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

by Soliant Health on October 1, 2015

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!


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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!

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Nursing Pay Rates, Explained

by Tera Tuten on September 24, 2015

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:



Nursing Blog of the Month:

by Tera Tuten on September 17, 2015

Recent media coverage has brought great attention to the role of nurses in our society. At the Miss America pageant held recently, Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson chose to perform a monologue about being a nurse in her talent segment. Joy Behar, host of the variety show “The View,” questioned the stethoscope around Johnson’s neck, a comment which quickly erupted in a social media storm in defense of nurses, which then spurred the #NursesUnite trending topic.

Every month in our ‘Nursing Blog of the Month’ feature, we will introduce a nursing-related blog that we enjoy reading and know you will too. We also hope that this series can help promote greater awareness, especially to those who work outside of the healthcare field, about the critical role nurses play.

Blog of the MonthGail Ingram -

This month’s blogger of the month is Gail Ingram. Gail is the founder of but the website is not about her.  The site, which started as Gail’s nursing business blog (which explains the name), has evolved into something much more exciting.

It is now the first health and wellness website authored solely by nurses and strives to correct misconceptions promoted by mainstream media, report the latest scientific research, and provide expert nursing opinion. empowers nurses to take their health promotion to the next level and provides readers with accurate and reliable health information.


Tell us about your background.  What led you to nursing and how long have you been a nurse?

Nursing was ingrained in me from childhood.  Growing up, my sick grandmother and I took care of each other.  But after high school, I travelled the world and worked in fashion and media production before my nursing career.  It is the media experience combined with my BSN from UT Austin and my MS from NYU that made the growth of possible.

As a registered nurse of ten years, I did everything from critical care to home care.  I thought I might teach nursing someday so I set out on a mission to try many different specialties.  I was a travel and contract nurse for over 6 years which provided opportunities for unique experiences.  Working in different areas gave me a leg up in graduate school and helps me to publish a wide variety of topics on

While at NYU, I saw that the campus health center was struggling to reach students in a meaningful way so I pitched a health column to the popular student blog,  They took a chance on me and my column developed a surprisingly large readership.  I won a prestigious peer-nominated President’s Service Award for my efforts and it gave me the boost to expand

When I’m not working on the website, I’m a primary care adult nurse practitioner making house calls in Manhattan.  I love what I do and I highly recommend that any nurse considering advanced education get started ASAP.  I wish I hadn’t waited a decade to do it.  But then again, I had to cross everything off my RN bucket list and that took some time.


What inspired you to start blogging?

In 2010, I started a concierge nursing service in Manhattan and along with it, I created a blog to communicate with clients and their families.   The blog took on a life of its own and, while in grad school, my goals for the site expanded.  I saw how it could reach a much wider audience with evidence-based health information, showcase the nursing profession, and become a leadership tool for nurses.

My Facebook feed gives me daily inspiration when I see “friends” sharing inaccurate health information from millennial fashion bloggers and self-proclaimed wellness “experts”.  I am motivated to engage nurses (the REAL health experts) in the e-health conversation.


Has anything surprised you about starting a blog?

If it is done right, starting a blog is time-consuming and becomes a barrier to sustainability and longevity for many potential nurse writers.  That is why we provide, maintain, and promote the collaborative online platform.  Nurses can focus on the writing; we take care of the rest.

Also, there is a learning curve when writing, especially for nurses.  Nurses are taught how to chart on patients which is very different from a writing style that is buzz worthy and gets a lot of hits.  We have a media advisor who created a formula for us, we have a well-established mission, and we have editors who work closely with nurses to help cultivate their voice.  All of these things combine to improve quality and shorten the trial and error period for new writers.


What can our readers expect to find on your blog?  And is there anything they can get involved with?

Most nursing blogs target other nurses with nursing perspectives or nursing career advice.   We are doing something very different.  We don’t turn our knowledge inward, redirecting it back into the profession.  Instead, we are showing the public what nurses know and do.

Without exposure to nurses, healthy young and middle-aged adults (who have never been hospitalized) have no idea what role nurses play in healthcare so they rely on stereotypes.  These misconceptions prevent growth of the profession and minimize the education, experience, and hard work of nurses.  The public will take a new interest in nursing and abandon old stereotypes when they find person value in us as health experts.  It isn’t enough to simply tell them how great we are—they need to see it for themselves.

At we show people how smart and capable nurses are by having nurses provide readers with information about current health issues.   By doing this, the public better understands what we do, develops a personal appreciation for nurses, and ultimately the perception of the profession is enhanced.  This is in addition to cultivating nursing leadership and making the world a healthier place.

If any nurses are interested in writing with us, they can click on the “Contribute” tab at the top of the main page and send us a note.  No writing experience is necessary.


Is there one piece of advice you would give to a nurse at the start of their nursing career?

I encourage all nurses (new or seasoned) to practice at the top of their license.  This means being the most effective nurse possible and taking on leadership roles.  Though, it is important to keep in mind, this practice may not be rewarded with money.

Unlike other professions, money is not a marker for success in nursing.  However, there are a lot of other outside-the-box jobs for nurses in the fields of medical technology, banking, and policymaking that come with a higher paycheck.  Regardless of which direction a new nurse goes, it is my hope that they find joy and pride in their work.


Connect with / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest

Get to know Gail Ingram better: Personal Statement and Bio / LinkedIn / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter


Do you have a favorite nursing blog or run a nursing blog yourself? Nominate them or yourself to be featured in the comments below!


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Tell us about your #FirstWeekFun moments! – Twitter Contest

by Soliant Health on September 2, 2015

back to school contestHead back to school with one of two $50 Staples eGift cards by taking part in Soliant’s Back-to-School Twitter contest! [click to continue…]



Nursing Blog of the Month: Nurse Eye Roll

by Tera Tuten on August 14, 2015

In our ‘Nursing Blog of the Month’ feature, every month we introduce a new blog that we enjoy reading and know you will too.

Blog of the Month nurse eye roll

This month we’re delighted to introduce Kati Kleber, the nurse behind Nurse Eye Roll. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Kati writes about nursing from the frontline and shares her experiences with a good dose of humor and an ever greater dose of honesty.

Tell us a little bit about your background. What led you into nursing and how long have you been a nurse? Kati Kleber, Nurse Eye Roll

I have been a nurse for 5 years.  I am currently a nurse in a neuro ICU and have been for the past 3 years.  Prior to that, I spent my first two years as a nurse on a cardiothoracic and vascular surgical stepdown unit.  I have my BSN and am thinking about getting an MSN or PhD.  I am highly involved in Shared Governance at my hospital and just obtained my CCRN certification!  I went into nursing because I liked medicine and I liked teaching, so nursing made sense to me.  I started taking classes and hoped for the best!  Thankfully it worked out.

What inspired you to start blogging?

I was frustrated with the lack of support for the newbie nurse and nursing students online from currently practicing bedside nurses.  I created what I wish I had when I started out as a nurse.

Has anything surprised you about starting a blog?

There have been a lot of things that I’ve had to teach myself how to do.. a lot of technical things, things related to business and taxes that I was not prepared for! I’ve had to learn along to way and talk to others that have done similar things in different fields.   It’s definitely been a challenge!

What can our readers expect to find on your blog?

I like to have a mix of informational, inspirational, and humorous posts on my blog.  I occasionally host giveaways and contests on the blog that readers can become involved with and comments are always welcome!

Finally, is there one piece of advice you would give to a nurse at the start of their nursing career?

Be honest about what you don’t know, communicate with your preceptor and support staff, and try to be as independent as possible while on orientation so that you’ll be ready to rock when you’re done!

Connect with Kati on her social media channels Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

Do you have a favorite nursing blog or run a nursing blog yourself? Nominate them or yourself to be featured in the comments below!