This pilot study examined differences in RN perception of the professional practice environment and financial indicators between salary-wage and hourly-wage compensation models.
There is a dearth of current information regarding use of salary-wage models for compensation for direct care nurses.
A descriptive, comparative design was used to examine the Revised Professional Practice Environment Scale (RPPE) and financial indicators of nurses in a nonprofit healthcare system over a 6-month period.
Mean scores on the RPPE were significantly lower for hourly-wage RNs, and the hourly-wage model resulted in a 1.2% additional cost for overtime hours compared with the fixed cost of the salary-wage model.
Nurses in an hourly-wage unit reported a significantly lower perception of the clinical practice environment than did their peers in a salary-wage unit, indicating that professional practice perceptions in a salary-wage unit may provide a more effective professional practice environment. Financial analysis resulted in a budget-neutral impact.