How Much Did Nurses Make in 2015?

December 29th, 2015

During your career it is important to periodically take stock of the salary data related to your profession, and the nursing industry is no exception. If you feel you are being underpaid, maybe it is time to look for a more lucrative position somewhere else? For those new to the nursing profession, it serves as inspiration to see how much experienced nurses are making — maybe it is good idea to earn your RN certification?

With more informed medical professionals in mind, here is a look at what nurses are making at the end of 2015. This data — from — is based on nursing positions and not location, so understand an area’s overall cost of living does affect the average salary.

RN Salary by Years of Experience

Registered Nurses enjoy a good starting salary right out of the gate, with an average yearly pay a shade under $50,000 at $49,910. These average earnings stay around the same for the first few years of a nurse’s career. Once five years of experience is attained, the average salary rises to a shade higher than $60,000, with veteran nurses with over 20 years of experience enjoying an average salary of $67,753 per year.

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Salaries

Certified Nursing Assistants obviously make less than other nursing disciplines, with an initial starting salary of around $24,000 per year. More notably, their average salary barely rises based on experience, as CNAs with 20 years of experience only average $25,808 per year. Once again, it pays to earn your RN or LPN certification!

LPN Salaries by Experience

While Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) don’t make as much as RNs, their overall salaries do increase by experience level, unlike with CNAs. New LPNs average $34,747 per year and those with over 20 years of experience average $41,499 on an annual basis. If nurses want to maximize their earning potential, moving into one of the other more lucrative nursing disciplines is a must.

Other Nursing Disciplines that Pay the Best

The PayScale survey noted the other nursing disciplines offering the highest earning potential in the profession. Staff nurses, charge nurses, as well as emergency and operating room nurses with over 20 years of experience all command yearly salaries in the mid-70s. License Nurse Practitioners boast the highest salaries of all nurses, with yearly pay ranging from the low-80s to nearly six-figures, based on their experience level.

If seeing the earning potential of other nurses inspired you to take your career to a higher level, talk to the experts at Pinnacle Workforce. As one of the top medical staffing agencies in the industry, we can help you maximize your potential. Schedule a meeting with us today!

How will the Continued Legalization of Marijuana affect the Hiring of Nurses?

December 22nd, 2015

The fact that more states are legalizing (or getting ready to legalize) medical and even recreational marijuana is playing havoc with HR managers worried about otherwise qualified candidates failing a pre-employment drug screening. In the medical industry, the hiring of nurses is obviously affected by this growing trend.

Some pundits predict the federal government will legalize or fully decriminalize cannabis by the end of the decade. What should your medical organization do to mitigate the impact of increased marijuana use on your hiring practices? Let’s take a closer look at the situation.

Employers have the Right to forbid their Employees from using Tobacco and Alcohol

Considering employers currently enjoy the right to restrict their workers from smoking and drinking, let alone illicit drug use, marijuana becoming legal won’t impact a company’s ability to drug test nursing candidates or members of their current staff. In fact, one of the most respected hospitals in the country — The Cleveland Clinic — recently added nicotine testing to their pre-employment screening.

If your healthcare organization is located in a state with legal medical or recreational marijuana, it is important your hiring policy clearly states that the legal status of cannabis doesn’t affect its prohibition among your staff. Remind them that all new employees still need to pass a drug test, and marijuana is included on the screen.

Quality patient care remains an overwhelming reason your nursing staff needs to be at their highest efficiency level when on the job. Considering the fact marijuana stays in your system for up to a month after its effects have worn off, a blood or urine test does a relatively poor job of truly measuring cannabis intoxication. Until better blood level standards are developed, however, healthcare employers need to err on the side of caution.

Expect Medical Organizations’ Anti-Drug Policies to remain Legally Enforceable

Recent court decisions have upheld the rights of companies to terminate employees due to failing a random drug test — even in states with some form of legal marijuana. Pay attention to the laws in your state in case they change, as Arizona and Minnesota are current exceptions to this rule as it concerns medical marijuana. Rest assured that as long as companies are allowed to pre-screen candidates for tobacco and alcohol, the same rule applies to marijuana if or when it becomes fully legal in United States.

If your healthcare organization needs assistance in building a top notch team, talk to the experts at Pinnacle Workforce. One of the top medical staffing agencies in the country, we offer the top candidates able to make a difference for your firm. Contact us today!


The American Nursing Association Continues to Mitigate Workplace Bullying

December 15th, 2015

Bullying belongs in no workplace, especially in the medical industry where patient care needs to be the focus. Unfortunately, coworker harassment can be a problem in hospitals and medical offices. The American Nursing Association (ANA) remains acutely aware of the problem and is taking steps to mitigate the issue.

Let’s take a closer look at how the ANA is solving this issue affecting medical offices across the country. Is your workplace one of them?

Safe Work Environments are a Must in the Healthcare Industry

The prime directive of the ANA’s fight against workplace violence in the medical industry is straightforward. They feel the ultimate goal of both RNs and their management is:

“…to create and sustain a culture of respect, which is free of incivility, bullying, and workplace violence. RNs and employers across the health care continuum, including academia, have an ethical, moral, and legal responsibility to create a healthy and safe work environment for RNs and all members of the health care team, health care consumers, families, and communities.”

In fact, the ANA’s own Code of Ethics requires all nurses to “create an ethical environment and culture of civility and kindness, treating colleagues, coworkers, employees, students, and others with dignity and respect.” Those same nurses can expect to be treated in the same manner.

In short, the ANA tolerates no violence of any kind in the nursing profession.

Employers need to implement Best Practices to mitigate Workplace Violence

If your company doesn’t already have a set of policies and procedures to prevent bullying and other forms of workplace violence, they must be implemented as soon as possible. Your operational efficiency, corporate finances, and — most importantly — the quality of patient care will suffer without them. Nurses themselves experience many adverse effects from workplace violence, including: decreased job satisfaction, reduced organizational commitment, decreased personal health, and, in some cases, ultimately leaving the profession itself.

In addition, OSHA’s General Duty Clause requires all employers to provide a workplace free of any hazards that could cause physical harm. Any failure to have an anti-bullying policy in place puts your organization at risk of being cited under that OSHA clause.

ANA Recommended Resources for handling Workplace Violence

The ANA recommends a variety of resources to mitigate workplace bullying. A selection of these resources follows:

The ANA Leadership Institute’s™ “Diversity Matters: Create an Inclusive Nursing Culture that Leads to Better Outcomes” webinar (ANA, 2015b).

“Civility Tool-kit: Resources to Empower Healthcare Leaders to Identify, Intervene, and Prevent Workplace Bullying” (Adeniran et al., 2015).

Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility: Why Nurses Eat Their Young and Each Other (2nd ed.) (Bartholomew, 2014).

Employers should provide these and any other resources to help their staff stamp out bullying at the office. The ANA provides many other excellent resources to mitigate this issue.

If your organization needs additional input on building a top notch staff, talk to the experts at Pinnacle Workforce. One of the top medical employment agencies in the country, we offer quality candidates able to make a positive difference for your firm. Schedule a meeting with us today!

Walking the Fine Line of Becoming Friends with your Boss

December 8th, 2015

A positive company culture makes going into work a bit easier each morning, especially in the stressful healthcare industry. Friendly management plays a large role in nurturing this kind of welcoming environment. But does this mean it’s a good thing to become friends with your boss outside of the office?

A fine line exists between friendship and a positive boss-employee relationship. Let’s take a closer look at this issue with an eye towards keeping your career on an upwards trend.

There isn’t a Magic Formula for the Relationship with your Boss

Since there really isn’t a certified manual for handling the relationship with your work superiors, it is important to treat things in a natural, friendly manner while focusing on being productive in your role. If the relationship with your boss develops into a true friendship outside work, don’t let it become a distraction. Your on-the-job performance is the most important factor — by far — especially if direct patient care is part of your daily responsibilities.

Don’t feel you can slack off because the boss has got your back, so to speak. A false sense of security in this situation can be damaging to both your career and your friendship. It is vital you keep things professional at all times when at work.

Pay Attention to your Coworkers

Once the other employees in the office realize you are becoming good friends with the boss, you’ll need to keep an eye out to ensure an envious coworker doesn’t try to sabotage your position in the office. Maintain a friendly and positive air, while never engaging in the gossiping typical of some workplaces. Foster a sense of teamwork and cooperation to ensure the relationship with your coworkers doesn’t change.

Don’t be Afraid to Say “No”

Don’t let your boss’s status as friend force you into being overworked or anything else that makes you feel uncomfortable. All aspects of your friendship should remain outside of the office. Say no when you have to; the strength of your relationship is hopefully strong enough to handle any minor work disagreements.

If you need any additional insight in navigating the waters of a long career in the medical industry, talk to the experts at Pinnacle Workforce. As one of the top healthcare staffing agencies in the country, we can help you take things to the next level. Schedule time with us as soon as possible!

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