Jump to content

What's a REAL salary range for RNs just out of school?

ruby_9c ruby_9c (New) New

hi! i'm thinking about getting a bsn. i'm currently working in public relations and am ready for a change. it took me 9 months after i graduated from college to find the job i have now. i've been here almost a year and they recently cut my department in half, so there's no way i will be able to get a raise/promotion any time soon and it's nearly impossible to find another pr job in my area!

i've posted questions about beginning a nursing career on this site before and got a lot of positive responses. i'm hoping some of you will be able to help me with this question too!

now, i'm making well under 30k/year. with my student loans, car payment, insurance and gas, i'm not financially able to move out of my parent’s house. i didn't mind staying at home and saving money until i realized that in my profession, i may never make enough to be able to do this in my area. my boyfriend and i have talked about getting married, but he's still in school (working on getting a doctorate degree so he can teach college) and we can't afford a wedding let alone life together on my salary.

i've always been interested in nursing and have heard that a career in nursing is pretty stable and the pay is very good. before i commit to taking out more student loans, i want to be sure i will be able to find a nursing job that will pay well enough for me to at least be financially independent.

wow, this is getting long. i didn't mean to tell such a life story here. sorry guys!

all the research i've done has told me to expect between 50k-80k as an rn. is this accurate? i know salary will vary depending on where you work, but i'd like to have an idea of what to expect after graduating with a bsn.

thanks for your help!

It will depend on your state and area you live in or plan to work in. Check out salary.com

Here in Connecticut is about 59,000+

Good luck

caroladybelle, BSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

all the research i've done has told me to expect between 50k-80k as an rn. is this accurate? i know salary will vary depending on where you work, but i'd like to have an idea of what to expect after graduating with a bsn.

thanks for your help!

please use "search" and review the several thousand threads on this topic.

the pay varies greatly with where you live, what type of nursing that you do, and what position you hold.

for example, if you work as an office rn in an md's office in rural florida, you may be paid $8-$12 an hour, with limited benefits, but a regular schedule, with holidays and weekends off. most hospitals in florida start new rns at $15 - $20 an hour, with better benefits, but poor conditions and poor schedules.

if you work perdiem in an inner city philadelphia hospital, with some weekend/holiday obligations, very limited benefits, no guaranteed (even though with the shortage, you can get all the hours that you want), you can make $55 an hour. with the attendant headaches of being prn and paying philly and pa taxes.

many manhattan hospitals start new grads with $25 - $30 per hour, decent benefits, but you are dealing with very expensive rent, nyc taxes, and ny state taxes.

md offices pay less (frequently half) than hospitals or ltcs, but the hours are better.

specialties pay better than medsurg. working off shifts (nights) pay better than days.

i personally think that your estimate is high for most areas.


Specializes in ED.

Yes, it all depends on where you work. Here in Jersey I've been offered 62 and 72. If you go to hotjobs on yahoo they have a salary calculator that's pretty good. You can put in the metro area and it will tell you the low, median and high salary.

I totally feel where your coming from but I also really think it is where you live. I was in Respiratory Therapy School and one of hte reasons I decided to go back and get into a BSN program was that no own could tell me what was a real salary range! One day it would 17-20 and the next it would be 15-19. I think it would be nice to say that money isnt an issue but it is. But in the same breath if you dont have a PASSION for nursing you wont make it.

I looked at salary.com and it gave the median base salary of a staff nurse in my area as $60K but in reality, the starting pay at all 4 hospitals in my area is 19.50, whether bsn or adn, and no matter what unit you start on. That's way closer to 40K gross. Even w/ the shift diffs and all, I'll be starting around $21-22/h which equals out to 44,200/year. I don't trust salary.com's numbers.

Yhea I am with you on that! 40k isnt to bad for starting out:D but I do think is can depend on area and other factors. I have called area hospital....denver and they are give me around the same range your getting

Oh yeah, I'm not complaining about the 40K ;) Its quadruple what I make now. But I have a beef w/ salary.com because I think their numbers are somehow skewed or something.

Like others said, it really depends on where you live, whether it's an urban or rural hospital, etc. Unless you love it, it is not worth the money. Based on my experiences and those of friends, here is an idea of the starting hourly wages in some areas:

Boston - 23-26/hour

NYC - 26-30/hour

San Fran. - 28-33/hour

Chicago - 21-23/hour

Los Angeles - 24-26/hour

Nashville - 18-21/hour

I hate to amitt it but I also have a beef with Salary.com it told me RT's make wayyyy more then what they do, at least her in Denver! I am hoping to either move to WA,OR,or CO so if anyone has any info on those states it would be apperaiated!


Specializes in Geriatrics, Cardiac, ICU.

I have looked at newspapers and nursing magazines with job openings AND salaries. From what I gather, you get something around the cost of living for your area.

In the south, you will get around $17-$20 to start at the hospital. If you work weekends, you may get an extra $3-$5 an hour added to that. Then if you work evening or overnight, you add another $1-$3. So, if you add that all up and you work off shifts and weekends, you can get about $25-$28 an hour.

In the North, I see that costs are higher so, I see the salaries start at around $55,000-$65,000. So, in proportion, you make the same as in the South.

Of course, there are variations. Maybe in rural areas it's a lot less, but then it may be way cheaper to live there too.

I would look in your local paper for salaries.


Specializes in ICU, psych, corrections.

I work in a hospital in the ICU. I make $26/hour and that's for nights. We receive a 10% differential and no weekend differential. The hospital just around the corner from my house pays $2 more an hour and gives a weekend differential. I bring home about $1700-2000 every other week and that's with no overtime. Salary.com gave approximately the right range for my area (~$54-58,000) and that's in northern NV.

Melanie = )

Well I might just have to move to NV! I am glad to know that because I am hoping to work in the ICU....I want to work in the ICU for a couple of years and then try to enroll in a CRNA program(hopefully Gonzaga!)

This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site you agree to our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies.