One of the first questions every nursing student wants the answer to is: What is the salary of a nurse? How much does she or he earn as an RN, LPN, or as an advanced practitioner, and how much extra can a travel RN earn?
Nursing as a career appeals to so many people specifically for its stability, good benefits, and generally solid income. The salary is still low, in most people’s opinion, for the responsibilities an RN must assume, but it allows professionals to lead middle to upper middle class lives. Even during economic downturns nursing stays the line. It’s a profession that will always have a demand for new blood.
Salaries for nurses depend upon a variety of factors:
Many factors contribute to general salary for a professional nurse. But beyond that a few more job situations can drive much higher nursing salaries. They include:
If you ever take a travel nurse assignment you will have the opportunity to earn significantly more money than you do as a full-time permanent RN. Why? Travelers must choose from jobs where experienced nurses are in critically short supply. They pack up and hit the road for short-term stints of time and in exchange for that are paid quite well for their time and trouble.
Nurses in some cases have the option to work on a per diem basis, or on a day-to-day or as needed basis. For this flexibility they may make significantly more per hour than does a permanent RN. However, per diem also means RNs take risks with overall need. When the need for nurses drops, so too does the per diem nursing staff.
The competition for nurses is stiff and when times are good for hospitals they are often able to dangle very attractive sign-on bonuses in front of the noses of new nurses. A few thousand dollars tacked onto the front of your earnings can really kick-start your earning as an RN. Learn about the pros and cons to monetary nursing bonuses.