I am currently a new nurse in Tennessee; my hired pay is $23.50 per hour with weekend and night differentials. I am typically assigned 4-5 patient on an adult med-surg floor. I am originally from a unionized state, where pay and work conditions seem highly preferable. I have heard other nurses from Minnesota, California and Pennsylvania express similar sentiments. Per the MNA 2017-2019 contract, nurses earn a minimum
$28.13 per hour (https://mn.gov/mmb-stat/000/az/labor-relations/mna/contract/MNA-2017-2019-Contract.pdf - Appendix D-1
). I am not sure which regulatory body oversees nurse's compensation in Tennessee or if compensation is merely decided by the hospital, where salary is driven by a competitive market?
Likewise, work conditions in Tennessee, mostly concerning nurse/ patient ratios, seem comparatively inferior. The MNA contract stipulates many other mandates for breaks, hours worked and health and safety. I realize TN nurses are not represented by a union; however, does anyone know if there is an overseeing body regulating work conditions for nurses? Also, does anyone have any insight into what drives the wage gap for nurses from state to state?
Pragmatically, nurses in Tennessee perform the same level of care and competency as nurses elsewhere, so why might compensation differ so drastically? How do hospitals in Tennessee allocate their money differently?
I have tried to investigate these questions superficially, though am not quite sure where to look. Any thoughts or insights are greatly appreciated! Thank you!