The nursing profession has experienced significant growth over the years. It has become popular due to its diverse specialties and the pay involved. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, there are over 4 million currently registered nurses, a number that is expected to grow by 6% by 2031.
The growing number of registered nurses is fueled by reasons such as an aging workforce set to retire, making their replacement inevitable. More nurses will also be needed to care for an aging population of about 73 million people that the U.S. Census Bureau reports will be 65 years and above by 2030.
Below is a breakdown of Massachusetts' salaries for registered nurses (RNs).
Salary-wise, registered nurses earn an average annual hourly rate of $37.31, as reported by BLS in May 2021. Observably, nursing salary varies in different States, with some paying more than others. Massachusetts is one of the highest-paying States in the US.
For instance, the average pay for nurses in Boston, MA, is $48.47 per hour, which is entirely above the national median. These reports leave no doubt that nursing is a sought-after healthcare profession. One reason nursing is marketable is the increasing rise of lifestyle and chronic diseases.
The nursing profession, however, has its ups and downs, such as the most recent Covid-19 pandemic that caused a shortage in nurse jobs due to the overwhelming covid cases that rendered hospitals understaffed.
To deal with that, local governments and private employers have taken measures such as adding salary, among other benefits, to attract and retain more workforce.
The salary for registered nurses relies on several factors, one of which is experience. Other factors are certifications, geographical locations, contracts, and specialties. In the nursing field, it is common for nurses with more experience to earn more. Beginner registered nurses make about $28.08 per hour, which rises to $32.53 per hour in five years.
Nurse salary by experience differs in various States for reasons such as cost of living. For example, the starting salary for RN in Massachusetts is $29.41, while those with 5-9 years of experience make a median annual hourly wage of $45.65. Most facilities value experience, and you may find an experienced nurse with a lower education qualification earning more than a newly employed nurse with a higher education qualification.
Consider working in hospitals that reward experience over the years. More importantly, it is possible to increase a nursing salary through other means besides gaining qualifying experience, such as considering working in the highest-paying States.
Nursing experience is a critical consideration for a salary increase, but it should not be the only reliable mechanism for nurses to earn an increased salary. With the increased demand for registered nurse services, it is easy to rise through the salary ranks by getting further education and certifications.
It is also worth noting that salary increase has the backing of nursing unions, which have grown in numbers in various States. With the current state of the economy and the rising inflation, you shouldn't wait for several years for a higher registered nurse wage based on experience unless you don’t have a lot of bills to settle.
If you cannot get more certifications, working double shifts can do it for you in the meantime.