Quote from Janey496
My question, too. I'm in Florida and after 5.5 years I make 50K-ish
As with so many other occupations/careers much of what determines compensation is tied to local cost of living.
New York State and New York City are very high cost areas, thus to attract and retain any sort of decent employee places must pay more. Healthcare is no different thus nurses here make on average more than say those say in the Mid-West.
A starting wage of $75K for a new grad seems like allot of money, but off the bat about 35% of anyone's earnings are taken in taxes (combined federal, state and local). Using those numbers you're paying a little over $26,000 per year in taxes and your take home pay is now <$50K (about $48K and some change).
From that $50K you must pay housing costs (rent/mortgage), utilities, cell phone, car/commuting expenses, food, and so forth. All of these are higher than what you'd find elsewhere because, well you get the picture. This pretty much sums things up: New Yorkers struggle in this economy, even if they*are working* - NY Daily News
You pretty much find the same in other markets such as CA, MA, and elsewhere on the East or West costs where the cost of living is very high. Yeah, you can make over one hundred grad as a RN in say San Francisco area, however the high cost of living often makes it feel like you are anything but rich.
Common joke around here about the exodus of New York City residents to the South is that you won't make "NY money" down there, if you can find work. Sure enough many who decamped for Atlanta, Florida, North Carolina etc... come right back to Da Big Apple.