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How I Made Over $70,000 My First Year as a Nurse (how I learned to game the system)

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One question I remember Googling all the time while I was in nursing school was: “what nurses make the most money?” . . . or “how much do nurses make?”

I never went into nursing FOR the money, but, long story short, my salary doubled my first year as a new grad nurse.  I didn’t work in any special field . . . I just learned how to game the system to max my pay.

My Salary Used to Suck

My journey into nursing was a long one . . .

To spare you the lengthy (boring) details, I will simply say that I debated entering the field for nearly 5 years.  I was accepted twice into different schools only to back out at the last minute for various reasons.

Eventually I took a job as a buyer with a large sporting goods store.  It sounded like the PERFECT job for me.  After my first day on the job I came home and told my wife I had made the wrong decision. It was simply mind numbing, soul crushing work!  To top it off the job only paid about $38,000/year.  We were hoping to eventually have children and we knew that wasn’t enough money to support a growing family.

Back to Nursing School

I was lucky to gain admittance to an accelerated BSN program and in 2013 I finally completed my BSN.  Prior to entering school I spent a lot of time investigating salaries and pay in the DFW area (that’s where we lived).  If my calculations were right I figured I would make about about $10,000 – $15,000 more as a nurse and have a couple more days off a week to maybe mow yards or something to make ends meet.

RELATED ARTICLE: 4 No Fail Tips to Get a Spot in the ICU as a New Grad RN


My First Job

I was lucky out of school to get a job in a Level I Trauma ICU right out of school (how I did that is a discussion for another time). The starting pay for the job was $23/hour base salary.  Not a ton of money (about $41,000 base) so I knew I would have to find ways to make a bit more money.

Working the System

Most hospitals pay a premium for working nights and weekends.  Mine did . . . so I took advantage of this.  Here are how the differentials worked out at my hospital:

  • Base Pay: $23/hr
  • Nights: $4/hr
  • Weekends: $6/hr (Friday – Sunday)

So even as a new grad I was able to make up to $33/hour if I worked nights and weekends.  Well, that’s what I did.

During my entire first year I only worked nights.  This immediately brought my base pay up to $27/hr.  Since I am married and have two kids I don’t usually go out and do anything crazy on the weekends so working Friday and Saturday nights was not a huge sacrifice for me.  For the most part during the entire first year I worked 2 weekend nights a month.  Doing this brought my average pay for the 3 – 12 hour shifts to about $31/hour.

So, if you have done the math:

$31/hr * 36 hours/week * 50 work weeks/yr = $55,800

That’s obviously not more than $70,000 . . . how did I make the extra $15,000?

Like most hospitals, my hospital has a retention program for all nurses as well as a clinical ladder.  By simply staying at my job I continue to make more money.

Here’s how it works:

After six months I was given an additional $1/hr raise.

After 1 year I was given another $1/hr raise.

I worked hard to learn all that I could and to be a “good nurse”.  Doing this lead to preceptor opportunities.  Every time I was a preceptor I made an additional $1/hr.

Check out our FREE EKG Cheat Sheet Here

Overtime Pays Big $$$

It is not uncommon for you to hear nurses complain about overtime in movies and TV shows.  It is a VERY common issue within hospitals for them to have a hard time finding qualified nursing staff.  Once you have your foot in the door and simply do your job, show up on time, and basically know your crap, there is opportunity to work as many hours as you want.

My hospital is no exception to this . . .

With very little exception . . . not a week has passed that overtime or BONUS shifts has not been offered to the nursing staff.   Pay for extra shifts starts at $7/hr on top of ALL other differentials, and all hours worked over 40 are paid at time and a half.  If there were critical needs within the hospital the bonus pay would go up to $10/hr extra.

That means that during a bonus shift I could make as much as: $600 – $700 (about $50/hr)

For a brand new grad nurse that is great pay.

I found that by clumping a few extra shifts together I could pound out the long weeks and then have time off as well.  I think I did like two months of bonus shifts out of the 12 months in the year.

Check out our FREE EKG Cheat Sheet Here

Time Off

“It sounds like you were just working all the time!” . . . here’s the deal.  I am actually in the middle of an 18 day off stent from work!

18 days off!

This isn’t the first time that I have taken an extended amount of time off either.  When you only have to work 3 days per week you can manipulate you schedule to work the first three days of one week and the last 3 days of the next week . . . BOOM. . . right there you have 8 days off between shifts.   If you take just three days off you can have over two week off.

With very simple planning you can workout to have VERY long vacations!  Even after taking a FEW extended vacations I still have extra PTO saved up that I will be able to cash out (at my base rate) at the end of the year.

$70,000/yr So What??

First of all . . . I KNOW.  $70,000 is peanuts in places like CA, WA, NY etc but keep in mind, Texas is about 1/3 cheaper to live in than these other places. So, $70,000 in Texas is more like $100,000 in a more expensive state/city.

$70,000 won’t make me a millionaire any time soon. But check this out.  According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers the average starting pay for new college grads (Class of 2013) was $44,259 . . . that means my starting pay as a new grad was about 1.6 times  higher.  (the argument can be made about advancement for nurses).  I am guaranteed 3 raises this coming year too. These raises will take my base pay up an additional about $5,000/year.  Not a ton, but there are SO many ways that nurses can make more (education, position change, certification, career ladder).  I am not worried about being able to make more.

According to the NACE website, they list the highest starting salary was for Engineers at ~$62,000 . . . as a new nurse I made more than that.

Wikipedia lists the median household income in the US at about $52,000.  With those holding advanced degrees averaging $72,000.

A recent study by NPR listed that 80% of ALL individuals in the United States make LESS than $70,000 (image posted below . . . see the article here).

average salary for nurses


RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Jobs for Nurses Outside of the Hospital (can I have #6 please?!)


CONCLUSION: Why do I share all these numbers. . . . ?

I disagree with the notion that nursing is a LOW paying job.  Is it a HARD job . . . Hell yes!!!  But there are ways to make a GREAT living as a nurse.  You simply need to play the system a bit and find the ways to make the highest wages at your hospital or employer.

Is it ALL about the money . . . NO!

But listen, I have a wife and two kids . . . I don’t really have a choice but to MAKE money.  I actually have to feed my kids and provide them with a place to live.  So, while I work as a nurse changing the world (and bedpans) I also want to make a good living for my family.

While I would never suggest nursing to someone just for the money, if you wonder what kind of nurse makes the most money it really comes down to playing the differentials and system more than anything else.

I think that nurses can make good money and should make good money.  It is HELL staying up all night answering strange call lights and trying to learn everything you can to not kill a patient.  This is a VERY hard job, but at the end of the day you can feel good about the work that you do and sometimes you REALLY do make a difference and in the end you can even make a good living doing it.

Share your thoughts below!

how to make money as a nurse


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Date Published - Jan 9, 2017
Date Modified - Apr 18, 2019

Jon Haws RN

Written by Jon Haws RN

Jon Haws RN began his nursing career at a Level I Trauma ICU in DFW working as a code team nurse, charge nurse, and preceptor. Frustrated with the nursing education process, Jon started NRSNG in 2014 with a desire to provide tools and confidence to nursing students around the globe. When he's not busting out content for NRSNG, Jon enjoys spending time with his two kids and wife.


  1. Anna

    This is a great website! I’ve been in the profession less than 10 years, was hired in a level 4 NICU right out of the gate, still there and love it! I went back for my Master’s in Nursing (paid for by the hospital), got my certification, and recently challenged the clinical ladder. My starting pay was about $21 and just increased it to $35 an hour. After shift diff, weekends, but not many nights, I gross about $70,000. I also teach clinicals part time, which adds about $12K to my pocket a year. We need to STOP THE BULLYING and not fear transparency of pay. That’s how we will get and keep the best people, and make the most money. Professionalism and hard work, with goals and commitment you will achieve anything you want!

  2. Brett Bain

    This was a great article and a valuable tool for nursing prospects and newly graduated nurses! I I think it is important to mention that most hospitals around the u.s. are going to require a BSN before hire by 2020. This is very important for those seeking which route to get their Nursing degree. As of right now, upon hire with and ADN, they require the nurse to obtain their BSN and I am afraid soon they will not even hire unless you have the BSN. Good luck to all seeking the nursing profession and thank you for sharing John!

  3. LamboRN


    Great job on the Website. I totally agree with you. You have to be smart when working as a RN. I work in the Bay Area California at a Level 1 Trauma Center I have a Full Time Job and a Per Diem Job and I make well over 200k with OT. Nursing is the best career choice I made from being a firefighter. I think this website is great and keeps people informed. Keep up the great work. I think the best thing to add is to stay healthy while working.

  4. LJ

    Hey Jon! I am starting on a PCU/ICU as a new graduate upcoming mid September. Any tips, tricks, or advice?

  5. Maribel

    Thanks for this! I just moved to the DFW area from a compact state (graduated with BSN in May). Currently having a hard time getting a job, I didn’t realize that the hospitals here pretty much require a completion of a nurse residency program. It’s good news to hear that once I do get hired (crossing my fingers) that I have the potential to make money that I feel that I’ve missed out on from being unemployed!

  6. Stonebridge

    Love the post. It has the type of title that screams click-bait, but when you actually read through it, it’s all about the hard work and the long hours you put in. Of course you should still be clever about it. I don’t see it as a “game” the system. It’s just navigating through the progression and income ladder as any sensible adult would. These days it’s all about making decent money, without sacrificing all your waking hours to your employer (like our previous generation). I think what you do is absolutely normal and commendable.

  7. John

    That’s cool that you were able to make 10-15k more as a nurse. My sister has been thinking about getting her certification. She has passion for helping people, so it could be a good fit.

  8. Dave

    It also greatly depends on which state you are living in. States such as Oregon, Washington, California pay their RN’s much higher than anywhere else. Oregon for example pays their RN’s between 80-100k per year, the biggest difference being that Oregon has tougher requirements for nurses and a BSN is practically expected upon hire.

    • Dave

      Oh and LPN’s are practically invisible here. Majority of hospitals in Oregon will not hire LPN’s. Only RN/RN-BSN or higher level of education is accepted generally.

  9. Will

    Thanks for this article. Graduating in two weeks and will be working nights and getting speciality certifications ASAP. Base is going to be around 49k but with OT I should be able to easily break 75k.

  10. baker133

    I’m using this as a guide post for when I graduate next January. I’m 51, I cashed in my retirement to pay for prerequisites, and took a job that pays half of what I was making and took out loans to be able to go to school for my ADN. I’ve spent seven years volunteering as an Advanced EMT (more responsibilities than an EMT, fewer than a paramedic) for my rural community, and my goal is to work in ER or Critical Care. After reading this post, I started contacting the regional trauma centers that I’ve transported patients to regarding the fact I was going to school for nursing, and now I’ll spend this summer working in the ER of my favorite regional trauma center as an AEMT/patient care tech since I only have online classes this summer. My goal, and I’ve talked with them about this, is to then work a nights/weekend package in their ER or Critical Care once I graduate, while working med-surg at my local hospital PRN. I should be right close to $65,000 my first year for a new grad, which in rural Iowa is phenomenal, and if I keep my expenses close to where I’m at now, will be able to pay off my student loans and rebuild my retirement account within a few years.

  11. Crystal

    Good article, but I also want to note that male nurses in general make more money than female nurses. Nursing is a female driven profession and males are highly valued especially as a result. It has been proven that male nurses make more money and get promoted quicker. Thanks for sharing your article though.

    • Jamie

      I disagree crystal. I live in south Florida where the cost of living is high, however, I got accepted into a ICU nurse residency program a month after passing boards. My base is starting at 24.50 but I get a raise every quarter and I will end up with a base pay of over $28/hr in 6 months. Since I will be working nights, I will get shift differential and weekend differential is more. I’ll be making over $60k as a brand new nurse grad. I figure if I pick up an overtime shift every pay period I could make $70-75k annually. Not bad for a newbie. I have high hopes to learn lots and advance and I’d love to eventually work in trauma. I want to learn as much as I can and be a versatile nurse. I am hoping that in a few years I can be up to $80k annually. Don’t get me wrong, I love nursing but I also chose nursing for the flexible schedule, good pay and benefits, and career stability. And the men starting with me are making the same as I am. We are all the same. I know the cliche is that men get paid more and I believe it, but I also believe if you work hard and contribute to the team, you deserve to make more.

      • Leslie

        Wow, Jamie! I can’t believe you got into the ICU straight out of school. I passed my exit exam about 2 months ago, and studying for NCLEX now. I also live in South FLA and I’m thinking of applying for an ICU internship at Jackson. I’ve always heard that getting into ICU as a newbie nurse is very difficult, but posts like yours give me hope.

    • Ashley

      I totally agree that male nurses get paid more than female nurses and also get promoted faster. I’ve seen that happen quite a bit. As far as the pay goes, I wouldn’t say nursing is a low paying job, but we should be getting paid more for the kind of work we do and the recent education requirements of being a nurse. Instead of gaming the system, wouldn’t it be nice to make $70,000 in a smaller city without having to work all nights, weekends and overtime? They need nurses and if we all tell them we want more money we can change things. Nurses have more power than they realize.

      • Vonnie

        I completely AGREE with Ashley! Men usually make more than women, but the important thing is why are any of us having to jump through hoops like that?!?! Cost of living continues to rise and we go into extra debt to go to nursing school to still be under that $72,000 he was talking about! Baseball players demand an increase almost every season. And they’re just catching a ball. We’re are taking care of their lives and we still struggle sometimes in our finances. When will will band together for more?

      • ecarG

        It is good to finally hear people saying this! I completely agree. Males also seem to get the ICU/Trauma/ER jobs easier. The solution is to create a webpage FOR nurses where they can communicate, interact, discuss what is happening and create a support network. Women need to consciously learn teamwork, watch the guys, they do it much better than we do. Our pay will increase when we can show ourselves to be the professionals that we are and unify. Until then, forget it. Get your shiv and shank and keep them in your sock. We are a formidable group, when in solidarity. I have worked in OR and CA, and the unions enforce the breaks and pay. I still see a lot of bullying, though, even with double to 3 times the pay and the protection of the union. This is what we need to address. Men do get more pay, often, but it is our responsibility to learn to not rip each other to shreds, as females, and learn to support each other. Until we can do that, nursing will remain a gender divided, unequal soul sucking profession. Stop it already! The reason these other states pay the nurses more is that they united and demanded it. The hospitals CANNOT operate without us, yet we are treated as expendable.

  12. Obi

    Cheers to all RNs making an impact in this world. You deserve every seed earned.

    (staff from an LA based nursing agency)

  13. Kacie

    Thanks for the post! I just graduated nursing school and accepted a job in the NICU. I was wondering how taxes play into this? I am trying to get a grasp on when overtime puts you into the next tax bracket. I don’t want to work a ton of extra hours just to lose that money to taxes, and end up with the same amount money as if I had not worked overtime. Your insight would help a ton! Thanks!

    • Jamie

      Ask your hospital if they can give you same day pay for OT. I’ve thought of the same thing. Some hospitals offer same day pay since they figure people work the OT cause they need it. This will cause less taxes to be taken out.

  14. Louis Serrano

    Thanks for the info.. I wanted to become a nurse but had some doubt. This is really helpful.. I’m from Houston so our pay shouldn’t be that much different

  15. Karen

    With a critical care background, I’m now working nights at a few freestanding ERs (the ones that are popping up all over). $40/he and most nights I only see one or two patients. I spend my time reading and writing or just watching Netflix. Beats the hell out of working for a big corporate hospital.

  16. Christina

    Also the raises that you got each being $1 an hour is huge. I’ve been there 3 years and my raise this year was 2%. Which equates out to .55 an hour.

  17. Christina

    70K is most certainly NOT peanuts in NYS. I’ve been an RN for 3 years. Our hospital does not give bonuses, or critical shortage pay, or anything like that. My base pay is $27 on days. Eves is $3. Nights is $5. So if you work Friday night shift you get $5. There is no weekend differential. Sounds like you got super lucky where you work at. There’s no incentives for doubles, and there’s no overtime. I work 3 12’s, all nights and my take home after taxes is about $1400 every 2 weeks. Also, I’m a CVICU AND NICU nurse…..

  18. Rubah

    Wow..really without ones experience one can never know how the Noble profession has a great impacts on how lives…lm a student nurse…and you have really encourage me with your experiences and the expectations you had towards your goals by going back to your dream profession

  19. Kess

    Very great article here and it motivates one. Pls, what are the first steps to take to be a nurse here in the US? Have a degree in Human Anatomy and I am not an American. What do I need to do?

  20. Shay

    Thank you for this article, I graduate 12/16/17 this was just icing on my motivation cake.

  21. Gayle K

    I totally agree with the ‘hustle’ comments above. I also resent when I hear some people say that hoping to earn a good living is the ‘wrong’ reason to go into nursing. People enter into all kinds of careers and their
    reasons for doing so are their own. Nursing is no exception. I feel we are actually underpaid for the responsibility we take without authority. I’ve been an RN for 27 years and boost my pay with nites, weekends, holidays, certification pay and yes OT (lots of it). I’ve topped double six figures the past 8 yrs as an RN (yep, that’s right). I thought of returning to school but couldn’t justify the time away from paid work or the tuition expense. I plan to retire in three years. Keep at it RNs! You’ve earned every penny!

  22. Chelsey

    I was just offered a job as a new grad in the outpatient setting, how do I know if the pay is fair?

  23. Lee Ann BS, BSN, RN

    Dallas hospitals sound amazing compared to Houston; I’ve worked in several Houston area facilities and never been offered a $1 raise at ANY time, never mind twice in one year. Also, I’ve only seen one hospital that was up front with it’s pay range. The only way I’ve found to actually increase income is to change jobs and take a position with higher pay. I do not think it’s realistic to say that staying put in one hospital will gain the majority of people any significant increase in income as very few places give anything more than the 3% C.O.L.A. raise and that’s if you are the boss’ pet.

    • Crystal

      Houston medical center offers pay raises regularly. And it equates to more than $1. My first year as a nurse I made an additional $3.66 my first year. That is including COLA and raise.

  24. Ermias T Teklemariam

    As new graduate with 2 kids and 1 on the way and a college student spouse, I choose to work weekend nights. I am making $36.5 per hour which puts me on $70000 without picking up extra shift.

  25. Gloria

    This was a great read, and I shared with some of my classmates. I found this article to be very empowering and giving me a lot of hope once I graduate from nursing school.

  26. Jeremt

    I totally agree, it’s all about knowing your union contract or HR rules. I made 41k my first year nursing in NC at a hellish hospital with no opportunities. Then the next year in the Pacific Northwest, I made $113k by grabbing every differential and working lots of overtime (which didn’t average out to be more than 40hrs a week spread out over the year.)

  27. Betty

    I just have to say you and this article have been my inspiration to keep studying and working. I am 42, spanish speaker RN but still working to pass my TOEFL and NCLEX tests and supporting with my husband our 5 children. We came to FL two years ago from a quite wealth level of life in my country to manage a fake business my husband bought and the crisis has performed me as the only financial option we have today to survive. We live in USA totally legal, paying our taxes and respecting the country, its rules and customs, but sometimes english proficiency is a high barrier for someone with such a big family and responsibilities. Texas but particularly Houston or Dallas are our “golden ticket”.but I would like to ask you if you consider Texas could be considered one of the best few options you have as an overseas RN because the relation income-cost of living, opportunities, open minded citizens, growing hospital nurses demand, and other good facts you can read by internet?, Maybe license requirements are little higher but we find Texas may be the best balance we can achieve under our particular conditions. Thank you and congrats for your website!!

    • Jon Haws

      Jon Haws

      Thanks so much for the kind words and keep pushing to get the TOEFL and NCLEX done. Texas in general has pretty good pay to cost of living for health care professionals. The cost of living is continuing to climb, but in general a nurse can make a great living and have a great quality of life in Texas.

  28. Will Chu

    Great article, Jon! Very insightful. Thanks for sharing!

    I just have a question. During your review of salaries, did you come across any proof that male nurses received a higher wage than female nurses? I haven’t experienced this in my few years in nursing. We all seem to be paid the same — just according to years of experience. Yet, this notion continues to be put out there by certain sources…and I feel that this should be debunked. What do you think?

    • Jon Haws

      Jon Haws

      I have never seen this in my experience. Hospitals are pretty open about their pay scales for nurses and don’t really seem to budge on that regardless of gender, race, school, gpa . . .etc. The only thing that will earn you more money is experience.

      The way it worked for me is that salaries were published as well as pay raises. Now, whether or not more opportunities exist to take on new jobs and roles based on gender I’m not sure.

      • Will Chu


        Here is a recent study (2015) that shows that by just being a male, you get paid more as a nurse than their counterpart.
        It’s an unfortunate reality, but the times are changing I believe…and slowly, yet. So is it fair to say that one can make more in any field by plainly being a male? If so, male nurses would have a much easier way to achieve the salary you stated you made as a first year nurse. Thoughts?

      • Jon Haws

        Jon Haws

        It looks like, from the study, that the gaps exist in higher levels of nursing (middle management and CRNA were the areas with the highest pay differences. As I stated, the majority of hospitals have a (very publicly) published pay scale for new grads. In my experience, I haven’t seen new grads be able to negotiate or change these published rates. Again, I am only referring to new grads. I wouldn’t argue at all that the pay differences might begin to unfold with experience and positions.

    • ecarG

      I am a female, very well educated and with a ton of experience. I have no kids, and every year my pay has gone DOWN. I am not a less skilled RN than i was last year. The disparity comes from as much the female nurses as anyone. I see it as a profession and not just a job, but there is no mentorship, support and the nurse-nurse lateral violence gets worse every year. Most hospitals i have worked at i would not want to be a patient in after working with the nurses. There are a few bad apples usually, and it seems to be female-female. I watch men skate through unscathed while the women beat each other up. Shameful.

  29. Brittany D.

    Jon! You are a superstar! Working all those long shifts plus making time to reach out to people on this blog! That’s really awesome! I started travel nursing last May, and with the shifts that you are already working you could easily make upwards to 90,000 a year, and that is a low ballpark estimate for you. I’m just a medsurg nurse and make 45 dollars an hour working dayshift, so I know with your experience and working nights, you would probably be making close to 50-60 dollars and hour. I’m not a recruiter, but the company I travel through is Trustaff. They are really the Best! You don’t have to travel that far either. To be considered a “travel nurse” you just have to work 50 miles from your home. I have no clue if this is something you would be interested in, but I know you sound like the perfect candidate for it! God bless my friend!

    • Jon Haws

      Jon Haws

      Thanks so much! I have some friends that have done the “local” travel nurse thing and it seems really great. Keep it Up!

  30. Christian

    Hey Jon, came across your article amidst mid college life crisis due to absurd financial aid issues. I am a nursing student currently looking at about $140,000 in student loan debt by the end of my education (scary number, I know). I’ve been looking for tips and pointers and am curious if this is realistically manageable with a nursing career. I am passionate about the practice and can’t wait to fully experience it. I am also aware of certain loan forgiveness programs available to us nurses. Any input on this issue I am facing? Thanks!

    • Jon Haws

      Jon Haws

      Oh my! I would say that yes, there are ways to manage that debt. The program I’ve heard most of would be working for a government agency (VA, Native American Health) which generally have like a 10 year loan forgiveness program. You could also look at military service as a way to pay them down. Not sure on the loan aspect but they do have signon bonuses for health care providers and maybe a loan forgiveness option. Also, check into hospitals in your area that offer signon or loan repayment.

  31. Julian

    Hi Jon, I could tell that your site is a blessing in disguise, know why? I am actually working in a call center here in Philippines to start my story why I am here, I was working in a hospital before, the salary and working hours is unbelievable here (every filipino nurses knows that) but because I wanted to have a better career I have decided to go back working in a hospital, needing a 2-3 years working experience in a tertiary hospital to be able to apply for a job abroad to have a better future. Thank you for very inspiring short story and for a free reviewer. I hope I can share a successful story here in your site soon. God Bless.

    • Jon Haws

      Jon Haws

      Thank you so much Julian. How wonderful that you have found us and I hope we are able to help you in your journey. Thank you so much for reaching out! -Jon

  32. Jon

    CA nurse here.

    The first full year of nursing – after I got off orientation/training – I made $130,000.

    $46 base w/ $6 PM differential + overtime.

    I was able to pay off my 60k in student loans in <2 years.

    To all of the new grads out there: Hustle! Work hard and get ;yourself into a strong financial position. Don't settle for average, aka broke and buried in student debt.

    • Jon Haws

      Jon Haws

      Totally agree! Work hard! Don’t Settle!

    • Sara G.

      I’m currently finishing my pre-requirements to get into the nursing program to become a forensic nurse. As I was doing research about the salary of a nurse, I was scared of how low the salary per year can be 🙁 do you think becoming an RN can lead me to a good living? and of course, I like to travel..

    • Chelsea

      What part of California? What department?

  33. Jessica

    Thanks for all of this great information! I’m still in school and like you, I’m always researching to find the best possible outcome to increase my skills and my income. I’m a non traditional student who also played with the idea of going back for 4 years before diving in. I have no regrets and hope to be the best nurse I can be for others, but I’m also no stranger to having an upper level degree and it not showing the financial benefits! So, now I’m on to something I truly love and it’d be nice to see the financial benefits along with the real and true reward of helping others! I also want to work nights and move to Texas when I’m done, I hope it works out!!!

  34. Hope RN, BSN

    Though not all hospitals/ employers offer these rates, I would agree with these points! But a big issue that is omitted here is taxes related to overtime!!! Do your research about your taxes – you will likely find that working LOTS of OT will increase your taxes significantly (many of my coworkers say there is an OT cutoff after which you start paying taxed more). I’m not suggesting to not take overtime, but rather to educate yourself on all aspects of your paycheck. Thanks for the article!

  35. Dayane

    You do NOT find readings like this all the time! You are doing it beautifully. Keep up the good work. Thanks for sharing it!

  36. Wendy V.

    I loved reading this! Thank you for all of this information I will put it to good use in the future.

  37. Andrea

    This is inspirational! -and I hope to be making more money soon! I am a new grad working in an ICU and going to nights. They dayshift pay is sad, hoping nights with that extra 4/hr will help. It’d be nice to get out of the ghetto after working my ass off for a BSN with honors????

    • Jon Haws

      Jon Haws

      I hear you Andrea. I honestly always wondered how new grad day shift nurses made the finances work out! Working nights brings challenges, but totally worth it financially.