As you are choosing a profession, it is essential to know the starting registered nurse salary range and job demand. Becoming a nurse requires time, dedication and hard work, and therefore you want to be sure that this will all pay off in the end.
Registered Nurse Average Salary
After reviewing numerous sources, the average salary for a registered nurse is estimated to be around $64,000 or $31 an hour. Nurses are also paid additional for working the evening or night shift, as well for weekends. For example, a night shift nurse may make an additional $10,000 a year since that shift is viewed as less desirable and harder to fill. Nurses who work for the government or in hospitals will typically make more money than nurses who work for doctor’s offices or long term care facilities. Nurses will be paid additionally for their educational level, specialty certifications, years of experience, and institutional clinical ladder completion.
Nurses who work in intensive care units, dialysis units, and oncology units typically are paid more because of the additional training and skills required. Travel nurses who are expected to be able to work on a new unit with minimal orientation are also paid well and often receive additional benefits, such as travel and living expenses.
Additional Registered Nurse Benefits
While nurses are paid well, they usually also receive excellent medical benefits, tuition reimbursement, holiday, vacation and personal time, and conference expenses. Depending on where you work, you may be able to complete your bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree at little or no cost to you. Since hospitals want to encourage nurses to further their education, many hospitals are joining with local colleges to offer classes on site one day a week. Nurses also often have the benefit of flexible scheduling, perhaps working only 3 days a week or a total of 12-13 shifts a month. This allows the nurse to enjoy longer periods of time off which if you enjoy traveling can be very appeasing.
Registered Nurse Job Demand
Nurses are among the highest respected medical professionals and remain in high demand. As the average life expectancy continues to increase and advances in medical technology are solving complex medical conditions, the number of nurses required to care for all of these patients continues to increase. The patients in the hospital tend to be more critical than in the past and are transitioned to tertiary and home care settings as quickly as possible, which has in turn provided many different opportunities for nurses.
Since nurses are in high demand, institutions have a hard time keeping all of the required positions filled which means there is often overtime opportunities available. While making extra money is desirable, especially if you are trying to save, be careful not to work to much. You want to be safe and enjoy your nursing career. Be sure to research the position you are interested in and be as prepared as possible for your interview. Remember, you may not get your ideal job at first, but stay focused and use each opportunity as a stepping stone along your nursing career path.