How Much Does a Nurse Earn?


SAN FRANCISCO, CA (ASRN.ORG) -- According to the American Health Care Agency, there are currently two and a half million Registered Nurses, in the United States. That work in numerous health care fields, including doctors offices, clinics, hospitals, schools, prison facilities, public health, nursing homes, adult homes, psychiatric hospitals, military bases and many more places that employee nurses.

There are several factors to look at when considering the salary of a nurse.

•A hospital will usually, always offer a higher salary, even to a graduated nurse, who has not passed her exam yet. Than most of the other health care facilities.

•A large hospital in a Metropolitan area will pay more than a hospital in a rural area. (Supply and Demand)

•A nurse employed by the State or Government will be paid a higher salary and offered better, in expensive benefits.

•As a nurse climbs the ladder, LPN to RN, RN with a Bachelor's degree, RN with a Master's degree, the pay scale will obviously rise. The same applies to training in specialty areas as well.

The starting salary for an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) or LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse) is $28,000 to $32,000 in a hospital. Doctor's offices pay between $10.00 and $12.00 an hour.

The starting salary for an RN (with a two-year associates degree on a medical/surgical unit, in a hospital can expect a salary of $35,000 to $42,000. Depending on the region, whether it be rural or Metro.

The Starting salary for an RN, with a Bachelor's degree is $40,000 to $50,000.

The starting salary for an RN with a Master's degree is $50,000 to $62,000.


A specialty nurses can work in critical care, cardiology critical care, cardiac cauterization lab, surgical nurse,(in the operating room), surgical intensive care unit, pediatric intensive care unit, neo-natal intensive care unit and other areas of a hospital that require more in-depth training that a nurse will receive, solely at nursing school.

The starting salary for "specialties" for an RN with an associates or bachelor's degree is $45,000 to $55,000.


Shift Supervisor - $58,000 and up

Nurse Manager - $ 65,000 and up

Clinical specialist - $65,000 and up

Nurse Mid-Wife - $ 72,000 and up

Nurse Practitioner - $85,000 and up

A traveling nurse is another very-well paid nurse. A traveling nurse will take a 13 or 26-week assignment, anywhere they choose. The average pay rate is $40.00 an hour and up. Plus the hospital will pay for most of your living expenses (An apartment, utilities, phone, cable, internet service, car rental, and transportation to and from your "home" base. You receive your health care benefits the day you start work and most of the time a bonus of at least $1,000 is paid, when the assignment is finished.

While there are other types of specialties with different starting salaries, this presents just a basic idea of what a nurse earns in the United States.

Copyright 2010- American Society of Registered Nurses (ASRN.ORG)-All Rights Reserved 


Articles in this issue:


  • Masthead

    Editor-in Chief:
    Kirsten Nicole

    Editorial Staff:
    Kirsten Nicole
    Stan Kenyon
    Robyn Bowman
    Kimberly McNabb
    Lisa Gordon
    Stephanie Robinson

    Kirsten Nicole
    Stan Kenyon
    Liz Di Bernardo
    Cris Lobato
    Elisa Howard
    Susan Cramer

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