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Registered Nurses How Much Do Nurses Make?

Nursing is one of the most rewarding professions there is, but we should recognize how demanding it can also be. Nurses all over the country face serious challenges every day, putting stress on themselves and their relationships in order to improve patient outcomes. That’s why nurses deserve ample compensation for their time, and knowing how much nurses make per hour helps you make an informed decision about your career. 

Salaries for nurses vary widely, often depending on the state in which they work or the specific duties they fulfill. Experience also affects salaries, in that seasoned nurses command higher salaries than those at the beginning of their careers. When you know what other nurses with a comparable background earn, you can negotiate your own salary more effectively — or explore alternative options for career advancement.

According to Indeed, nurses on average make:

  • $43.45 per hour. 
  • $1,697 per week. 
  • $6,565 per month. 
  • $92,730 per year.  

But these figures depend on the nurse’s experience. An entry-level nurse will earn an average of $39.27 per hour, or $83,808 per year. 

Salary is one of the most vital considerations for practicing clinicians or future nursing students. Each distinct nursing profession has its own forking career paths and salary expectations. Some roles easily make over six figures every year, while others earn a little more than $50,000. 

In this guide, we’ll examine these salary differences in greater detail and tell you what you need to know about how much registered nurses make. 

Differences Between a Registered Nurse and an Enrolled Nurse

The public most often considers nurses to be helpers or assistants to the doctors they work with. We know the reality, however: Nurses form the backbone of healthcare. Most healthcare workers operate in a nursing role, and nurses, whether registered or enrolled, are some of the most experienced professionals in the nation.

Enrolled nurses (ENs) are skilled professionals certified to assist in day-to-day healthcare operations. They might help a doctor keep track of a patient’s vital signs or assist inpatients with recovery exercises or personal grooming. Enrolled nurses typically work under the direct supervision of a registered nurse (RN), collaborating with RNs on patient care tasks. 

Registered nurses, on the other hand, have nursing degrees and possess a higher level of certification than enrolled nurses. They take part directly in patient management planning, being authorized to conduct detailed patient assessments. Plus, RNs operate with more autonomy than ENs, owing to their greater seniority and experience.

RNs and ENs do have their similarities, in that they both work with physicians on critical patient care objectives. RNs, however, have a greater field of responsibility than ENs do, often finding themselves working as unit managers in fast-paced administrative environments. They leave most routine patient care tasks to other members of the nursing team, functioning more as coordinators than active caretakers. 

How Much Do RN Nurses Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for registered nurses in 2021 was $77,600 per year. As you’ll see, RN salaries can differ a great deal from one state to the next. 

How Many Types of Nurses Are There?

Although different organizations define nursing categories differently, there are at least four overarching kinds of nurses with their respective average salaries: 

These fields have their own diverse specialties and objectives. We’ve collated some of the major kinds of nurses and their expected salaries below. 

Types of Nurses and Salaries 

Nursing is a diverse profession, and we can find nurses across nearly every sector of the economy. Education and experience make the most considerable differences in their diverging salaries. regularly publishes descriptions and salary data for many nursing specialties. As you can see below, psychiatric nurses are some of the nation’s highest-paid nurses, earning $141,921 per year, while school and practical nurses make substantially less at $52,546 and $51,850 per year, respectively. 

Type of Nurse Salary
Aesthetic nurses$77,600
Bachelor’s level (BSN-credentialed) nurses $85,233
Charge nurses$93,963
Dialysis nurses$77,600
Emergency room (ER) nurses$77,600
Flight nurses$77,600
Labor and delivery nurses$75,900
Neonatal nurses$100,944
NICU nurses$72,223
Nurse midwives$111,130
Nurse practitioners$120,680
Obstetrics & gynecology (OB/GYN) nurses$64,300
Oncology nurses$90,088
Pediatric nurses$74,300
Practical nurses$51,850
Psychiatric nurses$141,921
School nurses$52,546
Scrub nurses$99,653
Trauma nurses$93,283
Travel nurses$103,695

Nurse Salary By State

As illustrated in the table below, nursing salaries vary widely across the country. Where nurses choose to work can make a tremendous difference to their career prospects. For instance, nurses in California make $124,000 annually, while nurses in South Dakota make $60,540 — a substantial difference. 

New Hampshire$78,270
New Jersey$89,690
New Mexico$77,590
New York$93,320
North Carolina$71,200
North Dakota$71,200
Rhode Island$85,270
South Carolina$69,580
South Dakota$60,540
West Virginia$67,640

Toward a Rewarding Career in Nursing

Our deep dive into nursing salaries shows the importance of understanding the different categories of nursing specialties. When deciding to augment or pursue a career in nursing, we should reflect upon our own talents and abilities — what kind of work fits us best? Nursing is a sufficiently broad field within which almost anyone can find placement. 

We can’t expect to become skilled nurses in the blink of an eye. It requires many years of practice to become an experienced nurse, one who can lead other medical workers in a demanding environment. Nurses in their first few years of work, no matter how qualified, shouldn’t expect to make the same as someone with more experience. 

But it’s also important to know how nursing salaries differ from state to state. Although California pays nurses more than Alabama, the cost of living there is also higher. These are factors to consider when selecting a career path. 

Yet one thing is clear: Nurses are the essential element of the entire healthcare system. Practicing nurses have many opportunities for enhancing their skills, attaining higher salaries, and creating the bigger difference they desire. 


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