How the Nursing Shortage Affects Salary

Nov 6

When your job is to care for patients, you shouldn’t have to worry about earning enough money.

Even though they’re great at what they do, many nurses feel as though they aren’t compensated fairly. If this sounds like you, you aren’t alone. You need to know how the current nursing shortage could have a huge impact on your career.

While there are nearly 3 million nurses currently working in the US, there are hundreds of thousands of jobs that are still waiting to be filled. With available nursing jobs expected to increase by 15% this coming year, it’s clear that we’re facing massive nursing shortages, which means your position is more important than ever. Here’s what you need to know about how the nursing shortage is affecting your compensation.

What’s Causing the Nursing Shortage?

One of the most common explanations for today’s nursing shortage is that nurses are retiring at a faster rate than new nurses are starting work. It’s thought that by 2022, over 500,000 nurses are expected to retire, creating even more open positions.

Another explanation for the nursing shortage is the toll that nursing can take emotionally. When you’re busy caring for others, it’s easy to get burnt outor experience compassion fatigue. Add this to working long hours under grueling condition, and it’s not surprising that many facilities experience high turnovers. This is especially true in acute care units like the ER and ICU.

However, the aging workforce and emotional distress aren’t the only reasons the US is facing a nursing shortage. With laws like the Affordable Care Act, more people are seeking care, which means that facilities are expanding as well. Right now, there simply aren’t enough nurses to fill the new positions that open every day.

What Else Affects your salary?

In the US, the average salary for a nurse is around $66,000. However, this number is dramatically affected by your location and specialty. In fact,many nurses in rural areas earn around $35,000, while others have the potential to earn six figures.

So what does this mean for your salary?

It means you have options.

It means you don’t necessarily need to work for management you don’t like, or at a facility that doesn’t suit you. You can make the right choice foryour career on your terms.

Not sure how much you should be making? Take our free, personalized salary assessment and find out if your salary is where it should be.

If you’re ready to find a new position, we have hundreds of great jobs to choose from and can help you find a position you love at the salary you deserve!

Find out how much more you could earn!

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Molly Powers