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How much do Psych nurses get paid?

LizF.. LizF.. (New) New

I live in Wisconsin and I just was offered a position at a behavior health center as a PCA. I graduate nursing school in December and want to pursue my career in mental health. My question is that if I were to stay in behavioral health, what is the approximate starting pay for those who live in Wisconsin as a graduate nurse? We plan on moving in two years and I want to get as much experience as I can. Any comments would be helpful.

Oh'Ello, BSN, RN

Specializes in Heme Onc.

You can find a lot of this kind of info on Websites: Glassdoor, Indeed, Payscale. Google them, since I can't type the links here. Its hard to say how much they get paid in "Wisconsin" because there are so many variables involved in what an employer pays: Location, University affiliation, Rural/Urban, Census, etc. Those websites often have examples from specific hospitals/agencies/employers that say what the pay scales are for each location.

Hope this helps.

MrChicagoRN, RN

Specializes in Leadership, Psych, HomeCare, Amb. Care. Has 30 years experience.

It usually carries the same pay and benefits as any other nurse specialty.


Specializes in Outpatient Psychiatry.

Whatever it is, it's not enough.

Oh'Ello, BSN, RN

Specializes in Heme Onc.

It usually carries the same pay and benefits as any other nurse specialty.

I guess that depends on where you live. Where I am... despite Psychiatric Nurses being the ONLY unionized group, they make significantly less than their med-surg cohorts. A nurse on the IV team has a higher pay scale than an Assistant Unit Manager in Psych where we are. Its totally bonkers.


Specializes in Forensic Psych. Has 2 years experience.

Here, they make more than other specialities. Starting salary for a new grad is $30/hr +, versus $22-26/hr you can expect starting out in med-surg.

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

There's a lot of factors: location, type of facility, type of position, your experience, any extra skills/certifications/degrees/etc. that you have, whether it's union, etc.

Depending on what facility I'm working at, my pay ranges from $30-50/hr. Where I put the most hours in at pays $46/hr, plus a differential for both my BSN and my ANCC certification on top of that. Yes, it's California and union, and the pay scales are based on years' experience and job type--the specialty itself doesn't matter.