There are many things that affect your nursing career salary.

Do you know what will impact how much you earn?

Here are a few things you should think about:

Special trends can break the norm.

As many of you know we are currently in a shortage of nurses.  With shortages, generally salaries go up.  Now, this issue of the current shortage is a big one and rather than get off topic today, look for future posts regarding the nursing shortage.  For now, let’s just accept that the data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows that we have and will continue to have a shortage.  The next bit of information will help you plan for the future.

What is your level of education?

Whether you have an associates degree, a bachelor’s a master’s or a doctoral will greatly impact your effective salary. Your career level is important as well.  Are you a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), a Registered Nurse (RN), or perhaps a Nurse Practitioner?  In most places there are salary increases relative to your education and career level.

Do you specialize?

What specialty are you pursuing.  There are many different specialties and they all have their own criteria of knowledge and difficulty.  With this comes nursing career salary variations.   Before choosing a specialty, you might consider seeing what the paycheck ramifications are.

How much time have you spent in your specialty?  If you have had 14 years in neonatal nursing, you are going to command a higher relative salary than someone just switching over from another specialty or new to nursing.


What is your specialty?

Location, location, location.

Where do you live?  When looking at a nursing career salary, this can be very important.  Some areas have a very high standard of living but low compensation.  So, do a little research and you might find moving as far as a few states away could greatly impact your relative salary.

All of the questions above should be thoughtfully considered because they will greatly impact any nursing career salary.  In later posts we will explore this area a little more.

If you are just starting out as a nurse, then take a look at Being a Nurse.


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