So how much does a Registered Nurse make, what is the average RN salary, the highest paid cities, states and industries? Below you will find all of the answers laid out clearly in easy to read tables and charts. Finding all of the relevant figures can be a bit of a task – so I have put everything in one place – easy to find and easy to navigate!
You can also check out the Nurse Salary by State page for a deeper look at Registered Nursing salaries in each individual state in the U.S. – it breaks the information down into Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan areas and employment by industry. Easily find the important details for Your town, city and state – when someone asks how much do nurses make – you have all the answers.
The U.S. Average Registered Nurse RN Salary is $73,550
In the United States the average annual salary for a Registered Nurse is currently $73,550 which breaks down as an average of $35.36 per hour, $1,414 per week and a monthly salary of $6,129.
Have a look at how this compares to the national average wage figures.
|Hourly Wage||Weekly Wage||Monthly Salary||Annual Salary|
|Registered Nurse RN Average Salary||$35.36||$1,414||$6,129||$73,550|
|U.S. National Average Salary||$24.34||$973||$4,218||$50,620|
Obviously not all RN’s earn the same. Wage levels vary quite a bit depending on experience, years in the job, level of training , industry and location etc. The table below will give you an idea of the range to expect. The figures show the average wage earned by the top earning 10% and the lowest paid 10% of registered nurses. It is a useful way to see the potential earnings overall.
California comes out as the highest paying state for a Registered Nurse with an average annual salary of $102,700 – closely followed by Hawaii, Washington DC and Massachusetts.
At the other end of the payscale for nurses – Puerto Rico is the lowest paid state with an average RN salary of $34,630 – not so great if you live there! For the mainland USA – South Dakota comes bottom with $57,010.
The large variation can in part be explained by simple supply and demand influences – but also cost of living variations.
You can click on the map above to find Registered Nurse salary information in all states – here you can select your own state and see all the relevant data – highest paying areas, employment figures and more.
|State||Employment Numbers||Hourly Wage||Annual Salary|
|District of Columbia||11,000||$43.32||$90,110|
Highest Paying Cities or Metropolitan Areas for RN
California’s metropolitan areas are topping the tables again here. San Francisco, Salinas, San Jose and Oakland are amongst the highest paying cities for Registered nurses in the country – well above the average salary rates nationwide.
|Metropolitan Area||Employment Numbers||Hourly Wage||Annual Salary|
|San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco CA||14,170||$67.16||$139,700|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara||15,990||$62.09||$129,140|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward CA||35,480||$60.08||$124,970|
|Santa Cruz-Watsonville CA||1,520||$59.84||$124,470|
|Santa Rosa CA||3,170||$53.62||$111,530|
Highest Paid Non-Metropolitan Areas – Registered Nurse
|Non Metropolitan Area||Employment Numbers||Hourly Wage||Annual Salary|
|Mother Lode Region of California nonmetropolitan area||730||$48.89||$101,700|
|Eastern Sierra California nonmetropolitan area||190||$45.04||$93,690|
|Hawaii / Kauai nonmetropolitan area||1,610||$44.78||$93,130|
|N Central Massachusetts nonmetropolitan area||-||$44.12||$91,770|
|Balance of Alaska nonmetropolitan area||760||$43.98||$91,480|
|E Washington nonmetropolitan area||810||$43.46||$90,400|
|North Coast of California nonmetropolitan area||2,360||$43.46||$90,390|
|Southeast Alaska nonmetropolitan area||460||$43.12||$89,680|
|North Coast Oregon nonmetropolitan area||630||$42.19||$87,750|
|N Mountains Region California nonmetropolitan area||1,040||$40.43||$84,100|
Number of Registered Nurses Employed in the United States
The total employed figures across all states stands at 2,906,840. The chart below shows the top 10 states by total number of RN’s employed. California employs the most RN’s – which helps explain the high wages for nurses in that state.
Highest Paying Industries for Registered Nurse
RN’s can find employment across a fairly wide range of industries – not just in hospitals. Have a look at the top paying industries below – you can see some of the highest paid nursing jobs.
|Industry||Hourly Wage||Annual Salary|
|Federal government, including USPS||$41.83||$87,010|
|General Medical and Surgical Hospitals - State owned||$38.35||$79,770|
|Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals||$37.16||$77,290|
|Specialty hospitals - Privately owned||$36.78||$76,510|
|General Medical and Surgical Hospitals - Privately owned||$36.55||$76,020|
|Outpatient Care Centers||$36.39||$75,680|
|Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools||$36.18||$75,240|
|Educational Services - State government owned||$35.76||$74,380|
|Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals - State owned||$35.18||$73,180|
The career outlook for Registered Nurses is very strong with expected growth of 19% (all careers growth is estimated at 11%) between 2012 – 2022. According to projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics by 2022 there will be an increase in the number of Registered nurses of 526,800 – yes, over half a million! That’s a lot of new nursing jobs for the near future – definitely a career with good prospects.