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3 Ways Young Nurses Can Make More Money

In the nursing world, the fact is that the "older" nurses make the most money. This isn't always true though. There are multiple ways younger nurses can make more money without having to wait decades to have years of experience dictate how much money you can make. Here are 3 ways younger nurses can increase their pay aside from the obvious such as travel nursing.

Tip 1. Become certified.

Ask your hospital if there are benefits to becoming certified. While some units may even require certification, many organizations will pay extra for nurses to have a certification. The certifications will vary depending on the unit the nurse testing is working for, such as the CCRN for ICU. Telemetry units and some ER units may pay more for the PCCN certification. Both the CCRN and PCCN are done through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. The fine print on certifications is to first make sure that your hospital pays more for the certification and then second, there is a number of hours that need to be worked prior to testing for the certification. New grad nurses will not be able to test right out of nursing school, but the amount of hours needed will come faster than you might think. To test for the CCRN you will need 1,750 hours of experience in an ICU. If you were able to start as a new grad in an ICU, by the time you have your first year under your belt you will be able to test for certification and make more money.

Tip 2. Loyalty Isn't Everything

Many organizations will give yearly raises for inflation and loyalty to the company. However, this is not always the case. If you live in a city, the odds are there are many hospitals in your area. It may seem backwards that nurses who "job hop" get paid more but it does sometimes work. If your job hasn't given you a raise that is well deserved, another hospital might pay you more just because you have an extra year of experience, regardless of how awesome of a nurse you are. This will also give you bartering power as you will have leverage to either let your company give you money for your worth or have to see you leave to another company. Every hospital is different and has different needs. It is common for hospitals that have high turnover to offer higher pay to entice any nurse with a valid RN license to start work as soon as possible. Working at a hospital like this may not be the easiest thing to do long term as you yourself will become burned out eventually, but in the short term you could potentially make a lot more money.

Tip 3. Ask For Leadership

Leadership positions in the nursing world are sometimes easier for newer nurses to get than some might think. Being a charge nurse on any hospital floor is challenging. A lot of "older nurses" may not want leadership positions because of the added stress and difficulty that comes with the position. First you will need to prove yourself to your hospital administration that you are capable of leadership positions. Second, you need to ask for opportunities for leadership. The simple task of asking can go a long way. Leadership positions a lot of the time are given to nurses who simply ask and want them. There will, of course, be a lot of stress and difficulty that comes with being a charge nurse, or other type of leader, but it will give you more money. And remember, a small differential will go a long way. If being a charge nurse only has a $1.00 differential, that will be $36.00 per week, $72.00 a two week pay period, $144.00 a month, $1,728.00 a year.

Thank you for reading!

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