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Nurse Leaders: Love the Job, Not the Paycheck

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, September 24, 2013

In fact, when nurse leaders were asked why they chose to stay in their current job, 44% said because they find joy and meaning in the work, the top response.

Thompson says that the average responding nurse leader has been in nursing leadership for at least six years, is between the ages of 45 and 64, holds a master's degree, and earns between $100,000 and $130,000 annually. And for nurse leaders, experience rules the day.

"The survey validated what we suspected as the current state of nurse leader compensation. The longer you are in nursing leadership and the more responsibility you have, the higher your compensation," Thompson says.

Also, gender doesn't seem to play a role.

"An interesting fact is the lack of compensation inequality based on gender," she says. "There is virtually no variation between compensation for males and females."

The survey was also interesting because of the scope of nurse leaders who were included.

"Nurses demonstrate leadership skills every day in their interactions with patients and co-workers. Because of this, we surveyed the entire spectrum of nurses who participate in leadership—not just those in formal managerial roles," Thompson says. "This allowed us to collect information for the spectrum of nursing leadership, from clinical staff all the way to the CNO, as well as professors/deans and consultants."

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