Registered Nurse Salary

Registered Nurse Salary

Just beginning your career as a registered nurse on average you would have an annual salary of $33,000 but as you gain more experience it can raise to over $70.000 on average. What your annual salary would be the geographical location, their experience, and where they work.

The average annual salary you could earn in these working environments is:

  • Home healthcare services–$65,690
  • Physician’s offices–$62,120
  • Surgical and medical hospitals–$69,490
  • Nursing care facilities–$61,220
  • Out-patient care centers–$71,200
  • The average annual salary for the best paying states is:
  • $122,990 in California
  • $84,750 in Hawaii
  • $73,070 in Rhode Island
  • $80,970 in Alaska
  • $82,440 in New York
  • $73,860 in Texas
  • $83,370 in Massachusetts
  • $78,539 in Oregon

In addition to the salary a registered nurse would also have a great benefit package that could include paid vacation and sick days, paid holidays if the workplace closes for the holiday or paid double if you work them, life insurance, health insurance that may include your family, 401K, pension, social security, short and long term disability benefits if you are hurt on the job, shift differential, mileage reimbursement if you travel on your job, uniforms, vision and dental care, profit sharing, yearly or semi-yearly bonuses.

Salary of a Registered Nurse in 2015

The advantage of a registered nurse also consists in receiving a good payment. In the US, a registered nurse salary can be estimated between $43,010 and $63,010 per year. His or her salary for the year 2015 is influenced according to the type of employment in which one of these specialists is working. Some of the employers will offer even a signing bonus and other benefits.

The bonus that is granted can be influenced by factors such as the period since the registered nurse had occupied the position. If you’ll stick with one job and not move around too much, then the signing bonus can be between $5,010 and $10,010.

Registered Nurse Salary in 2016

The income of a registered nurse, in the United States, is influenced and affected by various factors such as the geographical location, years of experience in the field, specialization within the field, type of employment, industry, company size and other factors as well. The vast majority of those professionals working as registered nurses are women than men, this leading also to different salaries.

For the year 2016, the median income for these professionals according to PayScale is estimated to reach at $58,372 per year. The starting point of earnings in this field is around $39,388 per year and up to $81,542 per year. The granted bonuses reach at a value of $1,042 while the profit sharing ranges between $100.63 and $4,142. The commission for registered nurses can go around $11,235, this leading after all these benefits added to earnings that range from $43,404 and up to $83,172.

The median hourly rate as assessed by PayScale for registered nurses is around $27.02 per hour while the starting point in the hourly rate is estimated at $20.81 and up to $38.53, with tips that usually can reach up to $10.06 per hour. The overtime that one registered nurse fulfills is comprised of amounts between an hourly rate of $14.28 and up to $57.84 per hour.

The years of experience also have their effect on the granted salaries. For instance, an entry-level registered nurse, with less than 5 years of practice in the field can expect to take home around $53,010 per year while one with 5 and up to 10 years of experience will gain around $60,010 per year.

Experienced professionals with up to 20 years at the working site can expect to earn an income estimated at around $65,010 per year, while the veterans, with more than 20 years in the field will earn $68,010 per year. The national average for those working as registered nurses reaches at $58,137 per year.

The top-paying cities for registered nurses where the earnings have a median average that is above the national average can be found in Los Angeles, San Diego, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle and other as well. For instance, in Los Angeles, the earnings reach at a median average estimated at $75,662 per year while in New York the incomes tend to reach at $71,590 per year. Below the national average earnings can be found in Orlando, Indianapolis, San Antonio and other as well. In Indianapolis, the earnings reach at $52,245 per year while in Orlando the incomes tend to reach at $53,282 per year.

Based on the surveys of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median yearly income for registered nurses is estimated to reach at $66,642 per year. The top paying industries for these professionals can be found in government, surgical hospitals, general medical and other.

Registered nurse salary in Canada, Australia and UK

Being a registered nurse in Canada the average annual salary you would receive is based on what age you are. When you are in your 20’s you would make up to 22,101, in your 30’s your average yearly RN salary would be 28,879, and in your 40’s and 50’s you would on average your yearly salary would be 34,183.

In Australia you would on average earn AU$58,649 per year along with a bonus of approximately AU$3,153 each year.

In the United Kingdom the average annual salary is 29,468 with a yearly bonus of approximately 1,988. Many times the average annual salary is based on their age with being in your 20’s the salary you could earn would be up to 22,101. If you are in your 30’s it would be approximately 28,897 and in your 40’s and 50’s it would be approximately 34,183.

RN Career

What is a registered nurse?

registered nurses salariesThis is a health professional that has a Bachelor’s of Science degree. They are also known as Hospital Registered Nurse, Community Registered Nurse, or Licensed Registered Nurse. Being a registered nurse it is your responsibility for the direct supervision of home care aides, nursing aides, licensed practical nurses (LPN’s), and nursing assistants. Nurse education has undergone tremendous alternations with changing roles and regulations pushing nurses towards specialized and advanced credentials in the post-war era. This is what shaped the current public image of nurses today.   Registered nurses make up the largest part of the healthcare workforce according to the Institution of Medicine (IOM). A registered nurse, especially in a hospital, nursing home, long term care facility, has more contact with patients on a daily basis than one who works in a physician’s office so a registered nurse has to be patience, have compassion for the patient and family, be able to deal with various situations such as horrendous injuries, death, telling love ones and families unhappy news, and so much more.

Normally there are 4 main areas in which registered nurses specialize offering care such as:

  • For a specific medical condition like cancer or diabetes
  • For a specific part of the body like a cardiovascular registered nurse or dermatology registered nurse.
  • For a specific group of people like the elderly or premature babies
  • For a specific type of environment like working in a school or the emergency department.

Job description of a registered nurse

The job description of a registered nurse is fairly extensive. It can also depend on their working environment but there are some general things that all registered nurses do no matter where they work. Some of the things that all registered nurses do are assessments, monitoring, and observation of their patient’s symptoms. If you are working in a hospital this starts from the time the patient arrives on your floor to the day that they leave. Registered nurses may also administer medications and injections and can even assist physicians during treatment or diagnosis procedures.

A registered nurse is an essential part of a healthcare team and they interact directly with pharmacists, other health care practitioners, lab workers, and physicians daily in order to provide their patients with a continuity of care. Another important part of a registered nurses job description is to provide emotional support and educate their patients and families.

Other duties that a registered nurse might do can include:

  • Provide direct patient care
  • Dressing a wound
  • Changing bandages
  • Putting in intravenous lines
  • Monitoring medical equipment
  • Assisting in the operating room and making sure that the surgeon has the correct medical instruments
  • Offering emotional support to patients and their families

When working in a school setting they would make sure that if the students need medication during the day to administer it to them, looking after them if they come to the nurses office feeling ill, putting a bandage on a cut or scrape, calling parents to come get their children if the child is really sick along with keeping up the paperwork that is required by law along with permission notes stating that the registered nurse can give their child medication.

Seeing the current legislative pushing toward healthcare reform in the coming years the responsibilities of a registered nurse is likely to expand. When a registered nurse works under the supervision of a physician they are expected to play a bigger role in the management of complex medical conditions and primary care.

Being a registered nurse you will be on your feet most of your shift and you will also need to make sure that you have a strong back and can lift, bend, and stoop with no problems. The reason is that you may deal with patients every day that need to be turn in bed to prevent bed sores, have to help get them out of bed, help them to get in wheel chairs, etc.

How to become a registered nurse?

While in high school you should take as many math and science classes that are available. Once you graduate you need to enroll in either a bachelor’s degree or associate’s degree programs. You can also enroll in a diploma program. Generally to get your associate degree or diploma it will take 2-3 years to complete. Going for your bachelor’s degree will usually take 4 years. While getting your degree you will take classes in dispensing pharmaceuticals, nursing management and leadership, biology, health assessment, anatomy, informatics, and more.

In order to become a registered nurse you also have to complete a set number of hours doing clinical rotations. During a clinical rotation you would be training in live clinical settings in hospitals or health centers under the supervision of an experienced nursing faculty. You would observe procedures for reacting to different types of situations and patients and learn to use specialized equipment. If you are going for a bachelor’s degree instead of an associate degree or diploma you would have more clinical experience in non-hospital settings.

Once you graduate you need to have a license in order to work as a registered nurse legally. You have to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) that is given by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Before you go for your diploma or degree make sure that the school you are attending an approved nursing program. You should also check with your state board to see if there are any other licensure requirements that you need like a health screening or having a background check. You may also have to do additional jurisdictional testing before you become a licensed registered nurse.

To keep your registered nursing license active many states require a registered nurse to complete continuing education. To receive continuing educational credits you could do a medical research project, take accredited online classes, take college-level classes, or receiving professional certification in a nursing field. If you want to branch out into teaching, take a research position, management consulting, or clinical specialization you would need to go back to school and get a Master of Science in Nursing or Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Work environment and schedule

Over 50% of registered nurses work in private or local hospitals according to the US Labor of Statistics. Being a registered nurse you can also work in pharmaceutical companies, nursing care facilities, correctional facilities, physician offices, research laboratories, schools, community health agencies, palliative and hospice care services, and government agencies. Registered nurses can also play other important roles such as healthcare consultants, researchers, public policy advisors, salespeople for pharmaceutical companies, nurse educators, hospital administrators, and so much more. These are the roles where a registered nurse does not work with patients directly.

The hours that a registered nurse works again depends on where they are working. If you have ever been a patient in a hospital or have some in a nursing or long term care facility you know that a registered nurse works long hours and many times they are expected to work a variety of shifts, weekends, and holidays. Among registered nurses it seems now that it is common for them to work twelve hour shifts.

Some registered nurses will even have to work if the next shift is short or may be on call at times. A registered nurse may even be responsible for doing the schedule of the health professionals they supervise. If they work in schools or physician’s offices they will normally work a set day schedule and be off weekends and holidays. There are some registered nurses who work PRN which means when they are needed. They could work for a temporary agency that places registered nurses in a variety of workplaces on a temporary basis that could be for 1 day or several.

What duties a registered nurse will perform depends on where they are working. If they are working in a physician’s office it may be their duty to take a patient’s vital signs, check with the patient to see if the medicine listed in the chart is correct, and make notes why the patient needs to see the physician before the physician comes into the exam room. If you work in a pharmaceutical company as a sales person you would go to various physicians’ offices on your route and leave medicine samples that your company supplies with the physician to try to get the physician to prescribe your company’s medication.

Pros and cons of being a Registered Nurse

If your life dream is to help people by becoming a registered nurse, then you are at the best opportunities that this job can offer. With a flexible schedule, a lifetime opportunity to travel a lot, numerous benefits, and a great payment, your life can get any better. However the cons of this job are overweight by the pros, so make yourself comfortable as you read these lines.

The cons like in any other job linked to the health care system will involve your relations with the patients and another specialist. You’ll feel from time to time that the physical and emotional stress of your work or the unexpected situations to be too much for what you’ve bargain for. With all these, there is not a job that can be perfect but the way you react to everything will make that one difference.

As a registered nurse, you’ll have plenty of job security, especially since the number of openings in this line of duty is estimated to grow rapidly and constant in the next ten years. Your job according to where you choose to work will provide you with certain flexibility. Patients will always need you, and depending on your choice you can work twelve-hour shifts per week, or just be on call.

On a call will mean that you don’t have to be present at work at a certain point or a specific hour but just when you have to go in if something happens. This also means that you’ll be paid at a higher rate if you have to appear at work and you’re on call. The setting in which you are working can offer you plenty of flexibility. For instance, if you are a travel nurse then you will go when you are called to go, in the location in which you are needed.

One of the disadvantages is again linked with patients that are in need for a registered nurse. This will many times mean endless hours of work due to the job openings that haven’t been taken yet. Another factor at the same time is bondage with the patient that can affect you emotionally in cases in which you have to watch them die.

This is very true especially in jobs like hospices when as a nurse you’ll be working with the same patient for an extended period.

You’ll still have to watch your back when you’ll have to deal with viruses or illness that could transmit from patient.

Registered Nurse Job Growth

The employment growth for registered nurses is projected at 16%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. There is plenty of demand for these professionals especially with the present shortage of nursing in the country, this leading to a high demand for RNs in all the medical arenas.

Another reason for this growth is the aging baby boomer population where more home healthcare facilities will need the aid of these professionals. The job satisfaction is extremely great with plenty of job prospects.

Conclusion on registered nurse salary

Becoming a registered nurse can give you job stability as they expect a growth of approximately 19% by 2022 which can mean that there can be as many as 526,800 new jobs by 2022. With there being a steady rise in aging baby boomers the demand will continue to outweigh the supply of registered nurses. Yes, it is not a great paying job but with all the extra perks, or benefits, adding it up can substantially add to your annual salary.

Although there are a lot of factors that go into what your average annual salary will be, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the average yearly salary was $67,930 for registered nurses. It is not a huge average salary but comparing it with other health care professional salaries it is much higher than those. For example, in 2012 the average yearly salary for a registered nurse was $91,450 and for a licensed practical nurse was only $42,400. Yes, you do have to have more education and clinical rotations but it is worth it to get that bachelor’s degree, associate degree, or diploma. It only takes 3-4 years to get the title of “registered nurse” and soon you can be making more money each year along with having more job opportunities and more responsibilities.

Post Revisions
  • First Published Date: 24 November, 2014
  • Last Updated Date: 9 September, 2016