Registered Nurse Salary


A Registered Nurse Salary is calculated by the US Government Bureau of Labor Statistics from a variety of sources. Registered Nurses work in a number of settings including hospitals, clinics and schools. The salaries of Registered Nurses vary depending on the location and the setting. The assumption was made that the Registered Nurses reflected here were working an average of 40 hours per week with a total of 2080 hours per year.


The average Registered Nurses salary is $33.13 per hour. The lowest 10% earn $21.94 per hour and those in the upper 10% earn more than $26.05 per hour.


On an annual basis the median Registered Nurse salary is $66,220. The lowest 10% earn less than $45,630 per year while the upper 10% earn more than $96,320 per year. These salaries are calculated as a mean or average.

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Median Hourly & Annual Data

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Lowest and Highest Registered Nurse Salary

The lowest paid Registered Nurses earn less than $45,000 annually while the highest paid Registered Nurses earn as much as $120,000 per year.

Top 5 States

The best paying states for Registered Nurses to earn a salary are California $96,980, Massachusetts $83,720, Hawaii $85,380, Alaska $83,640, and Oregon $80,440.

Click here to see RN salary for all 50 states and territories

Top 5 Metropolitan Areas

The best city or metropolitan areas to earn a Registered Nurse salary are San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metropolitan Division $127,670, San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $123,190, Vallejo-Fairfield, CA $121,670, Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA Metropolitan Division $121,040 and Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA $108,340.

Other Industries that Employ Registered Nurses

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the federal government, securities brokerages, and Electronic or mail order businesses as also employing registered nurses.

Employment Data

There are 2,724,570 Registered Nurses working in the U.S. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Approximately 1,556,930 or 57.14% of them, are listed as working in hospitals.

Where They Work

Of all the Registered Nurses employed in the United States over 57% of them work in hospitals. Approximately 235,710 work in doctor's offices or clinics. There are 138,080 working in nursing homes and almost 30,000 working for employment agency or travel nurse positions. An additional 156,730 are listed as working in home health. Approximately 96,000 work in outpatient care centers.

Private Practice vs. Employment

A rapidly growing trend in the healthcare arena is the use of the travel nurse. Travel nurses agree to take short term employment contracts in return for additional incentives such as housing, travel allowances and bonuses. They usually work directly for a nursing employment agency but a few of them actually negotiate their own employment contracts and are truly self-employed.

Other self-employment opportunities exist for nurses as legal consultants, educators and a variety of health care related small businesses.


Fringe benefits such as vacation, health insurance and retirement plans will vary depending on the work setting and size of the employer. A typical benefits package is worth over $20,000 per year.

International Salary

United Kingdom (UK)[1]

The entry point for graduate nurses start at £21,388, rising to £27,901. Salaries in London attract a high-cost area supplement. Salaries at senior level (Bands 7-9 in the NHS) range from £30,764 - £98,453.

Comparable rates of pay exist in the private sector. Contact individual providers for details.

Payments for unsocial hours are made to NHS staff. For example, time plus 60% is paid for working on Sundays and public holidays. Details of pay for unsocial hours in the private sector may vary. Contact individual providers for details.

The NHS offers an average salary scheme for new members of staff. Nurses employed outside the NHS may not have the same terms in relation to pension provision, sickness or maternity leave benefits, but may be offered other incentives such as private health insurance or, occasionally, a company car for senior roles.


Registered nurse (R.N.) - According to the latest figures, the highest hourly average wages are earned in Hamilton / Niagara Peninsula / Brantford, Ontario at $36.65 per hour and the lowest average wages are earned in Montreal, Quebec at $27.75 per hour.

A typical full-time annual salary for this occupation is in the region of $70,000 – $80,000. Employment prospects for registered nurses are good in Canada. The government forecasts that as the Canadian population ages demand for health services will increase substantially, increasing demand for health professionals in general.


Registered Nurses are medical professionals who provide care to individuals and groups. This care may take place in a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility.

  • Starting salary: $48,000 P/A
  • Senior salary: $75,000 P/A
  • Average salary: $55,000 P/AWages will vary according to your level of skill, experience and employer
  • Employment level: 241,300 as of November 2012 (Projected employment levels in 2017 of 251,500)
  • Average weekly hours:  Average weekly hours worked for a full time Registered Nurse is 35.6 hours
  • Employment by region: The top three regions for employment as a Registered Nurse include:NSW: 31.4%VIC: 24.0%

QLD: 22.6%

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