A registered nurse, otherwise known as an RN, can expect a median salary of $67,500. This is also $32 per hour. The range of salaries for the middle 50% of employed RNs will give a better determinant of average salary. This range falls between $60,000 and $74,000, which is also between $29 and $36 per hour. Based on the reports, even an RN just starting out can receive a good income. The annual Registered Nurse salary of those working in the lowest 10th percentile is about $54,300, or $26 per hour. Experienced and dedicated professionals may see a much higher income. Those working in the top 10th percentile receive an hourly pay rate around $39. This adds up to $80,500 per year.
There are many factors that could affect the salary of an RN. Besides the obvious factor of how many hours one works in a given week, geographic location, type of employment, and experience play a major role in determining income. As with many employment opportunities, metropolitan areas tend to pay higher than rural ones. However, this is mostly due to the higher cost of living in metropolitan areas. Furthermore, the area an RN is employed in will affect her annual intake. Hospitals, both general and specialty (including psychiatric), tend to pay their RNs a slightly higher pay-grade. RNs working in nursing homes will see less of a paycheck than these aforementioned employees. And of course, as with most jobs, the more experienced a professional is, the more money he or she will make.
The total compensation package for an RN after benefits is on average about $94,000. Paid benefits from an employer may include vacation time, health care, social security, and pension.
Job Description of a Registered Nurse (RN)
A registered nurse performs many of the duties one would normally expect from a nurse, both in hospitals and in physician’s offices. An RN will collaborate with physicians and other nurses to help make the best decisions regarding a patient’s health. Furthermore, RNs will consult with patients as well as their families and friends to provide physical and psychological support. RNs will also discuss medications with patients, often talking about possible side effects and the proper administration of the medication.
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There are three different educational routes for those aspiring to become a registered nurse. The first option is a two year stint at an accredited school or training program to earn an associate’s degree in nursing. However, it has been reported that these programs actually take some students three or more years to complete, and many nurses return for their bachelor’s degree later on.
This brings us to the second option: the bachelor’s degree. The four year program designed to give nurses this certificate can take place at any accredited school that has a nursing program. The initial two years will be spent focusing on general education, specifically the sciences. The final two years will be more concerned with actual nursing practices, clinical experience, and studies in particular specialties.
Finally, aspiring RNs may decide to earn a diploma in nursing from an accredited program. This is the least common route. Nursing programs for these diplomas are found specifically in healthcare facilities. The programs consist of three or more years in both classroom and clinical instruction. An undergraduate degree may be obtained later, if the RN so desires.
After completing the approved nursing program and obtaining a degree, RNs must be licensed. The National Council Licensure Examination must be passed to begin practicing nursing in any of the fifty states. Some states will require their RNs to participate in continuing education, as many health professionals are required to do.
Registered Nurse (RN) Salary in Other Countries (Australia, Canada and UK)
Registered nurses working outside of the United States can expect similar salaries in other first-world countries. For instance, Australia, on average, pays her RNs AU$54,000 per year. A Canadian RN will receive an even higher income: an average of C$70,000 per year.
As with the salaries of many other health professionals, an RN working in the United Kingdom can expect a much smaller income than found elsewhere in the developed world. An RN working in the U.K. should only expect an average income every year of about £25,000, which is only $40,000 in America.
Verdict on Registered Nurse (RN) Salary
Except for the lower salaries in the United Kingdom, a registered nurse should expect to be comfortable, no matter where she works. Their salaries are far from exorbitant and luxurious, but starting pay is much better than in some other industries. Schooling is nowhere near as extensive as some other health professionals, so a registered nurse can begin working after between two and four years of education. Continuing education could result in becoming a nurse practitioner. NPs get a much higher salary than RNs; some even see six figure salaries every year. Is it worth it? Absolutely.