Nurse Recruiting and Retention:
Healthcare Salary And Benefits Guide For Georgia Facilities
The COVID-19 pandemic generated a bevy of hashtags and public displays of appreciation for America’s healthcare employees. From TV ads to fire engine salutes, coordinated pot-and-pan banging, and more, it became en vogue to show you believe that nurses and healthcare workers are our true heroes.
But is that appreciation trickling down into fair salary and benefits for nurses and healthcare workers in Georgia?
Being underpaid is one of the biggest reasons why employees in healthcare feel underappreciated – especially in the wake of the pandemic. But salaries are often the biggest expense for healthcare facilities in Georgia, and offering “lean” compensation can be an attractive option for maintaining budgets.
However, cutting corners in nurse and healthcare staff compensation comes at an even higher price.
Attracting and retaining nursing staff and healthcare workers isn’t just about offering a great facility or work environment. Healthcare professionals need and expect to be paid what they are worth. If your facility is looking to hire, attract and retain nurses and other healthcare staff in Georgia, you’ll want to pay close attention to employee compensation averages, so you can be sure that your salary and benefits packages are hitting the right notes.
Nursing Salary Averages In Georgia
Knowing how to set salaries for nurses in Georgia starts by learning state averages. Averages in local cities and towns will vary, but statewide salary averages are a great place to start and can help facilities understand whether they are offering nursing employee compensation that is in line with candidate expectations.
*Here are some salary averages for nursing professions in Georgia:
- Registered Nurses: $69,590
- LPNs / LVNs: $42,570
- Technicians: $31,360
- Nurse Practitioners: $105,670
- CNAs: $31,653
There are over 80,000 RNs living in Georgia, and these jobs are still projected to increase by at least 23% through 2028 – an increase of more than 17,420 new RNs in the state in the coming years. Facilities and healthcare employers who want to attract and retain nurses and healthcare talent should continually review their salary packages to ensure they align with state and local trends.
*Pay rates are ALWAYS changing!
For the most up-to-date salaries, call our healthcare recruiters at 706-775-8907 or send us a message.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Salary Information By Job Title
Nursing salaries in Georgia can vary significantly based on education level. Advanced practice registered nurses who hold MSN degrees (including NPs, CRNAs, nurse midwives, etc.) expect that they will be paid in kind. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are some salary expectations for nurses with MSN degrees:
- Nurse Practitioner: Depending on the practice’s specialization and scope, a nurse practitioner’s salary is about $113,000 annually.
- Certified Nurse Anesthetist: Salaries for CRNAs can range from $100,000 to $155,000 annually.
- Clinical Nurse Specialist: Clinical nurse specialist salaries typically start around $80,000 and climb from there.
- Certified Nurse Midwife: The average salary for certified nurse-midwives is around $90,000.
- Clinical Nurse Leader: Clinical Nurse Leaders earn around $80,000 per year.
- Nurse Administrator: Nurse administrators’ salary ranges span from $60,000 to $90,000, depending on the size of the facility and the size of staff being managed.
- Nurse Educator: Nurse educators prepare students for careers in the healthcare field. The average annual salary for a nurse educator is around $70,000.
- Nurse Manager: The fundamental responsibility of a nurse manager is to recruit new nurses and maintain patient medical files as well as balancing the department budget. Nurse managers’ salaries are around $70,000 a year.
Factors That Can Influence Nurse Salaries
It is not just education that influences a nurse’s salary and benefits offerings in Georgia. When determining what to pay, administrators must also consider factors like:
- Years of experience: Professionals with several years of experience expect a higher salary and benefits package than someone just starting out.
- Unionization: Facilities in locations with union employees will be required to meet specific salary and benefits thresholds for nurses and healthcare workers.
- Location: Rural nurses tend to understand they will make less than their counterparts in large urban areas like Atlanta; however, they do not expect to be underpaid.
- Shifts: Nurses on the graveyard shift tend to expect more than their daylight counterparts.
- Specializations: Nurse salaries should increase for those who specialize in a specific area of practice.
If You Can’t Meet Them On Salary – Focus on Other Benefits for Nurses and Healthcare Workers
Not every healthcare facility in Georgia has the budget to pay nurses and healthcare workers the salaries they want or can theoretically command in the market. This can exacerbate nursing shortages and staffing gaps for facilities that are already struggling to meet requirements and needs.
Signing bonuses for nurses and healthcare workers are often the first tactic that Georgia healthcare facilities try in an effort to recruit and retain nurses and skilled staff. However, signing bonuses only keep nurses interested for so long. Retention depends on making an entire benefits package attractive to healthcare professionals.
Faculties that can’t pay excessive salaries can sweeten the pot by offering robust benefits that align with healthcare candidates’ priorities, including things like:
- Robust health benefits: It stands to reason that nurses and healthcare professionals should have access to strong medical benefits.
- Matching 401(k): Economic downturns in 2008 and 2020 have led some Georgia facilities to cut 401(k) matches for nurses and healthcare staff. However, matching and vesting schedules can help retain healthcare staff.
- Onsite childcare: This is an extremely important benefit for parents – especially those who may be single, who have a spouse who also works long hours, or those nurses and healthcare staff who work outside of a daylight schedule.
- Tuition reimbursement: Nurses and healthcare professionals must continue their education in order to remain licensed and certified in Georgia, and they must also focus on education when they want to advance their careers. Tuition reimbursement programs can be a strong benefit for nurses, helping to boost loyalty and healthcare staff retention.
- Consistent pay structure: Often, nurses and staff who work in home healthcare, offices, and in clinical settings earn different pay, even if they have the same experience or specialization. Consistent pay structures, regardless of location, can boost morale and can attract nurses to areas of a facility that often go understaffed.
- Work-life balance: It is no secret that nurses and healthcare staff work long hours, odd shifts, and experience significant burnout. Prioritizing work-life balance through strategies like part-time shifts, eight, ten, or 12-hour shift choices; onsite childcare; concierge services (the facility provides things like mailing packages, errands, lawn, and garden care, etc.), and generous PTO are attractive benefits for nurses and other healthcare staff.
Incorporate Mental Health And Wellness Benefits To Attract and Retain Nurses
Another important non-salary benefit that facilities can use to attract and retain nurses and healthcare staff in Georgia (whether your salaries are in line with market values or not) is mental health and wellness benefits. Nurses and patient-facing healthcare practitioners and staff have always struggled with burnout. The hours are long, the work can be stressful, and in 2020, those stresses were heightened thanks to a global pandemic.
Unfortunately, even with a spotlight on healthcare workers’ struggles with COVID-19 stress, there is still a stigma attached to seeking mental health services, even if someone is suffering from a temporary challenge. As a result, many healthcare professionals press on and suffer in silence, especially if their struggles are directly related to work issues, feeling it is their burden to bear since they chose a stressful profession.
Addressing all aspects of nurses’ and healthcare professionals’ mental health and overall wellness can help improve their outlook and professional performance. Poor mental health leaves many healthcare professionals feeling exhausted and less effective and can even result in a sense of depersonalization from their work, impacting their ability to provide safe, high-quality care.
Facilities can help nurses and staff prevent and overcome these challenges in several ways:
- Know the signs of burnout: Administrators should familiarize themselves with the signs of burnout so they can provide gentle intervention if a staff member finds themselves struggling. Employees who are increasingly disengaged, regularly expressing a cynical or negative outlook, and even skipping work or arriving late could be experiencing burnout.
- Host educational events: Hosting events onsite that focus on mental health and wellness can help reduce the stigma of seeking help.
- Ensure your healthcare package covers mental health: The expense of dealing with a mental health issue can prevent people from seeking assistance. Work with your benefits administrator to ensure that mental health coverage is included in your plans.
- Cover wellness expenses: Exercise is one of the best ways to naturally boost energy levels, reduce stress, and improve mental health. Falsities should consider covering employee gym memberships, fitness club memberships, yoga/Pilates classes, etc.
- Keep staff informed of mental health and wellness benefits for nurses: Make sure to regularly review the mental health and wellness benefits you offer. People will have different needs at different times and may not remember what resources you offer if you only go over the information in orientation or during annual benefits reviews.
Need Help Recruiting Nurses and Healthcare Staff?
Competition for skilled healthcare talent is steep. That’s why it’s so important to offer nursing salary and benefits packages in Georgia that are enticing to the best candidates. It is imperative that healthcare facilities in pay competitive rates offer robust benefits packages that matter in today’s world and provide a strong workplace culture.
If you are looking for skilled nurses or healthcare talent, BOS Medical Staffing is ready to help. We are a healthcare and nursing staffing firm in Georgia that can help you level up your recruiting game by providing you with salary and benefits information for your local market, we can help you get your jobs in front of the right people, and we will vet and verify candidates for fit, experience, and alignment.
Additionally, if you need help staying fully staffed on a daily basis, we offer per diem staffing options and travel nurses to ensure you can maintain proper ratios at all times.
If your healthcare facility is ready to level up your nursing staffing game, talk to the experts at BOS Medical Staffing. Since 2008, we have brought talented nurses, therapists, and medical administrators together with top healthcare facilities across Georgia. Contact BOS Medical today to talk about customized staffing solutions designed to help you achieve your goals.