OMG--is US$32 per hour as starting too good to be true or really true in Los Angeles?

  1. is US$32 per hour as starting for RN too good to be true or really true in Los Angeles?
  2. Visit FutureUSRN profile page

    About FutureUSRN

    Joined: May '06; Posts: 327; Likes: 5
    Specialty: awaiting for Schedule A visa..

    42 Comments

  3. by   nurse2be2008
    It's probably true since California is one of the states with the highest nursing salaries. I hear that it's because the cost of living up there is pretty high.
  4. by   ZASHAGALKA
    I doubt that it's true. It might be a reflection of the total cost of a hospital, benefits and all, to employ someone, but I doubt it's an actual wage quote.

    Why do I doubt it? Because, most employers institute a 'wage cap', that ultimately provides a top limit to how much an RN can make. $32 sounds, to me, to be too close to such a cap. There is no room for someone to grow before being capped if THAT is a starting salary.

    Such a salary would not surprise me for someone with experience. It WOULD surprise me as a starting salary.

    Of course, I don't live in California, I could be wrong. I am just commenting on it generally.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  5. by   Geena
    Suzanne will probably be able to tell you. I would not be surprised if it is true, though. Well done girl. Geena
  6. by   llg
    A study recently published in Nursing Economics. 24(3): 131-134 addresses the issue of salary in relation to cost of living. The article is called "Which Pasture is Really Greener? A Reserach Note on Salary Studies" by Linda M. Lacey and Jennifer G. Nooney.

    Anyway ... the article ranks the 50 US states by salary, but then also ranks them again taking cost-of-living )COL) into consideration. Looking at salary alone, California ranks #1 on the list. However, when you take cost-of-living into consideration, California ranks only #44 on the list. That's quite a dramatic example of why we all need to take COL into account when we think about compensation.

    FYI ... Looking at salary alone, the top 10 states were: California, Maryland, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut Alaska, Washington, and Minnesota.

    Taking COL into consideration, the top 10 states were: Texas, Minnesota, Washington, Wisconsin, Utah, Delaware, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, and Michigan.

    llg
  7. by   tridil2000
    i am always surprised that nurses get all excited over $32 an hour! hello!!! you're worth MORE!!!! who are you comparing yourselves to to think that's good money?... cashiers? lab techs?? unit clerks??

    compare yourselves to physicians, speech therapists, cpas, lawyers, business leaders, teachers, and all educated professionals. you'll soon see $32 per hour is cheap. if we could bill per procedure etc, we'd be paid more in the range of $50 - $75 an hour.... our true worth and proportionate to what we do for our patients!

    (back to the bsn min req to support my opinion... but that's another old beaten thread)
  8. by   Sheri257
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Why do I doubt it? Because, most employers institute a 'wage cap', that ultimately provides a top limit to how much an RN can make. $32 sounds, to me, to be too close to such a cap. There is no room for someone to grow before being capped if THAT is a starting salary.
    Actually, Kaiser starts new grads at $28-30 where I live, which is about an hour a half to two hours out of LA. So, in LA ... $32 sounds about right to me.

    :typing
  9. by   Sheri257
    Quote from llg
    A study recently published in Nursing Economics. 24(3): 131-134 addresses the issue of salary in relation to cost of living. The article is called "Which Pasture is Really Greener? A Reserach Note on Salary Studies" by Linda M. Lacey and Jennifer G. Nooney.

    Anyway ... the article ranks the 50 US states by salary, but then also ranks them again taking cost-of-living )COL) into consideration. Looking at salary alone, California ranks #1 on the list. However, when you take cost-of-living into consideration, California ranks only #44 on the list. That's quite a dramatic example of why we all need to take COL into account when we think about compensation.
    Yeah ... but that study only looked at the most expensive areas California. Texas is number one with real COL adjusted wages but, you also have to look at the TOWN that you're moving from and moving to.

    If you move from Dallas to San Fran then, you'd probably lose because you have to make $99K a year to break even. But if you moved from Dallas to San Bernardino, for example, you'd come out $8K ahead.

    Why? In San Fran the COL is 74 percent higher. But, in San Bernardino, the COL is only 2 percent higher than Dallas. Since you'd make, on average, $56K in Dallas you'd only have to make $57K to break even in San Bernardino.

    But in San Bernardino, RN's make $65K on average. So that's how you come out $8K ahead. And, we have a ratio law while other states don't. Any traveler who's worked here will tell you that makes a difference also.

    Run the numbers with this COL calculator and that will give you a more accurate estimate.

    http://salary.nytimes.com/costoflivi...coll_start.asp

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Aug 31, '06
  10. by   TheCommuter
    $32 hourly is an accurate starting wage for RNs in Los Angeles. However, that's not very much money when you take into consideration the Los Angeles rents and housing prices.
  11. by   llg
    Quote from lizz
    Yeah ... but that study only looked at the most expensive areas California. Texas is number one with real COL adjusted wages but, you also have to look at the TOWN that you're moving from and moving to.

    :typing
    Of course every study has its limitations. No large study can look at every possible data point. Such studies rely on averages and aggregate numbers to illustrate trends rather than attempting to specifiy each possibility within the universe of possibilities and variations.

    If you think about it, even looking at the numbers city-by-city loses some specificity. Most cities have expensinve neighborhoods where the COL is very high as well as less expensive neighborhoods in which a person can find less expensive housing, shopping alternatives, etc. If you live in the cheapest neighborhood but work for an employer who pays wages designed for the average neighborhood, you'll make out better financially.

    The article I cited is a good illustration of the importance of looking at the cost of living and not just at the salary. But as you pointed out, each individual must look at the specifics of his/her compensation and actual COL before making a judgment about any specific wage/COL relationship.

    llg
  12. by   Sheri257
    Quote from llg
    If you think about it, even looking at the numbers city-by-city loses some specificity. Most cities have expensinve neighborhoods where the COL is very high as well as less expensive neighborhoods in which a person can find less expensive housing, shopping alternatives, etc. If you live in the cheapest neighborhood but work for an employer who pays wages designed for the average neighborhood, you'll make out better financially.
    True ... but those variances would also be included in the COL estimate for where you live now. At the very least, if should give you a rough idea of the COL differences between both areas overall.

    People don't seem to understand that California is a huge state, and there's lots of places to live besides LA and San Fran that pay good wages. Eight of the 20 top growing towns in the country are located in the cheaper areas of California and, that's where the really great opportunities are.

    :typing
  13. by   FutureUSRN
    If it is true, then I better grab it now. I don't mind the stardard of living; all I want is having the right compensation for what I'll be doing and to think, it's Los Angeles.

    US$32 is just a starting. I heard from friends that as one gets more experience, it can go as high as US$50.
  14. by   jonRNMD
    Quote from FutureUSRN
    If it is true, then I better grab it now. I don't mind the stardard of living; all I want is having the right compensation for what I'll be doing and to think, it's Los Angeles.

    US$32 is just a starting. I heard from friends that as one gets more experience, it can go as high as US$50.
    if a hospital offers you that much, then i suggest you grab the opportunity ASAP

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