Nursing Salaries

The employment outlook for nurses over the next 10 years is bright and nursing salaries will reflect that demand in the coming years.

Although there is a lot of talk that America actually has too many nurses right now, most people don’t fully understand the real situation.

The last real nursing shortage was in 1998. Since then there has been a concerted drive to train new nurses and between 2005 and 2010 nearly 400,000 nurses entered the workforce in America.

This was a mix of newly trained nurses and experienced nurses returning to the profession because of the 2008 global financial crisis. So the nursing shortage was over. But from now until at least 2020 (probably 2025), that trend will reverse.

Nursing Salaries Will Rise With The Increasing Demand For Nurses

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for registered nurses will growth by a staggering 26% over the next eight years and there will be more than 712,000 nursing jobs available.

The reason is simple. In the next 10 to 15 years, millions of Baby Boomers will be retiring and in need of healthcare. And among those Baby Boomers are hundreds of thousands of nurses who will be retiring from the profession themselves. As they all age they are going to require more healthcare, hospitals and nursing home services.

This is going to push up the demand for nurses and also make nursing salaries much more attractive. But what is the situation with nursing salaries today? Well, even in these tough times, the pay to nurses has flourished compared to many other professions.

Nursing Salaries For RNs Average $64,690

As of November, 2012, Registered Nurses (RNs) take home an average salary of $64,690 per year, which is comparable to the salary of occupational and physical therapists.

While many RNs work in hospitals or physicians’ offices, a lot are also getting jobs in public health, home care, rehabilitation centers, schools and businesses. The biggest registered nursing salaries are reserved for those working as personal care nurses, in private-sector pharmaceutical and for medical devices manufacturers.

Specialist nurses are even better well off with the nursing salaries of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) averaging $144,821 pa., Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners (PNA) $95,000, Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) $84,000 and Clinical Nurse Specialists $82,117 a year.

The state and city where you work in healthcare also has a marked affect on nursing salaries. The highest paid nursing jobs can be found in the metropolitan areas of northern California, including municipalities in and around San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco.

California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Alaska are all states with high salaries for nurses. The level of nursing education and experience also has a major effect on nursing salaries. At the other end of the nursing pay scale, medical assistants took home just $28,830 – approximately $35,830 less than the average RN – and paramedics only earned around $30,000 a year.

Today, the entry-level requirement for a registered nurse to get a decent paying job in a hospital or health center is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. You also have to sit and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to be able to work as a Registered Nurse (RN).

Of course, you can start working as a Nursing Assistant (NA), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) but your pay is going to be on the very low end of the nursing pay-scale. This is why many graduates with an Associate’s Degree in Nursing are going on to complete an extra two years of a nursing program course to become BSNs as it’s now the industry standard and can make a huge difference to your salary.

Many nurses are also going on to complete Master’s of Nursing degrees in advanced practice specialties such as nurse practitioners or nurse anesthetists and this can really make a huge difference to their nursing salaries.

In addition to a bigger paycheck, many of these specialties can offer a complete change of scenery and a much more exciting nursing career. There are great career opportunities working in schools, on oil rigs or even flying in helicopters even day as rescue and emergency nurses. The nursing salaries of these specialist jobs reflect the demand for such nurses.

If you are looking for such jobs which are outside mainstream nursing careers because of the bigger pay checks they offer, you can join professional organizations like state chapters of the American Nurses Association or other specialized healthcare groups. And keep an up-to-date profiles on social media sites like Linkedin.

Today, many nurses are looking beyond hospitals and health clinics for higher paying nursing salaries. The whole nursing job climate has changed radically in the past decade and will change even more in the next five years.

There is now a huge push for greater home-care and community nursing clinics. This means opportunities for nurses in everything from long-term care facilities to nurse-run community clinics, schools and even businesses where preventative care and wellness are coming more into focus.

Registered Nurse Salary Range (Nov, 2012)

  • 75th Percentile Wage: $79,020
  • Median Wage: $64,690
  • 25th Percentile Wage: $52,980

Speciality Nursing Salaries (Nov, 2012)

  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist – $144,821
  • Nurse Researcher – $95,000
  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner – $95,000
  • Certified Nurse Midwife – $84,000
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist – $82,117
  • Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse – $81,000
  • Orthopedic Nurse – $81,000
  • Nursing Informatics Analyst – $80,596
  • Nurse Practitioner – $78,000
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist – $76,000
  • Gerontological Nurse Practitioner – $75,000
  • Neonatal Nurse – $74,000
  • Nurse Educator – $71,292
  • Nurse Case Manager – $68,032
  • Certified Dialysis Nurse – $64,690
  • Flight or Transport Nurse – $63,246
  • Certified Legal Nurse Consultant – $62,100

Registered Nursing Salaries In The Highest Paying States (Nov, 2012)

  • California – $25.45/hr
  • Hawaii – $24.76/hr
  • Massachusetts – $23.38/hr
  • New Jersey – $23.33/hr
  • Alaska- $23.09/hr
  • Delaware – $22.98/hr
  • Oregon – $22.91/hr
  • Nevada/hr – $22.83/hr
  • Maryland – $22.79/hr
  • Connecticut – $22.62/hr

Registered Nursing Salaries In The Lowest Paying States (Nov, 2012)

  • North Dakota – $17.60/hr
  • Louisiana – $17.50/hr
  • Wyoming – $16.88/hr
  • Oklahoma – $16.76/hr
  • Kansas – $16.74/hr
  • West Virginia – $16.52/hr
  • Arkansas – $16.44/hr
  • Mississippi – $16.42/hr
  • Iowa – $16.36/hr
  • South Dakota – $16.35/hr

Wherever you live, there are going to be plenty of jobs available for trained and registered nurses over the coming years as America’s population continues to age rapidly. Nursing salaries will reflect this demand in coming years.