Registered Nurse Salary Resource Guide

It’s a great time to become a registered nurse (RN). Salary and benefit growth is showing no sign of slowing down, as health care continues to be a national focus and the demand for quality health care professionals continues to rise. In addition to a fairly lucrative salary, it’s becoming more and more common for employers to offer nurses a variety of excellent benefits and incentives to work in their profession of choice. Some of these incentives include sign-on bonuses, flexible work schedules, and tuition reimbursement for RNs looking to further their education by pursuing their RN to BSN Online while they work.

Salary Determining Factors

There are a number of factors that play a part in determining the salary of a registered nurse (RN). Some of these include:

  • Level of nursing degree and nursing education
  • Years of experience in a chosen field
  • Location and cost of living
  • Job responsibilities
  • Type of nursing specialty

Registered Nurse Salaries

In order to begin work as a registered nurse, students need to first complete a degree program from a accredited nursing school or complete a nursing diploma program. Upon completion of the program, they will then be eligible to take the NCLEX exam. Students who pass this test then earn their nursing license

Average Registered Nurse Salary/Hourly Pay Rate by State

This data from a June 2009 survey on reveals the median hourly rates for RNs in the following states:

  • California: $33.73
  • New York: $27.91
  • Texas: $26.14
  • Illinois: $25.84

RN Specialties

There are several specialty jobs within the field of nursing that come with their own salary sets. These typically pay by the hour, and vary based on factors such as location and specific duties.

Travel Nurse

Travel Nurses earn $30 to $40 an hour, plus benefits including relocation costs (

Legal Nurse Consultant

$125 to $150 per hour (The Medical-Legal Consulting Institute)

Forensic Nurse

$26 to $100 per hour, or a flat fee of $150 to $400 per case (

Registered Nursing Salary Trends

Large cities such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles are the top spots for the number of available nursing jobs. These locations also boast higher salaries and come with better benefits.

As the largest single profession in the health care industry today, being a registered nurse has a very promising potential for career  advancement. Despite the saturation of quality RNs in the job market, the demand for these skilled individuals has not decreased.

However, in keeping that saturation in mind, it is important for registered nurses to differentiate themselves from their contemporaries in order to stand out to potential employers. By furthering their education through RN to BSN programs through both traditional brick-and-mortar schools and online RN to BSN Degrees nurses have been able to create upward mobility in their careers and increase their salaries. No matter what type of degree or experience you have, there are steps that anyone can take to further their education and, consequently, their career in this field of healthcare.

Get Started with your RN to BSN Degree

Today it’s easier than ever for you to further your education and increase your salary with an BSN program. If you want to start taking steps towards becoming a registered nurse, find the online school and degree program that’s right for you today!

Registered Nurse  Resources

There are a lot of things to consider as you move forward with your education and begin plotting the course of your career, but you don’t have to do it alone. Get the information you need by exploring our Career Resources below.

RN to BSN Careers
Investigate the many different career paths that are available to registered nurses and find the one that’s best for you.

BSN Nursing Schools
Find the registered nursing school that best fits your ambitions, goals, and projected career path in this branch of the health care industry.

Registered Nurse Programs
Take the time to learn about the different registered nurse programs that are out there and find the one that’s best for you.

The Demand for Registered Nurses
See why there is a greater demand now than ever for registered nurses in the health care industry.

Take the time to learn more about the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and find out how this exam can guide your career as a registered nurse.

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