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.