I'm a little PO'd

Nurses General Nursing


As a soon-to-be LPN, I've just started taking notice of where the jobs are and what the scale is. One local hospital has started something that I feel is detrimental to all (especially new) nurses in the area. Up until 3 mos ago, the hospital was staffed with RNs only. To cut costs they decided to hire LPNs to staff many of L&D positions and offer the RNs positions in other departments or... Now, I find out they are expanding the use of LPNs to other units in the hospital. They are hiring newly licensed nurses from the local college at a whooping $12hr. (RNs $24, CNAs $9). Heck, the drs clinics are hiring new, non licensed yet grads at the same rate. I'm afraid that once these clinics and other health care facilities find out that they are willing to work for those rates, a decline in wages will follow. And I can just imagine how little work the on-call RNs are going to get now. I wouldn't work for $12 hr, but the majority of my classmates would take that wage to work at the hospital. And the teaching staff is walking around patting themselves on the back at this turn of events. It's almost like they were in cahoots. They have much to gain in the way of fighting for state funding for the nursing program if they show how their grads have "infiltrated" the hospital working pool. In the spring the the college is going to start an RN program. This after saying last year they didn't have enough state funding to add extra LPN nursing programs to take care of the people on the waiting lists. I wonder what starting wage will be for the RN grads, $18 hr? I can see this spreading to another three hospitals in my immediate area. Anyone ever been through this?


345 Posts

Yeah, been there. I graduated in 1994 as an LVN and was offered $7.33 an hour as a new grad at Methodist hospital. I remember my jaw dropping and telling the lady that I didn't go through the all that schooling just to get a pay cut!

It might seem like things are different now, but it really is a wheel that keeps on turning....they have the advantage now-a lot of lvns-but it will change, I promise so don't give up!


102 Posts


My long experience in health care has taught me that these events tend to go in cycles; it's a long time getting thru a cycle, but your LPN training will pay off eventually.

Please just concentrate on being the best LPN you can be and possibly take further schooling if you don't get the job/pay of your dreams on leaving school.

I do think it's appropriate for nurses to be 'political' but sometimes we need to have other priorities. Your first duty is to yourself. If you feel you can't effect a major change in what's going on, then just do what you can for yourself. This too shall pass.

You sound as if you are committed to good patient care and this will see you thru the bad times.

Dwell in possibility.

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,540 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

Our hospital uses quite a bit of LPNs, not to cut costs, but to deal with the RN shortage. Here I think it's only 10.00/hr Hosptials in this area have traditionally paid LPNs low wages. We have some CNA's making more money than new-grad LPNs. But I guess it's a supply-and-demand kind of thing. As long as LPNs are willing to take this wage, they will continue to offer it.

But many of the LPNs have their reasons for wanting to work in the hospital and quite a bit are going for their RNs.

The big money for LPNs in this area is in long-term care, and agency work.


2,099 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.

"I wonder what starting wage will be for the RN grads, $18 hr?"

This is the average wage for RNs in several states in the US. Check out http://www.salary.com for more detailed information.

Tink RN

74 Posts

Don't ever worry about there being a shortage of jobs for nurses. The "baby boomers" are reaching retirement age and we are already suffering a severe nursing shortage.

As for the payscale ... you are right ... it bites. I was a LPN before I became a RN and I started out in the early 1990s at $7.35 an hour (base rate - not including shift diff or weekend diff). I think new LPNs are starting out now at our hospital making $11.00/hr.


46 Posts

The hospitals around here start LPNs at about $12/hour and RNs at about $18/hour. I was surprised when I learned this. I have seen ads in the paper that say they pay RNs up to $32/hour! When I talked to a recruiter at a local hospital she said those rates are for nurses with lots of experience. She also that the nurses making those high wages would be floaters and would have to work several floors. She said new nurses are never paid that rate.


Todd SPN

319 Posts

Originally posted by hansenbitten@ao


Exactly. Pitting one against the other, and in the end, both will lose.


378 Posts

Whoever said it is the law of supply and demand is right on!!

Nursing education should include some coursework in economics and this would help reduce the emotionally charged and irrational expectations that nursing "suffers" from.


1,804 Posts

It makes me sick to see this. My friend makes $19.50/hr as a uniionized cashier in a grocery store in the Baltimore /Washington area. Granted she's been there 16 years, but to see the salaries that many nurses, esp. LPN's start at, it adds new meaning to the expression "life is cheap." For heaven's sakes, all nurses are dealing w/ life and death, not just customer service. I make $26/hr as an RN for 16 years. It may sound good to some of you, but believe me I earn every penny. In another profession, I feel I could make 80-100k/year w/ my experience and expertise. My husband has a computer science degree and his wages surpassed me years ago. Not because his job is harder or more important, but because that's just the way it is. I love many things about being a nurse, but the lack of pay and respect are what I hate most. I think it's much worse for LPN's, than RN's. I wish you newbies the best of luck in your job searches.

Todd SPN

319 Posts

Originally posted by ainz

Whoever said it is the law of supply and demand is right on!!

Nursing education should include some coursework in economics and this would help reduce the emotionally charged and irrational expectations that nursing "suffers" from.


Read your post on another thread today, something like "what is happening to the profession." Made great sense and I wish I would have seen something like that 2 years ago before starting school. I don't think an economics course is needed, rather straight honest talk like you and others have provided that is hard to come by in mainstream media. I guess I didn't research hard enough before joining a nursing program. I can't believe the changes in hiring practices that have come about in my area in the 2 years I have been in school and just as I am ready to graduate, I see the $$ that I expected to earn dwindle. Mortgaged the house to go to school, class for 7 hrs per day, 4 hrs of homework per night for $12 hr? What was I thinking? Now, I have no desire to pursue being a RN.

As for "emotionally charged and irrational expectations that nursing "suffers" from," I think that is a trait hands on nurses are doomed to continue with. There is a big difference between going through the big double doors of the care floor to the offices of the business end. It's like mixing oil and water or turning the lights on and off. It has to be especially hard on nurses that started in the vocation before health care became such a big business and reimbursements were lowered. There are truly slim profit margins now.

Well, I guess I have to play the hand I was dealt. But I don't like it.

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