Registered Nurse RN Salary

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.

Don’t forget we have a detailed Registered Nurse Guide – covering everything you need to know about being a RN – and now we have a full guide to Registered Nurse Training Programs.

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 WageWeekly WageMonthly 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

Salary Range

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.

Highest Paid States for Registered Nurse

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.Registered Nurse Salary by State

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.

StateEmployment NumbersHourly WageAnnual Salary
California 282,290 $49.37$102,700
Hawaii 10,800 $46.63$96,990
District of Columbia 11,000 $43.32$90,110
Massachusetts 82,870 $42.95$89,330
Oregon 35,140 $42.68$88,770
Alaska 5,570 $42.07$87,510
Nevada 21,060 $40.86$84,980
New York 180,170 $40.12$83,450
New Jersey 80,560 $39.43$82,010
Connecticut 34,310 $38.56$80,200
Washington 56,880 $38.37$79,810
Minnesota 64,540 $37.28$77,540
Rhode Island 11,820 $36.85$76,650
Maryland 53,700 $36.18$75,250
Arizona 54,630 $36.11$75,110
Delaware 11,620 $35.18$73,180
Colorado 49,340 $34.89$72,570
Illinois 123,100 $34.66$72,090
Texas 212,230 $34.65$72,070
New Hampshire 13,190 $33.67$70,040
New Mexico 16,290 $33.58$69,840
Pennsylvania 143,130 $33.57$69,820
Vermont 6,270 $33.44$69,560
Wisconsin 55,940 $33.27$69,200
Michigan 94,090 $33.23$69,120
Virginia 64,260 $32.69$67,990
Georgia 75,000 $32.09$66,750
Montana 10,110 $31.87$66,280
Maine 14,200 $31.68$65,890
Ohio 124,620 $31.49$65,500
Wyoming 4,910 $31.20$64,900
Florida 178,330 $31.20$64,890
Idaho 13,320 $31.02$64,520
South Carolina 43,200 $30.59$63,630
Louisiana 45,970 $30.56$63,560
Missouri 72,090 $30.43$63,300
North Dakota 9,020 $30.35$63,140
Utah 21,340 $30.31$63,050
North Carolina 99,210 $30.08$62,560
Indiana 68,530 $30.02$62,450
Nebraska 22,870 $29.91$62,210
Oklahoma 28,000 $29.63$61,640
Kentucky 44,410 $29.58$61,530
West Virginia 20,410 $29.03$60,380
Tennessee 59,350 $28.87$60,050
Kansas 28,900 $28.82$59,940
Arkansas 24,380 $28.28$58,810
Virgin Islands-$28.26$58,770
Iowa 33,280 $27.85$57,930
Alabama 49,290 $27.83$57,890
Mississippi 28,760 $27.74$57,700
South Dakota 12,530 $27.41$57,010
Puerto Rico 19,090 $16.65$34,630

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 AreaEmployment NumbersHourly WageAnnual Salary
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco CA14,170$67.16$139,700
Salinas CA2,470$62.47$129,940
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara15,990$62.09$129,140
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward CA35,480$60.08$124,970
Santa Cruz-Watsonville CA1,520$59.84$124,470
Vallejo-Fairfield CA3,170$57.61$119,830
Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley CA19,550$56.09$116,660
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade CA18,240$55.85$116,170
Napa CA1,430$54.68$113,740
Santa Rosa CA3,170$53.62$111,530

Highest Paid Non-Metropolitan Areas – Registered Nurse

Non Metropolitan AreaEmployment NumbersHourly WageAnnual Salary
Mother Lode Region of California nonmetropolitan area730$48.89$101,700
Eastern Sierra California nonmetropolitan area190$45.04$93,690
Hawaii / Kauai nonmetropolitan area1,610$44.78$93,130
N Central Massachusetts nonmetropolitan area-$44.12$91,770
Balance of Alaska nonmetropolitan area760$43.98$91,480
E Washington nonmetropolitan area810$43.46$90,400
North Coast of California nonmetropolitan area2,360$43.46$90,390
Southeast Alaska nonmetropolitan area460$43.12$89,680
North Coast Oregon nonmetropolitan area630$42.19$87,750
N Mountains Region California nonmetropolitan area1,040$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.

IndustryHourly WageAnnual 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
Insurance Carriers$35.84$74,540
Educational Services - State government owned$35.76$74,380
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals - State owned$35.18$73,180

Career Outlook

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.

Don’t forget to check out our pages for Nurse Practitioners, LVN or LPN salary and general nursing careers salary information.