Do you think Dental Hygienists make more than Nurses? (RN)

Nurses General Nursing


Tell me your thoughts on the advancements of both careers?

Specializes in Emergency; med-surg; mat-child.

What are YOUR thoughts?

I've known some dental hygienists that make more than an average floor nurse but most make about the same or less.

If you want to consider the job market consider that dental work can be put off in times of financial hardship, a stroke or heart attack cannot. Nursing is an extremely diverse profession that ranges from patient to non-patient care, education to research, general to specialist, floor nurse to nurse practitioner, single patient to community, etc.

You can line up 10,000 RNs and each could have a unique specialty.

Specializes in Psych.

I remember reading that they had similar pay scales when I researched both professions. I wanted the variety of opportunities that come with an RN compared to doing nearly the same thing day in, day out. I was also not too keen on being tied to small office politics, which I could easily find irritating. Better to have lots of clashing personalities and large hospital politics, I guess. :)

Specializes in ER.

I agree with others. I have a friend who has been a hygienist about as long as I have been a nurse and our salaries are comparable. She, however has much better hours! But I have more flexibility and options. If I get tired or bored with one area of nursing I can do something completely different but still be a nurse. Hygienists have very limited options.

Another big difference is I love the variety nursing offers and would go crazy doing the same job for 40 years!

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

Some dental hygienists earn hourly pay rates that are comparable to RNs. Others earn higher wages. However, that's not the end of the story.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a dental hygienist who is employed full-time by one dentist. To accrue full-time hours, they typically work for several dentists and frequently do not have health insurance and other fringe benefits. In other words, many dental hygienists must piecemeal their way to a full-time income.

Something else to consider...some are only paid by how many patients they see. So you if you go in and see no worked for nothing. Luckily in my area its not this way but it is something to look into.

In my area we are saturated with hygienists. My own told me that hiring is almost none in my area. She tells me that it's worse than nursing. Entire classes of graduates receive not even an interview.

With Hygiene, there is only the dental office/clinic to work at. Most dentists, once they find a hygienist or two that they trust for good work, and get along with, and that the patients like - will be set for the long haul. These people stay together for their entire careers. So, you can see that it's gonna be tough to find work. If there is any need to expand, mostly it's done as part-time work.

The work itself is the same day in and day out pretty much. You get your skill and routine set and you get to know the patients of your practice and you know what work is gonna be each day.

Specializes in Pulmonary, Transplant, Travel RN.

I knew a girl in school, she was in my micro-biology class, who was planning on going to school to be a hygenist. She had plans of starting a family and all that though too. She liked the hours she could work (no holidays) and the fact that you could easily get a part time position. On the other hand, in her eyes, she was going to be the second income. It was going to be up to..........whomever she was having kids support the family. The fact that benefits would be hard to get came up too. She had started down the nursing path but decided it was too demanding for her and changed to preparing to be a dental hygenist. She did not seem to believe she'd be doing as well, but that the hours/demands suited her better.

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