How much do Nurses really make?

  1. Now, I'm not into nursing just for the salary. I'm in this for the long haul, and I want to do this for my career but I've heard from several sources about how much money nurses make. Some say they don't make a lot, some say that they do. I'm not expecting to make half what surgeons make in a year, but honestly, how much does an RN make? I wonder how many people perceptions of 'a lot of money' plays into the answers, and I just want the facts...

    If possible, could ya'll list specific fields of nurses salaries, too? Thanx!
    Last edit by Joe V on Mar 29, '18 : Reason: formatting
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    About GtownhoyasDC

    Joined: Feb '10; Posts: 40; Likes: 1
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  3. by   llg
    It depends on where you live. You can't compare the pay of someone who lives/works in a rural area with a very low cost of living with someone who lives/work in a city with a high cost of living such as San Fransisco or New York City.

    You'll have to name a specific city to get a reasonably accurate answer.
  4. by   GtownhoyasDC
    Well, do you you know the average pay for nurses in Metro Atlanta, or possibly Ga. in general?
  5. by   DelanaRN
    I think it's between 23 and 28 an hour to start.
  6. by   mjeanpierre
    It depends on your experience. Right now in metro Atlanta, new graduates get $21 to $22.00 per hour however, if you have several years of experience you can get up to $30.00 not counting shift differentials.
  7. by   DanceswithWolves
    I've worked around the country and, as previously posted, nurses in the south make less per hour. Out west (AZ, NV) there tend to be more openings and you can make more. My last job in Las Vegas started at $36/hr while Maine paid $25/hr. These are tough economic times and hospitals have this nasty tendency to make up budget shortfalls on the backs of nurses. One of the nurses I used to work with in Maine just told me that the hospital cut their diff pay by almost $2/hr and also overtime pay.
    In my humble opinion, the only way you will come close to half of a surgeon's salary will be to work 100 hours a week. Really, nurses make really good salaries only by working tons of overtime and when you are already beat up and tired it can be tough to do.
    You will never get rich as a nurse but can make a middle to upper middle income salary.
    Hope this helps.
  8. by   nrice28
    This is a pretty good website to research all kinds of different pay scales. You can narrow it down to state and city.
  9. by   Kathleenslf
    Don't ever apologize for asking that question. You should be thinking about the earning potential of your future profession. One never knows what one's needs will be after graduation and starting a nursing career. Don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask questions about salary. The days of "selfless service" are over. I graduated in 1975, my undergrad in 1988, and a master's in nursing this year. I know that nurses need to be strong, confident, leaders that believe they deserve respect as well as compensation. Nurses are valuable healthcare providers and should be paid accordingly. You can check out the results of the 2010 national and regional Nursing Salary Survey on the "Advance for Nurses" website. Here's the link: Good luck to you.
  10. by   Beth, rad RN
    I've been a nurse for 30+ years, and lots of ICU experience. I work in a metro southern California area and make almost $50/hr. Summers I go back to rural NY, about 2 hours south of Rochester, work in small local hospital ICU (3 bed ER and 3 bed ICU) and make half that, about $26/hr. Really depends on the area and your years of experience.
  11. by   depress nurse
    It really depends on area you want to be-special areas pays almost always high based on your skills and expertise some agency pays up to $75/hr w/c pretty good- I work in a Home Health setting as Independent contractor earning $85 per visit there's up and downs on any field the ups on mine I get to manage my time not working the whole 8 hrs, I do 4 visits in a day plenty enough for me get to tend to my dtr school activities since I scheduled patients on my availability, I get to see the progress of my patient prior discharge, down side the traveling w/c to me I don't mind after a while I'm used to it and I know the area very well it helps and making that amount to me it's well compensated, other down side your responsible in calling the doctor for your order and paperwork I just chose company that utilized less papawork- so it really depends what you are comfortable doing, my advice is get to know your skills of expertise and comfort zone as new nurses are usually on the low end but not that low still better than $10/hr!! we all have to start somewhere, start on the low end get your comfort zone of experience then venture for a better opportunities. Good luck!!
  12. by   Cuezee2
    I live right outside San Francisco and you should expect at or above $100,000.00 when you are an established RN (meaning you have been in the field for a little while/not a new grad). But the cost of living is crazy high too. I live in Marin, just 20min north of San Francisco, and the AVERAGE house cost is around a million dollars. New grads can make about $80,000.00 starting (plus sign-on benefits if you're lucky). My friend is a nurse practitioner in CT and she only makes like $70,000.00 a year, which is crazy low compared to what nurse practitioners make here ($150,000.00+). If you are a nurse anesthesiologist, you can make over $200,000.00 a year. The bad part is that we get a LOT of traveling nurses here and other nurses from other parts of the country because the San Francisco Bay Area pays higher than any other area in the US. So, if you are a new grad, it's practically impossible to get a job here. Hospitals would much rather pay for a traveling RN than pay to train a new grad. I know several new grads who are still working as CNA's because they can't get jobs. It's sad. I graduate next year and I know my chances of getting a job where I live are very slim.
  13. by   Maddie-LPN
    are you kidding me, thats what LPN's make in Connecticut!!!!!!!!!!!!
  14. by   Maddie-LPN
    RN's only start at $25/hr, what an insult, LPN's start at $29/hr in Connecticut