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Nurse Salaries Remain on the Rise

Keri Mucci, for HealthLeaders Media, July 22, 2009

Nurse salaries are climbing considerably across the nation, according to recently released employer survey data.

The 2009 Compensation Data Healthcare results compiled by Compdata Surveys show wages for RNs increased by 9.2% over the last three years—which translates to an average of $61,300 per year. Previous year-to-year salary increases for nurses have been between $2,000 and $3,000.

Researchers gathered the data among more than 320,000 nurses from nearly 900 healthcare organizations across the U.S. through questionnaires. These included hospitals, long-term care and rehabilitation facilities, homecare agencies, and physician clinics. Results shows nurses on the coasts of the country have the highest salaries; nurses in the Western region will take in an average $75,300 in 2009; and those in the Northeast will make about $67,400.

The findings illustrate the healthcare industry has yearly pay increase budgets running around 3%, while other businesses have pay increases around 2%. The average nursing salary jumped up by 5.3% from 2008 to 2009 alone.

"Many of the positions within the healthcare industry continue to be in high demand and nursing positions continue to lead the pack," says Lane Odle, product marketing manager at Compdata Surveys. "The position's yearly increase of 5.3% is indicative of that."

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