How Much do RNs Make a Year?

How Much do RNs Make


According to the recent surveys conducted by independent sources on how much do RNs make yearly in the United States; the regular income is $69,790 per annum. If we calculate this income, it is $33.55 per hour, provided that the nurses do their duties in a 40-hour work schedule per week. At the lowest level, in this is $45,880 whereas it reaches at $98,880 for the highly qualified and professionally well-trained the upper ten percent nurses. There are a number of factors which determine this division of working RNs. The statistics provided by the US official sources suggest that the average salary of registered nurses was around $81,000 in the last two years. Nurses have a tendency of being paid better in big cities as compared to smaller towns.

How Much do RNs Make

Salaries in Different States

According to statistics, the highest paying state of 2011 was California with a reported average salary of $90,860 per annum. Second in line was Hawaii with $83,950 annual pay of registered nurses. Alaska stood at $82,080 annually and it was followed by Nevada with a $77,840 annual salary. According to the same consensus, the lowest earning registered nurses were employed in North and South Dakota, Lowe, Oklahoma and Arkansas. According to this survey, the far western states are favorable places for where it is easier to find jobs and the average pays are much higher, while the central states do not offer favorable opportunities to the ambitious nurses who are looking for a good start to a successful career.

Factors Affecting Pays

Location is on top among the factors that play a vital role in determining the income of RNs. Some of the far western pay highest while the central states of America are lowest paying some cities also offers better salaries to registered nurses. Awareness of these cities is important to estimate how much do RNs make. Other than the above mentioned states, there are best paying cities of the country that have tremendous work opportunities for nurses having variety of skills and credentials. The second determining factor is the work setting. Work setting is another factor that has an important role to play in this. Of the employed registered nurses, the highest paid are those working in hospitals followed by private clinics and doctor’s offices while the lowest paying setting are the nursing centers, with as low as $57,000 annually.

Education and Qualification

Though this is the most logical factor in play, qualification has been reported to have only a minor effect on the average salaries of nurses. Those who have cleared a two years nursing program from any certified institution were reported to have an annual earnings of $65,698 which is practically equal to that earned by RNs with a post-secondary certificate from a course. They had annual earnings of $65,891 per annum. While registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree earn an annual average salary of $63,580. When converted to an hourly state, those with an associate degree averaged at $32 as compared to $33 of those with a bachelor’s degree. However, apart from these statistics, an RN makes significantly more than a practical nurse.

Specialty and Experience

Both of these factors affect how much do RNs make. Of these, experience is the more important factor to predict the salary. Registered nurses who have recently received their certificates have an hourly earnings of $23 or an annual salary of $44,343. Compare this to the hourly $37 earnings of registering nurses who earn $70,268 which is an almost double to the fresh individuals. Specialty may also have a significant role in determining the quality of job and the pay it offers. Outpatient nurse are the highest earning in this aspect with an hourly salary of $39 on a 40-hour weekly schedule compared to the least which is $ 22 per hour of Geriatric nurses.

Other Differentials

While certain aspects of qualification have not been proved to be very important factors in determining how much do RNs make, the trends in pay are affected by some unorthodox factors. Nurse working on night shifts earn an average of $4 more than those working in comfortable schedules. Similarly, those working on evening schedules also had a $3 per hour over the common schedule nurses. The RNs working on weekends earn an average of $8 more than those working in normal schedules. The second factor is adeptness in a special working area. Nurses with a specialty earn a hefty $13 more than those without any specialty. Therefore, to determine the average earnings of a registered nurse in a specific job opening, one must estimate the market and the status of the specific area, state, work status and settings along with personal potential.

Job Description

The first duty is to provide the basic nursing care to patients, to administer medication via injections or orally, to determine health status via basic analysis or dialogue with the patient and to do the office work by assembling the patient’s case history and medical files. They also help the physicians with treatments and medication. Apart from this, registered nurses may also be required to perform other duties in case of varying situations. They may have to educate the patients and their families on the disease status, guide them through the steps of preventing spread of a particular disease, to determine the extent of patient satisfaction and to relay the patient’s matters to the doctor. Thus, after the basic clinical skills, a nurse should have excellent communicating skills. They may also be needed to assist the doctors in surgeries.

There are other advanced duties assigned to RNs as well on the basis of their academic qualification, work experience and exposure. Specialist nurses have greater knowledge in their fields and are often assigned the duties of running the scanning machines in the hospitals. All surveys analyzing the how much do RNs make agree that nurses that are efficient and skilled in discharging their duties have ample chances of career enhancement and income increase.


Nurses take a somewhat middle position in the list of different types of medical staff working in hospitals other than the physicians. Among these, the highest paying jobs are physical therapy at $81,030. They make $75,400 followed by registered nurses. On the other hand the registered nurses make much more than paramedics and medical assistants.

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