Good News for Nurses as Salaries Continue to Rise

January 9th 2017

Average yearly salaries continue to increase.

From 2008 to mid-2014, nursing salaries increased an average of 1.3% per year, and since then the rate has only continued to go up at 2.6% per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

According to Peter McMenamin, PhD, senior policy advisor for the American Nurse Association, this increase over the course of 2 years coincides with the rise in demand for hospital services, as reported bynurse.com.

The BLS projects the demand for health care services will continue to rise through 2024, largely due to the aging baby boomer population as well as the increase in access to health care due to federal insurance reform.

“There are more opportunities than ever for nurses right now,” said Mary Jane Randazzo, MSN, RN, as reported bynurse.com. “Hospitals are creating roles for nurses in areas such as transplant coordination, urgent care, ambulatory care, clinical documentation, and care coordination.”

Additionally, the BLS predicts that the financial pressures placed on hospitals to discharge patients as quickly as possible will result in more admissions to long-term care facilities, outpatient care centers, and home health care, according tonurse.com.

“I’m seeing significant growth in home health, case management, hospice, palliative care, and health plan assessment nursing positions,” said Mary S. McCarthy, RN, assistant vice president of human resources at MJHS in New York.

In a report from Medscape, data revealed that the average gross salary in 2015 of a registered nurse (RN) was $79,000 compared with $95,000 for a clinical nurse specialist, and $102,000 for a nurse practitioner.

RNs located in California earned the highest annual salary with an average of $105,000, followed by the Northeast at $87,000, according tonurse.com. Meanwhile, RNs located in the Southeast and North Central region earn the lowest annual salaries at $74,000 and $69,000, respectively.

In the future, it is likely that highly experienced nurses will be in demand. Despite a large influx of new graduates entering the workforce, there will not be enough highly experienced nurses in their 40s and 50s who will shift into the roles of retiring nurses,nurse.comreported. According to BLS, they expect nearly 700,000 nurses to retire between 2014 and 2024.

“There may be bidding wars for these nurses, and the wages for more senior nurses could increase, while very experienced nurses remain in short supply,” said McMenamin.

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