RNs among essential workers least satisfied with wage increases

Nurse wages may have increased throughout the pandemic, but the perception that these wages were fair have decreased, according to a recent study from Payscale. 

The study included data on the most common titles obtained from Payscale's online salary survey. Positions included in the study were generic nurses, emergency room nurses and critical care nurses. 

Since 2019, median wages for generic nurses grew 14 percent, critical care nurses grew 11 percent and emergency room nurses grew 10 percent. 

However, belief that wages were fair dropped since 2019 for all types of nurses. In 2019, 25 percent of generic nurses and critical care nurses felt they were fairly paid. Twenty-four percent of emergency room nurses felt they were fairly paid in 2019.

In 2021, fair pay perception dropped across all three titles. Twenty percent of general nurses, 15 percent of critical care nurses and 21 percent of emergency room nurses felt they were fairly paid in 2021.

Wage increases have been used to meet the high demand for nursing staff during the pandemic. A previous report from Payscale found a "strong correlation between fair pay perception and intent to leave." 

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