And, based on the survey data, it appears that nurses' pockets will continue to grow.
"At this time, there is no indication that pay increases for nurses will slow down," says Odle, adding that the consistent, annual salary gains suggest nurses' pay will continue to rise. "Also, HR professionals in the industry are projecting the same pay increase budget for 2010, which means they expect the industry to be stable in the coming year."
Compdata Surveys has yet to set estimates for how much nurse' salaries will increase next year, but Odle anticipates the aging population with further drive them up.
"The Baby Boomers in the [nursing] field are nearing retirement, which will leave a number of vacant positions," she says. "Additionally, longer average life spans are expected to cause the number of individuals seeking medical care to increase exponentially. These factors will increase the demand for healthcare workers."