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Entry Level RN Salaries for Public Hospitals

Career News July 21, 2013

It is common to hear of public houses with nursing shortages, and because of this, nursing is a popular course of study for most students who have a knack for serving people and the ability to grasp the medical and scientific knowledge required to become a registered nurse (RN). But of course, one question on most students’ minds is, “What is a registered nurse salary?” The answer can vary considerably, depending on whether you have experience in other types of nursing professions, as well as where you desire to work. To get an edge, and to discover if nursing is the best career option for them, most go through a nursing progression that requires less schooling to help them decide if nursing is the field for them.

The Nursing Progression

Not all of those who pursue nursing become registered nurses, and one of the benefits of the nursing profession is that there is a progression. Of course, with the RN salary averaging near $65,000 per year, most consider nursing at this level a gold standard.

But, aside from the various illnesses and issues of actual patients, the position of an RN in a public hospital can pose more challenges than one might expect. Comments on an article for U.S. News and World Report indicate that while the right nursing job can be excellent, finding that position is easier said than done, and nurses usually work long hours without adequate breaks.

Many who are just starting out in nursing can gain some experience as a Practical Nurse or Nursing Assistant. These fields yield a smaller salary, but expose potential RNs to different nursing environments before they invest in an RN level education. Even with the field of nursing growing by twenty-six percent, some still have a difficult time finding a job as an RN without upgrading their degree to a BSN.

Location, Location, Location

As is the case with many things, an RN salary depends largely on where you live. With less than a year of experience, registered nurse salaries generally land in the $20 to $25 per hour range. The overall average salary, however, begin at less than $14 per hour in Puerto Rico and reach a potential average of over $40 per hour in California.

Of course, these salaries are influenced by a variety of factors, including the overall economic conditions of a given location, as well as the cost of living.

The Future of Nursing

With “baby boomers” reaching an advanced age, people living to older ages in general, as well as more effective treatments available to chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer, the need for quality caregivers, including nurses of all levels is expected to increase significantly. But going into nursing, whether it is as a registered nurse, a licensed practical nurse, a certified nursing assistant, even with a more advanced degree, there is much more involved to the field than simply working and collecting a paycheck.

In most areas, nursing is supported by unions and nurses of all levels need to do their part to see that enough nurses are employed to give patients the care and attention they need, while still giving nurses the tools to take care of themselves.

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2 Program(s) Found
  • Why study nursing at Grand Canyon University?
  • Our bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing are CCNE-accredited and the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions (CONHCP) is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
  • We provide many options to prepare you to begin or advance your nursing career, including bridge programs and dual degrees.
  • GCU provides a low student-to-teacher ratio and a Christian environment that provides an opportunity for you to embrace a holistic approach to caring for patients.
  • Request more information today about program offerings, CCNE accreditation, start dates, financial aid and more!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found
  • Average class size is 25, allowing for more one-on-one time with instructors.
  • Has a 97% employment rate among available graduates.
  • All  graduates receive Lifetime Employment  Assistance—free and forever.
  • Michigan's largest independent college.
  • Most instructors are working professionals in the fields they teach.
  • Programs are continuously updated to ensure classes are career-relevant and in sync with what's needed in the industry
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
2 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Online Bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, Psychology, IT, Healthcare Management & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
  • Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
  • Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid

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