Due Date: Day 7 Individual Forum

Nursing Wage 1

Nursing Wage

Nurses are an important part of the medical industry, and their wage should reflect that. With recent spikes in advertisements for medical school nearby that teach how to become medical assistants and nurses, there should also be a spike in the number of working nurses, but this is not so. In the state of Maryland and surrounding metropolitan area, there has been a decline in nurses, which has created a nursing shortage in this area. The United States Department of Labor has predicted that there will be a need for at least 1.2 million nurses between the years of 2004 and 2014 in order to fill the vacated and new nurse positions.( IWPR) This is a huge shortage between those ten years. The reason for the huge deficit in nurses is because of supply and demand. This estimate for the number of needed nurses between those ten years is based on the number of employed nurses, and not the number of trained nurses. There are a growing number of nurses who are choosing to take a profession that is outside of nursing. Therefore, in order to resolve this issue and increase the supply of nurses, the state and surrounding areas of Maryland needs to look at the reason why many trained nurses are choosing to take non-nurse related jobs.

There are many reasons that are affecting the supply of nurses throughout the United States. One of the reasons that are not taken into consideration is turnover. Turnover is averaging 21 percent nationally in acute hospitals.( IWPR) One of the more obvious reasons that are affecting the supply of nurses is the issues of nurses’ wages and working conditions. Another related problem is the hospitals unwillingness to change and increase the wages for nurses. When hospitals started to complain about the shortage of nurses throughout the region, there was nothing considerably done to help attract nurses. Because of this, the problem grew. It is noted by the US Government Accountability Office that “an emerging nurse shortage was caused by job satisfaction problems as “inadequate staffing, heavy workloads, the increased use of overtime, a lack of sufficient support staff, and adequacy of wages”. Wages vary considerably compared to local markets. The median hourly wage for hospital nurses in Oakland, CA is $38.85 compared to the median wages for Norfolk, VA which are $19.44. Some of the wage difference may be attributed to the cost of living, but they are still pretty uneven.

A nurses pay is determined by several factors which include the risks and educational credentials. Wages growth is more concentrated on in the early years of a nurse’s career, which makes earnings percentage increase after 20 years a mere 1 to 3 percent. ( IWPR) Usually having a college degree compared to a high school degree should require higher earnings, but in the nursing profession there is a huge degree of similarity. This similarity is seen no matter if a person had training through a diploma program, associates program, or bachelors program. In saying that, wages are not as highly based on the degree program as in other professions. Because there is so much similarity in wages no matter the degree that a nurse has, the supply and demand theory is not really accurate in this profession.

In order for Maryland and the metropolitan area to solve this problem and increase the supply of nurses, several things need to be done. There definitely needs to be an increase in wage in order to attract more nurses, trained nurses in non-nursing positions, and potential nurses. There also needs to be a distinguished difference between wages for high risk that nurses encounter. Because there is a shortage in nurses, there should be enough funds to do this increase. Also, I would suggest that the nursing conditions are improved. There should be more surveys done, and taken into consideration by the higher lever human resources departments within the hospitals. Those few changes are the start to increasing the number of employed nurses in a nurse field. There are so many advertisements for getting the training to become join the nursing field that there should not be any type of shortage. Once the issues are known then they can be address.


Solving the Nursing Shortage through Higher Wages (2006).PDF. Retrieved February 15,

2009 from