Caregivers have been carrying a heavy burden and inadequate equipment since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
These unforeseen circumstances also highlighted the crucial role nurses play in the health care system. The need for healthcare professionals in this time of crisis, combined with the national shortage of nurses, has resulted in a salary increase for nurses at all levels that could last well beyond the pandemic.
This guide includes data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on 2020 nurses' salaries, released in March 2021. Nurses starting out or already in the profession can find out which states and cities offer the highest salaries, where increased more and how these trends will affect themnursing professionnot future.
How much did nurses earn in 2020?
Nurses' salaries increased significantly in the five years prior to the pandemic.registered nurses(RN) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) saw the biggest increases since 2016.
Certified Nurse Anesthetists(CRNA),certified midwifes (CNM), yNurse(NP) all earned six-figure average salaries in 2020the latest data from BLS.
Average nursing salary by year and occupation
The growing demand for postsecondary nursing educators and faculty to train the next generation of nursing professionals has steadily increased the salaries of these educators.nursing assistantsjlicensed practical and vocational nurses(LPN/LVN), who typically enter the field without four-year degrees, continue to earn less than RNs with a bachelor's degree or higher. Even if these nurses earn less than themnational average of $58,310they also received steady pay increases for all US jobs between 2016 and 2020.
How much have nursing salaries changed in the last year?
Although APRNs earn the highest salaries of any nursing profession, salary increases in the nursing profession vary significantly in 2020. These differences reflect educational levels and specialty certification, as well as changes in healthcare needs.
|Profession||percentage increase||average salary increase|
|midwives nurses||6,2%||6.730 $|
|nurse anesthesiologist||4,3%||8.150 $|
|Nursing assistant||4,3%||1.330 $|
|registered nurses||3,3%||2.550 $|
|Licensed Practical Nurses||3,3%||1.590 $|
|Nursing Instructors and Professors, Post-Secondary||1,1%||$ 900|
CNMs experienced the greatest percentage increase in salary, with a higher average annual salary than RNs and general nurses. These revenues, along with demand for their services, have increased in response to changes in perceptions of antenatal care and natural childbirth.
The health needs of the elderly population have also resulted in higher salaries for nurses, licensed practical nurses, and LPNs/LVNs who provide long-term care, primary care, and preventive services to patients.
As nursing shortages continue to plague some areas of the United States, nursing schools are struggling to cope withcapacity issues, unable to accommodate more students or hire the faculty needed to train them, resulting in fixed salary levels for nursing instructors.
Which states have the highest RN salaries in 2020?
Registered nursing salaries often reflect state-specific factors such as population density, nursing shortages in underrepresented communities, working conditions, and cost of living. The highest paid nurses work in western states, Alaska, Hawaii and the upper east coast, while southern and midwestern states pay the lowest wages.
California leads all states in total nurse compensation, with salaries twice as high as the lowest-paying states of Alabama, Mississippi and South Dakota, where nurses are earning$61,000 or less per year.The relatively low wages paid to nurses in Alabama, Mississippi and South Dakota are due in part to this.insufficient government funding for health carein rural and underserved areas, along with ongoing restrictions against itunions.
While these states pay less competitive wages than other parts of the country, they offer relatively low living costs for basic necessities such as food, housing, transportation, and utilities. In contrast, Hawaii, Washington, D.C.,new York,California, and Oregon, which are among the highest-paying states for RNs, also report the highest average cost of living among all fifty states.
Average salary of RN 2020 by state
|Area||Illness||average salary||Total Employment of Registered Nurses|
|7||new York||89.760 $||178.550|
|9||New Jersey||85.720 $||78.590|
Which states have RN salaries increased the most?
California, with its large geographic area, expanding population and high salaries for health professionals, has seen the largest increase in salaries for registered nurses, growing 6.5% between 2019 and 2020. This increase is in stark contrast to some of the less populous states and smaller ones, such as Alabama, Delaware and Rhode Island, which offer pay increases of less than 1% or, with Washington, DC, a 0.5% reduction in salaries for registered nurses.
However, other states across the country are also reporting large increases in RN wages, ranging from nearly 4% in Arkansas andNorth Carolineto 6% in Washington. Some increases were made to alleviate the increased burden on caregivers during the COVID-19 crisis.
In states where nursing staff were already overworked and understaffed prior to the start of the pandemic,health administratorsand public health officials, concerned about the impending shortage of nurses, began lobbying for higher salaries.
|Area||Illness||percentage increase||average salary increase|
|5||Dakota do Norte||5,0%||$ 3.340|
|9||North Caroline||3,8%||2.510 $|
Which Cities Have The Highest RN 2020 Salaries?
Six California metro areas top the list of all US cities with the highest registered nursing salaries in 2019 and 2020. Urban centers around Boston, Massachusetts; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and New York City also made the top ten.
EmCalifornia metropolitan areas, where demand for registered nurses continues to exceed supply, higher salaries help offset the high cost of living. The strongtrade union movementamong state nurses increased salary by securing pensions and health benefits. The state restricts the scope of action of LVNs and induces employers to hire RNs and pay them adequately for the full range of services they provide.
The high salaries of nursesPortland e SeattleThey reflect the needs of the rapidly aging population, the high turnover and retirement rate in care, as well as the growing number of health facilities and the proportion of nursing homes. RNs continue to find job opportunities and competitive wages in New York City's urban environment, which is home to some of the best hospitals and medical clinics in the country.
Average salary of RN 2020 by city
|Area||Metropolitan area||average salary||Total Employment of Registered Nurses|
|1||San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||149.200 $||40.600|
|2||San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||146.870 $||17.750|
|3||Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA||134.350 $||21.920|
|4||Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||113.120 $||109.790|
|5||San Diego-Carlsbad, CA||111.620 $||24.840|
|6||Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA||109.830 $||30.200|
|7||Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH||99.410 $||62.260|
|8||Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA||98.700 $||22.240|
|9||Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA||95.120 $||33.660|
|10||New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||94.920 $||173.570|
Which cities had the most increased RN salaries?
Salary increases for nurses across the country reflect several social trends. The continuing shortage of nurses, compounded by retirements and turnover, and the growing demand for primary and preventive care from an aging population, have led to efforts to offer more competitive salaries and salary increases to nurses.
Salary increases also reflect the new appreciation of nurses and the vital role in health they have taken on during the pandemic. Urban areas around San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento, which are among the most expensive places to live, often offer more competitive wages to offset housing costs and other basic living expenses.
In 2020, California's major cities paid RNs the highest average salaries, with some of the largest salary increases. The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward area ranks first for both the highest recorded average nursing salary and the largest increase in average nursing salary.
|Area||Metropolitan area||percentage increase||average salary increase|
|1||San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||8,1%||11.200 $|
|2||Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC||6,8%||4.460 $|
|3||Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||6,5%||$ 6.930|
|4||San Diego-Carlsbad, CA||6,4%||6.760 $|
|5||Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA||6,2%||7.790 $|
|6||Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC||5,1%||3.590 $|
|7||Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD||5,0%||3.950 $|
|8||Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA||4,9%||3.270 $|
|9||Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA||4,8%||4.390 $|
|10||Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN||4,7%||3.070 $|
The future of nursing care
Even before COVID-19, nurses' salaries increased in response to population shifts and country-specific economic shifts that created shortages in care and hurt job prospects. Rising wage levels also reflect state and city responses to cost of living, income, and more.retirementwithin the existing care group.
The demand for registered nurses has only intensified during the pandemic as hospitals deal with increased patient loads, overwhelmed intensive care units and emergency rooms, and longer patient stays. Technological innovations, expanding access totelevision parksThe options and need for skilled nurses will continue to increase nurses' salaries and contribute to promising job prospects in the coming years.
This article uses data from the BLS, US Department of Labor and Occupational Employment Statistics, published March 31, 2021, and accessed April 2, 2021.
Top metro areas by average RN salary and percentage increase in average RN salary were limited to the top 50 metro areas by total RN employment to ensure adequate sample size.
Employment statistics and salary figures for 2020 may not fully reflect this.Effects of the COVID-19 pandemicabout the nursing team.
“Nursing, a 90% female profession, has been historically underpaid. Caring professions like nursing are often regarded as 'women's work' and therefore are undervalued and underpaid or even unpaid.Are nurses getting paid enough? ›
“Nursing, a 90% female profession, has been historically underpaid. Caring professions like nursing are often regarded as 'women's work' and therefore are undervalued and underpaid or even unpaid.Can a nurse make $500,000 a year? ›
Reeves said new nurses can make up to $500,000 by the age of 27, if they follow her step-by-step guide to success. “Want your life to look like mine? Then listen up,” she said on TikTok.How to make $100,000 a year as a nurse? ›
- Become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) ...
- Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) ...
- Become a Nurse Midwife. ...
- Advance in Nurse Leadership. ...
- Begin travel nursing assignment. ...
- Change Nursing specialties. ...
- Relocate to a higher paying state. ...
- Make sacrifices.
Six in 10 respondents say both groups are underpaid in a recent UChicago Harris/AP-NORC poll. Seventy percent believe nurses make between $50,000 and $125,000 per year, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the mean salary for registered nurses is about $80,00percent0.Why do nurses make such little money? ›
You may be lacking some skills or do not have adequate training or years of experience. Another important aspect is that nurses often do not have the right skills required to negotiate with their employers resulting in lesser wage.Can nurses make 7 figures? ›
USC's Online Master of Science in Nursing Program
Registered nurses (RNs) in the U.S. earned a median annual wage of $77,600 as of May 2021, the most-recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the highest earning RNs earn more than $120,000 each year.
Even with the decrease, travel nurses can make nearly $200,000 per year, assuming a weekly rate of $3,080.What is the highest-paid nurse called? ›
What Does a Certified Nurse Anesthetist Do? The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist consistently ranks as the highest-paid nursing career. That is because Nurse Anesthetists are highly skilled Registered Nurses who work closely with medical staff during medical procedures that require anesthesia.What state pays RN the most? ›
In the United States overall, the average registered nurse salary is $82,750 and the median (50th percentile) is $77,600. California, with RN salaries averaging $124,000, is the highest-paying state for nurses as of May 2021 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).
The lowest-paying states are South Dakota ($60,540), Alabama ($61,920), Mississippi ($63,130), Iowa ($64,990), and Arkansas ($65,810).What is the lowest paid nurse specialty? ›
Licensed vocational nurses (LVN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN) are some of the lowest-paid nursing roles, but that is due to the fact that the educational requirements are less than most other types of nurses.Do travel nurses make 6 figures? ›
In November 2022, Brown, a travel nurse for eight years, said that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a good contract was about $2,000 per week, but she saw the number skyrocket to $6,000 in 2020. On average, travel nurses make about 50% more than staff nurses due to high demand.Can a RN become a millionaire? ›
Advice for Creating Wealth
Each method has the potential to generate a million dollars over time. However, the best strategy is to build your portfolio and utilize these strategies to build wealth. Many nurses can become millionaires by saving enough money in their retirement fund monthly and minimizing debt.
Simplifying it All
One of the easiest ways to explain why a registered nurse makes so much is to think about supply and demand. The higher the demand for highly skilled and trained registered nurses, the more they will receive. In turn, it leads to higher salaries and incentives.
Many nurses are leaving the profession due to the recognition of their own mental health. Nursing is a mentally exhausting career to be in. For many nurses, they are put into difficult situations and often have little time to process or cope.Are nurses financially stable? ›
The healthcare industry is one of the most stable industries, making nursing a great career choice for those looking for job security. Nurses are essential workers and their skills are always in demand. Whether there is a recession or an economic crisis, the demand for nurses will always be high.Are nurses happy with their salary? ›
Few are explicitly unhappy with their salaries, with most nurses having generally positive views of their salary.Who makes more money than nurses? ›
While both nurse practitioners and doctors can enjoy the benefit of great incomes, doctors make almost twice as much as nurse practitioners. In fact, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, doctors typically earn an average annual salary of about $200,000 or more.Why is nurse the hardest job? ›
According to one study, job-related stress related to nurses because they had to perform non-nursing activities consistently. These nurses deal with various patients, and they also struggle to feel in control of the patient outcomes. They don't get to see patients heal, so it can seem a bit deflating at times.
- Witnessing loss. Nothing can prepare you to see another human lose their battle against an illness, injury, or time. ...
- Exposure to germs and viruses. ...
- Physical demand.
- Stress and pressure.
Nurses can make extra money from side gigs such as telehealth care, freelance medical writing, and tutoring nursing students. You may also choose a side hustle that isn't based on your nursing skills, such as making and selling crafts on Etsy, completing online surveys, or playing legit game apps that pay money.Do nurses have to work a lot? ›
Typically, nurses either work eight, 10 or 12-hour shifts. A nurse's shifts can vary depending on factors such as location, demand and personal preference. Full-time nurses work between 36 and 40 hours a week, while part-time nurses usually work less than 30 hours a week.How to make 300k a year? ›
- Radiologist. ...
- Chief executive officer (CEO) ...
- Chief financial officer (CFO) ...
- Principal software architect. ...
- Obstetrics and gynecology physician. ...
- Emergency medicine physician. ...
- Psychiatrist. ...
The rates started to decline at the late end of 2022, which has led us to where we are now. However, it is worth noting that although the average nursing pay has dropped from middle-of-pandemic highs, it's settling at about 15% higher than pre-pandemic pay.What is the highest paying occupation? ›
|OCCUPATION||2022 MEDIAN PAY||PERCENTAGE INCREASE OVER NATIONAL MEDIAN|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$164,070||254.30%|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||$159,920||245.30%|
Yes, you can make $100,000 per year as a registered nurse.
The chances of earning over $100k for a registered nurse are actually pretty good because the highest-paid registered nurse positions typically pay at least $110,000 per year. The average annual salary is $72,033 for registered nurse jobs.
The Danish healthcare system is world-renowned, and nurses play a vital role in providing high-quality care. In addition to their salaries, nurses in Denmark also enjoy several other benefits, including paid vacation days and sick days, free health insurance, and retirement planning.What is pharmacist salary? ›
We noted above that the highest-paid ICU nurses work in California. California's cost of living is 50 percent higher than the average cost of living throughout all parts of the U.S., and that's one of the reasons why the average ICU nurse salary in the Golden State is 51 percent higher than the average ICU nurse salary ...
Average Salary of a Doctor in the U.S.
According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a medical doctor in the U.S. is $1,65,347 (around INR 13 million) per year.
- Maine: 1-2 weeks.
- Maryland: 2-3 days.
- Missouri: 2 weeks.
- Nevada: 1-2 weeks.
- North Carolina: 1-2 weeks.
- North Dakota: 1-2 weeks.
- Texas: 2 weeks.
- Vermont: 3-5 business days.
Organizing: Know your rights
National Nurses United is the largest union of RNs in the United States, with a membership of almost 225,000 RNs in all 50 states.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Employment Projections 2021-2031, the Registered Nursing (RN) workforce is expected to grow by 6% over the next decade. The RN workforce is expected to grow from 3.1 million in 2021 to 3.3 million in 2031, an increase of 195,400 nurses.What is the easiest nursing job that pays well? ›
- Nurse Educator. Average Annual Salary: $62,000. ...
- Nurse Blogger. Average Annual Salary: N/A. ...
- Clinic Nurse. Average Annual Salary: $65,000. ...
- Traveling Nurse. Average Annual Salary: $70,000. ...
- School Nurse. Average Annual Salary: $50,000. ...
- Summer Camp Nurse. ...
- Nurse Administrator. ...
- Public Health Nurse.
These nurses administer more basic care and typically don't have to work long hours and overnight shifts, so this field of nursing tends to be low-stress. Even with less excitement, these nurses find fulfillment in providing basic and family care to those in need.
One of the easiest nursing jobs to get into is in the field of occupational health. Occupational health nurses work in large industries, HMOs, and factories to treat work-related injuries and onsite illnesses. This type of nurse is employed to keep the workers on the job.
- Choose a High-Paying Specialty. ...
- Seek Professional Certifications. ...
- Obtain a Compact License. ...
- Work in Higher Paying Locations. ...
- Don't Be Afraid of Overtime. ...
- Work Weekends and Holidays. ...
- Be Smart About Housing to Make the Most Money as a Travel Nurse.
What state needs travel nurses the most? According to Travelnursing.com, California has the highest need for travel nurses, and this will continue until 2030. California has specific laws regarding safe nurse-to-patient ratios so there will always be an increased need for nurses.What is an 8 figure salary? ›
Now we're talking about some super high-end earners. Making an 8 figure salary means you have a minimum salary of $10,000,000 dollars a year up to $99,999,999. That's a lot of cash!
California average nurse anesthetist salary: $227,290.Do all nurses make the same money? ›
How much do nurses make? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median average pay for nurses is $77,600 per year or $37.31 per hour. But that's just an average across nurses with different kinds of degrees, experience, specialties, locations, and oh, so many more factors.Do you make enough money as a nurse? ›
Registered nurses make $35.24 an hour or $73,300 each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Actual earnings will depend on a nurse's education and experience as well as the location and facility. Travel nurses, for example, earn more per hour than nurses working a full time position.What makes being a nurse worth it? ›
Becoming a Registered Nurse is a solid career choice when it comes to job security, salary potential, and fulfillment. For nurses who plan to work in California, the rewards and opportunities are even more promising. The average registered nurse salary in California is often higher than any other state!Why is becoming a nurse so expensive? ›
Reasons Why Nursing School is So Expensive
Expanding campus amenities. Growing college administrations. Higher demand for a college education. Increases in the cost of living.
Nurses are in high demand
This also means that nurses have a great number of choices in terms of where they want to live. The medical field in general has many roles that are in very high demand, and as a result, the pay for these roles is often good.
According to the United States Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast published in the September/October 2019 issue of the American Journal of Medical Quality, a shortage of registered nurses is projected to spread across the country through 2030.Do nurses negotiate salary? ›
Although APRNs (52%) and LPNs (41%) were more likely to negotiate their salaries, only 31% of RNs said negotiating salary is something they do all or most of the time. About 30% of all nurses surveyed said they never negotiate their salaries. Yet negotiating salary can result in higher compensation.Is nursing a financially stable career? ›
The healthcare industry is one of the most stable industries, making nursing a great career choice for those looking for job security. Nurses are essential workers and their skills are always in demand. Whether there is a recession or an economic crisis, the demand for nurses will always be high.Who pays nurses the most? ›
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists earn a median salary of $195,610 per year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, making it the top paying nursing specialty. CRNAs typically work 40 hours per week, making the hourly wage average out to approximately $94.04 per hour.
As a nurse, you can make a real difference in someone's life. You can offer hope to people, sometimes during the worst time of their life. Nurses often counsel patients and families after a devastating diagnosis, celebrate with them when they receive good news, and become trusted confidantes.What is the average student loan debt for a nurse? ›
Nursing Student Loan Debt for an ADN
The average cost of an associate's degree in nursing (ADN) can range from $6,000–$40,000. The average student loan debt for an ADN degree is $19,928.
Nursing is a great career choice because it is a career where you do not have to make a full-time commitment. You can choose to work full-time or part-time. Full time is defined as working 40 hours a week. Working part-time means that you work less than full-time hours.What is the 1 month salary of nurse in USA? ›
A Nurse in your area makes on average $6,417 per month, or $1,326 (26%) more than the national average monthly salary of $5,091. ranks number 1 out of 50 states nationwide for Nurse salaries.How much are US nurses paid per hour? ›
|Years of experience||Per hour|
|1 to 2 years||$42.73|
|3 to 5 years||$44.85|
|6 to 9 years||$46.46|
|More than 10 years||$51.95|
- 7% of both women and men retired at age 63.
- 8% of women and 7% of men retired at age 64.
- 11% of women and 13% of men retired at age 69.
- 9% of women and 6% of men retired at the age of 70 or beyond.
Staffing shortages were the top reason nurses cited for planning to leave their jobs, followed by needing better work-life balance, the survey out Tuesday said. Nurses also said they planned to leave their roles because their mental health is at risk and they feel a lack of appreciation.Which state has the highest nursing shortage? ›
California has the worst nursing shortage in the United States. It's predicted that by 2030, California will be in need of over 44,000 nurses.