Registered nurses employed by the state are getting a pay raise.

Various nurse positions across 15 state agencies will have a starting annual salary of nearly $90,000 upstate and $108,000 for RNs and nurse practitioners working downstate.

The series of pay increases, announced by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday, was done in attempt to improve recruitment and retention of staff amid an ongoing labor crisis in the health care sector.

"After more than two years on the frontlines in the battle against COVID-19, New York nurses deserve more than our gratitude — they deserve fair and competitive pay," Gov. Hochul said in a statement. "These wage increases reflect our state's commitment to supporting our healthcare workers and will help us retain and recruit the next generation of nurses to keep New Yorkers safe."

Each position will see a pay increase of about 4.5%, according to the governor's office. Registered Nurse positions will be hired at the midpoint of salary range, and receive an updated shift pay including an increase of 7% of base pay for the evening shift, and a 10% increase for night shift base pay.

The pay hike will affect about 6,500 state employees, including:

  • State University of New York - 3,381 employees
  • Office of Mental Health - 1,663 employees
  • Office for People with Developmental Disabilities - 674 employees
  • Department of Corrections and Community Supervision - 518 employees
  • Department of Health - 371 employees
  • Office of Addiction Services and Supports - 120 employees

"PEF advocated for years on behalf of pay equity and title restructuring for nurses in our union. We are pleased that Gov. Hochul and the Department of Civil Service have taken steps to increase salary grades and reward these dedicated public servants," Public Employees Federation President Wayne Spence said. "At a time when we've all seen the importance of public health services, New York must continue to do everything it can to attract and retain nurses."

Registered and licensed nurses received an increase in their geographic pay differential this year based on their region. That increase is separate from the pay raise.

More than $4 billion was legislated in the last state budget to fund health care worker pay and bonuses. 

"New York State employs thousands of nurses, who provide critical services across our state agencies to protect the health and wellbeing of New Yorkers," Department of Civil Service Commissioner Timothy Hogues said. "By offering our nurses with these well-deserved pay increases, our partner agencies will be better positioned to retain these talented and dedicated employees. Under the leadership of Gov. Hochul, the Department of Civil Service is working hard to implement changes to best support and retain our current public workforce and to ensure our compensation is competitive to attract the next generation of talent to public service careers."