Andy’s #21EarlyDays: A 4:30 AM Wake-Up Call


21 early days challenge

What are you doing at 4:30 AM? If you’re like most of us, chances are you’ll be laying in bed, burrowed in your sheets, and snoozing off the last few hours of rest before your day officially begins.

Meet Andy. Andy is a senior recruiter in the Soliant Nursing andy 21 early daysDivision. His fondness of out-of-the-box experiences recently led him to try the #21EarlyDays challenge originated by Filipe Castro Ramos.

As part of this challenge, Andy will be waking up at 4:30 AM for 21 consecutive work days. Why? Let’s hear from Andy himself. His motivations for taking part in#21EarlyDays are:

  • To see the world through a different lens
  • To relate to people that are up/wake up that early – we have many nurses that work the night shift or the very early shift, and get their perspective
  • To get a bunch of stuff done!

We’ll be following Andy’s #21EarlyDays journey on the Soliant blog. Our motivations? To show support for a bravely inspiring colleague and to share with the rest of the world what he has graciously offered to share with us.

Next week, we’ll be recapping the first few days of Andy’s #21EarlyDays challenge. Stay tuned!


Our Picks for the Top 10 Traits of Highly Effective Doctors


After such a great response to our last ranking of rankings, The Final Word on America’s Top 10 Nursing Schools, we’re back in search of the final word again – this time, to take a look at what qualities patients want in a doctor. With more and more hospitals under pressure to improve their doctors’ bedside manners, we look at what matters to both the patients they treat and the nurses they work alongside.

Traits of a Good Doctor

To do so, we aggregated together rankings and comments from lists across the board: from forum and social media postings to systematic studies, such as the most widely credited one of its kind released by the Mayo Clinic. We also asked for your input over on social media, which we’ve shared below. There’s still the chance to share your thoughts too – either in our poll or in the comments below!

Continue reading “Our Picks for the Top 10 Traits of Highly Effective Doctors”


Nursing Pay Rates, Explained


Online lists stating the average pay for nurses nationwide can vary wildly and often suggest that huge rises or drop have occurred, but what’s the final word on how (and what) nurses actually get paid under various circumstances? We take a look at the most up-to-date numbers and what the statistics can – and can’t – tell us.

Soliant Nursing Jobs by State

Pay scales, low ranges

While some lower-paying states average in the $20s for per-hour pay, stats show that some areas within the top ten highest paying states also average as low as $26.75. This raises the question that these lists may not be averaging just RN pay into these salary numbers.

A registered nurse working at a big city hospital – on average – can earn about $40/hour, though a licensed practical nurse in a small-town rest home might not make half that wage.

It’s important to remember that hourly wages don’t reflect the extra hours and higher pay of overtime, which almost all nurses work voluntarily and/or as part of their contract, “as needed.” We spotted one salary site poster, who identified themselves as an RN say: “you might have to work 80 hours a week but even at $20-25/hour, you can still bring in $100K a year”

Pay scales, high ranges

nursing pay rates explained staffNursing in America is a vast profession, covering millions of people employed in thousands of different positions and hundreds of job types: a chief nurse anesthetist can make more than $160,000 a year, five times what some LPNs bring home in the same time.

Keep in mind that, while some scales may be brought down in average hourly pay by including LPNs with RNs, other scales from job sites and the like may be raised by including numbers from higher-paid senior and specialist nurses. These lists also tend to be perpetuated over many other sites and blogs which may not verify the source or accuracy of the information for themselves or put the information in its proper context.

 Location, location, location

As of May 2014, the BLS reported that RN salaries across various states varied massively but according to these latest stats, the average American RN makes about $32 an hour, or about $66,000 a year.

Annual Mean Wage of RN 2014

However, RNs working in the highest paying states can earn far more than nurses elsewhere and among the highest-paying regions of those states RNs can earn even more. For example, while the median pay for RNs in California is $46.38/hour, or about $96,470/year, RNs in the modest 51,000-resident city of Watsonville, CA, typically make more than $65/hour, or about $136,570 per year.

Annual Mean Wage of RN 2014 by area

Here’s how annual salaries in the highest-paying areas of America’s highest-paying state for RNs play-out:

Area of California Average RN Wage 2014
Santa Cruz-Watsonville CA $136570
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City CA Metropolitan Div $134260
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont CA $130480
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara CA $130030
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward CA Metropolitan Division $127480


If you think that’s astronomical for a non-specialist RN, a nurse in rural Soldad, CA made $331,346 in 2008, including $211,257 in overtime. Between 206 and 2013, she was paid nearly $2 million and was one of 42 nurses in California to make more than a million dollars in the 6 years between 2006 and 2012. While that is an extreme example, here’s how much a typical RN in the five highest paying states brings in:

Highest paying states in 2014 (median pay):

State Hourly / Annual Pay
1. California $46.38 / $96,470
2. Hawaii $43.38 / $90,220
3. Massachusetts $41.12 / $85,530
4. Alaska $40.22 / $83,650
5. Oregon $39.12 $81,3800


Contrast that with what you’d be making as an RN in the five lowest-paying states in America:

Lowest paying states* (median pay):

(*Not including statistics for Guam or Puerto Rico)

State Hourly / Annual Pay
50. South Dakota $25.04 / $52090
49. Iowa $25.58 / $53220
48. Alabama $26.39 / $54900
47. Mississippi $26.41 / $54940
46. West Virginia $26.59 / $55310


Pay rates by training, specialty, and type of work environment

Nursing salaries vary not only between states and cities, but also between specialized knowledge and skills, positions, and environment. For example, while a staff nurse in an occupational health department might make a medium annual salary of $78,060, a transplant coordinator can bring in an average $81,333.

Nurses in clinics typically earn less than nurses working in hospitals, while nurse administrators, nurse practitioners, and specialists such as anesthetists make significantly more than general RNs. Here’s a look at some typical annual salaries for such positions:

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist: $97,542
  • Head Nurse: $98,283
  • Nurse Practitioner: $97,568
  • Nurse In Charge of Intensive Care Unit: $100,403
  • Certified Nurse Midwife $96,323
  • Nursing Director: $131,279
  • Certified Nurse Anesthetist: $166,445
  • Chief Nurse Anesthetist: $190,869

Nurses at work

Overall pay -vs- regional cost-of-living

Having said all that, it’s useful to bear in mind that the highest-paying nursing job may not necessarily give you the highest standard of living. By moving from an RN position in Indianapolis, Indiana (earning an average annual salary of $61,650) to Philadelphia, you’d have to be making $79,028 a year to have the same lifestyle you had back at the “crossroads of America”. Unfortunately, a typical RN salary in Philadelphia is about $ 74,030 a year.

Wondering what your quality of life will be if you’re earning a particular nursing salary in a particular state or city? Check out’s Cost Of Living Calculator.

America’s largest profession

With more than 3 million RNs alone (more than 4 million nursing and nursing-related staff, including nurse aides and assistants), nursing is the single most common profession in America. It’s no wonder then that nursing salaries and hourly wages seem to vary so widely across regions, workplaces, and employment circumstances and that the official statistics are so hard to decipher.

How do the official salary figures for nursing pay rates compare to your experiences? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Soliant Nursing Jobs by State


Other Soliant blogs on nursing pay rates:


We are one of the 10 Largest Healthcare Staffing Firms in the U.S.!


sia-largest-healthcare-staffing-firmsWe’re back from an enriching 2015 Soliant Leadership Summit in Orlando, FL and we couldn’t wait to announce that Soliant Health has earned a spot in Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2015 10 Largest Healthcare Staffing Firms in the U.S.!

Soliant has made its mark on every SIA report thus far, but we are entering the Top 10 Largest Healthcare Staffing Firms rankings for the first time. In addition, we achieved the rankings for 13th largest travel nursing firm in the U.S. and the third largest allied healthcare staffing firm in the U.S.

The growth of Soliant Health has made an impact on more than the services we provide and the areas we service. Personal growth has been one of the greatest results of growing bigger as a company. Our success is owed to Soliant colleagues who have made it their mission to make lives better for those who make lives better.

We’d also like to thank every person who has entrusted Soliant Health with their staffing and career needs. We look forward to continuing to provide for you in the best way we can!



Heart of the Matter – Life at Soliant


Recently I had the opportunity to visit a client in the Lonestar State. Since everything is bigger in Texas, my trip exceeded any expectations I could have possibly conjured. While meeting with Special Education Directors and Coordinators was a great learning experience, the real insight I gained was from shadowing my bilingual SLP, Gabriela, in special education classrooms.

I was so excited to meet with Gabriela, mainly because as a recruiter, you talk on the phone for months with professionals you place and have images of what you think they are like off the phone. Gabriela is a sweet precious soul and was exactly what I had imagined she would be in real life. Gabriela was formerly a special education teacher for almost a decade before returning to graduate school to pursue a career in Speech-Language Pathology.


Our tour began through the main building of the elementary school and proceeded down to the hallway with the self-contained special education classrooms of students with moderate-to-severe disorders/behavioral challenges. What happened next I could not have prepared for (cue: reach for tissues).

As we entered the 5-6 -year-old life skills classroom, the students were scared (albeit excited) to see new faces. Gabriela immediately put the students at ease. I rushed over and “got on their level” and sat on the floor and began coloring with Ricky and Alyssa. On the other side of the table were Daniel and Juan. Gabriela explained having these students identify pictures and letters is a big achievement, as was writing their name. Daniel was working on letters and coloring animals that matched with the letter (e.g. L for Lizard). While it took a few tries, Gabriela was able to work with Daniel to correctly identify the letter L, as well as correctly say Lizard (aka: fluency!). She also was able to help identify  some articulation issues with Alyssa and Daniel. I perceived Ricky as more non-verbal, so when he was able to write the letter B on command, we all cheered at the table and gave high-fives! I wanted to immediately scoop up Ricky and take him back to Atlanta with me; however that idea was not well received (I wonder why?). I totally get what our school professionals mean when they say they become attached to students and from the bottom of their hearts truly care to see students achieve success. The beaming smiles I saw on the children’s faces when we cheered them or high-fived them was gut-wrenching.

These children emulate childhood innocence. They are precious souls that are genuinely being changed by special education teachers, paraprofessionals, speech-language pathologists, educational diagnosticians, teachers of the visually impaired, occupational therapists, and all other therapists/teachers/specialists Soliant Health connects to schools nationwide. When we mention our mission statement, “We make life better for those who make lives better,” we truly do just that! I am beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to not only visit with clients and learn more about each specific district, but to experience first-hand what it’s like to work with students. These travelers we staff in districts across the nation are sincerely changing others’ lives. I have never been more proud to be a part of such a wonderful organization that is Soliant Health after directly seeing the impact our service provides.


How has a doctor impacted your life?



It’s National Doctor’s Day and we want to bring attention to the memorable doctors in our lives.  You know…  the ones who find time to catch up on life, the ones who “feel” your pain and make it better,  and the ones who care beyond compare. Such doctors leave a mark on us that we carry for life and use as a gold standard for other doctors we encounter down the road. Today, we’re asking you to answer the following question: How has a doctor impacted your life? Share your story below and be automatically entered to win a $100 Amazon Gift Certificate!

Happy National Doctor’s Day from all of us at Soliant Health!


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