Registered nurses or RNs form the largest group of health care workers in the United States. They help patients prevent illness and cope with diseases, notes the Mayo School of Health Sciences. On the average, a registered nurse earns $5,700 per month, according to 2010 data from Indeed.com. However, this average value does not do justice to the wide range of incomes that a nurse may garner based on education, geography, expertise and workplace.
If you choose to pursue a four-year bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) as recommended by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, you will accelerate your career and receive higher incomes. Entry-level salaries average $3,700 per month with a BSN, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Students who graduate with a two- or three-year associate degree in nursing (ADN) receive less monthly income, approximating $3,300.
If you can select the city where you work, you may boost your income by selecting towns such as New York, New York, that offers salaries well above the national average at about $7,126 per month, according to Indeed.com. The Bureau of Labor Statistics places the California Bay Area among the top paying metropolitan areas with median compensations of $6,750 per month.
RNs advance by specializing in a medical field or by taking leadership positions. RNs who graduated with a BSN can be invited to join the administrative side of hospitals where they may become corporate executives, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A nurse in high management positions can earn in excess of $10,000 per month, according to Indeed.com. Other RNs choose to specialize in a field such cardiology or neonatal care and leverage their expertise to garner high incomes. For instance, a nurse with oncology experience working in San Francisco can earn beyond $9,200 per month.
Manufacturers employing RNs pay the highest level of compensations at $6,500 average per month compared to other employers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hospitals typically follow the state or national average to set their pay structures. RNS working in nursing homes receive the lowest monthly compensations averaging $4,900.
You must also consider the value of the perks that your employer may offer. Health care coverage constitutes an expected benefit but some hospitals further sweeten their job offers with generous employee support. NursingLink lists Stanford Medical Center number one in its selection of top employers for paying extra holiday days, giving your birthday as a paid holiday, paying for additional education and providing childcare and a pre-school on the premises for your children.
2016 Salary Information for Registered Nurses
Registered nurses earned a median annual salary of $68,450 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, registered nurses earned a 25th percentile salary of $56,190, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $83,770, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 2,955,200 people were employed in the U.S. as registered nurses.