In 2024, nursing remains essential and esteemed in the U.S., pivotal in healthcare. This article examines nurse salaries, exploring variations by role, education, and location.

How much does a Nurse make?

  • Registered Nurses (RN): The average salary for RNs is approximately $75,000 annually.
  • Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN): LPNs typically earn around $50,000 per year.
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN): APRNs, which include nurse practitioners, often make about $110,000 annually.
  • Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM): CNMs can expect to earn an average salary of around $108,000.
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA): CRNAs are among the highest paid, with average earnings of about $189,000 per year.

Nurse Salary by State

Alabama

  • Average Salary: $58,000

Alaska

  • Average Salary: $89,000

Arizona

  • Average Salary: $77,000

Arkansas

  • Average Salary: $60,000

California

  • Average Salary: $106,000

Colorado

  • Average Salary: $74,000

Connecticut

  • Average Salary: $82,000

Delaware

  • Average Salary: $70,000

Florida

  • Average Salary: $67,000

Georgia

  • Average Salary: $69,000

Hawaii

  • Average Salary: $96,000

Idaho

  • Average Salary: $65,000

Illinois

  • Average Salary: $73,000

Indiana

  • Average Salary: $66,000

Iowa

  • Average Salary: $60,000

Kansas

  • Average Salary: $61,000

Kentucky

  • Average Salary: $63,000

Louisiana

  • Average Salary: $65,000

Maine

  • Average Salary: $69,000

Maryland

  • Average Salary: $76,000

Massachusetts

  • Average Salary: $90,000

Michigan

  • Average Salary: $71,000

Minnesota

  • Average Salary: $78,000

Mississippi

  • Average Salary: $59,000

Missouri

  • Average Salary: $65,000

Montana

  • Average Salary: $67,000

Nebraska

  • Average Salary: $64,000

Nevada

  • Average Salary: $85,000

New Hampshire

  • Average Salary: $70,000

New Jersey

  • Average Salary: $82,000

New Mexico

  • Average Salary: $71,000

New York

  • Average Salary: $85,000

North Carolina

  • Average Salary: $64,000

North Dakota

  • Average Salary: $65,000

Ohio

  • Average Salary: $66,000

Oklahoma

  • Average Salary: $63,000

Oregon

  • Average Salary: $91,000

Pennsylvania

  • Average Salary: $70,000

Rhode Island

  • Average Salary: $78,000

South Carolina

  • Average Salary: $64,000

South Dakota

  • Average Salary: $58,000

Tennessee

  • Average Salary: $60,000

Texas

  • Average Salary: $72,000

Utah

  • Average Salary: $65,000

Vermont

  • Average Salary: $74,000

Virginia

  • Average Salary: $69,000

Washington

  • Average Salary: $85,000

West Virginia

  • Average Salary: $61,000

Wisconsin

  • Average Salary: $71,000

Wyoming

  • Average Salary: $66,000

Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Nurse Jobs

The disparity in nurse salaries across the United States is often influenced by local demand for healthcare services, cost of living, and regional economic health. Here, we explore the top 10 highest paying cities for nurses in 2024, providing insights into where the nursing profession is most lucrative.

San Francisco, CA

  • Average Salary: $120,000
    • Known for its high cost of living, San Francisco tops the list with the highest compensation rates for nurses.

San Jose, CA

  • Average Salary: $115,000
    • As part of Silicon Valley, San Jose’s booming tech industry and wealth contribute to high healthcare salaries.

New York, NY

  • Average Salary: $90,000
    • The high demand for healthcare professionals in this densely populated city drives up salaries.

Boston, MA

  • Average Salary: $88,000
    • Boston’s rich medical research and academic presence make it a high-paying city for nurses.

Los Angeles, CA

  • Average Salary: $85,000
    • With a massive healthcare system to support its vast population, Los Angeles offers competitive nursing salaries.

Seattle, WA

  • Average Salary: $84,000
    • Seattle’s growing population and tech-driven economy boost healthcare demands and nurse salaries.

Washington, DC

  • Average Salary: $83,000
    • The political and healthcare hub of the nation, Washington, DC, offers high salaries to attract skilled nurses.

Chicago, IL

  • Average Salary: $78,000
    • As a major urban center with numerous healthcare institutions, Chicago provides solid compensation for nursing professionals.

Atlanta, GA

  • Average Salary: $76,000
    • Atlanta’s healthcare industry is thriving, with numerous hospitals and a steady need for skilled nurses.

Dallas, TX

  • Average Salary: $75,000
    • Dallas combines a lower cost of living with a robust healthcare system, making it an attractive city for nurses seeking good pay.

These cities not only offer excellent compensation but also diverse opportunities in healthcare, driven by their unique economic and demographic profiles.

How Your Degree Can Impact Your Nurse Salary

The level of education a nurse attains significantly influences their salary potential, reflecting the demand for specialized skills and the increasing complexity of healthcare needs. A higher degree often opens the door to advanced practice roles, leadership positions, and specialized areas of healthcare, which command higher salaries due to their critical nature and required expertise.

Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN)

  • Average Salary: $65,000
    • Nurses with an ADN can enter the workforce quickly and begin earning, though their starting salaries are typically lower than those of nurses with a bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

  • Average Salary: $75,000
    • A BSN is becoming the standard for many nursing roles and is often required for positions in management, as well as for moving into advanced practice roles.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

  • Average Salary: $92,000
    • Nurses with an MSN qualify for more advanced positions such as nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, or clinical nurse specialists, which offer higher salaries and more responsibility.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

  • Average Salary: $102,000
    • The DNP is designed for nurses seeking leadership roles in clinical practice, administration, and education. It commands one of the highest salary potentials in the field.

Ph.D. in Nursing

  • Average Salary: $98,000
    • A Ph.D. in Nursing focuses on research and academia but also opens up high-level consultancy and administrative positions in healthcare systems.

Investing in higher education can thus significantly affect a nurse’s career trajectory and earnings. The degree not only impacts the initial salary but also the long-term career opportunities available, fostering both professional growth and financial advancement.

Salaries of Different Types of Nurses

Nursing is a diverse field with various specialties, each with its own unique responsibilities and required skills. These specialties not only cater to different patient needs but also offer varying compensation levels based on the complexity of care, level of expertise required, and the demand in specific healthcare settings.

Pediatric Nurse

  • Average Salary: $72,000
    • Specializing in the care of infants, children, and adolescents, pediatric nurses work in settings from hospitals to outpatient care centers, where they support young patients and their families.

Oncology Nurse

  • Average Salary: $77,000
    • Oncology nurses care for cancer patients and are involved in chemotherapy administration, patient education, and symptom management, roles that require specialized knowledge and skills.

Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse (NICU)

  • Average Salary: $80,000
    • NICU nurses care for critically ill or premature newborns, a highly specialized field that demands acute care skills and the ability to handle complex medical equipment and situations.

Emergency Room Nurse (ER Nurse)

  • Average Salary: $78,000
    • ER nurses work in fast-paced settings, providing care for acute and critical injuries and illnesses, requiring quick thinking and robust emergency care skills.

Orthopedic Nurse

  • Average Salary: $79,000
    • These nurses specialize in musculoskeletal issues, helping with surgeries, rehabilitation, and pain management for injuries and conditions like arthritis and fractures.

Psychiatric Nurse

  • Average Salary: $75,000
    • Psychiatric nurses deal with patients suffering from mental health issues, providing care that ranges from medication management to therapeutic communication and crisis intervention.

Geriatric Nurse

  • Average Salary: $70,000
    • Focused on elderly care, geriatric nurses work in environments such as residential homes, hospitals, and as part of community health teams, where they manage multiple aspects of aging-related health conditions.

These nursing specialties reflect the broad spectrum of healthcare services, each demanding specific skills that impact salary scales. The commitment to specialized care in various patient populations makes nursing a highly rewarding and financially viable career path.

Top 5 Best Paying Related Nurse Jobs in the U.S.

As the healthcare industry evolves, so do the opportunities for nurses to diversify their careers and increase their earning potential. Here we explore the top five related nurse jobs that not only provide significant financial compensation but also offer unique challenges and the chance to impact patient care on different levels.

Nurse Researcher

  • Average Salary: $95,000
    • Nurse researchers contribute to the advancement of medical and healthcare knowledge by conducting studies and analyzing data. This role typically requires a doctoral degree and offers opportunities in academia, healthcare facilities, and private sectors.

Nurse Educator

  • Average Salary: $88,000
    • Nurse educators play a crucial role in shaping the future of nursing by teaching and mentoring nursing students or providing continuing education for working nurses. Positions are available in academic settings, hospitals, and other educational facilities.

Nurse Administrator

  • Average Salary: $100,000
    • Nurse administrators manage nursing staff and oversee the administration of healthcare services. Their roles can range from heads of nursing departments to executives in healthcare organizations, requiring strong leadership and management skills.

Nurse Consultant

  • Average Salary: $92,000
    • Nurse consultants offer expert advice on patient care, legal matters, healthcare policies, and facility management to healthcare organizations. This role often calls for a high level of specialized knowledge in a particular area of nursing.

Travel Nurse

  • Average Salary: $90,000
    • Travel nurses fill temporary positions in hospitals and other healthcare facilities around the country, often in areas with nursing shortages. This role offers the chance to work in diverse settings and typically includes benefits like housing stipends and travel reimbursement.

These roles reflect the wide range of opportunities available to nurses beyond traditional patient care settings, emphasizing the versatility and breadth of the nursing profession. Each position offers unique advantages and challenges, providing numerous pathways for career growth and development in the field of nursing.

Conclusion

Nursing salaries in the U.S. in 2024 reflect a diverse and dynamic field with significant variance based on factors such as geographical location, education, specialization, and type of nursing role. As the demand for healthcare professionals continues to grow, nursing remains not only a fulfilling career but also a financially rewarding one.