Health Career Center

Registered Nurse (RN) Salary Information

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for an RN in 2010 was roughly $65,000. The top 10 percent of RNs earned an average of $95,000 a year while the bottom 10 percent made about $45,000 a year. Nurses specializing personal care, or those working for private-sector pharmaceutical companies or medical device manufactureres earned the highest wages of any nursing field. Registered nurses working in Maryland, New York, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and California earn the highest annual salaries nationwide. RNs employed in California earn average salaries of $83,040 annually. In other high wage states, the median annual salary for registered nurses is between $73,160 - 79,390 a year.

Overall, nursing salaries are influenced by several factors, including:
  • Level of education and/or type of degree earned
  • Years of experience in a specific field of nursing
  • State and city where you work (cost of living)
  • Type of work performed
  • Type of nursing specialty
  Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Nursing Salaries
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), also refered to as Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) usually train for their careers via a year long program offered by hospitals, community colleges or vocational schools. Upon completion of the LPN program, students must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) to earn their state nursing licensure. LPNs typically earn less than RNs and other nurse specialists.


Annual Mean Wage

Nursing Care Facility




Doctor's Office


Home Health Care


Community Care Elderly Facility


  Registered Nurse (RN) Nursing Salaries
Registered Nurse (RN) is one of the most popular nursing designations. To become a registered nurs you must complete a nursing diploma program, earn a two-year associate's degree or a four-year bachelor's degree in nursing. Upon graduation, nurse candidates must then pass the NCLEX-RN exam to obtain their registered nursing license.


Annual Mean Wage



Physician's Office


Home Health Care


Nursing Home Facilities


Outpatient Care Centers


  Advanced Practiced (AP) Nursing Salaries
In addition to a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (MSN), Advanced Practice Nurses must have a Master's Degree in Nursing (MSN). Like Medical Doctors, Advanced Practice Nurses provide direct patient patient care services. As Advanced Practices Nurses are required to hold an advanced degree, they typically earn more than Registered Nurses or Licensed Practical Nurses.

AP Nursing Category

Annual Mean Salary

Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)


Certified Nurse Midwife


Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)


Nurse Practitioner (NP)


Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)


  Nursing Salaries for Various Nurse Specialists
There are several different types of nurse specialists. Below are just a few of most common. Earns for each type of nurse are dependant on education level, location, nature of services performed and experience.

Nurse Specialist

Annual Mean Salary

Clinical Nurse Specialist


Critical-Care Nurse


Emergency Nurse


Hospice/Palliative Care Nurses


Labor & Delivery Staff Nurse


Neonatal Nurse


Nephrology Nurse


Nurse Anesthetist


Nurse Educator


Nurse Executive


Nurse Midwife


Nurse Practitioner


Nurse Researcher


Occupational Health Nurse


Oncology Nurse


Orthopaedic Nurse Practitioner


Pediatric Nurse


Perioperative (O.R.) Nurse


Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse


Public Health Nurse


Registered Nurse (RN)


School Nurse


Staff Nurse


Women's Health Nurse Practitioner


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