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BSN Salary Guide: Average Salary of a BSN Nurse by State, Entry-Level Wage, and Highest Paying BSN Jobs in 2024

BSN Salary Guide: Average Salary of a BSN Nurse by State, Entry-Level Wage, and Highest Paying BSN Jobs in 2024

There are two main educational paths that will result in Registered Nurse status. You can either pursue a Bachelor in Nursing (BSN) Degree right off the bat, or you can get an  Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) and start practicing as an RN as soon as you pass the NCLEX-RN. However, having a BSN is increasingly becoming the gold standard in the nursing field, garnering more job opportunities, greater benefits, and higher pay. 

If you are – BSN or RN-to-BSN – you may find yourself wondering: is pursuing a more advanced nursing education really worth it? Will the paycheck truthfully reflect the funds, time and energy you invested in getting the degree?

In this article, we provide you with the projected average BSN salary you may expect, based on your place of employment, as well as state and chosen profession. Here are the current figures for BSN salaries.

What Is the Average BSN Nurse Salary?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the average salary for a Registered Nurse is $81,220 per year, amounting to a $39.05 hourly wage. While the BLS does not differentiate between RN and BSN salaries, the BSN Nursing Portal suggests that BSN nurses are 25% top earners in their field

Thus, we can estimate that the average BSN salary in the US is roughly equivalent to the annual wage of 75th percentile earners. This means that the average salary for BSN nurses in the United States is $101,100 per year or $48.60 per hour. According to ZipRecruiter, the average BSN salary is $90,046 per year and $43 per hour, with only the 75th percentile earning an approximate $102,000 per year

So, you should remember that accumulating experience and clinical hours will come with a constant increase in your payment. Learn how to advance your nursing career in order to achieve your desired BSN salary.

Average BSN salary by state

Average BSN Nurse Salary by State

A BSN Nurse’s earning potential can differ considerably based on where they practice. Below you will find a list of all the 50 states and their corresponding wages for BSN nurses, compared to the average RN salaries in each state:


Average BSN Salary per Year

Adjusted BSN Salary per Year

Average BSN Hourly Wage

Average RN Salary per Year

Average RN Hourly Wage

















































District of Columbia






























































































































New Hampshire






New Jersey






New Mexico






New York






North Carolina






North Dakota






























Rhode Island






South Carolina






South Dakota










































West Virginia


















Top Paying States for BSN Nurses

For BSN nurses, California tops the list of highest paying states,  with the average estimated salary for nurses with a BSN being $157,746 per year. Closely following are Hawaii, Massachusetts, Alaska, and Oregon. In New York, the BSN RN salary is around $131,737 per year, while in Massachusetts, nurses with a Bachelor’s Degree earn an yearly pay of approximately $122,617. In Oregon, BSN-trained RNs earn $121,600 annually. And Alaska comes in fifth among the states where BSN nurses are compensated best, with the average annual salary being approximately $118,795, which is almost $30,000 over the national median wage for RNs.

At the other end of the spectrum, the lowest paying states for BSN nurses are South Dakota ($76,673 per year), Arkansas ($76,270 per year), Alabama ($76,303 per year), and Mississippi ($78,055 per year).

State by state differences pervade the salary expectations of all categories of nurses. We recommend that you read our nurse salary by state study to see how the BSN nursing salary compares to other types, depending on your residence, role, and workplace.

Entry level BSN salary

How Much Does an Entry-Level BSN Nurse Make?

BSN nurse starting salaries can be an argument in themselves for advancing your education. The annual entry level salary for BSN registered nurses is $44,867, or around $22 per hour. Bear in mind that this figure, as reported by ZipRecruiter, is a nation-wide approximation. The entry-level wages of an RN with a Bachelor in Nursing can vary significantly depending on location, employer or industry. Generally, at the start of their nursing career, BSN RNs can expect to earn between $23,000 and $65,500 yearly. 

The average base salary for all entry level positions in the United States is $35,103 per year, according to, making  BSN nurses’ starting salaries almost $9,764 higher than the national average

One element that adds to the salary expectations of registered nurses with a BSN is previous nursing experience. So, if you have been professing in the field as an RN, pursuing an RN-to-BSN path can enhance not only your education and aptitudes, but also your pay, and dramatically so.

Enroll in Nightingale College’s RN-to-BSN Track and increase your chances of a higher paycheck!

ADN vs. BSN salary comparison

ADN vs. BSN Salary: Which RN Certification Pays Better? 

Completing a 2-year Associate’s Degree in Nursing and then taking the NCLEX-Rn is  still a viable option for starting an RN career. However, getting an ADN is losing ground as BSN is quickly becoming the benchmark for pursuing a nursing career. 

There are many reasons why starting with or advancing to a BSN is recommended for RNs and other staff alike. The enhanced quality of care provided by BSN nurses is one argument that’s at the forefront of the debate. Studies have shown that higher levels of education are associated with better nursing outcomes, lower mortality rates, and fewer medication errors. That’s at least part of why major institutions, such as the Institute of Medicine, are strongly encouraging nurses to pursue BSN degrees. 

Employers’ preferences for RNs with a BSN also reflects in your expected salary, with the median annual pay for BSN-trained nurses receiving $12,090 more per year than for RNs in general. So, the outcome difference between getting an ADN or a BSN degree will show quickly in your salary. However, there is a difference in the types of nurses ADN- and BSN-trained RNs can specialize for, with some of the highest paying nursing jobs requiring a Bachelor’s degree.

Naturally, there are multiple other differences between the two educational paths to becoming a practicing registered nurse. For instance, more and more states adopt BSN in 10 laws that require RNs to get their Bachelor’s within 10 years of starting their practice, and you should read more about nurse qualifications and requirements by state along these lines.

Read our article on the BSN vs. ADN comparison to learn all relevant differences and make the best choice for your nursing career. 

Highest paid BSN nursing salary comparison

What Are the Highest Paid BSN Nurse Roles?

Although the overall median salary for BSN nurses is $101,100 or $48,60 per hour, some specializations and nursing roles may garner a higher salary. These professions are accessible if you have earned a Bachelor in Nursing, but may require you to receive additional certification or complete a given amount of practical hours.

Here are the best paying BSN nursing specialties:

  • Nurse case managersTo fulfill the role of a nurse case manager, many institutions and employers will ask for an MSN. However, in some cases, having a BSN degree is enough for eligibility. As a nurse case manager, you can expect a BSN salary ranging from an average of $98,869 to $119,500 for 75th percentile earners, with top earners making up to $151,000 per year.
  • Informatics nurses Also known as nurse informaticians, they are expected to receive a salary of $101,628 per year. Informatics nurses bridge the gap between the nursing workforce and the IT staff in an effort to improve the quality of healthcare and reduce costs. 
  • ICU nurses – Their line of work is inextricably linked to the Intensive Care Unit, where the patients are in extremely critical conditions, either ventilated, intubated, or in need of life-saving treatment. ICU nurse salaries add up to $102,003 for the 75th percentile of earners, significantly higher than the average estimated BSN salary. 
  • Travel nursesThese are BSN-trained professionals with a high earning potential, as well, having annual salaries estimated at $121,710 per year. Since travel nursing is a location-dependent profession, you should first consult the travel nurse salaries by state, to know what you can expect. There are also multiple travel nursing jobs that you can specialize in, each resulting in a different annual salary.
  • Operating room registered nursesPerioperative nurses work with patients right before they undergo surgery and, when necessary, they help the surgeon during medical procedures, ensuring the OR environment is as secure and sterile as possible. The yearly BSN salary of perioperative RNs ranges from $95,076 to $103,331 per year
  • Oncology nurses These nurses have a very specialized role in treating and caring for patients who are diagnosed with cancer. It’s a sensitive area of practice but also a quite lucrative one. Oncology registered nurses get paid around $115,751 per year.

Discover more of the highest paying BSN jobs to discover more career options and their salary benefits. You should also explore all BSN jobs and analyze their pros and cons.

And if you already are an RN and  you want to unlock the best paid work options, earning your BSN degree is the first step. However, you don’t have to go back and complete a 3-to-4-year program. Instead, by choosing an RN-to-BSN fast-track, you can further your education in just one year of study.

At Nightingale College, you can complete the RN-to-BSN Track in the shortest time and fully online, so you don’t have to completely pause your professional activity. This career friendly option was designed for practicing professionals that want to comply with current industry requirements and forward their education

Enroll in our RN-to-BSN Track and unlock your high earning potential!

Are You Ready to Increase Your Earnings With a BSN Degree?

BSN nurses are instrumental in the healthcare industry, as they provide crucial care on a daily basis in multiple healthcare environments.. There’s also incredibly high demand for them as the nursing shortage continues to affect many US states. BSN registered nurses  earn considerably higher salaries compared to their non-BSN counterparts, and more and more employers are showing a preference for BSN graduates.

Taking all facts into consideration, it’s well worth it to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Of course, everyone has their own timeline. For some, pursuing a BSN degree is more manageable, while others find it more pressing to enter the job market as soon as possible, so they  would rather opt for the ADN path. Regardless of when you choose to pursue a more advanced degree, one thing is clear: a BSN will surely put you on the path to a high-paying nursing career. If you are ready to start or further your education, improve your career, and increase your salary, we are here to help.

If you want to start with a Bachelor’s right away, you can enroll in Nightingale College’s BSN Program, where you attend a hybrid program combining online learning and on-ground supervised field practice. The 3-year BSN program will fully prepare you to become an RN and prove successful in your future workplace.

Start your nursing career with our BSN Program! Send in your application today!

Alternatively, if you already have an ADN and are currently a registered nurse, you can opt to further your education through the RN-to-BSN Track. This fully online 1-year program effectively upgrades you from an RN to a BSN RN with full credentials. 

Upgrade your degree with our RN-to-BSN Track!

Get a BSN and start your nursing career

BSN Nursing Salary FAQs

Is It Worth Getting a BSN in Nursing?

If you want to work as a registered nurse, getting a BSN degree is well worth the time and effort, especially when considering salaries. The entry-level BSN salary is $9,764 higher than the national average for other jobs. Additionally, BSN nurses are 25% top earners in their field, while also having many opportunities to specialize for better-paid specializations.

How Much Does a BSN Make a Year?

The average BSN salary in the US is $101,100 per year or $48.60 per hour, if we estimate BSN nurses to be in the 75th percentile of earners.

However, the entry-level salary for nurses with a BSN can be as low as $44,867 per year or $22 per hour. So, accumulating experience is the main way of reaping the benefits of your BSN degree.

What Percentage of Nurses Have Their BSN Earned?

According to the AACN Nursing Portal, approximately 71.7% of all registered nurses have earned a BSN or higher degree, with 51.5% holding the degree the moment they entered the workforce. In other words, the BSN degree is becoming the standard for working as an RN.

What Pays Better, ADN or BSN?

The BSN salary is generally better, registered nurses with a Bachelor’s degree being top 25% earners in their field (including registered nurses with an ADN). The difference in pay between non-BSN and BSN nurse salaries is approximately $12,090 more per year for BSN RNs.

What Is the Highest Paid Nurse With a BSN?

The best BSN nurse salary in general is encountered for travel nurses (approximately $121,710 per year), if we are excluding nurse case manager positions that generally require an MSN. 

Oncology nursing comes second in line with around $115,751 per year, followed by perioperative nursing, with $103,331, and ICU nursing with $102,003 per year for the 75th percentile.

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