Home Jobs & Education How Much Do Registered Nurses Make?

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registered-nurseRegistered nurses (RNs) are health care professionals that provide and coordinate patient care for a variety of differential medical conditions in a multitude of medical settings.

Registered nurses are typically responsible for maintaining patient records, administering medications and treatments to patients, establishing treatment plans, observing patients and recording the findings, consulting with doctors, performing diagnostic tests, and educating patients and their families about conditions.

Salary
How much do RNs make? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics records for May 2012, the average registered nurse salary in the United States is $67,930, which is equivalent to a mean hourly wage of $32.66. The bottom ten percent of registered nurses earns $45,040, while the top ten percent in the profession earn nearly six-figures at an average $94,720 each year. Generally, registered nurses with higher levels of experience and licensing or training are compensated at the higher salaries.

Registered nurses that are employed in general medical hospitals make an average mean salary of $69,490, while those in physician offices earn significantly less than average at $62,120. The highest paying industries for this occupation remain the federal executive branch at $79,270, and colleges or universities at a mean annual salary of $74,540. Throughout the nation, the registered nurses with the highest annual salaries can be found in California at an astounding average $94,120 salary.

State Hourly Wage Average Salary Number of Jobs
Alabama $26.57 $55,270 43,760
Alaska $38.93 $80,970 5,350
Arizona $34.32 $71,390 45,600
Arkansas $26.62 $55,360 23,480
California $45.25 $94,120 249,980
Colorado $32.66 $67,920 41,380
Connecticut $36.37 $75,660 34,820
Delaware $34.05 $70,820 9,660
Florida $29.70 $61,780 163,720
Georgia $29.22 $60,770 64,180
Hawaii $40.74 $84,750 10,060
Idaho $28.42 $59,100 11,420
Illinois $31.66 $66,260 114,730
Indiana $27.65 $57,520 58,430
Iowa $25.26 $52,540 32,170
Kansas $26.94 $56,040 26,380
Kentucky $27.65 $57,510 42,920
Louisiana $29.45 $61,260 40,180
Maine $29.18 $60,700 14,260
Maryland $34.18 $71,090 45,630
Massachusetts $40.08 $83,370 79,570
Michigan $30.97 $64,430 90,540
Minnesota $34.03 $70,780 54,940
Mississippi $27.76 $57,740 28,200
Missouri $27.40 $56,990 65,260
Montana $28.81 $59,920 8,400
Nebraska $27.09 $56,350 18,590
Nevada $37.44 $77,870 16,790
New Hampshire $30.73 $63,920 12,530
New Jersey $36.45 $75,820 74,700
New Mexico $32.07 $66,710 14,780
New York $35.63 $74,100 166,950
North Carolina $28.25 $58,760 86,240
North Dakota $25.73 $53,520 7,580
Ohio $29.31 $60,970 120,460
Oklahoma $26.91 $55,980 26,850
Oregon $37.75 $78,530 28,840
Pennsylvania $31.25 $65,000 125,220
Rhode Island $35.13 $73,070 11,840
South Carolina $28.33 $58,940 41,870
South Dakota $25.39 $52,800 11,030
Tennessee $26.83 $55,800 55,580
Texas $31.90 $66,350 187,290
Utah $28.76 $59,810 17,920
Vermont $30.46 $63,350 6,310
Virginia $30.31 $63,050 58,650
Washington $36.22 $75,350 51,060
West Virginia $56.20 $54,490 17,440
Wisconsin $30.77 $64,000 54,640
Wyoming $29.18 $60,690 4,460
Data courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Work Environment
As the largest occupation in the booming health care industry, there are more than 2.6 million jobs for registered nurses in many work settings. An estimated 48 percent of registered nurses are employed in general medical and surgical hospitals, making it the highest concentrated industry for the profession. The remainder works in physician offices, home health care services, nursing homes, residential care facilities, schools, government agencies, educational services, and correctional facilities.

Since patients within hospitals and other facilities require care around the clock, nurses in these work environments may work irregular and long hours. Registered nurses may be expected to work night, weekend, and holiday shifts, while being on call at other times. Nurses that are employed in industries that do not provide 24-hour care are more likely to work full-time during regular business hours. Around 20 percent of registered nurses are employed part-time. Employment for registered nurses is expected to grow faster than average at 26 percent between 2010 and 2020.

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