Nurse Salary By State: Which US States Pay the Best

registered-nurses-salary-by-state-us

The decisions you take when you are starting your nursing career, or even when continuing to grow it, can be heavily influenced by how much you earn. Figuring out how much you can make as a nurse is important for planning your education, as well as deciding in which state you will practice.

Because searching for nurse salaries by state can get tedious very quickly, we’ve created a list with all the relevant information about the average nurse salary per state, for you to access in one place.

In this article, you will find information about the average nursing pay scale, how much you can make per month as a nurse (the hourly wages)the salary differences between registered nurses and RN’s with Bachelor of Science in Nursing, as well as a list of the Registered Nurse salaries for all states in the US.

How much does a Registered Nurse make in the United States?

How much money a registered nurse makes varies from state to state, but a nurse’s salary can also be influenced by experience, education, training and other certifications.

Below you will find a map that shows you the average annual wage for nursing staff. Use the drop-down menu to select the average RN salary or the average BSN nurse salary by state. There is also an option to view the nursing salary adjusted for the local cost of living.

The data was gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Numbeo.

What is the average salary of a nurse with a BSN degree?

Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide specific information about the salaries of BSN-educated nurses, as the BSN Nursing portal also points out, BSN-educated nurses earn within the 75th to the 90th salary percentile, which makes them the top 25% earners in the field. Therefore, the data for the 75th percentile is a good indicator of the average annual salary of BSN nurses.

Here is the average annual salary for registered nurses and BSN nurses in an easy-to-search table format:

Abbr.StateAvg RN SalaryAvg RN Salary
(Adjusted)
Avg BSN Salary
(75th %ile)
Avg BSN Salary
(75th %ile)
(Adjusted)
ALAlabama$55,270$60,134$64,520$70,198
AKAlaska$80,970$55,788$100,450$69,210
AZArizona$71,390$72,818$85,430$87,139
ARArkansas$55,360$62,501$66,270$74,819
CACalifornia$94,120$60,331$124,620$79,881
COColorado$67,920$65,339$80,820$77,749
CTConnecticut$75,660$54,702$91,890$66,436
DEDelaware$70,820$69,829$79,600$78,486
DCDistrict of Columbia$75,790$36,682$95,600$46,270
FLFlorida$61,780$62,830$74,520$75,787
GAGeorgia$60,770$65,996$75,500$81,993
HIHawaii$84,750$27,205$104,530$33,554
IDIdaho$59,100$63,769$73,120$78,896
ILIllinois$66,260$69,838$83,940$88,473
INIndiana$57,520$63,560$71,030$78,488
IAIowa$52,540$57,269$63,750$69,488
KSKansas$56,040$61,700$67,620$74,450
KYKentucky$57,510$62,973$69,710$76,332
LALouisiana$61,260$64,446$73,320$77,133
MEMaine$60,700$54,144$74,010$66,017
MDMaryland$71,090$52,962$86,920$64,755
MAMassachusetts$83,370$55,524$109,240$72,754
MIMichigan$64,430$71,517$77,590$86,125
MNMinnesota$70,780$70,214$90,110$89,389
MSMississippi$57,740$65,881$65,590$74,838
MOMissouri$56,990$62,461$71,730$78,616
MTMontana$59,920$59,441$73,620$73,031
NENebraska$56,350$61,083$69,530$75,371
NVNevada$77,870$75,300$96,810$93,615
NHNew Hampshire$63,920$53,054$79,610$66,076
NJNew Jersey$75,820$59,215$94,300$73,648
NMNew Mexico$66,710$69,045$78,830$81,589
NYNew York$74,100$51,129$97,150$67,034
NCNorth Carolina$58,760$62,344$71,240$75,586
NDNorth Dakota$53,520$53,841$69,240$69,655
OHOhio$60,970$64,750$73,760$78,333
OKOklahoma$55,980$62,026$69,880$77,427
OROregon$78,530$66,279$100,000$84,400
PAPennsylvania$65,000$64,090$79,690$78,574
RIRhode Island$73,070$57,945$87,510$69,395
SCSouth Carolina$58,940$59,412$72,590$73,171
SDSouth Dakota$52,800$50,846$63,980$61,613
TNTennessee$55,800$61,715$67,420$74,567
TXTexas$66,350$72,521$81,060$88,599
UTUtah$59,810$63,997$72,090$77,136
VTVermont$63,350$49,983$78,150$61,660
VAVirginia$63,050$62,546$77,470$76,850
WAWashington$75,350$71,432$96,360$91,349
WVWest Virginia$54,490$58,086$68,710$73,245
WIWisconsin$64,000$66,048$77,620$80,104
WYWyoming$60,690$65,667$73,280$79,289

 

What States have the highest paid nurses?

The highest paying state in the United States is California, with an average annual RN salary of $94,120. On the best states for nurses list we can also find Hawaii with $84,750 per year, Massachusetts with $83,370 per year, Alaska with $80,970, Oregon with $78,530, Nevada with $77,870, Washington with  $75,350, New Jersey with  $75,820, Connecticut with $75,660 and in New York a nurse can make $74,100.

The best paying states for BSN nurses are California, with an average of $124,620, followed by Massachusetts ($109,240) and Hawaii ($104,5300).

nurses pay san francisco

 

The lowest paying US states for nurses

Iowa is the lowest paying state for nurses, with an average RN salary of $52,540 for RNs and $63,750 for BSN nurses. Supply and demand influences and other popular factors listed below explain the variations in pay:

  • Location – The state where a nurse works has a big impact on its income. Dense metropolitan areas will always offer a better pay compared to rural environments, even if the demand is high.
  • Career specialization – Nurses who work in a specialized field of nursing can earn significantly more. Specialized fields usually welcome registered nurses that already hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree.
  • Experience and work hours – Nobody can underestimate the power of acquired years of valuable experience.

nurses salary iowa

 

The average nursing pay scale in the U.S

In May 2015, The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that registered nurses brought in a median salary of $67,490 per year. The majority of nurses made from $46,360 to $101,630 annually. The nursing pay scale can vary depending on the nursing specialty and workplaces.

Starting salaries at hospitals can range from $47,060 to $55,200 a year. The highest paid nurses in the world (top 10 percent of RNs) made more than $96,320. This number is based on the workplace (hospitals, health centers, specialist units, etc.), geographic location and specialty.

how much does a nurse make

 

There are some projected employment figures that are favorable to highly trained nurses. Reports predict a rise of 19%, equaling an extra 526,800 RNs which are needed to replenish the nursing pool by 2022.

Nowadays, registered nurses can be in charge of other nursing staff such as LPNs (licensed practical nurses), CNAs (certified nursing assistants), and medical assistants, and this requires an increase in the responsibility and number of clinical hours that RNs must take up. These responsibilities are the result of high-level requirements necessary to run a team of nursing staff. The level of education shows the differences in responsibilities and salaries between registered nurses and the nursing staff they supervise.

The average nursing salary by state

Here you can find detailed information about the nurse salary in each state.

Alabama

The average Registered Nurse Salary in Alabama (AL) is $55,270 which is below the national average. The monthly salary is $4,605, equaling an average of $26.57 hourly wage.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Alabama is $64,520, which means an hourly wage of $31.02.

Alaska

The average Registered Nurse Salary in Alaska (AK) is $80,970 which is well above the national average. The monthly salary is $6,747 or an average of $38.93 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Alaska is $100,450, with an hourly wage of $48.29.

Arizona

The average Registered Nurse Salary in Arizona (AL) is $71,390 which is above the national average. The monthly salary is $5,949 or an average of $34.32 hourly wage.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Arizona is $85,430, with an hourly wage of $41.07.

Arkansas

The average Registered Nurse Salary in Arkansas is $55,360 which is below the national average. The monthly salary is $4,613 or an average of $26.62 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Arkansas is $66,270, with an hourly wage of $31.86

California

The average Registered Nurse Salary in California (CA) is $94,120 which is well above the national average. The monthly salary is $7,843 or an average of $45.25 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in California is $124,620, with an hourly wage of $59.91.

Colorado

The average Registered Nurse Salary in Colorado (CO) is $67,920 which is almost exactly the national average for RN’s,  $67,930. Monthly salary is $5,660 and it breaks down as an average of $32.66 hourly wage.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Colorado is $80,820, with an hourly wage of $38.86.

Connecticut

The average Registered Nurse Salary in Connecticut is $75,660 which is well above the national average for Registered Nurses, $67,930. Monthly salary is $6,305 and it breaks down as an average of $36.37 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Connecticut is $91,890, with an hourly wage of $44.18.

Delaware

The average, or mean, Registered Nurse Salary in Delaware is $70,820 which is well above the national average for Registered Nurses,  $67,930. Monthly salary is $5,901 and it breaks down as an average of $34.05 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Delaware is $79,600, with an hourly wage of $38.27.

Florida

The average Registered Nurse Salary in Florida (FL) is $61,780 which is below the national average for RN’s, $67,930. Monthly salary is $5,148 and it breaks down as an average of $29.70 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Florida is $74,520, with an hourly wage of $35.83.

Georgia

The average Registered Nurse Salary in Georgia (GA) is $60,770 which is below the national average for RN’s,  $67,930. Monthly salary is $5,064 and it breaks down as an average of $29.22 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Georgia is $75,500, with an hourly wage of $36.30.

Hawaii

The average Registered Nurse Salary in Hawaii (HI) is $84,750 which is above the national average for RN’s,  $67,930. Monthly salary is $7,062 and it breaks down as an average of $40.74 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Hawaii is $104,530, with an hourly wage of $50.26.

Idaho

The average Registered Nurse Salary in Idaho (ID) is $59,100 which is below the national average for RN’s,  $67,930. Monthly salary is $4,925 and it breaks down as an average of $28.42 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Idaho is $73,120, with an hourly wage of $35.15

Illinois

The average Registered Nurse Salary in Illinois (IL) is $66,260 which is just below the national average figures for RN’s, $67,930. Monthly salary $5,521 and it breaks down as an average of $31.86 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Illinois is $83,940, with an hourly wage of $40.36.

Indiana

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Indiana (IN) is $57,520 which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $4,793 and it breaks down as an average of $27.65 hourly wage.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Indiana is $71,030, with an hourly wage of $34.15.

Iowa

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Iowa (IA) is $52,540, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $4,378 and it breaks down as an average of $25.26 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Iowa is $63,750, with an hourly wage of $30.65.

Kansas

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Kansas (KA) is $56,040, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $4,670 and it breaks down as an average of $26.94 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Kansas is $67,620, with an hourly wage of $32.51.

Kentucky

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Kentucky (KY) is $57,510,  which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $4,792 and it breaks down as an average of $27.65 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Kentucky is $69,710, with an hourly wage of $33.51.

Louisiana

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Louisiana (LA) is $61,260 which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $5,105 and it breaks down as an average of $29.45 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Louisiana is $73,320, with an hourly wage of $35.25.

Maine

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Maine (ME) is $60,700, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $5,058 and it breaks down as an average of $29.18 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Maine is $74,010, with an hourly wage of $35.58.

Maryland

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in  Maryland (MA) is $71,090, which is above the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $5,924 and it breaks down as an average of $34.18 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Maryland is $86,920, with an hourly wage of $41.79.

Massachusetts

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Massachusetts (MA) is $83,370, which is above the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $6,947 and it breaks down as an average of $40.08 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Massachusetts is $109,240, with an hourly wage of $52.52.

Michigan

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Michigan (MI) is  $64,430, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $5,369 and it breaks down as an average of $30.97 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Michigan is $77,590, with an hourly wage of $37.30.

Minnesota

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Minnesota (MN) is $70,780, which is above the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $5,898 and it breaks down as an average of $34.03 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Minnesota is $90,110, with an hourly wage of $43.32.

Mississippi

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Mississippi (MS) is $57,740, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $4,811 and it breaks down as an average of $27.76 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Mississippi is $65,590, with an hourly wage of $31.54.

Missouri

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in  Missouri (MO) is $56,990, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $4,749 and it breaks down as an average of $27.40 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Missouri is $71,730, with an hourly wage of $34.49.

Montana

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in  Montana (MT) is $59,920, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $4,993 and it breaks down as an average of $28.81 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Montana is $73,620, with an hourly wage of $35.40.

Nebraska

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in  Nebraska (NE) is $56,350 which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $4,695 and it breaks down as an average of $27.09 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Nebraska is $69,530, with an hourly wage of $33.43.

Nevada

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Nevada (NV) is $77,870, which is above the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $6,489 and it breaks down as an average of $37.44 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Nevada is $96,810, with an hourly wage of $46.54.

New Hampshire

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in New Hampshire (NH) is $63,920, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $5,326 and it breaks down as an average of $30.73 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in New Hampshire is $79,610, with an hourly wage of $38.28.

New Jersey

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in New Jersey (NJ) is $75,820, which is above the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary $6,318 and it breaks down as an average of $36.45 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in New Jersey is $94,300, with an hourly wage of $45.34.

New Mexico

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in New Mexico (NM) is $66,710, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $5,559 and it breaks down as an average of $32.07 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in New Mexico is $78,830, with an hourly wage of $37.90.

New York

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in New York (NY) is $74,100, which is above the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $6,175 and it breaks down as an average of $35.63 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in New York is $97,150, with an hourly wage of $46.71.

North Carolina

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in North Carolina (NC) is $58,760, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $4,896 and it breaks down as an average of $28.25 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in North Carolina is $71,240, with an hourly wage of $34.25.

North Dakota

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in North Dakota (ND) is $53,520, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $4,460 and it breaks down as an average of $25.73 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in North Dakota is $69,240, with an hourly wage of $33.29.

Ohio

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Ohio (OH) is $60,970, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $5,080 and it breaks down as an average of $29.31 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Ohio is $73,760, with an hourly wage of $35.46.

Oklahoma

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Oklahoma (OK) is $55,980, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $4.665 and it breaks down as an average of $26.91 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Oklahoma is $69,880, with an hourly wage of $33.60.

Oregon

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Oregon (OR) is $78,530, which is above the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $6,544 and it breaks down as an average of $37.75 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Oregon is $100,000, with an hourly wage of $48.08.

Pennsylvania

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Pennsylvania (PA) is  $65,000,  which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $5,416 and it breaks down as an average of $31.25 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Pennsylvania is $79,690, with an hourly wage of $33.81.

Rhode Island

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Rhode Island is $73,070,  which is above the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $6,089 and it breaks down as an average of $35.13 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Rhode Island is $87,510, with an hourly wage of $42.07.

South Carolina

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in South Carolina (SC) is $58,940, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $4,911 and it breaks down as an average of $28.33 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in South Carolina is $72,590, with an hourly wage of $34.90.

South Dakota

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in South Dakota (SD) is $52,800, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $4,400 and it breaks down as an average of $25.39 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in South Dakota is $63,980, with an hourly wage of $30.76.

Tennessee

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Tennessee (TN) is $55,800, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $4,650 and it breaks down as an average of $26.83 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Tennessee is $67,420, with an hourly wage of $32.42.

Texas

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Texas (TX) is $66,350, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $5,529 and it breaks down as an average of $31.90 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Texas is $81,060, with an hourly wage of $38.97.

Utah

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Utah (UT) is  $59,810, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $4,984 and it breaks down as an average of $28.76 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Utah is $72,090, with an hourly wage of $34.66.

Vermont

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Vermont (VT) is $63,350, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $5,279  and it breaks down as an average of $30.46 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Vermont is $78,150, with an hourly wage of $37.57.

Virginia

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Virginia (VA) is $63,050, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $5,254  and it breaks down as an average of $30.31 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Virginia is $77,470, with an hourly wage of $37.24.

Washington

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Washington (WA) is $75,350, which is above the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $6,279  and it breaks down as an average of $36.22 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Washington is $96,360, with an hourly wage of $46.33.

West Virginia

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in West Virginia (WV) is $54,490, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $4,540  and it breaks down as an average of $26.20 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in West Virginia is $68,610, with an hourly wage of $33.03.

Wisconsin

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Wisconsin (WI) is $64,000, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $5,333  and it breaks down as an average of $30.77 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Wisconsin is $77,620, with an hourly wage of $37.32.

Wyoming

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Wyoming (WY) is $60,690, which is below the national average for RN’s viewed across all U.S. states, $67,930. Monthly salary is $5,057  and it breaks down as an average of $29.18 per hour.

The average BSN Nurse Salary in Wyoming is $73,280, with an hourly wage of $35.23.

Male vs Female Nurses: What the Statistics Show

In a study conducted by researchers at the University of California in 2015, it was found that “male RNs outearned female RNs across settings, specialties, and positions with no narrowing of the pay gap over time”.

How much more do male nurses make per year?

Compared to female nurses, the salary of a male registered nurse was $7678 higher for ambulatory care and $3873 for hospital settings. According to the study, the nurse salary gap was present in all specialties except orthopedics, ranging from $3792 for chronic care to $6034 for cardiology.

male nurses salary

Salary differences also existed by position, ranging from $3956 for middle management to $17 290 for nurse anesthetists.

Why do male nurses make more money?

In an article for nurse.com, Linda H. Aiken, PhD, RN, FAAN, FRCN, professor in nursing and sociology and director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania, explains that the differences in practice patterns, career choices and education can be traced back to justify the salary difference between male and female nurses.

Professor Aiken also says that, among other things, “male nurses are more likely to practice in geographic areas with higher compensation … and to have a bachelor’s degree or higher”.

The educational background of nurses is of paramount importance when discussing differences in earning potentials, as a more advanced education (meaning at least a BSN) is associated with a higher level of pay.

However, there are still areas where the difference between female and male nurses’ hourly wage is unjustified. For example, both male and female nurses receive the same education and training when they become nurse anesthetists, therefore it is safe to say in this case that the $17,290 pay gap between male and female anesthetists is unwarranted.

What is the difference between an RN & an RN with a BSN: Salary & Training

A common misunderstanding is that registered nurses who have a BSN degree do not make more than nurses who have an ADN degree if they work as a registered nurse. So, the BSN salary you get really depends on which nurse specialty and job you choose.

However, it is true that nurses with a BSN degree qualify for more advanced positions, which may come with a higher pay. While salaries and workloads vary between specialties, the BSN gives candidates an edge over other RNs with lower qualifications. Not only will your paycheck improve, but you will also have an easier time finding that perfect job.

nurses salary comparison

A 2017 survey by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing that assessed the experience of new graduates in finding employment reveals that 73% of entry-level BSN graduates and 78% of entry-level MSN graduates had secured job offers at the time of graduation, compared to the general average of 46% for a typical graduate.

This represents an increase from the previous year, when only 70% of BSN graduates and 74% of MSN graduates had job offers at graduation. The overall employment percentage for all new college graduates was lower by almost 5 points in 2017 compared to 2016, when 50.6% of new graduates had secured an offer by the end of their studies.

When the same survey asked respondents to assess whether employers and hospitals indicated a preference for hiring new nurses with a BSN, it turned out that almost half of all hospitals and other healthcare settings are requiring that new hires have a BSN, while 86.3% of employers are expressing a strong preference for BSN graduates.

Registered Nurse Training and Education

Whichever route you choose to become a registered nurse, you will need the minimum of a High School Diploma. Although the training along the way can vary, all RNs are educated to degree level.

Here are the most popular routes you can choose to  become a nurse:

  • The Nursing Diploma Programs, usually lasting 3 years, are at the lower entry level and can help you with your nursing career.
  • The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is the standard degree course many people chose that can last up to 3 years depending on each individual’s qualifications.
  • The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is the gold standard. The majority of BSN programs can last up to 4 years.
  • The RN to BSN Bridge Program is an accelerated degree program designed for licensed registered nurses who want to complete their BSN degree.

midwife salary us states

Completing an RN to BSN degree program can open the doors to supervisory positions and higher salaries. Hospitals and institutions see BSN degrees as a more professional grade of training and are highly desirable. If you’re a candidate with a BSN qualification, you will tend to be employed and command higher salaries.

What is the average salary for a Registered Nurse with a BSN Degree?

How much do you make with a BSN in nursing?

After becoming a qualified RN with a BSN degree, there are many areas of specialization that will help you improve prospects and salary. Here are a few more common nursing jobs available to registered nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree:

  • Geriatric Nurse – Geriatric nurses might earn more in top-paying industries like general medical and surgical hospitals, physician offices and home health care services. According to BLS data, RNs earned salaries such as $70,590, $62,850 and $66,910 in 2013.
  • Pediatric Nurse – Pediatric nurses earn $48,000 to $68,000 a year. However, compensation depends on the level of education, experience, geographic location and the type of facility. Experienced pediatric nurses can earn $100,000 a year or more.
  • Charge Nurse – Charge nurses earned a median annual income of $71,597 as of November 2010, with the middle 50 percent of professionals in this role earning between $65,216 and $80,611.
  • Certified Nurse Midwife – Certified nurse midwives make an average annual salary of $91,998. According to the BLS Occupational Outlook, the median expected annual salary for nurse midwives is $96,970.

Keep in mind that actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. Read the latest BLS data to find out more information about specific nursing specialties and job outlook.

The Cost of Living in the United States

Even though the average U.S. registered nurse salary is $67,930. When the cost of living is factored in, most of the metropolitan areas that seem to offer the highest pay turn out to be less desirable if you consider the cost of living.

While salaries may be higher on the West coast, there are also higher prices that bring us to the conclusion that bigger paychecks aren’t necessarily signs of a wealthy life.

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For example, earning at least $75,000 per year is a comfortable paycheck. However, this $75,000 has to be adjusted to account for the costs of living differences.

The Cost of Living Index (the average for the entire U.S. is 100) measures the cost of services and consumer goods in an area relative to the rest of the country. This index takes into account the different overall costs of living in each U.S. state. For cost of living that is below the U.S. average, it raises the median nurse salary since salaries in those states are more valuable. Likewise, it lowers the median nurse salary for states where the cost is living is above the U.S. average as the prices are higher in those areas.

The most expensive states in the U.S

California tops the list of the most expensive states to live in.

With an annual salary of $94,120 which is well above the median registered nurse salary, California ranks number one in annual registered nursing pay. While Cali is a beautiful city to live in,  it is very polluted, and the cost of living is very high, with an index of approximately 135 or 30 percent more expensive than the average.

Living in Hawaii is a dream, especially for the beach and tropical side lovers. Nurses earn higher than average but they spend a lot of their paycheck on utility bills, rent, and imported goods.

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Most people consider New York and California as the most expensive states, but Alaska is among the top states with higher prices and cost of living. If you happen to enjoy the idea of cold days and night, be happy to find out that the Land of the Midnight Sun offers an annual nursing salary that is around $80,970.

However, the expensive lifestyle lowers it down to a real $55,788 per year, paycheck adjusted to Alaska’s cost of living index of 131.1. New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Washington D.C are among the most expensive as well. If you want to find more information about the cost of living, pros, and cons for these areas, you can check USA Today’s article.

The least expensive States in the U.S

Arkansas is a go-to city if you’d like to live a cheap and comfortable. Even if the median annual salary for a registered nurse is $55,360, which is below the national average, the cost of living index is low and rises your real annual income to $62,501.

Nebraska is a fairly affordable state to live in. The annual income for registered nurses is $56,350 and is raised by the below average cost of living index  $61,083.

Utah, for example, the annual adjusted nurse salary equals $63,997 for a registered nurse.Additionally, Utah is a safe and cozy place to live and raise a family.

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This list of the states in the U.S uses data from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center and other resources. Each state is ranked by its cost of living index, Third Quarter 2016 Cost of Living.

There are a few states like Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Nevada, Montana, Florida, and Wisconsin that make it around the benchmark, paying decent salaries according to a fair, low cost adjusted of living. The states produce a monetary amount that is relatively similar to the nationwide reference point even when adjusting for cost of living.

Closing thoughts

Registered nurses with a BSN degree will be in high demand in the next decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the profession to grow 16 percent by 2024, opening up 439,300 new jobs. Furthermore, registered nurses are expected to gain more than a quarter of a million jobs by 2017.

Do you think you have what it takes to become a nurse?

Find more about the BSN degree if you want to broaden your horizon, your education and most importantly, your salary.

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