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Hopkins Nurses Report Greater Education, Salary, and Satisfaction


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Posted: 12/14/2009

Hopkins nursing graduates’ responses to a recent survey revealed that they are more highly educated, more highly compensated, and more satisfied in their careers than other U.S. nurses.  

The survey questionnaire, mailed in 2007 to the 5,000+ alumni of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, collected data on the demographics, education, and work experiences of the school’s graduates.  Data from the 1,476 respondents were then compared to national data reported in the 2004 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses (NSSRN), which is conducted by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Among the significant findings:

Hopkins nurses earn salaries that are 15% higher than the national average.  Hopkins nurses working full-time earned an average of $72,865 at their primary job; the U.S. average is $63,426 (in 2007 dollars).

Hopkins nurses are highly educated.  Compared to other U.S. nurses, Hopkins nurses’ highest level of education is more likely to be a doctoral (2.4% vs. 0.9%), master’s (28.5% vs. 12.0%), or baccalaureate degree (47.0% vs. 34.2%).

Hopkins nursing graduates stick with their nursing careers.  Seventy-nine percent of respondents under the age of 65 were employed as a nurse, with 66% working full-time and 34% working part-time.

Hopkins nurses work in every U.S. state.  Most work in Maryland (35.3%) or California (10.3%), with the majority (84.8%) working in a metropolitan area.
Hopkins nurses are more likely to be leaders, educators, and advanced practice nurses.   Hopkins nurses are more likely to be a nursing school dean or hospital nursing director (1.4% vs. 0.4%), nursing school instructor or professor (3.8% vs. 1.7%), clinical nurse specialist (3.1% vs. 1.2%), nurse clinician (6.7% vs. 1.4%), or nurse practitioner (16.0% vs. 3.5%).  They are much less likely to be a staff nurse (29.7% vs. 47.7%).

Hopkins nurses enter the profession to help people.  The top three reasons cited for becoming a nurse were to help people (86.4%), enjoyment of science (73.3%), and the wide variety of career options (63.6%).   Men are statistically more likely than women to be drawn by the profession’s salary (48.0% vs. 25.4%) and job security (42.0% vs. 30.3%).

Hopkins nurses are more satisfied with their careers.  More than 90% of Hopkins nurses are extremely or moderately satisfied with their nursing career, while only 76% of U.S. nurses say the same.

The five-page Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing Survey (JHSNS) asked alumni for information on demographics, education, work experience, and salary as well as their attitudes, experiences, and opinions on the nursing profession.

The survey was mailed to the school’s 5,047 alumni in June 2007.  A postcard, sent two months later, reminded alumni to take the survey, and pointed them to an online version of the questionnaire.  That September the school sent a second copy of the survey to all alumni who had not yet responded.

The survey elicited responses from 1,476 alumni, for a response rate of 29.2%.