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Nures Salaries Increasing

Written by kimmel52

By Nancy Lydia Kimmel R.N., Ph.D., C.H.M.M.

In today’s economy with declining employment in many fields that require degrees, the profession of nursing is as solid as it ever was. People with prior degrees are looking to enter the nursing profession.

Nursing careers are appealing for many reasons. One positive aspect of nursing careers is the opportunity to serve others through medical treatment and rehabilitation. Nursing careers also boast a glowing job outlook that has consistently risen along with increasing demand for registered nurses. Plus, nursing careers offer a wide range of employment options within various sectors of the health care field. When you become a registered nurse, you open the door to a variety of nursing career paths, including forensic nursing careers, traveling nurse careers, and nurse coordinator careers.

The salary of a nurse varies greatly. There is really no base salary but a fluctuation across the board. The reasoning for this is a varied as the salaries in nursing.

The base pay of a nurse is determined by many different factors. The first of these factors are the years of experience that the nurse brings to the table. A GN or graduate degreed nurse will start out at the lowest salary of nurse pay. They will remain at this level until they pass their board exam or NCLEX. Upon passing their boards they will receive a small increase in pay anywhere from $2.50 per hour to $5.00 per hour. The most important factor in this scenario is to keep in mind that if the graduate nurse does not successfully pass the board exam the hospital can terminate their employment or extend to them a grace period in which they have the opportunity to pass the boards a second time. In the past years, it was not unusual for a graduate nurse to stay on as a hospital employee for years before finally passing or taking their boards. This practice is no longer widely accepted. Also the graduate nurse is not allowed to pass any medications until they have their licensure. The question remains, what is the typical base salary for a graduate nurse. It is safe to say that the salary ranges in the low to mid forty thousand dollars per year. This discrepancy of several thousand dollars has much to do with the location of the hospital. For instance, in rural communities where much of the hospital funding comes from the government, the pay rate may be higher or lower than a privately funded institution. The mitigating factor is how successful the grant writers are at tapping into government funds, and how much private endowment monies are bestowed to the hospital. Even with these two factors in place comes the process of dissemination of the funds. This is dependent on how the board of directors see fit to use the funds. These funds could be put to the construction of a new hospital wing, or to the purchase of new diagnostic equipment.

Whether or not the nurses are unionized is also another factor in entry level nurse pay. Unions can either work for or against nursing wages. Sometimes non-unionized hospitals pay more.

Shift premiums are also a factor. The top shift premium is paid for the midnight shift. Midnight shift premiums range anywhere from $2.50 per hour to $4.50 per hour. Since most shifts in hospitals are now twelve hour shifts, midnights start around 7:30 p.m. and end around 7:30 a.m.. These are attractive hours for many nurses since they get four days off during a week and are still considered full time at thirty six hours per week. There are glaring anomalies in the salary data. One of the most impressive outliers in the entire nursing industry is the salary figure posted for Nurse Anesthetists. This group of advanced practice specialists is fiercely competitive and jobs are exclusive. In many hospitals CRNAs are part of the Anesthesia Department as opposed to a nursing department. Their level of expertise is very demanding as are the NA Masters programs. Health benefits including dental and optical are included in the total package and begin anywhere from one week after hire up to ninety days.

The area of the hospital that the nurse will work in is also a factor in pay. For instance those nurses that are trained for specialty care areas such as intensive care units (I.C.U.), the operating room, recovery room, or in the cardiac care facility will get paid an extra premium upon completion of their training in the hospital.

Different areas of the United States have been known to differ in nurse pay scales according to the cost of living and population densities.
Pressure is building on the Government not to stagger a pay rise for nurses and other health workers after an announcement that NHS staff in Scotland will receive a 2.5% increase in full.

The move, announced by Scotland’s health minister Andy Kerr, puts Scotland at odds with the rest of the UK where NHS workers will receive the rise in two stages, effectively reducing the level of the rise to around 1.9%.

“The finances of NHS Scotland are on a sound footing,” he told a conference in Edinburgh. “Whilst not stepping outside of the overall UK negotiated pay system, on reflection I am therefore able to announce that we’ll be meeting the recommendations of the pay review bodies in full from April 1
In the final analysis, the following factors are involved in determining the salary of an entry level nurse; a) their years of experience in patient care, b) the shift they will be working, c) the hospitals location, either rural or metropolitan, d) whether or not the nurses are unionized, e) the population density and per-capita income of the residents in the hospitals region, f) the area of specialty the nurse will work in, such as I.C.U., C.C.U, etc., g) successful completion of licensing boards. h) whether or not to accept a benefit package or keep extra dollars per hour and opt not to take the benefit package, i) whether the hospital is government or privately funded.

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