Florida nursing salaries - seriously????

  1. I'm considering switching careers to nursing. The two things I'm taking into consideration, of equal importance, are: Would I like this job most of the time? And what is the salary?
    Now, someone I know who is about to graduate from a Central Florida private nursing school with her RN told me that Lakeland Regional Medical Center was hiring at about $30 an hour, which I thought sounded great.
    But then I look at fairly recent posts on this board and they seem to indicate new nurses in Florida can expect about $21, $22 an hour, depending on where they start.
    Seriously????
    I mean, I currently make $17 an hour, so $22 is certainly better, and there's always the opportunity to make overtime, make a little more per hour by working nights and weekends...but still! Is this true? If it is, I'm kinda disapointed.
    Is there at least hope of working my way up the salary ladder if I continue my education and get certifications? Would it be unreasonable to think I could get up to $30 an hour in Florida, or would I have to leave the state?
  2. Visit centralflorida profile page

    About centralflorida

    Joined: May '07; Posts: 90; Likes: 12

    100 Comments

  3. by   MB37
    The low $20/hr figures are generally base pay, I believe. If you work evening/weekend/have special certifications or experince, you get differentials which can bump you up by several dollars per hour. Policies seem to vary by hospital.
  4. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from centralflorida
    I'm considering switching careers to nursing. The two things I'm taking into consideration, of equal importance, are: Would I like this job most of the time? And what is the salary?
    Now, someone I know who is about to graduate from a Central Florida private nursing school with her RN told me that Lakeland Regional Medical Center was hiring at about $30 an hour, which I thought sounded great.
    But then I look at fairly recent posts on this board and they seem to indicate new nurses in Florida can expect about $21, $22 an hour, depending on where they start.
    Seriously????
    I mean, I currently make $17 an hour, so $22 is certainly better, and there's always the opportunity to make overtime, make a little more per hour by working nights and weekends...but still! Is this true? If it is, I'm kinda disapointed.
    Is there at least hope of working my way up the salary ladder if I continue my education and get certifications? Would it be unreasonable to think I could get up to $30 an hour in Florida, or would I have to leave the state?
    $30/hr at LRMC for a new grad????

    After differentials maybe, but as base pay, fulltime w/ benefits (nonbaylor) - I have my doubts.

    Why are you surprised at the payrate - did you research before going to school?

    A lot depends on where you work and whether you work agency or in hospital, what shift you work and what your specialty is. You can get $30/hr in some specialities, on some shifts - for baylor and agency and experience. But there are a lot of variables.
  5. by   centralflorida
    I haven't started school yet - I'm looking at various private schools like Keiser, Galen and FMU because I don't want to wait forever for a spot to open up at community college. So I'm researching schools and salary at the same time.
    And I'm not trying to come off as wanting nothing but money - but I'm going to stop working for two years, and rack up big loans, and I want to know what is on the other end.
    Even if I only start out at $22 an hour, I still want to do it. I actually wanted to be a paramedic for years, but I decided on nursing because it seems like there's more room for career advancement.
    However, I'm ambitious, and if I thought I were going to be stuck at $22 an hour forever, I would probably look elsewhere. But I don't believe that's the case. Still...yikes. For the enormous life and death responsibilities that nurses bear, the stress, the hard work...I think it should be a little higher.
  6. by   janmschal
    Well I've been interviewing for jobs in central fla. Just moved from New Jersey. Big decreased in pay in central fla. At most of the big hospitals pay ranges fron 19 to 27. Average offer for 18 years expience was 24 dollars hour. About 10 hr less then home. Keep hearing the cost of living is so low here. But I think its very close to nj. Been kind of in sticker shock lately. Hope this helps
  7. by   yajaira
    I think base rate is in the $20/hr range. Ive been in nursing for about 3 years and I made around 50K in 2006. This is working OT, weekends, holidays you definitely have options in nursing but please don't make money your motivation because you will absolutely hate everything about nursing..at least that's what I have seen from folks who took that route.

    good luck
  8. by   centralflorida
    Well, everybody, I appreciate the honest answers! Although what I wanted to hear was "At LEAST 30 dollars an hour for a new nurse! And the sky's the limit!"

    Looking on the bright side, at least there's the opportunity to earn more on nights and weekends and to get paid overtime - my current job is 40 hours a week, it takes an act of God to let someone approve overtime, so if I ever need extra cash - too bad. And continuing education and getting extra certifications - doesn't exist in my business.
    So do you think I'm alone in being surprised about the salary? Everyone I know seems to think that nursing is an incredibly high paid profession because of the high demand.
  9. by   luv4nursing
    Quote from yajaira
    I think base rate is in the $20/hr range. Ive been in nursing for about 3 years and I made around 50K in 2006. This is working OT, weekends, holidays you definitely have options in nursing but please don't make money your motivation because you will absolutely hate everything about nursing..at least that's what I have seen from folks who took that route.

    good luck
    That kind of depresses me...lol. Im an LPN bridging over to RN and I made 42k last year and I make less than most of my LPN school classmates bc most of them work in nursing homes for a higher pay which I refuse to do (its not worth a couple more bucks and hour to work myself to the bone and risk my license). If I didnt only have 6 months till I graduated RN school I dont know if Id be able to hang on....the money isnt much of a motivator right now since I could meet that salary with a lot less effort than this program is taking! Oh well, hopefully after a few years Ill be in the 60-70k range. Dont get me wrong, I love nursing, its just I still feel like Im in that paycheck to paycheck mode and I really need a raise in order to get ahead in life. Part of the problem is Im supporting my fiance thru school, so at least when he finishes and we have 2 decent incomes we can hopefully be able to have something!
  10. by   Nineisenough
    Don't be discouraged. You have to look at all your options and decide where you want to work. There are so many areas that a RN can work. LPN's have less of a choice. I have found that travel nursing appears to be paying the best. You don't have to travel out of the state! Home Health also pays pretty well. LPN's were making $30 per visit during the season. I currently work at a Rehab hospital. I make about $20 an hour but I have great benefits and all the OT I want. Plus there is a $10 an hour bonus for picking up extra shifts. So on my pickup days I make $40 an hour. So don't give up. Look around and the options you want are out there!:spin:
  11. by   centralflorida
    So, nineisenough and luv4nursing...are you in Florida? Especially luv4nursing - that actually sounds much higher than what LVN's I know make here! $42,000 a year is really not bad for an LVN degree.
    And thank you, Nineisenough - I appreciate the encouragement! One of the things that appeals to me about nursing is that it seems as if there are countless places you can work, and areas you can advance to, with an RN degree. In fact, what I would really love to do ultimately is to be a nurse anesthetist - I know it's an additional two years of grueling schooling, but the ultimate pay off seems well worth it.
  12. by   MB37
    Central Florida - where do you live? If you're near Tampa, you have no reason to pay for a private school. Neither HCC nor USF do wait lists, you just have to have good grades and all your pre-reqs completed. I go to USF, and you needed about a 3.5 cumulative for my ABSN program. I think regular upper division tends to be a little higher, around 3.7. And, yes, the pay in FL is crap. I moved here from New Orleans, in one of the more backwoods states in this country, but nurses there make about $10,000 more a year than here. I know a guy who made 6 figures there, by working tons of overtime. Most of the teachers I knew in New Orleans had to bartend/wait tables to make ends meet, but for some reason they pay nurses a decent salary while Florida really doesn't. You can always get your degree here and then move, that's what I hope to do.
  13. by   a21chdchic
    You really have to take what you hear from people about salaries with a grain of salt. Recruiters frequently spread RUMOR's about starting wages for RN's,then nursing students have unrealistic ideas about what they should be making, and actually walk away from decent paying jobs thinking they are worth more money. I've seen this happen several times. And the reality is, we don't make near the money students think we do. I make 60K a year with 14 years experience. I live in AZ.
  14. by   teeituptom
    but look at all the free beaches, and all the golf courses, and the lower cost of living you have there.

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