- While most nurses are satisfied with their annual compensation, 68% to 88% are dissatisfied with their practice setting and nearly half would not choose to “do it all over again,” according to the results of the Medscape Nurse Salary Survey.
- Only 32% of APNs, 22% of RNs and 12% of LPNs would choose the same setting again. Nursing homes tended to have the lowest satisfaction (21%), followed by the government and military (23%). Nurses who worked in non-hospital-based offices tended to have the highest satisfaction rates.
- The average salary for an RN is $79,000. Additionally, male nurses are paid more across the board, as much as 6% to 9% more.
Only 60% of APNs, 56% of RNs and 48% of LPNs would choose nursing again, according to the survey.
A large reason for regret: forgoing advanced degrees. More than half of RNs and LPNs would go for an advanced degree if they could start again, but often, nurses who did obtain a master’s degree expressed that they would not have done it. Part of this disconnect may be due to the cost of obtaining the degree (often $50,000 or more) but a comparatively unimpressive increase in salary –only about $6,000 for a BSN and $9,000 between a doctoral or master’s degree.
“Of course, we want nurses with higher levels of education and training, but it has to make financial sense for them,”said Laurie Scudder, NP, DNP, and executive editor of Medscape. “If it takes 15-20 years in after-tax money to earn back principal and interest on the cost of obtaining an advanced degree, many will forgo the opportunity and, although there appears to be some regret, many have.”