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How much do you make?


Hello Everyone,

I am not a nurse yet ( still taking pre-requites for nursing program(s)). I am curious as to what was your first job as a new nurse was and what was your starting salary( I hope that I am not being too nosy).


Specializes in CICU, Telemetry. Has 7 years experience.

I'm assuming you're not going to get a whole ton of response to your question for a variety of reasons:

1. Has been asked and answered and picked to death pretty frequently over the months/years. Wouldn't be tough to search for.

2. Salary changes so much based on type of nursing, geographic location. Cost of living as well, factors heavily into this. Easy to look up a cost of living calculator and google average RN pay in your state, put 2 and 2 together and determine a rough ballpark

3. You're polling nurses from multiple countries, and from age 18-retirement. My data from 7 years ago might be sort of relevant if you live in New England. Polling the new grads would be best, especially if you only poll ones working in your area. Knowing what a 65 year old's salary started at when she was 18, well, that's interesting historic data honestly, but it's not going to have any relevance to you figuring out what salary you should accept.

4. There are geographic areas where if you can get a hospital job as a new grad you take the heck out of it, because there won't be another one rolling along. My father had to make a phone call to get me my first job at a hospital as a new grad. So they could've offered me minimum wage and I would've asked when I could start. New England, especially cities, NYC, Boston, CT, etc. can be tough markets to break into without experience.

But to answer the question you actually asked, I started out in 2011 making $27.50/h as a full time RN in Telemetry/Stepdown, plus differentials and such. This was in New England, as stated above, and was middle of the road for similar salaries at other area hospitals at the time.

I'd like to add that cost of living where I'm from is pretty high. Not NYC or Southern California high, but high enough so I don't look at people making $22/h in Ohio and say OMG THAT'S NO MONEY. I usually think, well, what does an apartment cost out there, because I bet it's not 1200 a month even with roommates. Hell, their $22 is going way further than my $27, or so it seems.

I am Sorry thank you for responding. I guess I should have thought more about the question before asking it.

the company i work for starts lvn's at $20/hr, lvn's in managment get $25/hr, rn's at 27.50/hr, & rn's in management get salary pay. not sure what it is. this is in so cal.


Specializes in LTC.

My first job as staff GN in a hospital on rotating shifts = $5.27. That was in 1974.

My first job as staff GN in a hospital on rotating shifts = $5.27. That was in 1974.


llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

My first job as a nurse (RN) back in 1977 ... I made $4.51 per hour ... with a 50 cent differential for night shifts and 25 cents for hours worked on the weekends. That was considered reasonable back then in Hershey, Pennsylvania. By the time I left there 2 years later, I was thrilled to be just over the $6.00 mark IF I was the Charge Nurse on nights over the weekend.

I make more than that now.


Specializes in LTC.

To llg - amazing the disbelief of many today. And in 1974 and 1977, those wages were good for the times! Considering I was making $2.25/hr for data entry in a construction company just before entering nsg school.

Back then, that was a consideration for many to enter nsg at the time because nsg wages were considered better than general secretarial or sales jobs. It was easy to obtain a position and you could expect to remain employed without any major concerns.

And the respect when you wore your whites! People held doors open for you, gave you a seat on the bus. Politely addressed you as Ms. or Nurse.

the Commuter always point these facts out when answering those posts 'why did you beoe a nurse?' type. Yep! Different times!

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

2011 my first floor nurse position had a base pay rate of $22/hr

The hospital that my nursing school is affiliated with has new grad RN starting salary of $22, $23 if you have UAP/care tech experience.

The average starting salary in my state that I'm aware of is $24, the more north you are, the higher. The hospital that I am hoping to get an offer from has a base starting rate of $26.