? Those differentials are a significant part of the compensation package and need to be included in any comparisons of pay. I hope you get more responses. Good luck.
  4. by   TokenMaleNurse
    I worked for a private surgery center where surgical techs get paid $25/hr and nurses are making upwards of $40/hr. This is in Lancaster so I was a little surprised by the salary offer. I've done research online about salaries in this area but nothing seemed reliable as they were often employee reported and fluctuated greatly. Without hearing directly from an employer I guess it never really set in as real.

    I suppose another reason I was so surprised by the offer was that I've been working in healthcare for 12 years and thought that I would be able to negotiate a slightly higher rate than entry level. This was not the case - understandable to an extent as I do not have nursing experience, however I do have extensive experience in the specific field in which I applied (OR).

    I understand shift/weekend/on-call differentials exist but I don't believe that should be factored into a salary, as they are differentials which supplement a salary. To me that's separate and an excuse to offer lower salary. Differentials, though common, aren't a guaranteed source of income.

    Thanks for responding to my frustration rant!
  5. by   llg
    Ah ... that makes sense. You had been looking at the salaries of experienced nurses and not focusing on the salary of new grad nurses. I am sorry the "reality check" has been so disappointing.

    But I really think you need to re-consider your perspective on differentials. Nursing salaries are structured to include them -- and most salary surveys etc. ask "How much did you make last year?" -- not "What was your base pay before diffs were added?". Since nursing is a 24/7 occupation, diffs are so common as to be considered a normal part of your paycheck rather than as some sort of bonus that "doesn't count". Where I work in Virginia, the night shift differential is $7.00 per hour -- which is about 20% of a new grad's total pay. That represents a significant component of the compensation. And when hospitals are planning compensation packages, they pay so much out in differentials that they are definitely structured in and budgeted. Finally, because differentials vary from facility to facility, you can't reasonably compare job offers without looking at the actual amount of money you will receive (including diffs) -- and not just the base pay before diffs are added. That would be a false comparison.

    Good luck in finding a job that will work for you.

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