Nurse Turnover Dropping in SNFs While Wages Continue Ticking Upwards

Registered nurses (RNs) in nursing homes saw higher hourly rates and lower turnover this year, bucking recent retention trends since 2015, according to a new report from the Oakland, N.J.-based Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service (HCS).

In 2018, RNs’ hourly rates rose 3.1%, while turnover fell from 35.69% in 2017 to 33.94% this year. Though an improvement year-over-year, turnover is still well above the rate of 29% seen in 2015.

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) saw similar increases in wages and decreases in turnover, according to HCS’ 2018-2019 Nursing Home Salary & Benefits report, which drew from responses from 1,494 nursing homes. LPNs saw a wage increase of 2.43%, while turnover fell from 30.77% in 2017 to 28.83% in 2018.


The national average for turnover among certified nursing assistants (CNAs) was higher, at 41.9% in 2018.

Differences by facility type, region

In terms of exact salary numbers, which were drawn from the national 50th percentile, continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) and nursing homes varied in some key positions.


An executive director (ED) at a CCRC, for instance, took home about $151,540, while an ED at a nursing home took in about $115,354. Directors of nurses (DONs), on the other hand, were about even: DONs earned $95,000 per year at a nursing home, compared with $94,952 at CCRCs. Nursing home administrators were also fairly even, though those at CCRCs had the slight edge at $111,154, compared to $110,000 at standalone SNFs.

Of the regions that had enough data for average pay ranges, the Middle Atlantic region — which includes New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania — had the highest midpoint for average executive director salary, at $141.135. It also had the highest midpoint for average salary for nursing home administrators at $139,505.

The average midpoints nationally were $130,423 and $107,215, respectively.

For DONs, the Middle Atlantic also took the top spot for midpoint of average salary, at $104,647. The next highest-midpoint for average DONs was the South Atlantic region — which includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia— at $93,309.

Written by Maggie Flynn

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