That varies greatly, depending on the area of the country, shift differentials, work setting, etc. In my experience over the years, psych nurses get paid about the same as most other nurses in any particular hospital. As with other specialties, nurses working in outpatient clinics get paid less than nurses working in inpatient settings (the trade-off for having regular Mon-Fri hours, no weekends/holidays, etc.)
You might want to look into what nurses are getting paid in the particular cities/areas you're interested in.
I am a psych nurse working in an acute psych unit attached to a general hospital in Qld, Australia. I am an 8th year Registered Nurse and I earn approx $30 (Aust)per hour. Our EEN's earn approx $20. If that helps?
Wow! Thanks so much for the CA psych hospital site. I checked out a few and I am very curious on what the real deal is. I know that all hospitals have their issues...but what is your honest opinion of your work environment? How long have you worked there?
from reading these posts and from my experience the salary really varies quite a bit depending on what state you are in, what type setting, are you on a behavioral health unit at a large hospital or are you working in a small private psychiatric hospital or are you working in a state run hospital or in an outpatient clinic- there are a lot of variables here but I think that salary is comparable to other units such as med-surg but not as high as ER, OR, PICU, etc.