Today’s registered nurses are relied on for their problem-solving skills and critical thinking abilities. As a result, they are required to have a broader knowledge base, including social sciences, humanities and data analysis. But what is the salary of registered nurses. In this post, we tell you what the national average is, the best paying states as well as what you would earn if you go to countries like Canada, UK and Australia.
Average Registered Nurse Salary
According to the statistics from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for registered nurses was $67,930. This is much better if you compare it with other health care jobs that were released in the 2014 Best Jobs. This is almost the same as the salary that occupational therapists get, although it is less than the amount a physical therapist earns. Generally, nurse practitioners make more money. The 2012 average nurse salary was $91,450 compared to about $42,400 that vocational and licensed practical nurses earned in the same period.
Figures from the 2012 survey by the BLS further suggested that nurses working in state hospitals and home health care institutions recorded the highest median salaries. According to locations, nurses working in metropolitan areas such as California earned the highest perks.
Average nurse salary against all healthcare jobs
Job name Salary
Physical Therapist $79,860.00
Occupational Therapist $75,400.00
Registered Nurse $65,470.00
Medical Assistant $29,370.00
Average nurse salary in different parts of the US
So which are the cities that pay the best registered nurses salaries in the US? Well, they include the metropolitan parts of Vallejo, San Jose, Oakland and Sacramento. All of these areas are in Northern California.
San Jose, Calif.
Average salary is $122,990.
This salary exceeds the median pay in the healthcare profession by $57,520.
Median Salary stands at $119,310. This exceeds the industry average by $53,840.
Median salary is $113,520
This is $48,050 greater than the industry average.
Median salary is $110,630. This exceeds the industry average by $45,160.
Median registered nurse pay is $110,630 in San Francisco. This is greater than the industry average pay by $45,160.
BLS figures of 2012 shows that the average salary for a registered nurse was $81,890 yearly. At that time, more than 83,000 nurses were working in Massachusetts. Those nurses working in Boston-Cambridge area earned above average salaries, at $88,730.
Hawaii does not just offer an opportunity for fat pay checks for the nurses but also great surfing and beautiful beaches. BLS statistics of 2009 showed that the average pay for the state’s 9000 registered nurses stood at $80,020 yearly, or $38.47 per hour. This was even higher at the Honolulu metropolitan area, with nurses working there earning $82,150 annually.
Maryland is another high-paying state and an area that nurses would consider working in. BLS reports that on average, a nurse in Maryland earns $76,330 every year. The state has over 51,600 RNs. This is even better in certain metropolitan areas like Baltimore-Towson ($79,150) and Bethesda-Frederick-Gaithersburg ($76,950).
Registered nurse job description
Registered nurses perform several duties in the course of their shifts, and these include caring for the patients as well as educating them regarding their conditions. Aside from that, RNs are also tasked with establishing trust as well as building rapport with not only patients but also their families. The following are the daily duties of a RN.
- Administering treatments and medications
- Supervising LSNs (Licensed Practical Nurses)
- Observing and consequently recording patient behavior
- Treatment of medical emergencies, like strokes, heart attacks burns or car accidents
- Performing diagnostic tests
- Consulting with doctors and other health care experts
- They work with different categories of patients, like pediatric to geriatric. Sometimes, they even specialize in a single area like cardiac care, dermatology or neurologic cardiac care
Becoming a registered nurse
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At the very minimum, the lowest-level nursing job requires that you have B. Sc. Degree in Nursing, a diploma program that’s been administered in hospital or an associate degree. Although, on the face of it, taking a 2-year associate degree might appear like the easier and quicker route to becoming a nurse, many people who graduate with associate degree eventually want to study a bachelor’s degree. This is because it offers more comprehensive education. Also, today, the bachelor’s degree is being seen as the industry standard.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree but in a different area, the option is to go for accelerated B.S.N degree. This normally takes 12-18 months. Other than the degree, future nurses must also sit and pass national licensing exam called NCLE (National Licensure Examination Council). Also, students need to be prepared to meet other requirements imposed by various states. It is also common for many nurses to pursue further education, especially Master’s degree in more advanced nursing specialties, like nurse anesthetist or nurse practitioner.
Certification is often done by a nongovernmental agency, and it aims to validate, based on preset standards, the nursing qualifications of an individual.
In nursing profession, there are many certification programs and these are not only created but also sponsored by trade organizations that are interested in raising or regulating the standards. To get certified, candidates are assessed through an exam. The certification is also periodically reviewed. Certification credentials are not only nationally recognized but also portable. This means that these credentials are acceptable from a hospital to another.
In many states, one can only be allowed to work after being certified. Also, employers prefer certified nurses to those that are not certified. ACCN is the leading nurse certification program in the US.
RN Salary in Canada Australia and UK
In other developed countries like the UK and Canada, RNs will still earn the high perks that they get in the US. For example, nurses working in Australia receive AU$54,000 per annum. In Canada, the average pay is C$ 70,000. In the UK, this is slightly lower as the average there is $40,000. Still, these are much better compared to other least developed countries.
Although nurses are the largest employees in the health care profession, their services continue to be in demand every day. This is occasioned by the development in the medical sector which continues to require highly specialized nurses. Also, the nursing profession is becoming ever more complex as patient care is no longer just restricted to hospitals but also to primary care and outpatient settings. It is a rewarding career, not just because of its fat paychecks, but because it helps you make a real difference to a person.