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  1. Hickey, Rosa G. MSN, RN, NEA-BC
  2. Buchko, Barbara L. DNP, RNC-MNN
  3. Coe, Paula F. MSN, RN, NEA-BC
  4. Woods, Anne B. PhD, MPH, RN


OBJECTIVE: This pilot study examined differences in RN perception of the professional practice environment and financial indicators between salary-wage and hourly-wage compensation models.


BACKGROUND: There is a dearth of current information regarding use of salary-wage models for compensation for direct care nurses.


METHODS: 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.


RESULTS: 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.


CONCLUSIONS: 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.