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Diary of a Trauma Nurse
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About Me

My name is Cory. I am a mom, a wife, a NaNa, and a critical care nurse that lives in Nashville, TN. I have found my calling in ER/Trauma/ICU. Each day I find myself experiencing life changing events and hope that by reading my posts, you will experience and feel some of what I do. If you read nothing else, please take time to read "The Hardest Question Ever Asked". It's my very first posting. And if for some reason you think you see your story don't. It's not about you or anyone you know. =)


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Monday, March 16, 2009

How Much Do Trauma Nurses Make???????

There have been so many of you that have asked this not to mention the multiples that have actually Googled this question that I would try to give you some insight. It may or may not be helpful. Hope it at least sheds some light on it and answers some of your questions.

Basically from the many different jobs I've held, there is a pay scale based on years of experience. Let me stress, this is not THE pay scale, this is just an example because the pay differs not only from companies, but hospitals and geographic areas. For example, there is an annual difference of approximately 6K between Los Angeles and New York. The "Add - Ons" are based on what I've been paid at the various jobs I've held.

0-1 YRS - Approximately 20.00/hr. BASE Pay
1-4 YRS - Approximately 24.00/hr. BASE Pay
5-9 YRS - Approximately 26.00/hr. BASE Pay
10-19 YRS -Approximately 28.00/hr. BASE Pay
20 + YRS - Approximately 30.00/hr. BASE Pay


Critical Care which some hospitals pay and some don't. (Yes, I know, it's unbelieveable!)

Some pay anywhere from $2.00 - $6.00/hr. differential

3-11 PM Shift Differential ranges anywhere from 2.75 - 4.00/hr. ADDITIONAL
11p-7a Shift Differential ranges anywhere from 4.00 - 6.00/hr. ADDITIONAL

WEEKEND SHIFT DIFFERENTIAL ranges anywhere from $0 - 6.00/hr extra.

So, based on where you work and your experience, you could get paid anywhere from 20.00/hr to 42.00/hr.

Then again, there are always hospitals willing to pay "INCENTIVES" which are time and a half for signing up extra or pay bonus'. One job I had would give up to $300.00 per night for coming in when they were short of staff. (At times, depending on the incentives or bonus' it could even be anywhere from 60.00 - 75.00/hr.) That doesn't include overtime for the extra shifts worked either. I did that 2-3 times in one week and had a pretty nice pay check but it gets old working short after awhile and never being home with the family.

I CAN tell you this. Don't think about going into Trauma Nursing for the money. You can make the SAME money by doing other types of Nursing. Make sure if you are choosing Trauma Nursing, ER Nursing, or any other type of Critical Care nursing you:
1) Are going into Nursing because you are COMPASSIONATE and want to HELP PEOPLE
3) Can stand blood, guts, and basically any type of GORE.
4) Have a brain that can think CRITICALLY
5) DON'T get your feelings hurt easily, either by doctors, other nurses, patients OR family members.

Last but not least, if you DO want to be a nurse, don't let ANYONE or ANYTHING stop you. It's an AMAZING career!

I'm sure I left a lot out, but I hope this little bit of information helped.

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 12:34 PM


compassionate- check
can stand long hours- check
3 & 4- check/i need to work on
and number 5.. makes me worried because i DO get my feelings hurt easily.. how do you overcome that??

I also agree with you!!! If you become a nurse.. PLEASE don't do it for the money because when you are taking care of a patient, you need to be as friendly and compassionate as possible. It doesn't make them feel comfortable when you are so obvious to not wanting to be there. Lets make it more of a career instead of a JOB. Because with a career, you LOVE being there.. with a job, you are OBLIGATED to do it.. there is a big difference.
Hey Britt!

Thanks for the great feedback!

#5 - No worries! How to overcome. THat comes with time and experience. Some of it is personality but the more experienced you become and the more self confidence you have the less opportunities arise that allow for hurt feelings. I remember being a new Trauma nurse and having my feelings hurt all the time. Now, I don't hesitate to tell a doctor to get away from my patient or report him/her if I feel my patient is in jeopardy or not getting adequate care.
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