What’s the State of Nursing Salaries? Dismal!

According to Nurse.com and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012 the mean salary for RNs was $69,935. That’s up $825 from 2011 or more simply – just 1%. Nursing salaries are flattening out. When you factor in the uncertainties of the Affordable Care Act, an aging baby-boomer population and more states mandating nurse-to-patient ratios, you’d think that salaries would be increasing.

Instead, the increasing supply of nurses combined with baby-boomers holding onto nursing jobs tooth-and-nail (and not retiring), we’re seeing salary pressure all pushing downward. When more RNs are willing to work for less, what’s the future going to look like for a profession that traditionally encompassed the best and the brightest? For someone who graduated in the era of signing bonuses for nurses, the idea that new graduates can’t find nursing jobs simply blows my mind.

There are a few ways out for RNs who are tired of dismal salaries and the typical hospital job. You could become a nurse midwife ($91,070/yr.), nurse practitioner ($91,450/yr.), or nurse anesthetist ($154,390/yr.) – the three highest earning nursing specialties all requiring advanced education.

Or my favorite, you can start a part-time business as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. Every RN can carve extra time out of your week to assess whether legal nurse consulting is for you.

CLNC® consultants report the highest level of job satisfaction and respect from attorneys.

I’m Just Sayin’

P.S. Comment and share your feelings on the current state of nursing and nursing salaries.

4 thoughts on “What’s the State of Nursing Salaries? Dismal!

  1. As someone who has both hired and managed nurses…the females accept lower salaries than male nurses. They don’t research the market or know what their job entails or is worth in the marketplace. Sad – and it continues to exist even to periodic salary increases.

  2. Do you think that there is an increasing amount of lawsuits against nurses/hospitals due to patient ratios that are unsafe?

  3. Thank you, Vickie for this sound advice. You said, “We much prefer the case to be about a greedy profit-oriented hospital than about a nice nurse at the bedside.” I have a case now that looks like that type of facility. Nurses are so short of time of doing their duty that a clear communication between physicians and nurses falls short of follow-through. Follow-through is quality care completed with each and every patient. I taught that in nursing school and I hope it stuck in the minds of those who are now nurses. When I hear about a nurse who says, “I did not have time to talk to the doctor because of short staffing…” it is like you said Vickie, “Ignorance is not a defense.”

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*The opinions and statements made by Vickie Milazzo, the founder of Medical-Legal Consulting Institute, Inc. are based on her experiences and expertise, should not be applied beyond the specific context provided, and do not guaranty or project actual results. Vickie Milazzo is no longer involved in the operations or management of the business, but is involved as an independent education consultant.

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