Due to the current nursing shortage, registered nursing is one of the most lucrative career choices out there. Whether you are a student out of a high school or an adult returning to school, you may want to think about becoming a registered nurse (RN). Before pursuing a career in nursing, it is ideal to have an understanding of what type of salary to expect.
Average Salary for Registered Nurses
The average annual salary for registered nurses is $62,450, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It can range from less than $43,410 a year to more than $92,240 a year, also according to the BLS. Note that there are many factors which determine how much a registered nurse can earn. They include the following:
1. Geographic Location
Registered nurses who work in certain regions earn more money than those in others. Working in a metropolitan area can increase a RN’s salary. Nurses in the north and east may have higher earnings than those in the south and west. However, it is important to keep in mind that geographic location impacts average earnings for any career.
2. Nursing Degree Level
The type of college degree that a registered nurse earns can impact his or her salary. Nurses who earn a bachelor’s degree of science in nursing (BSN) earn about $6,000 more a year on average, according to Drexel University. It is common for registered nurses who have earned an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) to advance their careers by completing an RN to BSN degree program.
As with other careers, the number of years of experience a nurse has impacts earning potential. Nurses with many years of experience are likely to have higher earnings than those in entry-level positions. This is another factor which holds true with most careers.
4. Nursing Specialty
The specialty that an RN chooses can have an impact on earning potential. Nurses who work in more challenging environments, such as neonatal nurses or operation room nurses, tend to earn more money. Choosing to become an advanced practice nurse (APN), can also increase a RN’s potential salary.
For the right individual, nursing can be a very lucrative career choice. Nursing salaries are generally competitive and often come with great benefits packages. It is also more common for RNs to work full-time rather than part-time. Thinking about becoming a licensed practical nurse instead of a registered nurse? Be sure to read this article on average LPN earnings.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Registered Nurses.”
Drexel University, “Average & Starting Nurse Salary for Registered Nurses (RN’s).”