Registered nurses (RNs) are responsible for providing and coordinating patient care, educating patients and the public about various health conditions, and providing advice and emotional support to patients and their families. They typically work in healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, clinics, and skilled nursing care centers. The salary of an RN depends on their specialty, experience, level of education, and location. But what is the lowest paid RN specialty?
There are a variety of RN specialties, including medical-surgical, gerontological, oncology, pediatric, and psychiatric nursing. Other specialties include critical care nursing, emergency nursing, occupational health nursing, and obstetric nursing.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for RNs in 2020 was $73,300. This amount can vary depending on a variety of factors, such as experience, specialty, and location. For example, RNs in California generally earn higher salaries than those in other states.
Factors That Affect RN Salary
There are several factors that can influence the salary of an RN. These include:
Education and Experience
RNs with higher degrees and more experience typically earn higher salaries. RNs with a master’s degree in nursing or a doctoral degree in nursing can earn significantly higher salaries than those with only a bachelor’s degree.
The type of specialty an RN chooses can also affect their salary. RNs who specialize in certain areas, such as pediatrics, oncology, or critical care, can expect to earn higher salaries than RNs who specialize in other areas.
The location of the RN’s job can also affect their salary. RNs who work in certain states, such as California, may earn higher salaries than RNs who work in other states.
The type of employer an RN works for can also affect their salary. RNs who work in hospitals may earn higher salaries than those who work in other types of healthcare facilities, such as nursing homes or outpatient clinics.
Lowest Paid RN Specialty
The lowest paid RN specialty is typically the medical-surgical specialty. According to PayScale, the average salary for a medical-surgical nurse is $63,966 per year. This specialty typically requires less specialized training and experience than other specialties.
Other Low Paid RN Specialties
Other low paid RN specialties include:
- Home health nursing: The average salary for a home health nurse is $56,429 per year. Home health nurses typically provide care in the patient’s home and may work with elderly, disabled, or chronically ill patients.
- Telemetry nursing: The average salary for a telemetry nurse is $64,837 per year. Telemetry nurses typically monitor patient vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels, and provide care and monitoring for patients in the hospital.
- Emergency nursing: The average salary for an emergency nurse is $64,837 per year. Emergency nurses typically provide care for patients in the emergency room or trauma center and must be able to think quickly and respond to changing conditions.
- Obstetric nursing: The average salary for an obstetric nurse is $64,837 per year. Obstetric nurses typically provide care for pregnant women and may assist in labor and delivery.
The Benefits of Being a Low Paid RN
Although being a low paid RN can be challenging, there are some benefits to this specialty. For example, low paid RNs often have more flexible schedules and can work part-time or per diem. This can give them more time to pursue other interests or activities outside of work. Additionally, low paid RNs may have more job security than higher-paid RNs, as they are typically in greater demand.
The Challenges of Being a Low Paid RN
Being a low paid RN can also be challenging. Low paid RNs may not have access to the same benefits as higher-paid RNs, such as health insurance and retirement plans. Additionally, they may not be able to take advantage of professional development opportunities, such as continuing education courses.
In conclusion, the lowest paid RN specialty is typically medical-surgical nursing. Other low paid RN specialties include home health nursing, telemetry nursing, emergency nursing, and obstetric nursing. Although being a low paid RN can be challenging, there are some benefits, such as flexible schedules and greater job security.