Salary Guide: Registered Nurses

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Registered nurses care for patients and maintain medical records. This includes advanced nurses like nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists. Licensure is required to become a registered nurse, and higher education is necessary for advanced nursing positions. Nationwide there are nearly 2,660,000 registered nurses who earn an average salary of $67,720.

Nationwide there are nearly 2,660,000 registered nurses who earn an average salary of $67,720.

There are three main paths to becoming a Registered Nurse. Students can get a bachelor’s of science in nursing degree (BSN), an associate degree in nursing, or a diploma. Upon passing national licensing exams, anyone graduating from one of these three paths is qualified to work as a staff nurse. Higher education can provide a wider set of nursing career opportunities and increased wages.

Find out more about Registered Nurse programs in your area or online.

Salaries by State (mean annual wage)

Alabama: $57,850
Alaska: $79,350
Arizona: $70,220
Arkansas: $56,500
California: $87,480
Colorado: $67,280
Connecticut: $73,860
Delaware: $70,920
District of Columbia: $76,210
Florida: $63,010
Georgia: $61,670
Hawaii : $82,130
Idaho: $62,720
Illinois: $66,660
Indiana: $57,820
Iowa: $51,970
Kansas: $57,470
Kentucky: $58,130
Louisiana: $62,060
Maine: $64,650
Maryland: $76,450
Massachusetts: $84,990
Michigan: $63,970
Minnesota: $73,770
Mississippi: $57,940
Missouri: $59,140
Montana: $57,860
Nebraska: $56,480
Nevada: $75,320
New Hampshire: $63,340
New Jersey: $75,440
New Mexico: $66,090
New York: $74,000
North Carolina: $60,260
North Dakota: $57,020
Ohio: $60,590
Oklahoma: $54,340
Oregon: $75,350
Pennsylvania: $65,070
Rhode Island: $70,640
South Carolina: $60,040
South Dakota: $54,730
Tennessee: $60,480
Texas: $66,180
Utah: $60,530
Vermont: $63,210
Virginia: $65,020
Washington: $73,680
West Virginia: $54,300
Wisconsin: $64,280
Wyoming: $58,750

Salaries in Top 20 Metro Areas (mean annual wage)

1. New York City: $82,000
2. Los Angeles: $82,590
3. Chicago: $71,010
4. Dallas – Forth Worth: $67,030
5. Philadelphia: $72,100
6. Houston: $71,700
7. Washington DC: $76,090
8. Miami: $67,890
9. Atlanta: $64,090
10. Boston: $87,630
11. San Francisco: $99,240
12. Detroit: $68,230
13. Riverside: $79,800
14. Phoenix: $72,130
15. Seattle: $77,270
16. Minneapolis: $75,810
17. San Diego: $84,230
18. St. Louis: $60,300
19. Tampa: $65,720
20. Baltimore: $77,880

  • All statistics calculated by the US Department of Labor, May 2010.

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