nursing.advanceweb.com 2018 Nursing Salary Guide Elite Learning 11 past 12 months, while only 4.4% received any level of decrease. The remaining 40.2% stayed at the same salary level. Merit or cost of living were the predominant reasons for the increases, while a mandated raise received a some- what surprising 14% of responses. Accordingly, the majority of these raises were in the 3% or less category. Of those receiv- ing reductions in pay, demotion, change in job duties, or working fewer hours were common expla- nations. However, about 39% of these salary reductions came with- out explanation. EDUCATION Salary by Degree/Education Level Not surprisingly, average salary goes in direct order of degrees— the further you’ve gone in your education, the more money you can expect to earn. The degrees also seem to be grouped to some extent—only about 7% difference between doctorate and master’s degrees, and roughly the same difference between a bachelor’s and an associate’s degree. This suggests that the two groupings (doctorate/master’s; bachelor’s/ associate’s) are seen much differ- ently by employers. Of the 13,889 full-time respon- dents who answered our education level question, a baccalaureate (or bachelor’s) degree was the most popular answer for highest level of education (37% of responses). Interestingly, master’s degree was the answer for 3,125 respondents, rapidly approaching the number who reported an associate’s degree (3,588 respondents). Clearly, it pays to pursue higher education in the field of nursing. • Doctoral degree: 478 respon- dents, average salary of $113,347 • Master’s degree: 3,125 respondents, average salary of $105,664 • Bachelor’s degree: 5,148 respondents, average salary of $81,323 Merit raise Cost of living increase Raise mandated by collective bargaining Job change Promotion Associate Degree 13.02% 5.89% 3.71% 1.90% 1.06% Baccalaureate Degree 19.51% 9.93% 6.51% 2.65% 1.97% Doctoral Degree / DNP / Other Doctorate 1.35% 0.84% 0.31% 0.31% 0.21% Licensed Vocational or Practical Nurse 4.29% 2.22% 1.07% 1.02% 0.67% Master's Degree 10.23% 5.80% 2.48% 2.03% 1.00% 5.00% 15.00% 10.00% 25.00% 20.00% Reason for Raise - By Degree Merit Raise Cost of Living Increase Raise Mandated by Collective Bargaining Job Change Promotion Associate Degree Baccalaureate Degree Doctoral Degree / DNP / Other Doctorate Licensed Vocational or Practical Nurse Master’s Degree Reason for Raise - By Degree Merit raise Cost of living increase Raise mandated by collective bargaining Other Job change Promotion International 0.01% 0.03% 0.02% 0.01% 0.00% 0.01% Mid-Atlantic 6.42% 4.22% 3.42% 1.43% 1.00% 0.71% Midwest 9.92% 5.28% 1.77% 2.61% 1.37% 0.85% Northeast 2.04% 1.12% 1.17% 0.53% 0.37% 0.21% Northwest 1.46% 1.31% 1.33% 0.44% 0.28% 0.26% South 20.13% 8.37% 2.15% 4.78% 3.36% 1.92% West 3.33% 1.74% 2.72% 0.78% 0.70% 0.41% 5.00% 15.00% 10.00% 25.00% 20.00% Reason for Raise - By Region Merit Raise Cost of Living Increase Raise Mandated by Collective Bargaining Job Change Promotion Reason for Raise - By Region 2.00% 6.00% 4.00% 10.00% 12.00% 14.00% 8.00% Reason for Decrease - By Degree Change in wages (salary reduction or no longer receiving pay differentials Decreased work hours Demotion or change of job duties/title Associate Degree Baccalaureate Degree Doctoral Degree / DNP / Other Doctorate Licensed Vocational or Practical Nurse Master’s Degree Change in wages (salary reduction or no longer receiving pay differentials) Decreased work hours Demotion or change of job duties/title Associate Degree 11.29% 8.63% 7.30% Baccalaureate Degree 13.01% 13.15% 10.23% Doctoral Degree / DNP / Other Doctorate 1.20% 1.06% 1.59% Licensed Vocational or Practical Nurse 4.12% 3.72% 3.45% Master's Degree 9.03% 5.98% 6.24% Reason for Decrease - By Degree 15.00% 10.00% 20.00% 5.00% Reason for Decrease - By Region Change in wages (salary reduction or no longer receiving pay differentials Decreased work hours Demotion or change of job duties/title International Mid-Atlantic Midwest Northeast Northwest South West Change in wages (salary reduction or no longer receiving pay differentials) Decreased work hours Demotion or change of job duties/title International 0.27% 0.00% 0.00% Mid-Atlantic 3.59% 5.19% 3.19% Midwest 8.78% 7.45% 6.38% Northeast 1.73% 0.40% 1.20% Northwest 1.20% 1.20% 1.06% South 19.81% 15.16% 15.43% West 3.32% 3.06% 1.60% Reason for Decrease - By Region