Report Finds Travel Nurse Salaries Higher Than Their Full-Time Counterparts

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November 19, 2015
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Medscape recently released its 2015 Nurse Salary Report and its brimming with interesting information. Medscape from WebMD is a part of WebMD Health Professional Network that also includes and – it’s a conduit of rich healthcare content. Its members were invited to participate in a 15 minute online survey asking about salaries and benefits. The survey ran from August 12, 2015 through October 2, 2015. There were 8,256 United States nurses who met the screening criteria and completed the survey.

Here’s what the survey discovered:

Travel Nurses Salaries Are Higher Than Full-Time Registered Nurses

APN’s are enjoying by far the highest salaries, regardless of primary work setting. But when it comes to Registered Nurses, the travel nurses are earning more than their full-time peers. The survey says travel nurses are making $95,000 on average. Only military registered nurses are making anything close to that ($93,000).

The majority of RN’s work full-time in a hospital setting and are making just $83,000 in comparison.

The Average Annual Gross Salary (before Taxes) for RN’s is $ 79,000

The salary breakdown features nurse anesthetists at the top of the chart, earning an average annual salary of $170,000, while practical nurses (LPN/LVN’s) are making the least at $46,000. Of course, nurse compensation depends largely on geography and specialty, which the study goes onto explore.

Barely Half of Registered Nurses Are Happy with Compensation

Just 53 percent of registered nurses are satisfied with their compensation. APN’s are most satisfied – nearly three quarters of nurse anesthetists, which as mentioned before are the highest paid nurses – are satisfied with their salary.

Male Nurses are Making More than Female Nurses

According to the United States Census Bureau back in 2011, there were 3.2 million females and 330,000 male nurses. Interestingly enough, the overall percentages of Medscape responses mirrored those numbers, with 10 percent of responding nurses being males and 90 percent being female. And like many other industries, male nurses are making more on average than female nurses.

The average salary for a male registered nurse is $85,000. It’s $78,000 for female registered nurses.

Registered Nurses Are Working Longer

The study reveals that RN’s are working longer now than in previous decades. Nearly 75 percent of nurses were working at 62 and 24 percent of nurses were still working at age 69 according to a 2014 study. That’s a stark contrast from the previous 20 years when just 47 percent of nurses worked at age 62 and only nine percent at the age of 69.

Registered Nurses Make Most in the West, Least in the North Central

The average salary of RN’s living in the west is $105,000. Registered nurses working in the North Central are making just $69,000. There’s not another region even close to the West, but Northeast registered nurses are making $87,000, second-best in the United States.

Compensation is Going Up

Over half of nurses who responded to the survey reported an increase in salary in 2013 compared to 2014. Merit and cost-of-living adjustments were the primary reasons for an increase in salary for two thirds of nurses.

Interested in seeing more?

You can see the entire report here.

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Interested in how the pay stacks up in other states not on this list? Our trusty Super Nurse sidekicks are standing by to answer any questions you have. Click below to get information on opportunities in other states!

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