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Registered Nurse Salary 2020: How Much Does an RN Make?


If you have considered a career in healthcare, becoming a registered nurse (RN) is a great option when it comes to salary, job security, and overall fulfillment. Here, you will learn more about how much money you can earn, how to ensure the highest possible registered nurse salary, and much more. This is the most in-depth and most accurate representation of a modern career in registered nursing available online today, and our figures are based on information provided by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2019.

What Education and Licensure is Required to Become an RN?


In order to earn a handsome salary as an RN, it is important to obtain the right level of education. Without it, you cannot become licensed to work. There are six different education paths you can take to become a licensed RN, and each one presents its own unique benefits. Regardless of the program you choose, you should always choose a program that was designed to prepare you for the National Council Licensure Examination. You can only obtain your license to practice as an RN after passing this exam. The six education options shown below all have different costs and academic qualifications, so be sure to consider each one carefully.

Program Type Minimum Requirements Program Length Program Cost
Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)• High school graduation or equivalence
• Minimum cumulative High School GPA of 2.5 or higher
2 Years $3,000 - $115,000
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)• High school graduation or equivalence
• Minimum cumulative High School GPA of 2.5 or higher
4 Years $13,000 - $214,000
Accelerated BSN • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college/university in any major
• Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher
1 to 2 years $35,000 - $120,000
Entry Level Master’s (ELM)• Bachelor's degree from an accredited college/university in any major
• Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher
2 to 3 years$42,000 - $136,000
LPN to RN• Graduation from an accredited or state-approved LPN program
• Valid/current LPN license
• Minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher on all completed college-level coursework
1 to 2 Years $6,000 - $86,000
LPN to BSN • Graduation from an accredited or state-approved LPN program
• Valid/current LPN license
• Minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher on all completed college-level coursework
2 to 4 years $25,000 - $160,000
*Exact requirements, program length


How many Registered Nurses are Currently Employed in the United States?


As the US population continues to grow, the demand for highly qualified healthcare professionals increases, as well. There are currently 2,951,960 registered nurses in the United States serving a population of roughly 323 million people.

2,951,960


What Is the Starting Salary of a Registered Nurse?


The starting salary of a registered nurse in the US is $54,790 per year on average. Numerous factors influence this number, including the state and location where you work, the type of employment you choose, whether you work full-time or part-time, any additional certifications you may have, and the type of nursing program you completed. California’s RNs are the highest paid in the country; registered nurses in South Dakota are paid the least.

Starting Salary
$54,790


What Is the Average Salary of a Registered Nurse?


Hourly:

On average, RNs across the US earn $36.30 an hour, and if they earn overtime pay, this goes up to $53.04 an hour for anything over 40 hours. Most RNs are paid on an hourly basis rather than a weekly or monthly salary in order to ensure they are properly compensated for their long hours. Factors that can increase hourly wages include experience, education, and more.

Monthly:

Though registered nurses are typically paid weekly or biweekly, understanding monthly salary can help in terms of budgeting. On average, RNs in the US earn a monthly salary of about $6,290.

Annual:

Finally, the average annual salary for an RN in the United States is $75,510, which is well above the national average salary for all occupations. Annual salaries are influenced by numerous factors, including things like location, experience, additional education, specialization, and more. Some nurses may also earn bonuses throughout the year which can further drive annual salaries, but this is not the case in all locations.

Type Salary
Hourly Wage $36.30
Monthly Salary $6,290
Annual Salary$75,510
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019)


Percentile Wage Estimates for RN Workers in United States


Percentile wage estimates provide a broader view of what RNs across the country earn on average by grouping them into categories. The bottom 10% of RNs, for example, earn less than $24.42 an hour ($50,800 annually). This is likely due to a combination of little experience, a low-paying location, and the type of employer. On the other hand, the top 10% of RNs earn more than $51.22 an hour ($106,530 annually.) These nurses likely have years of experience working in high-stress environments, a longstanding track record for positive patient outcomes, and years of continuing education. The median 50% of RNs earn somewhere between $28.25 and $42.47 an hour ($58,770 and $88,350 annually) and are a more accurate representation of what to expect later in your career.

Percent of RN’s Number of RN's Hourly Wage Monthly Salary Annual Salary
10%295,196Under $24.42Under $4,230Under $50,800
15%442,794$24.42 - $28.25$4,230 - $4,900$50,800 - $58,770
25%737,990$28.25 - $34.48$4,900 - $5,980$58,770 - $71,730
25%737,990$34.48 - $42.47$5,980 - $7,360$71,730 - $88,350
15%442,794$42.47 - $51.22$7,360 - $8,880$88,350 - $106,530
10%295,196Above $51.22Above $8,880Above $106,530
Average $35.36 $6,130 $73,550
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019)


Along with Salary What Other Benefits Will I Be Eligible to Receive as an RN?


RNs can receive some exciting salaries, especially after several years of experience in their fields, but they also receive a variety of other valuable benefits that can serve them well throughout their lives. In fact, their salaries only make up for about 70.10% of their overall compensation in private industries. Paid leave, supplemental pay, employer-provided insurance, 401(k) and other retirement savings make a large impact and can really add up. When all other forms of compensation have been considered, RNs working in private industries earn an average of $107,370 and those working for state and local governments earn $123,730 in total.

Compensation Component Private Industry State and Local Government
Compensation %Salary Compensation %Salary
Paid Leave7.20%$7,723 7.50%$9,270
Supplemental Pay3.20%$3,432 1.00%$1,236
Insurance8.00%$8,581 11.90%$14,709
Retirement and Savings3.90%$4,183 11.80%$14,585
Legally Required7.70%$8,259 5.50%$6,798
Total Benefits 29.90%$32,180 37.60%$46,600
Average Annual Salary70.10%$75,190 62.40%$77,130
Total Compensation100.00%$107,370 100.00%$123,730
(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Average Registered Nurse Salary Based On 6 Major Salary Websites – (Bls.Com, Salary.Com, Glassdoor.Com, PayScale.Com, Indeed.Com, CareerBuilder & SimplyHired.Com)


Different websites use different algorithms and criteria to determine the average salaries of registered nurses. Some only consider salaries for RNs who are hired through their services, and others, such as PayScale, factor in things like pay gaps and salary histories rather than projections. The table below shows the average salary for registered nurses as made available from each of six very popular websites. PayScale reports the lowest RN salary at $62,591 on average, and BLS reports the highest at $75,510.

WebsiteAnnual Salary
BLS$75,510
Glassdoor$69,270
PayScale$62,591
Indeed$69,700
CareerBuilder$72,000
SimplyHired$66,512
Average $69,264


12 Factors That Will Play an Important Role in Determining How Much I Will Earn


As with most other career choices, your salary as a registered nurse is never set in stone. There are 12 different factors that will play a noticeable role in your salary, and you can read about each one below.

1. Location


RNs working in busy metro areas tend to earn more than their rural counterparts. For example, registered nurses in the state of California earn $66,440 - $157,160 a year, which is well above the national average. Conversely, nurses in Mississippi earn $41,690 - $78,930 a year due to its sparser population.

2. Experience


Thanks to the increasing demand for positive patient outcomes, employers pay nurses with more experience much higher salaries. The more experience you have, particularly in a certain field or specialty, the more you are likely to earn.

3. Education


The more education you obtain, the more positions you qualify to fill. With an ADN, for example, you will perform only basic RN tasks and earn an average of $72,780 a year. If you pursue a BSN, you could then work in management, administrative, or leadership positions, and you would enjoy an average annual salary of $79,200. Finally, with an MSN degree, you truly open the door to many opportunities. You could become a nurse practitioner, for example, and earn an average of $110,030 each year.

4. Position


You can work in various positions as an RN, giving you flexibility and freedom throughout your career. For example, you could be the “lead” nurse or the shift manager, which leads to a substantial pay increase.

5. Type of Nursing (Specialization)


RNs can specialize in various fields with a BSN degree. For example, you might choose to work with children, in a labor and maternity ward, in a psychiatric facility, or even in a public health department. All of these specializations pay differently.

6. Certifications


Depending on your employer, it may be possible to increase your salary with certain certifications. For example, you could become certified to work with patients dealing with HIV/AIDS, to assist patients on dialysis, or even to provide correctional behavioral health. When you obtain the right certifications for the right employers, you become invaluable – and your salary reflects it.

7. Type of Industry


If you work in private healthcare, you will likely earn slightly less than if you work in government-provided healthcare – such as for the VA. Government-paid healthcare providers tend to earn more than those who are privately paid by their employers.

8. Size of the Organization & Capacity of The Organization to Pay


Another important consideration is the overall size of your employer’s organization. If you work for a large chain of high-tech hospitals, this employer is in a much better position to pay you a high salary than if you work in a clinic where one recently-licensed doctor provides his services.

9. Memberships in Professional Organizations


Becoming a member of a professional organization shows your dedication to your career and your desire to continue learning and truly make a difference in healthcare. There is an organization for virtually every specialization, including the American Assembly for Men in Nursing, the Academy of Neonatal Nursing, and the American Holistic Nurses Association just to name a few.

10. Shift Differentials


Shift differentials are slight differences in your pay rate depending on the hours you work. They are often given to evening and night shift workers, and they are usually hourly differentials. For example, RNs working evening shifts (2pm-11pm) may earn anywhere from an extra $0.50 to $2.00 on the hour and third shift RNs (11pm to 7am) can earn even more.

11. Performance Reports


Performance reports are outstanding indicators of your ability to facilitate positive patient outcomes, and they are also important when it comes to boosting your salary. In fact, most raises are based almost solely on your performance and your overall attendance. The better you perform, the more money you can earn.

12. Hazardous Working Conditions


Finally, in order to entice RNs to work in less-than-appealing conditions, employers may offer a premium salary. For example, nurses who work in emergency rooms late at night in heavily populated areas are exposed to dangerous activity, which may call for a salary increase.

What Has Been the Average RN Salary Growth for The Last 5 Years (2013-2018)


Over the last five years, the average salary for an RN has grown by 9.58% - a significant amount and more than most other occupations. There are many things driving this growth, but the biggest include the aging population and their demand for medical care, more widespread access to healthcare than ever before, and better technologies to provide effective and safe medical treatments.

Year Salary Growth % Growth
201469,790$880 1.28%
201571,000$1,210 1.73%
201672,180$1,180 1.66%
201773,550$1,370 1.90%
201875,510$1,960 2.66%
Overall Growth in Five Years $6,600 9.58%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019)


What Is the Projected 5 Year Average Annual RN Salary Growth (2018-2023)


There are several factors that will drive annual RN salary growth over the course of the next five years. Of these, the demand for high-quality, experienced healthcare providers will be at the top of the list. Providers are being held to higher standards, and for this reason, they are willing to pay more to secure the best possible RNs. Numerous states are experiencing RN shortages, meaning there are simply not enough knowledgeable and trained RNs to provide care to the population. As a result, employees must offer competitive salaries in order to attract employees.

Other factors that will drive salary increases include things such as the rising cost of living, inflation, and many states’ initiative to hire more RNs with BSN degrees over LPNs or RNs with ADN degrees. Research has shown that facilities employing a higher number of better-educated RNs tend to have better patient outcomes overall.

Year Annual SalaryGrowth % Growth
2019$77,010 $1,500 1.99%
2020$78,290 $1,280 1.66%
2021$80,050 $1,760 2.25%
2022$81,410 $1,360 1.70%
2023$83,080 $1,670 2.05%
Overall Growth in Next Five Years$7,570 10.03%
(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


In Which Industries Do RNs Get Paid the Highest?


The industry in which you work is a huge deciding factor when it comes to your salary, so it is wise to consider which industry you would like to enter after graduating nursing school. RNs working for government-owned hospitals, colleges, and universities – as well as those working for the federal government itself – tend to earn the highest average annual salaries. First and foremost, if you choose to work for the government, it is important to consider that there are more resources available to provide higher pay. What’s more, government workers and those working in government-owned facilities often have access to some of the best benefits available in terms of healthcare and retirement savings, which drastically adds to salary.

Of course, there are benefits and downfalls associated with working in any industry, and there is more to consider than just salary. Consider this carefully when you make your own career choice.

Rank Industry Hourly Wage Monthly Salary Annual Salary Annual Salary Range
1 Local Government Owned Colleges and Universities $47.77 $8,280 $99,360 $83,210 - $124,220
2 Federal Government $42.99 $7,450 $89,430 $65,790 - $119,130
3 State Government Owned Hospitals $39.87 $6,910 $82,930 $53,220 - $127,340
4 State Government Owned Specialty Hospitals $38.76 $6,720 $80,620 $55,700 - $103,090
5 State Government Owned Colleges and Universities $38.24 $6,630 $79,540 $50,690 - $117,390
6 Direct Insurance Carriers (Except Life, Health and Medical) $37.78 $6,550 $78,570 $56,970 - $101,160
7 Specialty Hospitals $37.66 $6,530 $78,330 $53,760 - $107,740
8 Management of Companies and Enterprises $37.64 $6,530 $78,300 $53,140 - $111,820
9 Private Hospitals $37.42 $6,490 $77,830 $52,770 - $110,700
10 State Government Owned Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals $37.34 $6,470 $77,670 $52,540 - $116,760
11 Research and Development in The Physical, Engineering, And Life Sciences $37.19 $6,450 $77,360 $48,910 - $109,560
12 Management, Scientific, And Technical Consulting Services $36.46 $6,320 $75,850 $53,250 - $103,200
13 Direct Health and Medical Insurance Carriers $36.40 $6,310 $75,700 $55,330 - $99,730
14 Office Administrative Services $36.11 $6,260 $75,110 $51,020 - $104,460
15 Local Government Owned Hospitals $36.09 $6,260 $75,070 $49,340 - $107,630
16 Pharmacies and Drug Stores $35.77 $6,200 $74,400 $52,750 - $102,670
17 State Government $35.17 $6,100 $73,150 $48,520 - $109,580
18 Local Government $35.02 $6,070 $72,840 $45,380 - $106,160
19 Ambulance Services $34.82 $6,040 $72,430 $46,810 - $101,080
20 Temporary Help Services $34.55 $5,990 $71,870 $42,350 - $104,540
21 Home Health Care Services $34.54 $5,990 $71,850 $48,930 - $101,570
22 Offices of Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists and Audiologists $34.08 $5,910 $70,890 $48,480 - $97,260
23 Private Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals $34.05 $5,900 $70,830 $51,230 - $98,070
24 All Other Ambulatory Health Care Services $34.01 $5,900 $70,740 $48,200 - $97,240
25 Offices of All Other Health Practitioners $33.99 $5,890 $70,710 $41,710 - $102,600
26 Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories $33.96 $5,890 $70,640 $46,110 - $101,120
27 Privately Owned Colleges and Universities $33.74 $5,850 $70,180 $43,290 - $99,170
28 Other Insurance Related Activities $32.91 $5,700 $68,440 $38,470 - $97,130
29 Offices of Dentists $32.87 $5,700 $68,360 $45,220 - $91,550
30 Offices of Physicians $32.59 $5,650 $67,790 $43,760 - $96,120
31 Nursing Care Facilities $32.39 $5,610 $67,370 $49,360 - $92,130
32 Services for The Elderly and Persons with Disabilities $31.98 $5,540 $66,530 $43,390 - $93,810
33 Residential Mental Health and Substance Abuse Facilities $31.77 $5,510 $66,080 $47,030 - $87,870
34 Vocational Rehabilitation Services $31.63 $5,480 $65,800 $43,090 - $91,490
35 Outpatient Mental Health and Substance Abuse Centers $31.28 $5,420 $65,060 $42,950 - $92,440
36 Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability Facilities $31.05 $5,380 $64,580 $45,360 - $86,510
37 Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for The Elderly $30.72 $5,320 $63,890 $43,980 - $84,000
38 Other Residential Care Facilities $29.96 $5,190 $62,320 $42,820 - $81,700
39 Privately Owned Elementary and Secondary Schools $29.82 $5,170 $62,020 $37,020 - $91,610
40 Elementary and Secondary Schools $28.74 $4,980 $59,770 $35,280 - $89,040
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019)


Registered Nurse State Wise Salary


The state where you choose to practice will also have a significant impact on your salary. Typically, states with higher populations and access to more technology tend to charge more for healthcare services in general, which means RNs receive a higher pay.

State Hourly Wage Monthly Salary Annual Salary Annual Salary Range
Alabama $28.59 $4,960 $59,470 $42,540 - $79,380
Alaska $42.94 $7,440 $89,310 $62,310 - $122,010
Arizona $37.02 $6,420 $77,000 $55,580 - $100,720
Arkansas $29.22 $5,070 $60,780 $42,770 - $80,530
California $51.42 $8,910 $106,950 $66,440 - $157,160
Colorado $35.69 $6,190 $74,240 $54,110 - $99,330
Connecticut $39.05 $6,770 $81,220 $57,980 - $105,550
Delaware $35.96 $6,230 $74,800 $55,280 - $100,060
District of Columbia $44.40 $7,700 $92,350 $58,780 - $131,400
Florida $31.83 $5,520 $66,210 $47,070 - $88,630
Georgia $33.15 $5,750 $68,950 $49,250 - $93,770
Hawaii $47.16 $8,170 $98,080 $63,300 - $127,750
Idaho $32.26 $5,590 $67,110 $49,980 - $89,270
Illinois $35.53 $6,160 $73,890 $51,190 - $101,650
Indiana $31.18 $5,410 $64,860 $45,920 - $86,510
Iowa $28.43 $4,930 $59,130 $43,610 - $77,870
Kansas $29.34 $5,090 $61,030 $43,880 - $80,100
Kentucky $30.34 $5,260 $63,100 $44,410 - $81,900
Louisiana $30.76 $5,330 $63,970 $43,840 - $83,020
Maine $32.51 $5,630 $67,610 $50,070 - $91,790
Maryland $36.93 $6,400 $76,820 $54,840 - $101,720
Massachusetts $44.30 $7,680 $92,140 $58,620 - $139,220
Michigan $34.29 $5,940 $71,330 $53,750 - $93,590
Minnesota $37.94 $6,580 $78,920 $56,150 - $102,680
Mississippi $28.12 $4,870 $58,490 $41,690 - $78,930
Missouri $31.31 $5,430 $65,130 $44,060 - $89,960
Montana $32.43 $5,620 $67,450 $51,930 - $87,820
Nebraska $31.00 $5,370 $64,470 $48,090 - $83,040
Nevada $41.16 $7,140 $85,620 $64,720 - $111,690
New Hampshire $34.98 $6,060 $72,760 $53,090 - $98,140
New Jersey $39.78 $6,900 $82,750 $59,930 - $106,790
New Mexico $34.49 $5,980 $71,730 $53,620 - $95,320
New York $41.16 $7,130 $85,610 $55,450 - $120,890
North Carolina $31.18 $5,400 $64,850 $46,130 - $86,650
North Dakota $31.61 $5,480 $65,740 $52,110 - $82,770
Ohio $32.13 $5,570 $66,820 $51,160 - $88,490
Oklahoma $30.33 $5,260 $63,080 $44,970 - $80,870
Oregon $43.79 $7,590 $91,080 $66,830 - $121,120
Pennsylvania $33.84 $5,870 $70,390 $51,950 - $95,580
Rhode Island $37.70 $6,540 $78,420 $56,870 - $101,160
South Carolina $31.22 $5,410 $64,940 $45,510 - $82,560
South Dakota $28.05 $4,860 $58,340 $42,530 - $77,400
Tennessee $29.48 $5,110 $61,320 $43,340 - $80,310
Texas $35.04 $6,070 $72,890 $52,590 - $98,170
Utah $31.57 $5,470 $65,670 $49,110 - $84,950
Vermont $33.25 $5,760 $69,160 $52,020 - $94,570
Virginia $33.55 $5,820 $69,790 $47,890 - $96,520
Washington $39.75 $6,890 $82,670 $55,760 - $116,250
West Virginia $29.70 $5,150 $61,780 $43,040 - $81,540
Wisconsin $34.36 $5,960 $71,470 $54,290 - $94,290
Wyoming $32.38 $5,610 $67,360 $49,330 - $87,070
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019)


Registered Nurse City Wise Salary


Within each state, the city where you work also plays an important part in determining your salary. As an example, in the state of California, you will earn much more working in a hospital located in Los Angeles or San Francisco than you would earn if you worked in a more rural part of the state.

City Hourly Wage Monthly Salary Annual Salary Annual Salary Range
Akron, OH $33.12 $5,740 $68,880 $54,810 - $81,810
Albuquerque, NM $36.06 $6,250 $75,010 $56,140 - $98,260
Amarillo, TX $31.85 $5,520 $66,250 $47,720 - $84,390
Anaheim, CA $48.05 $8,330 $99,930 $62,690 - $143,030
Anchorage, AK $42.39 $7,350 $88,170 $59,170 - $123,070
Arlington, TX $35.65 $6,180 $74,140 $53,580 - $99,090
Atlanta, GA $35.19 $6,100 $73,190 $53,460 - $97,820
Aurora, CO $36.22 $6,280 $75,340 $54,480 - $100,390
Austin, TX $33.78 $5,860 $70,260 $52,940 - $91,660
Bakersfield, CA $44.29 $7,680 $92,110 $66,530 - $124,740
Baltimore, MD $37.46 $6,490 $77,920 $55,580 - $102,530
Baton Rouge, LA $29.05 $5,040 $60,420 $43,660 - $78,620
Birmingham, AL $29.77 $5,160 $61,920 $43,550 - $80,960
Boise, ID $33.17 $5,750 $68,990 $52,370 - $90,620
Boston, MA $45.80 $7,940 $95,270 $60,440 - $146,190
Buffalo, NY $35.96 $6,230 $74,790 $53,190 - $99,490
Charlotte, NC $30.85 $5,350 $64,170 $45,470 - $82,820
Chicago, IL $37.36 $6,480 $77,710 $54,680 - $103,790
Cincinnati, OH $32.91 $5,700 $68,450 $51,900 - $94,060
Cleveland, OH $33.64 $5,830 $69,970 $53,370 - $92,320
Colorado Springs, CO $35.34 $6,130 $73,510 $52,590 - $99,110
Columbus, GA $29.44 $5,100 $61,230 $43,580 - $79,590
Columbus, OH $32.49 $5,630 $67,590 $51,150 - $95,190
Corpus Christi, TX $30.85 $5,350 $64,170 $41,300 - $84,220
Dallas, TX $35.65 $6,180 $74,140 $53,580 - $99,090
Denver, CO $36.22 $6,280 $75,340 $54,480 - $100,390
Des Moines, IA $29.92 $5,190 $62,240 $46,960 - $79,460
Detroit, MI $35.77 $6,200 $74,390 $55,380 - $96,950
Durham, NC $32.23 $5,590 $67,030 $48,410 - $93,870
El Paso, TX $33.86 $5,870 $70,440 $53,040 - $92,650
Fayetteville, NC $33.65 $5,830 $69,990 $46,400 - $94,380
Fort Wayne, IN $27.73 $4,810 $57,690 $42,930 - $75,860
Fort Worth, TX $35.65 $6,180 $74,140 $53,580 - $99,090
Fresno, CA $46.58 $8,080 $96,900 $63,740 - $169,930
Greensboro, NC $32.07 $5,560 $66,710 $46,440 - $93,770
Henderson, NV $42.27 $7,330 $87,920 $66,370 - $115,760
Honolulu, HI $47.88 $8,300 $99,600 $64,010 - $128,160
Houston, TX $38.54 $6,680 $80,160 $57,890 - $102,180
Indianapolis, IN $33.31 $5,770 $69,290 $50,580 - $94,580
Jacksonville, FL $30.13 $5,220 $62,660 $48,100 - $80,910
Jersey City, NJ $43.83 $7,600 $91,160 $62,690 - $123,640
Kansas City, MO $32.37 $5,610 $67,340 $49,010 - $89,540
Laredo, TX $32.39 $5,610 $67,370 $52,820 - $82,460
Las Vegas, NV $42.27 $7,330 $87,920 $66,370 - $115,760
Lexington, KY $30.68 $5,320 $63,810 $45,450 - $81,670
Lincoln, NE $30.96 $5,370 $64,390 $50,080 - $81,540
Little Rock, AR $31.27 $5,420 $65,030 $45,470 - $83,020
Long Beach, CA $48.05 $8,330 $99,930 $62,690 - $143,030
Los Angeles, CA $48.05 $8,330 $99,930 $62,690 - $143,030
Louisville, KY $31.05 $5,380 $64,590 $45,970 - $81,900
Lubbock, TX $33.84 $5,870 $70,390 $52,170 - $96,650
Madison, WI $38.37 $6,650 $79,810 $61,450 - $103,070
Memphis, TN $31.90 $5,530 $66,350 $47,970 - $85,750
Mesa, AZ $37.54 $6,510 $78,080 $56,010 - $101,550
Miami, FL $33.41 $5,790 $69,500 $51,720 - $95,430
Milwaukee, WI $34.92 $6,050 $72,640 $54,730 - $95,460
Minneapolis, MN $40.15 $6,960 $83,520 $60,520 - $105,640
Modesto, CA $50.98 $8,840 $106,040 $69,670 - $152,610
Montgomery, AL $31.63 $5,480 $65,790 $45,240 - $90,750
Nashville, TN $30.69 $5,320 $63,830 $45,090 - $81,380
New Orleans, LA $32.08 $5,560 $66,730 $39,270 - $90,500
New York, NY $43.83 $7,600 $91,160 $62,690 - $123,640
Newark, NJ $43.83 $7,600 $91,160 $62,690 - $123,640
Norfolk, VA $32.27 $5,590 $67,120 $47,100 - $89,630
Oakland, CA $62.01 $10,750 $128,990 $80,300 - $182,810
Oklahoma City, OK $31.33 $5,430 $65,180 $46,040 - $82,450
Omaha, NE $31.59 $5,480 $65,710 $49,210 - $86,490
Orlando, FL $31.23 $5,410 $64,950 $46,500 - $81,340
Oxnard, CA $44.46 $7,710 $92,480 $57,480 - $132,560
Philadelphia, PA $37.35 $6,470 $77,680 $55,570 - $101,280
Phoenix, AZ $37.54 $6,510 $78,080 $56,010 - $101,550
Pittsburgh, PA $31.85 $5,520 $66,250 $52,190 - $85,750
Portland, OR $34.17 $5,920 $71,080 $52,810 - $97,150
Raleigh, NC $31.18 $5,410 $64,860 $45,760 - $82,730
Reno, NV $37.59 $6,520 $78,190 $59,050 - $99,630
Richmond, VA $34.24 $5,930 $71,210 $50,490 - $96,640
Riverside, CA $48.96 $8,490 $101,830 $67,910 - $145,720
Rochester, NY $31.63 $5,480 $65,800 $51,980 - $81,590
Sacramento, CA $57.95 $10,040 $120,530 $69,190 - $167,570
Saint Paul, MN $40.15 $6,960 $83,520 $60,520 - $105,640
San Antonio, TX $34.74 $6,020 $72,270 $53,170 - $95,110
San Bernardino, CA $48.96 $8,490 $101,830 $67,910 - $145,720
San Diego, CA $47.33 $8,200 $98,440 $62,570 - $133,790
San Francisco, CA $62.01 $10,750 $128,990 $80,300 - $182,810
San Jose, CA $61.83 $10,720 $128,610 $78,380 - $184,670
Scottsdale, AZ $37.54 $6,510 $78,080 $56,010 - $101,550
Seattle, WA $41.27 $7,150 $85,840 $59,000 - $119,620
Spokane, WA $38.08 $6,600 $79,200 $54,770 - $109,290
St. Louis, MO $32.63 $5,660 $67,870 $44,970 - $94,550
St. Petersburg, FL $32.70 $5,670 $68,010 $46,840 - $93,090
Stockton, CA $53.43 $9,260 $111,140 $75,110 - $150,530
Tacoma, WA $41.27 $7,150 $85,840 $59,000 - $119,620
Tampa, FL $32.70 $5,670 $68,010 $46,840 - $93,090
Toledo, OH $31.30 $5,430 $65,100 $52,500 - $80,460
Tucson, AZ $35.79 $6,200 $74,450 $55,970 - $95,690
Tulsa, OK $30.02 $5,200 $62,430 $45,470 - $80,490
Virginia Beach, VA $32.27 $5,590 $67,120 $47,100 - $89,630
Washington, DC $39.17 $6,790 $81,470 $55,640 - $107,640
Wichita, KS $27.45 $4,760 $57,100 $42,360 - $76,970
Winston–Salem, NC $33.21 $5,760 $69,070 $51,680 - $93,760
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019)


RN Income Compared to Other Nursing Careers


An RN is essentially one of the most well-rounded careers in the entire healthcare industry. You will perform a number of duties including patient medical care, administrative details, surgical assisting, and much, much more. This means that RNs tend to earn more than many other healthcare professionals within the same industry, including nursing assistants (certified and non-certified), LPNs or LVNs, and postsecondary nursing instructors or teachers.

Of course, there are some nursing careers that pay more than a career as a registered nurse, as well. These include options such as nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, and nurse practitioner, but it is important to consider that you must obtain at least a master’s degree in order to pursue any of these career paths. RNs earn some of the highest salaries at their education levels, which makes it an increasingly popular career choice for those who want to work in healthcare.

Occupation Hourly Wage Monthly Salary Annual Salary Annual Salary Range
Nurse Anesthetist $84.03 $14,570 $174,790 $116,820 - > $208,000
Nurse Practitioner $52.90 $9,170 $110,030 $78,300 - $150,320
Nurse Midwife $51.40 $8,910 $106,910 $70,100 - $151,070
Nursing Instructor and Teachers, Postsecondary $39.11 $6,780 $81,350 $40,370 - $129,070
Registered Nurse $36.30 $6,290 $75,510 $50,800 - $106,530
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse $22.62 $3,920 $47,050 $33,680 - $62,160
Nursing Assistant $14.22 $2,470 $29,580 $21,290 - $39,560
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019)


RN Income Compared to Similar Healthcare Occupations


As a registered nurse, you can expect to earn a salary that is higher than most other similar healthcare occupations, as well. Pharmacists, physician assistants, physical therapists, radiation therapists, occupational therapists, and dental hygienists tend to earn more than RNs at the national level, but more locally, this can vary significantly depending on population and demand. For example, in highly populated areas, a registered nurse will tend to earn more than a dental hygienist.

You will earn more than sonographers, respiratory therapists, and surgical techs, among others. Part of this has to do with the amount of knowledge, skill, and sheer work ethic it takes to be successful as an RN. Though many of these occupations require the same level of education – a baccalaureate degree – these individuals work a fairly predictable schedule and perform a far narrower range of duties throughout their shifts.

Occupation Hourly Wage Monthly Salary Annual Salary Annual Salary Range
Pharmacist $59.45 $10,310 $123,670 $87,790 - $161,250
Physician Assistant $52.13 $9,040 $108,430 $69,120 - $151,850
Physical Therapist $42.73 $7,410 $88,880 $60,390 - $123,350
Radiation Therapist $41.70 $7,230 $86,730 $56,360 - $124,320
Occupational Therapist $41.04 $7,110 $85,350 $55,490 - $120,750
Registered Nurse $36.30 $6,290 $75,510 $50,800 - $106,530
Dental Hygienist $36.30 $6,290 $75,500 $51,930 - $101,820
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer $35.51 $6,160 $73,860 $51,430 - $100,480
Respiratory Therapist $30.05 $5,210 $62,500 $43,750 - $83,520
Radiologic Technologist $29.59 $5,130 $61,540 $40,630 - $86,350
Dietitian and Nutritionist $29.43 $5,100 $61,210 $38,460 - $84,610
Cardiovascular Technologist and Technician $28.24 $4,890 $58,730 $29,340 - $93,100
Physical Therapist Assistant $27.77 $4,810 $57,750 $33,780 - $79,810
Social Worker $25.51 $4,420 $53,060 $30,750 - $81,400
Surgical Technologist $23.58 $4,090 $49,040 $32,870 - $69,170
Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic $18.15 $3,150 $37,760 $22,760 - $58,640
Medical Assistant $16.61 $2,880 $34,540 $24,790 - $47,250
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019)


Employment Outlook of a Registered Nurse in the United States


How Much Has the Registered Nursing Industry Grown in The Last 5 Years (2013- 2018)?



Over the course of the last five years, the RN industry as a whole has grown by a staggering 10.90%, which indicates the increased need for registered nurses. There are numerous factors driving this growth now, and they are expected to continue driving significant growth in the future. The US population is continuing to grow, but even so, it is aging at the same time. Starting in 2011, baby boomers began to reach retirement age, which increased the number of people with access to Medicare and thus drove the demand for healthcare.

Year Number of Employees Growth % Growth
20142,687,31025,4200.95%
20152,745,91058,6002.18%
20162,857,180111,2704.05%
20172,906,84049,6601.74%
20182,951,96045,1201.55%
Overall Growth in Five Years290,07010.90%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019)


How Much Will the Registered Nursing Industry Grow in The Next 5 Years (2018- 2023)?


Many of the same factors that drove RN industry growth over the last five years will continue to impact the industry in the future. Between 2018 and 2023, the industry is expected to grow by 7.57%, which is slightly slower than the previous five years. This is because the much baby boomer generation will have already reached retirement age and the number of people entering retirement will start to slow. Other factors expected to drive growth include expanded health coverage for more Americans, better medical technology, and a higher demand for preventative care.

YearEmploymentGrowth% Growth
20192,996,18044,2201.50%
20203,040,93044,7501.49%
20213,086,50045,5701.50%
20223,131,07044,5701.44%
20233,175,55044,4801.42%
Overall Growth in Next Five Years223,5907.57%
(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


How Many Registered Nursing Jobs Are Being Created Annually?


Each year in the US, well over 200,000 job openings for RNs become available. Between 2018 and 2023, the US will need to add well over 44,000 new RN positions each year to keep up with demand. In 2019, it is expected that some 188,620 replacement RNs will be necessary, but by 2023, that number will jump to 239,960. In 2019, the total of new and replacement RN positions is expected to be 232,836, but in 2023, this number is expected to climb to 284,440 – a jump of roughly 52,000 positions.

The growing population will require skilled healthcare, and employers are increasingly hiring RNs over LVNs and LPNs in order to provide better care to their patients. As nurses continue to retire out of the industry at a faster pace over the next few years, the need to fill existing positions will continue to grow as well. Finally, technological growth and better access to healthcare will lead to more people than ever seeking treatment, which will have a tremendous impact on this growth.

YearNewReplacementAnnual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
201944,216188,620232,836
202044,755199,960244,715
202145,574212,280257,854
202244,562225,570270,132
202344,480239,960284,440
(Source: In-House Research, May 2019)


State Wise Registered Nurse Employment, 10 Year Growth Projection and Annual Job Openings


Growth projection by state is an important consideration since your overall job security could be impacted by the state in which you live. For the most part, the population of any given state is responsible for the overall outlook. As an example, California is expected to see the biggest increase in growth while Wyoming is expected to see the least.

State Employment Employment Growth (2017-2027) Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
20172027 Number %
Alabama49,29055,6576,36712.923,270
Alaska5,5706,14257210.27380
Arizona54,63064,4029,77217.893,630
Arkansas24,38026,9552,57510.561,610
California282,290322,23639,94614.1518,930
Colorado49,34063,59514,25528.893,280
Connecticut34,31034,9436331.842,270
Delaware11,62013,2781,65814.27780
District of Columbia11,00011,4754754.32710
Florida178,330219,21640,88622.9312,040
Georgia75,00088,27913,27917.715,050
Hawaii10,80012,7961,99618.48780
Illinois123,100135,31012,2109.928,390
Indiana68,53076,2347,70411.244,400
Iowa33,28037,6504,37013.132,230
Kansas28,90029,3414411.531,870
Kentucky44,41062,18717,77740.033,140
Louisiana45,97052,0846,11413.303,090
Maine14,20015,7851,58511.16980
Maryland53,70064,19810,49819.553,680
Massachusetts82,87099,02216,15219.495,870
Michigan94,090104,0009,91010.536,390
Minnesota64,54069,3984,8587.534,260
Mississippi28,76032,6713,91113.601,970
Missouri72,09077,6115,5217.664,680
Montana10,11012,0001,89018.69680
Nebraska22,87024,2651,3956.101,460
Nevada21,06024,1663,10614.751,400
New Hampshire13,19015,2842,09415.88910
New Jersey80,56089,9169,35611.615,470
New Mexico16,29019,0052,71516.671,120
New York180,170212,03631,86617.6912,460
North Carolina99,210121,25922,04922.226,830
North Dakota9,02010,8441,82420.22600
Ohio124,620146,30121,68117.408,830
Oklahoma28,00031,6093,60912.891,910
Oregon35,14040,5995,45915.542,430
Pennsylvania143,130159,37916,24911.359,610
Rhode Island11,82013,6351,81515.36840
South Carolina43,20048,1914,99111.552,880
South Dakota12,53013,6151,0858.66840
Tennessee59,35075,38116,03127.014,140
Texas212,230273,43661,20628.8414,320
Utah21,34028,6867,34634.421,480
Vermont6,2706,5102403.83400
Virginia64,26072,9288,66813.494,400
Washington56,88066,6369,75617.153,820
West Virginia20,41022,5852,17510.661,440
Wisconsin55,94061,0535,1139.143,820
Wyoming4,9105,9821,07221.83340
(Source: Compiled using data from careeronestop.org)


What Are the Reasons Behind Strong Job Outlook for The Registered Nursing Industry?


The strong outlook in the registered nursing industry is being driven by a number of factors, and it is likely that this growth will continue well beyond the next decade. Take a look at some of the things that make registered nursing such a lucrative career choice:

Rapidly Aging Population:

The baby boomer generation began to reach retirement age in 2011, and as a result, they also gained access to Medicare benefits. The combination of increased medical coverage and common medical conditions associated with aging have driven the demand for healthcare overall, and thus the demand for RNs. This trend is expected to continue for many more years to come.

Increasing Number of Individuals with Chronic Conditions Like Diabetes, Obesity, Arthritis and Dementia:

As the population of the United States gets older collectively, there will also be an increase in the number of people with diseases and conditions that are common among the elderly including dementia, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancers, and more. Obesity and diabetes are also growing among the US population in people of all ages – including children – which puts further strain on the healthcare industry and increases demand for RNs.

Growing Number of Individuals with Access to Healthcare:

Thanks to government initiatives to expand healthcare to more people and laws that require individuals to purchase health insurance, more people than ever before have coverage. As a result, more people are seeking preventative care and treatment, which drives the demand for healthcare professionals.

Acute Registered Nursing Shortage in Several States Across the Nation:

Numerous states across the country are seeing a shortage in registered nurses and other healthcare professionals. States like California, Florida, and New York simply do not have enough new RNs to fill existing positions, and this is due in part to the booming population.

Increased Emphasis on Preventative Care:

Physicians and health insurance providers alike have placed a tremendous focus on the need for individuals to seek preventative care. More people than ever are scheduling annual physicals and lab work for this reason, and as a result, RNs are in high demand across the nation.

Rising Demand for Home-Based Health Care:

Insurance providers are beginning to increase their coverage of home-based health services, which means people are continuing to avoid nursing homes and rehabilitation centers in favor of remaining in their homes as they age or recover from illness or injury. Because RNs can see fewer patients in this setting, more professionals are required to provide the requested services.

High Number of Current Registered Nurses Reaching Retirement Age:

The population as a whole continues to age, and RNs are not immune to this. Many of today’s RNs are either of retirement age or within a few years of reaching it, and this means that more younger RNs will be needed to take their place.

Which Industries Employ the Highest Number of RNs?


As an RN, you could work in a variety of different industries across the country. Some of these industries, such as private hospitals, require far more RNs collectively than others, including the insurance industry. If you want to enjoy excellent job security and a competitive pay rate, it is often best to seek employment in an industry where the demand is greater. Private hospitals, private doctors’ offices, home health care, government-owned hospitals, and nursing care facilities are the biggest employers of RNs.

These industries employ more RNs than others simply because they are responsible for more people. On any given day, far more people who require the services of an RN enter a private hospital, doctor’s office, or nursing home than other facilities, which is the driving force behind the high employment rates. These numbers will only continue to grow in the future, and as the nursing shortage continues, you can expect a competitive rate of pay and excellent job security within these industries, as well.

Rank Industry Employment
1 Private Hospitals 1,453,920
2 Offices of Physicians 197,790
3 Home Health Care Services 181,180
4 Local Government Owned Hospitals 179,570
5 Nursing Care Facilities 153,120
6 Federal Government 81,390
7 State Government Owned Hospitals 65,210
8 Specialty Hospitals 57,460
9 Elementary and Secondary Schools 48,250
10 Temporary Help Services 45,920
11 Local Government 35,180
12 Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for The Elderly 34,640
13 State Government 33,610
14 Private Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals 22,560
15 Direct Health and Medical Insurance Carriers 21,600
16 Services for The Elderly and Persons with Disabilities 18,380
17 State Government Owned Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals 15,990
18 State Government Owned Colleges and Universities 15,780
19 Management of Companies and Enterprises 14,270
20 All Other Ambulatory Health Care Services 10,710
21 Outpatient Mental Health and Substance Abuse Centers 9,720
22 Residential Mental Health and Substance Abuse Facilities 9,330
23 Other Insurance Related Activities 7,680
24 Offices of All Other Health Practitioners 6,960
25 Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability Facilities 6,450
26 Privately Owned Colleges and Universities 6,000
27 Management, Scientific, And Technical Consulting Services 5,760
28 State Government Owned Specialty Hospitals 5,380
29 Privately Owned Elementary and Secondary Schools 4,730
30 Office Administrative Services 4,630
31 Ambulance Services 4,510
32 Offices of Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists and Audiologists 3,690
33 Other Residential Care Facilities 2,930
34 Local Government Owned Colleges and Universities 2,840
35 Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories 2,280
36 Research and Development in The Physical, Engineering, And Life Sciences 2,160
37 Vocational Rehabilitation Services 2,060
38 Offices of Dentists 1,440
39 Pharmacies and Drug Stores 1,280
40 Direct Insurance Carriers (Except Life, Health and Medical) 1,070
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019)


RN Job Outlook Compared to Other Nursing Careers


It can also be helpful to take a look at the overall outlook and job security expectations associated with various other nursing careers in order to make a better decision about your future. Between the years of 2016 and 2026, more registered nurse positions (438,000) will be added than any other nursing career, representing an overall growth of 14.82%. However, the nurse practitioner career outlook is slated to grow even more quickly. Between those same years, only 56,100 nurse practitioner positions are expected to be added, but this represents a growth of 36.08% over the number of NP positions in 2016. All healthcare and nursing careers will grow significantly, but RNs will continue to be in the highest demand.

OccupationEmploymentEmployment Growth (2016-2026)Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
20162026 Number %
Registered Nurse2,955,2003,393,200438,00014.82203,700
Nursing Assistant1,510,3001,683,700173,40011.48195,100
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse724,500813,40088,90012.2762,700
Nurse Practitioner155,500211,60056,10036.0814,400
Nursing Instructor and Teachers, Postsecondary67,90084,20016,30024.017,300
Nurse Anesthetist41,80048,6006,80016.272,800
Nurse Midwife6,5007,8001,30020500
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018)


RN Job Outlook Compared to Similar Healthcare Occupations


When comparing the RN job outlook with similar healthcare occupations that require much the same education, it is clear that more registered nurse job openings will be available than any other. The largest growth percentage will affect occupations such as physical therapist assistants, physician assistants, and medical assistants, but overall, these occupations will see only a fraction of the new job openings as RNs. By 2026, it is estimated that there will be some 3,393,000 RNs across the country compared to only 818,400 medical workers and 39,700 physician assistants.

OccupationEmploymentNew Employment Growth (2016-2026)Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
2016 2026 Number %
Registered Nurse2,955,2003,393,200438,00014.82203,700
Medical Assistant634,400818,400184,00029.0094,900
Social Worker682,100791,800109,70016.0884,300
Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic248,000285,40037,40015.0819,400
Physical Therapist239,800306,90067,10027.9817,700
Dental Hygienist207,900248,90041,00019.7217,500
Pharmacist312,500329,90017,4005.5715,300
Physical Therapist Assistant88,300115,80027,50031.1414,700
Radiologic Technologist205,200230,50025,30012.3313,600
Physician Assistant106,200145,90039,70037.3810,600
Occupational Therapist130,400161,40031,00023.7710,200
Surgical Technologist107,700120,30012,60011.7010,000
Respiratory Therapist130,200160,60030,40023.359,800
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer67,30082,90015,60023.185,400
Dietitian and Nutritionist68,00077,9009,90014.565,400
Cardiovascular Technologist and Technician55,00060,5005,50010.003,500
Radiation Therapist19,10021,5002,40012.571,200
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018)


18 Reasons Why Registered Nursing Is the Most Sought-After Occupation?


Career possibilities are virtually limitless, but as of 2019, more people than ever before are interested in a career as a registered nurse. There are many reasons for this, but the top 18 are listed below.

1. Make a Difference in People’s Lives –

Registered nurses save lives every single day across the country, which means they have the potential to change more lives for the better than any other occupation.

2. Respect in the Community –

Thanks to media coverage (including social media), more people than ever realize how hard RNs work to provide excellent care. This earns them a great deal of respect within their communities.

3. Multiple Career Paths –

As an RN, your career choices are virtually limitless. You could specialize in a specific area of medicine, become a teacher or manager, or even go back to school to become a nurse practitioner, doctor, or surgeon.

4. Plenty of Job Openings –

One of the biggest reasons to consider a career as an RN is job security. No matter where you live, there will always be a job opening, so you will never be out of work.

5. Competitive Salary –

Among careers requiring associate’s or baccalaureate degrees, registered nursing is one of the highest paid.

6. Flexible Locations –

If you receive your RN license in a state that is part of the Nursing Licensure Compact, you can work in 28 other states without having to go through the licensure process again.

7. Flexible Schedules –

Though RNs do work long hours, many employers are quite flexible, and you can also help to ensure an ideal schedule by going to work for a private doctor’s office rather than a hospital or nursing home.

8. Paid Time Off –

Though all employers are different, almost all RNs are eligible for paid time off after a certain period of time.

9. Insurance (Health, Life, Dental & Vision Insurance) –

RNs receive excellent benefits packages from their employers, and this typically includes everything from health, dental, and vision insurance to a substantial amount of life insurance.

10. Retirement Benefits -

Most of today’s employers provide their RNs with 401(k) and other retirement savings plans or even pensions that are designed to provide a financial cushion when they reach retirement age.

11. Job Security –

Factors like the aging population, the RN shortage, increased health insurance coverage, better medical technology, and increased awareness of the benefits of preventative care will drive demand for skilled nurses and boost your job security.

12. Opportunities to Earn Extra –

Due to current staffing shortages, many of today’s RNs are given ample opportunity to work overtime and earn 1.5 times their hourly rate for anything over 40 hours. Some employers even offer bonuses for nurses who have incredible patient outcomes or who meet predetermined KPIs.

13. Tuition Reimbursement –

Employers will often reimburse part or all of your tuition if you choose to further your education in healthcare in exchange for continuing to work for that employer for a set period of time.

14. Opportunities for Advancement –

You could move your way up the career ladder in short order, moving from RN to head nurse, nurse manager, and various other positions. You can also earn certifications or go back to school to advance even further.

15. Job Satisfaction –

The ability to work with people to help them feel better and heal is incredibly rewarding, and when this is combined with recognition in the community, respect, a competitive salary, benefits, and more, it makes the RN career path incredibly satisfying.

16. Nursing is a Vibrant Community –

Numerous nursing support groups exist at the local level and online, which encourages RNs to come together and provide companionship, advice, and more.

17. Volunteer Work –

RNs often have opportunities to travel to locations where their services are in desperate need, including to other parts of the US after natural disasters or to third-world countries in an effort to provide basic healthcare.

18. Keeps You Fit –

In today’s world, where many people earn a living sitting behind a desk, this is not the case for an RN. You will be on your feet for eight or more hours each day, which will keep you fit without even thinking about it.

Our Final Take: Is Registered Nursing The Right Career Option For Me?


With all of the above information in mind, does it make sense to pursue a career as a registered nurse? When examining all of the factors, it becomes clear that it is one of the best professions to consider in the United States today. Of course, nursing is a very fulfilling and rewarding career choice in general, and it will give you the opportunity to meet new people, save many lives, and change even more lives. However, it is also important to think about the possibility of heartache and grief as not every patient you treat will get to experience a positive outcome.

In terms of the potential salary, the ability to earn well above average with nothing more than an associate degree is certainly appealing, though you should keep in mind that employers are starting to “phase out” hiring RNs without baccalaureate (BSN) degrees. Even still, the ability to earn a handsome salary with a four-year college education is highly appealing. You will also have access to some of the best benefits available in the country, including excellent health, vision, and dental coverage, significant life insurance benefits, 401(k) and other retirement plans, and much, much more.

In terms of job outlook, there is very little doubt that you would enjoy security in your position as a registered nurse. The demand will continue to increase in the future as more and more people seek medical care, but fewer people enter the nursing profession as a whole. This demand will make you quite the commodity, and employers will be willing to pay a premium for your excellent services.

Interesting Registered Nursing Related Statistics


What is the Educational Background of Current RN Workers?


Most RN workers in the United States today (50%) have a four-year BSN degree, and this trend is expected to continue well into the future. Another 32.7% have an ADN degree, and a total of 11% have graduate degrees. Keep in mind that many states across the nation are currently pushing for at least 80% of their RNs to have a BSN at minimum by the year 2020, so these numbers are expected to change.

Less Than High School DiplomaHigh School Diploma or EquivalentSome College, No DegreeAssociate's DegreeBachelor's DegreeMaster's DegreeDoctoral or Professional Degree
Percent 0.30.94.832.7509.51.8
Number 9,63928,917154,2241,050,6511,606,500305,23557,834
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019)


What Is the Average Age of a Registered Nurse?


Most registered nurses in today’s healthcare industry are between 25 and 34 years old. Only a very few RNs are 19 or younger, and a surprising 164,000 are 65 years old or older. These percentages are spread fairly evenly, but the number of new RNs entering the workforce is evident. Only a little over 4.82% of all the RNs in the workforce are 24 years old or younger, which indicates that fewer people who go to college immediately after high school are choosing the nursing profession.

Total, 16 years and over 16 to 19 years 20 to 24 years 25 to 34 years 35 to 44 years 45 to 54 years 55 to 64 years 65 years and over Average Age
3,213,0002,000155,000842,000745,000717,000589,000164,00043.2
100%0.06%4.82%26.21%23.19%22.32%18.33%5.10%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018)


What Is the Ratio of Women to Men Workers in The Registered Nursing Industry?


Though the number of male registered nurses has increased significantly over the last couple decades, they make up only 12.17% of the RN population in the US. There are 2,821,980 female RNs, which equals 87.83%of the entire workforce. Comparatively, there are only 391,020 male RNs in the US today.

Female Registered NursesMale Registered Nurses
2,821,980391,020
87.83%12.17%


What Is the Ethnicity Mix of RN Workers?


More minorities than ever before continue to enter the healthcare industry, but they still represent only small fractions of the overall RN population. Hispanic RNs make up only 7.20% of the population, and Asian RNs make up 9.00%. Black and/or African American people represent 13.10% of the RNs in the US. Some 75.50% of all registered nurses in the country are white.

WhiteBlack or African AmericanAsianHispanic or Latino
Percent Employed75.50%13.10%9.00%7.20%
Number Employed2,425,820420,900289,170231,340
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019)


Will I Earn More or Less as an RN Compared to Other Occupations?


Compared to the average salary associated with all other occupations, your salary will be handsome. RNs earn about $11.32 more on the hour than the national average, which equals about $23,550 more per year. Again, the high demand for RNs across the country due to shortages, aging populations, and other factors is by far the biggest contributor to the above-average salary.

TypeRN SalaryAverage Salary of All OccupationsHow Much More Does an RN Earn
Hourly Wage$36.30 $24.98 $11.32
Monthly Salary$6,290 $4,330 $1,960
Annual Salary$75,510 $51,960 $23,550
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019)


Why Pursuing a BSN is Worth it?


Though you can go to work as a licensed RN after 18 months to two years of school, it is worth your time and money to pursue a BSN. Not only are most of the lucrative and high-paying employers slowly phasing out hiring RNs with only associate degrees, but even today, RNs who have BSN degrees earn an average of $6,420 more than their ADN-holding counterparts. Over the course of the average 40-year career, that’s a difference of over a quarter million dollars.

AnnualHourlyMonthly
BSN Salary$79,200 $38.08$6,600
ADN Salary$72,780 $34.99$6,070
How Much More Does a BSN Earn$6,420$3.09$530
(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Why Do Male RN Workers Earn More Than Their Female Counterparts?


As a whole, male RNs earn $82,240 each year while women earn $74,800. There are a couple reasons why male RNs tend to earn more than their female counterparts at the national level, as well. Many people cite pay inequality as a contributing factor, and research suggests it, as well. Employers, on the other hand, claim that male nurses make their male patients feel more comfortable, particularly in certain specialties and for specific procedures. Because men are less likely to enter the field in the first place, employers must make the salary enticing in order to secure one (or more) male nurses for their facilities.

Women Annual EarningsMen Annual Earnings
$74,800$82,240