Questions from Scotland!

  1. hey guys. just a few quick questions to you fellow nurses across the pond (and anywhere else that may be reading!)
    my knowledge of foreign helathcare systems is a bit patchy so was just wanting to get some comparisons to our own NHS...
    OK, so over here, newly qualified nurses start on a salary of around 19k (GBP) and are entitled to 7wks paid holidays (based on 37.5hr wk).
    generally, seems to be 1 nurse to around 6-10 patietns, with the 1 auxillary to 10-15.
    also, what are the general expectations? ie cannulation, venepuncture, ECG monitoring etc..?
    any input would be much appreciated, all just for my own curiosity!!!
  2. Visit rustyshackleford profile page

    About rustyshackleford

    Joined: Sep '08; Posts: 23; Likes: 13
    Staff Nurse Extrodanaire; from GB
    Specialty: Haematolgoy

    11 Comments

  3. by   nursej22
    Pay rates vary in different areas of the USA and from facility to facility, as well as benefits and job responsibilities.
    Here at my hospital in the northwest area of the country, a new grad would start at $25.39/hr, so in a year could gross about $53,000 if he/she worked 40 hours a week. Many of my co-workers are part-time, but i know a couple who work 50-60 hours a week.:uhoh21:
    We accrue something called "PTO" (paid time off) based on the number of hours you work. Your sick time is paid out of this PTO. A new grad working full time can earn up to 25 days per year. The number of days you earn increases with the longer you work here.
    Patient loads on the med/surg floors vary from 4-5 per RN without a tech, up to 6 or 7 sharing a tech with 2 or 3 RNs. We are responsible for starting IVs but we recently have gotten phlebotomists to perform blood draws. RT perform nebulizers, trach care, CPT, APAP, ABGs, and monitor O2 administration.
    My responsibilities include assessments, med admin, treatments like dressings or irrigations, etc, dc teaching, ADLs, and some stuff I never learned in nursing school.
    I am on a telemetry floor so we monitor cardiac rhythms, may assist with cardio-versions, TEEs, central line and chest tube placement.
  4. by   classicdame
    Cannot generalize salaries due to market value, but RN's in my area start out around $40k/yr and go up to ? Depending on job. For instance, supervisors make around $80k. CRNA's make more, non-hospital nurses make less. Just depends. Nurses in a hospital are allowed to do anything and everything. Some procedures require MD orders, but sometimes we have nursing protocols that have been approved by MD staff so that nurses can initiate care quickly before the MD is called. So a patient could be intubated and put on a respirator and have drips running by the time the doc arrives. We have 50 states, and each has their own Nurse Practice Act. They are similar, but not the same, so if you live on a border and work in two states you may need licensure from both and should know the NPA for both.
  5. by   Quickbeam
    entitled to 7wks paid holidays (based on 37.5hr wk).
    That is much more than you will find with an average US nursing job. Just FYI.
  6. by   classicdame
    Quickbeam is right. There is no way to generalize.
  7. by   Vito Andolini
    Right now, the GBP = about $1.80 USD. I think that's about $34 per hour, if my math is correct. I'd say that's not a bad base pay for a new graduate. Most places pay a little extra for working evenings or nights, some pay extra for weekend and holiday work. And full time here is usually considered 40 hours per week, although some places call it full time if you work at least 32 hours per week, some 36 hours. I've never been lucky enough to have anything count for full time except 40 hours weekly.

    As for holidays and vacation time, most places start a new employee (nurse) with a measly 2 weeks off for vacation each year and give anywhere from maybe 6 holidays off to as many as 12. In a lot of places, the vacation time accrues a few hours per paycheck and can be used right away. Other employers might make you wait until you've been working a solid year to be able to take any vacation time. Our Veterans' Hospitals pay better than most private hospitals and offer 4 weeks vacation to start, I think. The private hospitals give 3 weeks after 5 years, 4 weeks after 10 years, generally, I believe but I've never heard of anyone except doctors, if employed by university teaching hospitals or if they are in Administration, getting the kind of time off you mentioned.

    We are really struggling here with our workload in so many facilities in the States. Some nurses have so many patients that they can't take their bathroom or meal breaks. Some are mandated (forced, ordered) to work extra hours on a routine basis.

    RN's do all the things you named. Some RN's are certified to do more invasive things, such as intubate and run a code on a cardiorespiratory arrest. Depending on your work setting, you might work with protocols (standing orders) or you might work where you have to ask the doctor for an order for getting someone out of bed or giving an antipyretic.

    I hope this helps. Are you coming to work here? Whereabouts? Check the state Board of Nursing in whichever states you are interested in for particulars about the law.
    Last edit by Vito Andolini on Sep 15, '08
  8. by   time4meRN
    The post from Vito seems to be most accurate. During my many visits to Scotland and visiting with nurses in Glasgow and Greenock, I found that the pay is pretty close to USA. I did find some differences though. I work in Ohio at a "magnet hospital". We get a week after a year of work, My income is 40.00 us dollard an hour .... but keep in mind that I have 30 years experience. I also found that there are differences in the way we care for pt's in the us as compaired to uk. Futhermore, the lisensure issue is a real hassle seems more of a hassle for me to work in UK than for you to come to us. Any way, I am so glad you are thinking of coming this way. Kind of weird though, I'm thinking of going to Scotland.
    Good luck ! Happy to hear from a fellow Scot !
  9. by   SuesquatchRN
    You guys across the pond are MUCH nicer about vacation/holiday. Americans are expected to work until they drop.

    Starting salary depends a LOT on where you are. My area is rural and pay is low. Urban areas pay much better.
  10. by   ayla2004
    as a newly qualifed nurse my starting rate of pay is gbp 20,225
    we have had a pay increase
  11. by   nerdtonurse?
    Hello, Scotland! Always wanted to go visit....

    It would help if you measured apples to apples; like a OR float nurse in your largest city to a OR float in NY or LA here, day shift to dayshift, etc.. Pay is regional, depends on whether you're at a for profit vs. a not for profit, time as a nurse, extra certifications/training, dayshift vs. nightshift, a lot of things. I can tell you in my small rural hospital (100 beds) we start brand new RNs at what a brand new LPN might start at if they were in a large hospital. Of course, being out in the middle of nowhere, our cost of living is lower....

    Because at my hospital we get a little of everything, we tend to be trained in a lot of different things -- I have nights where I'm sinking a NG tube on one pt, running a 12 lead EKG on another, assisting one of the nurse anest's with placement of a TLC / lumbar puncture on the floor, doing wound care on a new bilateral AKA, dealing with (unfortunately) a lot of substance abuse, acute CVA, acute MI. On a good night, I've got 4 pts, usually I have 6-7, and seven's when I start squawking to the admin rep to find another nurse because it's not safe (they tried to get us to take 12 pts one night, and we all refused our assignments, and guess what, they found another nurse...). I'm on a telemetry/ICU stepdown unit, so I tend to get folks who are really sick, but we have one doc who thinks if he puts "telemetry" his patients get better care than if he put Med-Surg....so we end up with folks stacking up in the ER or ICU who need one of our beds but we're full, or we get pts who really, REALLY need to be in ICU but ICU's full so we get them. We're full most of the time, short staffed most of the time, and we get very little vacation for the stress we have on the job....
  12. by   rustyshackleford
    thanks for all the replies, guys! does seem to be a much more complicated system in the US re salaries. with the nhs, salaries depend completely upon experience, with everyone getting annual increment rise, irrelevant of specific skills. obviously going for a job higher up the ladder depends on experience/skills, though...
    have had a look at the NCLEX exam, have to say, seems pretty tough in the sense that it covers every aspect of nursing from paeds to med to surgical. our training incorporates nothing to do with maternity or paeds.
    would love to come over to east coast and do a bit of traveling, ideally for a couple of years to work, but the missus isn't too keen.. (gues swho'll win that argument!!!???:icon_roll )
    but yeah, holiday is DEFINITELY on the cards, now just have to work out how to cover the cost on a nurses salary!
    what are you guys' perception of our NHS (national health service)?
    FYI, Scotland rocks and you should come over any time you can... reckon friendliest people in the world, some of the most stunning scenery.... damn shame about the weather, though!!!:wink2:
  13. by   SuesquatchRN
    My father's parents were from Scotland, Aberdeen and Troon.

    My perception of the NHS? You have much higher nurse/pt ratios than here. Anyone who can afford it picks up private coverage in GB. Surgeries that improve one's life but don't necessarily extend it have long wait periods, and sometimes even the life-preserving surgeries aren't possible to get.

    However, no one is bankrupted by medical bills and people don't put off retirement because they can't afford to pay for private medical insurance.

    I don't know. I think that both our systems are broken, ours largely because of lawsuits.

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