Psych nurse pay?

  1. I recently started a job at a psych hospital. I took a big pay cut like 6.00 hour and I have no benefits. I work in Las Vegas. I am just curious what other nurses are making in this field. About me, I have been a nurse going on 16 years. My last nursing job 5 years in Corrections unfortunately there are no corrections jobs at this time so I took what I could get. I always wanted to try psych nursing but didn't think the pay would be this low. I work for a very big company.
  2. Visit RocknRollYogaRn profile page

    About RocknRollYogaRn, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '06; Posts: 133; Likes: 16
    MSN RN CCM; from AZ , US
    Specialty: 25 year(s) of experience in Case Management, Corrections, Home Care

    21 Comments

  3. by   elkpark
    I have worked in psych most of my career, in a variety of states and facilities, and have always gotten pay and benefits comparable with med-surg nurses in the same hospital/area. What you're describing is certainly not typical. Is this a for-profit hospital?

    I do know that corrections jobs (if they are state or federal jobs) usually pay better than other nursing jobs in a given area; could that ccount for the difference in pay? (It still wouldn't account for the lack of benefits, though.)
  4. by   RocknRollYogaRn
    Hi.
    Yes, it is a for profit hospital. I got hired per diem and might want to come on full time, but am afraid the wage will go down even more. I have to ask what the pay for full time is. The wages as a Corrections nurse/Psych nurse is the same I am getting now in the private sector in a jail setting here in Vegas but the state pays 6.00 more an hour with retirement after 10 years. The state job is a much better deal. But I had a friend tell me she knows a nurse working in a Vegas hospital who works for an agency and is a float in the hospital and makes 150.00/hour. That is a hell-of-a-lot of money way more then I made as a Correctional Nurse.
  5. by   elkpark
    Ahh! Your per diem status explains the lack of benefits -- that's pretty standard for per diem. Yes, it is safe to assume that you would get (even) less per hour as a full-time employee with benefits (unless they allow you to waive benefits and that would be acceptable to you ...)

    State jobs are nearly always a much better deal than anything in the private sector. That's why people are always trying to "get on with the state," (as they say in my part of the country).
  6. by   aloevera
    Yes, I work at a private (for profit) facility and the pay is below standards that I am accustomed to........
    But it is the only psych hospital in my area so all of us are stuck here.....
    The local medical hospital has only 12 beds on the psych unit so there are only a few nurses needed for that....
    That leaves us here.......oh well, it is much better than going back to med-surg !!!!!!!!!!

    But none of our PRN's get any benefits so that is why you do not.......(think another post clarified that)
  7. by   aloevera
    NOT NEAR ENOUGH !!
  8. by   bargainhound
    Psych nursing is a specialty and you are much more valuable than they
    seem to be paying..................knowing you are in a position to ask
    for better pay may help you..............psych nurses are hard to find.
  9. by   aloevera
    Quote from bargainhound
    Psych nursing is a specialty and you are much more valuable than they
    seem to be paying..................knowing you are in a position to ask
    for better pay may help you..............psych nurses are hard to find.
    I wish you were my DON !!!!!!!!!!!! we hire RN's with no psych exp. whatsoever........get most of them from the hospital.....med surg, OB, etc etc.........Those few of us with experience get no more pay than the others.........
    Seems they come and go rather quickly, too..........I have been in my position for 3 yrs. and am one of the "old timers"...............I have seen dozens come and go............
  10. by   Jules A
    In my area we make the same as med-surge nurses in the large hospitals and often make more at the smaller psych speciality facilities. Perdiem definitely pays more because of no benefits.
  11. by   Leahr
    I live in Chicago and work at a non-profit, faith-based hospital. I make 2-3 dollars less an hour than the stated average per hour Staff RN pay in a recent poll i saw. The price we pay for choosing this specialty....
  12. by   elkpark
    Quote from aloevera
    I wish you were my DON !!!!!!!!!!!! we hire RN's with no psych exp. whatsoever........get most of them from the hospital.....med surg, OB, etc etc.........Those few of us with experience get no more pay than the others.........
    Seems they come and go rather quickly, too..........I have been in my position for 3 yrs. and am one of the "old timers"...............I have seen dozens come and go............
    Ditto ...
  13. by   mikayla0813
    I work at a state hospital and my pay is comparable to what other RN's make at the medical hospital in town. I also get great benefits.
  14. by   island40
    I work in Iowa, home based care for chronically mentally ill and need a BSN for the job. I make less now than I was making in Arizona as a new grad. The hospitals pay new grads $19.60 to start, I have 16 years experience (1 year teaching psych to community college nursing students, but no previous practice) and am salaried at less than $38K annually. My health insurance stinks too.

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