Salary of Nurses in United States, United Kingdom, and other Foreign Countries

Higher income and a residency in a foreign country are the most common reasons that entice Filipinos to take up BS Nursing.   In the Philippines, government nurses earn about P13,300 a month which is mandated by the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002.  Those employed in private hospitals earn as low as P4,000 a month.  Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. even pointed out that a nurse’s salary in the US is way more than the President’s salary.

According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the top six countries which employ Filipino nurses are the United States, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Taiwan and Ireland.

The United States and the United Kingdom seem to be the most popular target work locations for Filipino nurses.  In the US, some nurses are paid by the hour and there those who get fixed monthly salaries.  On the average, nurses paid by the hour earn an income of about $53,595 a year; while those who occupy salaried positions receive an annual salary of $65,065.

Hourly nurses work either on full-time or part-time basis.  The average base rate per hour is said to be $19.00 while part-timers are offered as much as $35.10 per hour.  Part timers are paid more since they do not have health insurance and other employee benefits enjoyed by full-time nurses.  Rates are also higher for nurses who work on graveyard shifts and even higher for shifts during weekends.

Just like other jobs, more experience commands higher pay.  More experienced nurses are offered an average hourly rate of $30.65 The median salary for nurses with 1-4 years experience is about $45,000.

Locality also affects the salary of nurses.  Rates differ from one state to another.  The top five states where nurses are in demand are New York, California, Illinois, New Jersey and Massachusetts.  Larger cities offer higher salaries for nurses but of course, working in larger cities means a more stressful workload. The median salary in New York is $54,000 and $50,000 in California.

Facilities in suburban areas pay their nurses more compared to facilities in urban and rural areas.   Nurses in suburban facilities are said to be paid at an average of $30.30 per hour which is $1.05 more than what nurses in urban facilities earn. Those in rural facilities earn $5.30 less than nurses in suburban facilities.

Nurses are also paid depending on their specialty.  OR nurses earn the most, followed by nurses working in ambulatory surgery/outpatient settings, ICU/CCU, OBG/newborn care and medical/surgery nurses.

In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service created the Agenda for Change program which recommends the pay and career structure for nurses.  Nurses are classified from grade A to grade I.  Newly registered nurses begin at grade D.  Grade D nurses are those with limited duties and who work with a senior practice nurse.  The starting base pay for a grade D nurse is £17,057 with an hourly rate of £8.73.  Grade I nurses receive the highest pay.  Their starting base pay is £29,512 with an hourly rate of £15.11.

Of course, private hospitals pay higher rates than NHS facilities.  The Agenda for Change pay scale can be used as a gauge on how much nurses earn in the UK.

Requirements for nurses in the US are quite stringent compared to the requirement imposed in the UK.  In order to work as a full-time nurse in the US, an English proficiency examination (TOEFL or IELTS) and a competency test (NCLEX) must be passed. These examinations are quite rigid. In the UK, nurses are accepted as long as they have at least two years of work experience.


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