2014 Annual Salary Survey

Depending on where they work and their specialties, nurses can earn a range of salaries. Salaries continue to appear to vary by ethnic background as well, but overall, nurses reported in the second annual Minority Nurse salary survey making more this year than they did last year—and more than they did five years ago.

Although nurses reported making higher salaries this year than they reported last year, there are wage gaps by ethnicity that remain to be closed.

In 2013, nurses reported making a median salary of $67,000; this year, they reported earning a bit more, a median $68,000. Still, African American nurses earned a median $60,200 and Hispanic nurses received a median $60,000, while white nurses took home a median $72,000.

To gather all this data, Minority Nurse and Springer Publishing e-mailed a link to an online survey that asked respondents about their jobs, educational backgrounds, and more to better understand their roles as nurses and to determine their current and past salaries.

Some 4,850 nurses from all over the United States responded to the survey questions. The respondents also hailed from a number of specialties, including nurses working in critical care, as certified nurse educators, and in pediatrics, as well as nurses employed at public hospitals, private hospitals, and at colleges or universities.

Some stark differences, though, were noticeable when survey data were broken down by ethnicity. For instance, nurses belonging to different ethnic groups working at similar institutions reported earning different amounts of money. African American nurses working at a public hospital reported earning a median $65,000, as did Asian nurses. Hispanic nurses reported making less, taking home a median $60,000. White nurses, though, said they earned $79,500. 

Additionally, nurses belonging to different ethnic groups with similar educational backgrounds also reported salary differences. African American nurses with a bachelor’s degree reported making a median $62,000—similar to the median $60,000 reported by Hispanic nurses—though higher than the median $50,000 received by Asian nurses, but lower than the median $70,000 that white nurses said they made.

At the master’s degree level, the picture is a little different. Asian nurses with master’s degrees commanded the highest salary, a median $80,000, followed by African American nurses, who received a median $76,000. Hispanic nurses, meanwhile, earned a median $74,940, and white nurses with a master’s degree reported making a median $73,000.

Overall, respondents reported earning a higher salary this year than they took home last year and a bit more than they reported earning five years ago. For example, nurses working primarily in patient care reported earning $60,000 this year, $55,000 last year, and $47,000 five years ago, and advanced practice nurses reported making $89,000 this year, $84,000 last year, and $78,000 five years ago.

Though there are still wage gaps to be bridged, nurses reported earning more now than they did just a few years ago.

 

Highlights

17.6% of respondents have a PhD or other doctoral-level degree

33.3% work at a college or university

56.2% have been at their current job for five years or longer

65.8% received a raise within the last year

53.5% left their prior job to pursue a better opportunity

41.1% do not expect a raise this year

48.9% are looking to leave their current job in coming years

 

Top Two Degrees Held by Respondents

MSN, or other master’s-level degree

BSN, or other bachelor’s-level degree

 

Five Most Common Specialties

Critical care (NICU, PICU, SICU, MICU)

Certified Nurse Educator

Advanced practice nursing

Medical-surgical

Pediatrics

 

Highest Paid by Employer Type

Private practice

Private hospital

Health insurance company

Public hospital

College or university

 

Most Common Benefits Provided

Health insurance

Retirement plan (401(k), 403(b), pension, etc.)

Dental insurance

Paid time off

Life insurance