To an outside observer, a nurse’s salary is simply a base however this is almost never the case. Nurses make a ton of money with shift differential – basically added bonus in the form of hourly rate for working non-traditional hours(day shift). Afternoon shift will typically give you a rate of $2-3 more per hour while the dreaded night shift will pay an additional $4-6 more per hour. Check out the union contract to see an example of shift differential, bonuses and overtime/double-time rules.

In addition, there are bonuses for missing meal breaks due to workload, preceptorship of other new nurses, working too many weekend shifts, and working holidays.

I’ll save the best for last, well sort of. Nurses tend to work a lot of hours because of the general nursing ethical principles which mandate staying with your patient(s). So the good news is, often times you’ll work more than 12 hours during a shift and that means double-time for every hour after your shift per law( and is going to happen more often than you think due to the 12 hour shifts you’ll typically work.