Nursing Salary Guide [Salary & Career 2021]

Nursing Salaries

Nursing Job Description

Registered nurses are currently the largest healthcare-related occupation. At least 2.6 million people in the U.S. are nurses who treat patients, provide education regarding medical conditions, and provide emotional support and advice to family members of patients. Nurses are responsible for recording the symptoms and medical histories of patients, assisting with diagnostic tests and analysis, operating medical machinery, administering medications and treatment, and helping with the rehabilitation and follow-up care of patients. In the course of patient care, they establish or contribute to a care plan and specific duties are usually determined by the patient population or work setting in which the nurse specializes.

If you desire to have a career in nursing, there are certain requirements and prerequisites for nursing you will first have to meet. If you are an aspiring nurse, you will first need a high school diploma or a GED before continuing on with your nursing studies.

Prerequisites For Nursing

Associates Degree in Nursing

If you want a baseline for your studies in the field of nursing, you will need to obtain an Associate in nursing degree. This type of degree provides a solid foundation through classroom and clinical studies for you to build your up and coming career in nursing upon. You will learn about such subject matter such as pharmacology, anatomy and nursing skills.

Bachelor of Science In Nursing

Associate degrees in nursing take in general two years to complete, but a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree takes four years to complete. The BSN field of study offers a more in depth look into the science of nursing. You will learn more extensively how to apply your skills in a clinical setting. This degree will prepare nurses for more challenges in their role as an RN (Registered Nurse). Some of the common subjects that you will learn in this degree program are pathophysiology, patient health assessments, and adult issues. You may also be required to complete a more in depth and comprehensive training regimen to prepare you for all kinds of patient care. This training includes taking care of patients in mental health facilities as well.

Obtaining Your Nursing License

After completing a degree program, nursing school graduates must obtain a license by completing the National Council Licensure Examination. Each state varies and has differing rules concerning licensing and the exams. Once a nurse is licensed, he or she must continue their education so that they can maintain fresh and up to date nursing skills.

Continuing Education – Masters Degree

Nurses who acquire a BSN degree can continue with their education and receive a master’s degree and be a clinical nurse specialist. They may also study to be a nurse anesthetist or another advanced nursing program. Courses can develop into a wide range of study programs such as geriatrics or pediatrics. After completing their studies, a nurse will then be required to complete an exam so that she or he can obtain a state nurse practitioner’s license.

Wide Range of Possibilities In Nursing

As you can see, deciding to become a nurse or nurse practitioner offers a student a wide range of possibilities and many chances to excel in life. Being a nurse is definitely a unique job and it is not for the faint of heart, but it can also offer you rewards in life like no other career. If you have a compassionate heart and love to help others, a career in nursing may just be the perfect choice for you. There are prerequisites for nursing and other requirements that you will have to meet, but in the end you will have a noble profession where you truly can make a difference in the lives of others.

Nursing Salary

Registered nurses earned a mean annual wage of $67,720 as of May 2010, reported the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest ten percent had a $44,190 annual wage, the middle 50 percent earned $64,690, and the highest ten percent had an annual wage of $95,130. After general surgical and medical offices, physician offices had the highest levels of registered nurse employment. Other industries employing many registered nurses were home health care services, nursing care facilities, and outpatient care centers.

Personal care service was the top paying industry, offering a mean annual wage of $86,470. The federal executive branch, medicine and pharmaceutical manufacturing, medical supply and equipment manufacturing, and professional schools, colleges, and universities were other top paying industries. California paid its registered nurses an annual mean wage of $87,480 in May 2010, the highest of all states. Massachusetts, Hawaii, Alaska, and Maryland rounded out the top five. The lowest paying states, offering an annual mean wage of $31,620 to $56,500 included Arkansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska, West Virginia, and South Dakota.

Certain industries will experience higher levels of growth in coming years. A growth rate of 48 percent is projected for physician offices and a 33 percent growth rate is expected in the home health care industry. Hospitals, the largest industry in healthcare and employer of about 60 percent of registered nurses, will experience a slower rate of growth.

Nursing Job Outlook

2008 – 2018 Projected Employment Changes 581,500 new Registered Nurse jobs 22% increase in employment

Registered Nurse employment is anticipated to grow much faster than average and job opportunities should be excellent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 22 percent growth between 2008 and 2018 will result in 581,500 new jobs, which is among the highest number of new openings for any U.S. occupation. As of May 2010, California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania were the states with the highest employment level of registered nurses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nursing Education & Training

When O*Net recently surveyed a sampling of registered nurses, 64 percent stated that they held an associate’s degree. A bachelor’s degree was held by 29 percent and four percent attended college but did not receive a degree. Graduating from an approved nursing program is another educational path to becoming a registered nurse, though relatively few of these programs exist. Individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree in another field may qualify for an accelerated nursing education program.

It takes approximately two or three years to complete an associate’s degree program, three years to finish a hospital-administered diploma program, and four years to complete a bachelor’s degree program. Advanced practical nurses like nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse-midwives must obtain a master’s degree. Accelerated master’s programs are available that take three to four years and result in both a bachelor’s and master’s degree.

Instruction in the classroom and supervised clinical work in healthcare facilities like hospitals are included in nursing education programs. Upon completion of the educational requirements, the individual must pass a national licensing examination called the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in order to obtain a nursing license. Every state, the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia require graduation from an approved nursing program and a passing score on this examination in order to obtain a license to practice nursing. States may impose other licensing eligibility requirements.

Related Occupations

Registered nurses perform various duties and may specialize in a wide array of areas. This causes many other occupations in healthcare to be similar. Some that entail working under the supervision of a medical professional include physician assistants, licensed practical and vocational nurses, and dental hygienists. A physician assistant practices medicine under physician and surgeon supervision. A licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse cares for patients under the direction of registered nurses and physicians. The nurse may work in a general or specialized setting. Dental hygienists remove tooth deposits, provide preventative dental care, and educate patients on proper oral hygiene.

Top Paying Industries for Registered Nurses

Industries with the Highest Wages

There are many different reasons why one becomes a nurse, and, for many registered nurses, the great appeal of the job is being able to help others, being able to render a service, and being able to play an important role in the healthcare industry. Even so, there are practical concerns that any aspiring nurse should consider. For example, how much money can a registered nurse expect to make? The answer to this question can actually be fairly complicated, as salaries range from one industry to the next.

Yes, there are numerous work environments in which a registered nurse might end up, and they all tend to pay different salaries. The highest-paying industry for registered nurses, on average, is that of Personal Care Services. The annual mean wage within this field is approximately $86,470. Second place goes to nurses employed by the Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation), where the yearly salary is estimated to be $79,530.

Rounding out the top five, we find the Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing industry, where the average yearly salary for a registered nurse is roughly $74,940; the Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing industry, where it is $74,930; and, finally, Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools, where the annual mean wage for a registered nurse is $74,180.

There are other factors that influence salary, too, of course; some of them might include your geographic location and even the level of training or experience you bring to the job. Weigh all of these factors as you think about what your salary might be.

Industries with the Highest Employment Levels

Registered nurses are almost always in high demand, it seems, so one might think that it matters little precisely which industry one turns to for employment. This is not quite the case, however. While nursing jobs are often in abundance, they can be much more numerous in some industries than others. For those just now embarking on nursing careers, knowing which industries offer the most opportunities can be a good way of maximizing the odds of gaining work.

But which industry offers the move jobs for registered nurses? Statistically, the answer is the General Medical and Surgical Hospital industry. Here, there are an estimated 1,521,400 jobs for registered nurses. Meanwhile, the annual mean wage is $68,610.

Offices of Physicians come in second place, though there is a major drop-off from hospitals—by far the biggest industry for nurses—to medical offices. In physician offices, the employment level for nurses is roughly 232,000, and the annual salary is, on average, $70,530.

In third place is the Home Health Care Services industry, with 146,380 jobs and an annual mean wage of $63,850; then, Nursing Care Facilities, with 134,460 jobs and an annual mean wage of $59,990; and finally, Outpatient care Centers, where there are 89,090 jobs and an annual mean wage of approximately $67,550.

Consider these statistics as you decide how best to pursue your career as a registered nurse. The industry you choose to work in can have a major impact on the size of your paycheck, so be sure to think over all the options.

Nurse Assistant Training

So, just how much would be the usual medical assistant schools currently? A lot more and a lot more students become interested in getting medical assistant classes as the interest in this occupation is really at its peak nowadays. The primary duties of health care assistants will be to perform clinical and management obligations within the offices of health care experts, medical professionals and also podiatric doctors. Determined by your data gathered by the BLS, some sort of medical assistant schools accrues to as much as $30,000 annual. It truly is also impacted by the area as well as town setting along with the industry you choose. Much in the differences are as a consequence of the duties you will be likely to do in various industry environments. medical assistant schools in Providence RI Doctor assistants handle identifying as well as treating people but with strict oversight of a medical doctor. Medical assistants are usually assigned to accomplish clinical and also administrative duties. Discussing the work surroundings of health assistants, get ready to operate inside of the oversight connected with an skilled medical doctor for eight to ten hours a day. Being a secondary school graduate you can currently become a medical assistant. They will record directly to the office manager, health practitioner, or to the physician.

You’ll find numerous other states and his or her standard medical assistant schools is going to be various in comparison with other states. You can see that there is no less than the twenty thousand dollars difference depending on how new you are towards the field and just how much knowledge you have. In the training course, you shall study different knowledge inside accounting, coverage processing and also fundamental computer knowledge. Individuals that are used in treatment centers and also doctors workplaces are given a lot more tasks while people that will be employed under a medical care establishment may be assigned only together with the clerical tasks. The salary of the medical assistant might possibly vary, based on the location of employment as well as the employment circumstances.

The bare minimum requirement with regard to learning to be a medical assistant is simply a high school degree – you need to do not actually need any further secondary training there after but it could assist you in turn become employed easier. Almost all health assistants work approximately 40 hours every week, even though you can find those that work a lot more than 60 hours per week. You could possibly also work overtime in order to raise the pay package that you are getting. Ladies compose ninety five percent of health assistants in the business on the moment; nonetheless they don’t earn much or less as compared to men. Folks who worked for three to five years earn $25,000 to thirty eight thousand dollars (hourly rate of fifteen dollars to sixteen dollars) each year, while folks who worked pertaining to a decade or more get an total annual medical assistant schools of thirty five thousand dollars to fifty thousand dollars (hourly rate of sixteen dollars to nineteen dollars).

In the event you operate in the large medical facility or maybe in a busy physician’s office, you could end up being in a position to improve your earnings simply by doing the job extra time. At a minimum 50 percent of the number is working under a private employment inside the physicians establishments and workplaces. With more individuals inside the town there is a high need for health care assistants. Many businesses help this particular instruction to the health assistants, that should then be assessed and also skilled after completing the training program. A medical assistant schools does not seem since very good as with other health professions. The greater knowledge within this employment means rise in your salary.

States with the Highest Wages

One of the first questions you are likely to ask upon starting  a new job—or even beginning to look for work or pursue an education in a new field—is how much money you are likely to make. This question is not always easy to answer, however, as salaries are ultimately the result of several different factors. Certainly, this is the case for registered nurses. As a registered nurse, the amount of money in your paycheck might be influenced by everything from your level of education and expertise to the nature of the facility in which you’re working. It can also be influenced by geography.

Indeed, the state in which you live is one of the factors that can most affect your salary. Registered nurses have varying salaries from one state to the next—but which one pays the most? California is the state that offers the highest average yearly salary to registered nurses. Here the annual mean wage is $87,480. Second on the list is Massachusetts. Here, the annual mean wage is $84,990.

We could round out our top five with three more, very diverse states. In Hawaii, the annual mean salary for a registered nurse is projected to be $82,130. In Alaska, registered nurses make, on average, a salary of $79,350. And Maryland is in fifth, with an annual mean wage of $76,450. Factoring in these different geographic distinctions can ultimately be invaluable when deciding where and how you might ultimately wish to practice as a registered nurse.

States with the Highest Employment Levels

You might think that registered nurses are always in heavy demand, and to an extent you would be right. This career field has historically been marked by ample employment opportunities and real chances for career growth. What might surprise you is that employment levels can vary wildly from one geographic area to the next—and that some states offer more opportunities for employment than others.

But if this is true, then which state offers the most job opportunities for registered nurses? The answer, it turns out, is California. Here, the employment level for registered nurses is estimated to be around 240,030. The annual mean wage for registered nursing professionals in this state is $87,480.

Second on the list is the State of Texas. Here, the employment level for registered nursing jobs is 176,330. Meanwhile, the annual mean salary is $66,180. Third place honors go to New York. The employment level here is 169,710, and the annual mean wage for registered nurses is $74,000. Fourth is Florida, with an employment level of 158,390 and an annual yearly salary of $63,010; and, rounding out the top five, Pennsylvania offers around 130,930 jobs for registered nurses. The annual mean wage in this state is $63,070.

How might these statistics affect your career path? Knowing where jobs are most plentiful, and where salaries tend to be highest, can ultimately inform you as to whether work relocation is something you should consider pursuing. Make sure you do a little research before choosing where to look for work as a registered nurse.

Cities with the Highest Wages

Not all jobs are created equal, and not all salaries are going to be the same, even within a particular profession. Take nursing, for example. You might assume that all registered nurses make roughly the same amount of money, or that any variance is due to nothing more than differing experience levels. In reality, though, there are many different factors that can affect how much money one registered nurse makes compared to another. And one of the big ones, believe it or not, is geography.

Simply put, nurses in certain metropolitan areas make more money than nurses in other metropolitan areas—which begs the question of which metro area offers the highest registered nursing salary, on average. The answer happens to by California’s San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara metropolitan area. Here, the annual mean wage for a registered nurse is $116,150.

The top five is actually comprised entirely of areas in California. It is rounded out with the Oakland-Fremont-Hayward area, where the annual salary for a registered nurse averages out to $100,900; San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, where the annual mean wage is $97,600; Salinas, where a registered nurse’s yearly salary is, on average, $97,450; and Napa, where it is $97,090.

These statistics give ballpark figures of the higher end of the spectrum. For some, they may offer motivation for relocation. Before making this decision, however, make sure to research how much registered nurses make, on average, in your neck of the woods. This information can ultimately prove invaluable in career planning.

Cities with the Highest Employment Levels

It is amazing to consider just how profoundly a change in geography might affect your career prospects. Within any given field, there can be major fluctuations in employment levels from one area to the next, and the same is true of salary. How much money are you going to make as a registered nurse, and how many job openings are there?  These questions cannot be answered generally, but only in terms of specific geographic locales.

This begs an obvious question. As a registered nurse, or perhaps an aspiring nurse, you will want to weigh carefully the cities in which employment is most likely, and also the cities in which salaries are highest. The metropolitan area that offers the highest employment level for registered nurses is the New York – White Plains – Wayne NY-NJ metro division. Here, the employment level for registered nurses is 96,270; the annual mean wage, meanwhile, is $82,000.

In second place is the Chicago-Napierville-Joliet, IL metropolitan area. Here the employment level for registered nurses is 76,600, and the annual salary is, on average, $71,010. Then comes the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, California area, with 64,630 jobs and an annual mean wage of $82,590; the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA region, with 48,240 jobs and an annual mean wage of $92,600; and finally, the Philadelphia metropolitan area, with an employment level of 44,720 and an annual mean wage, for registered nurses, of $72,100. Weigh these facts carefully as you decide if, and where, to look for new work as a registered nurse.

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