Registered Nurse (RN) Salary

If you are thinking of becoming a registered nurse, you already understand what kind of skills and nursing credentials you need. On the “Nurse Salary” website, we will focus mainly on nursing salaries, annual wage, hourly wage, and comparison with previous years. We will do our best always to update all our data and help you choose your career. 

We have gathered official data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics to put together the US Nurse Salary website so you can be sure that all the data is up to date. The latest official data from BLS are from 2019. Now, considering COVID-19 situation that broke out in 2020. there is a chance that earnings will be different in the future, but we will have to wait for the new data for 2020.

Registered nurses (RN) are in high demand, especially after all the events in 2020. job projections for the future are solid, according to BLS.  To earn higher than the average salary, you will need to obtain additional certifications, advanced degrees, specialize in a particular area. Every certificate and degree will improve your chances to get a job with a higher salary, get a position at a more prestigious hospital. 

Registered Nurse (RN) Job Projections 2020

Employment and Wages for Registered Nurses (RN)

Registered nurses (RN) assess patient health problems and needs. Their job is to develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain all medical records, administer nursing care to their patients. They also may advise their patients on health maintenance, disease prevention, and provide case management. As you go through your schooling, you will discover a wide range of specialties in nursing. Every nursing specialty is a little bit different ad comes with its advantages and disadvantages. You will choose from other types of categories, from working with babies, kids, adults to older people. One of the most significant differences in nursing specialties is salary. 

You will also learn that different places pay different salaries for the same type of work. There are many employers in the industry, and every single of them is a bit different. Top 5 employers for registered nurses in the United States with the highest levels of employment:

IndustryHourly mean wage
Annual mean wage
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals$38.20$79,460
Offices of Physicians$33.45$69,570
Home Health Care Services$35.41$73,660
Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)$33.53$69,740
Outpatient Care Centers$40.73$84,720

On top of all that, different states pay different salaries to registered nurses. Mainly, that comes because of the higher living costs, so even if you earn a higher base salary, living costs in a particular state will often negate a higher wage. In some cases, you will even be in a situation where you would be better living in a cheaper state earning less. Top paying states in the US for registered nurses:

StateHourly mean wage
Annual mean wage
California$54.44$113,240
Texas$35.84$74,540
Florida$32.50$67,610
New York$42.23$87,840
Pennsylvania$34.33$71,410

Average Registered Nurse (RN) Salary by State

One of the biggest questions future nurses ask is, “What is the average registered nurse (RN) salary by the state?” You need to understand that RN salary is influenced by education, experience, certification, and training. I have created the following chart using official data from 2019, ranking states from the lowest paying one to the highest. By hovering your mouse over the bar, you will see the exact salary for each US state. In case you have trouble seeing the salary, you have a detailed salary by state and hourly wage below in the table.

As expected, California and Hawaii pay the highest salaries for RNs while Alabama, Mississippi, and South Dakota pay the least. Of course, before making your conclusion, you need to take into account expenses as well.  On individual pages for every state, we will try to answer this and many other questions to get a clear picture of RN salary, overall satisfaction with the money earned, bonuses, and overtime.

StateAnnual mean wage
Hourly mean wage
South Dakota$59,500$28.60
Mississippi$59,750$28.73
Alabama$60,230$28.96
Iowa$60.59$29.13
Arkansas$61,330$29.49
Kansas$62,450$30.02
Tennessee$62,570$30.08
West Virginia$63,220$30.39
Kentucky$63,750$30.65
Missouri$64,160$30.85
Oklahoma$64,800$31.15
South Carolina$64,840$31.17
Louisiana$65,850$31.66
North Dakota$66,290$31.87
North Carolina$66,440$31.94
Indiana$66,560$32.00
Nebraska$66,640$32.04
Florida$67,610$32.50
Utah$67,970$32.68
Ohio$68,220$32.80
Wyoming$68,690$33.03
Montana$69,340$33.34
Idaho$69,480$33.40
Georgia$69,590$33.46
Maine$69,760$33.54
Vermont$70,240$33.77
Pennsylvania$71,410$34.33
Virginia$71,870$34.56
Wisconsin$72,610$34.91
Michigan$73,200$35.19
New Mexico$73,300$35.24
Illinois$73,510$35.52
New Hampshire$73,880$35.52
Delaware$74,100$35.63
Texas$74,540$35.84
Colorado$76,230$36.65
Maryland$77,910$37.46
Arizona$79,330$37.66
Minnesota$80,130$38.52
Rhode Island$82,310$39.57
Connecticut$83,440$40.12
New Jersey$84,280$40.52
Washington$86,170$41.43
New York$87,840$42.23
Nevada$88,380$42.49
Alaska$90,500$43.51
Oregon$92,960$44.69
Massachusetts$93,160$44.79
District of Columbia$94,820$45.59
Hawaii$104,060$50.03
California$113,240$54.44

* Latest data provided by BLS for 2019
* Mean wage without bonuses, night shifts, weekends, profit sharing, and commission

Nurse Salary Chart in the US for 2019

Registered Nurse Salary Chart in US

To visually understand where you can expect higher salaries as a registered nurse in the US, I have created this map. On the map of the US, you can see which states pay more. You can see that in the west, states pay higher salaries. On the east, you can expect higher wages in New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania. 

Future for Registered Nurses

Considering that there are tons of different nursing specializations, I must say that the future for anyone in nursing is bright. Of course, in the case that you are willing to work and learn. The latest situation with COVID-19 proved that nursing jobs are essential for the entire society. BLS shared their data, from which we may see that we can expect 16% growth in the next five years. Since their predictions are based on the pre-COVID situation, we will see an even more significant increase in the future.

The end of the year is closing, and we are now waiting impatiently to see changes in the registered nurse salaries. There are many signs that wages went up due to the whole situation in the health system. We may expect even higher salaries than before. If you are sitting there thinking about your future career, I must say that this is the best time to get into nursing.

Registered Nurse Career Path

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Schools and Online Courses

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