Inflation Outpaces Rise in Salaries for Nurses

Rising inflation in the past year has eroded some of the recent gains nurses in the United States have made in their salaries, according to a study carried out by Simple Nursing.

Pay for nursing went up only 1.3% over the past year, while inflation has surged 4.7%.

This followed a period in which there was a steady rise in real wages for the profession – between 2012 and 2021 salaries for nurses went up by 27% in the U.S. to more than $76,000, including a 4.2% increase during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic.

Even though female nurses constitute 88.5% of the workforce, they earn only 77% of what men do, on average. In addition, white men with a bachelor’s degree have a higher salary, on average, than women with advanced degrees.

When adjusted for cost of living, nurses in California are compensated at the highest rate in the nation. Hawaii, despite an average salary for nurses of more than $100,000, is the worst in the nation for adjusted salary, due to the state’s extremely high cost of living.

The study also showed that interest in the nursing profession went up significantly during the pandemic in 2020 and again this year, with enrollment in nursing schools surging across the nation.

For the study, Simple Nursing said that it incorporated data from the IPUMS-CPS (Integrated Public Use Microdata Series Current Population Survey) conducted by the United States Census Bureau. It also explored variables related to industry, salary, gender, and age.

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