Nurse Salary (2021 Update): How Much Do Nurse Earn This 2021? (2023)


Salaries of registered nurses in the US are among the best in the world. But how much do nurses make? Here you’ll find the answer to this question together with many more insights about nurse salaries. We take a look at the average nurse salary and also registered nurse salaries by state for 2020-2021. We then highlight a number of other factors that influence the salary you can expect to earn. Or that can affect your decision about where to study and where to apply for a job.

This nurse salary guide serves to give you an outlook on what the data says about nurse salaries and how you can negotiate for better pay and grow your nursing career!

What’s new for this year?

What were the most notable changes in nurses’ salaries since the last BLS survey?

The average salary growth for registered nurses was 3.29%, which was the highest annual increase since 2008. There were, however, considerable differences in the average salary growth between states. For example, registered nurse salaries in California increased by 5.8%, while in Delaware it was only 0.3%.

Based on data provided by, the difference between the salaries of nurses with an associate degree and BSN qualified nurses increased by 1.4%.

The growth in salaries for LPN’s (3.17%) and advanced nurse practitioners (3.2%) was similar to that of registered nurses. The average salaries of nurse anesthetists, however, increased by 4.2%.Interestingly, the national average wage increased by 5%, higher than that for nurses. On the other hand, the gap between average registered nurse salaries and salaries of all health workers became slightly smaller, as the average income of everyone in the health sector only grew by 2.6%.


What is the Average Nurse Salary?

The national average salary of a registered nurse according to the most recent data is $80,010 per year, representing an hourly wage of $38.47. This is according to the estimates released by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook in March 2021.

There was an increase in the average hourly wage of over one dollar between 2019 and 2020. The average annual salary of the 10% of RN’s who earned the least was $53,410, and the top 10% earned an average of $116,230.

Salary Growth of Registered Nurses

On average, the salary of registered nurses grew by 1.66% per year in the decade 2011 to 2020 according to data by the BLS. The data collected in 2020 showed an above average growth of 3.29%, which might be linked to the countrywide shortage of nurses during the COVID-19 epidemic. Nurse salaries are expected to continue increasing steadily as the demand for nurses grows.

Factors that are expected to drive growth include higher demand for preventive care, retirement of the baby boomer generation, access to better medical technology, and expanded health coverage for more Americans.


Nurse Salary Compared

The average salaries earned by registered nurses compare very well with the overall US national salary average of $56,310 per year or $25.72 per hour. However, registered nurses earn slightly less than the average for everyone in the health sector which was estimated at $85,900 per year, with an hourly average of $41.30.

In comparison, licensed practical or vocational nurses (LPN/LVN) earned an average of $50,090 per year or $24.08 per hour. Meanwhile, nursing assistants‘ average salary is $32,050 per year.

(Video) Nurse Salary in Germany | How Much Money Nurse Earn in Germany | Nursing Jobs in Germany! Nurse Visa

Nurse practitioners (NP) (excluding nurse anesthetists) earn on average $114,510 per year or $55.05 per hour. NPs are RNs with specialized education that diagnose and treat acute, episodic, or chronic illness, independently or as part of a healthcare team. The top 10% of nurse practitioners earn $156,160.

Nurse instructors, who demonstrate and teach nursing science in classrooms and clinical units to nursing students, earn an average salary of $84,060 per year.

The figures for nurse-midwife salaries were not available for 14 states so the numbers included in the estimates are not fully representative. Average annual salaries of nurse-midwives are at $115,540, or $55.55 per hour. This puts their earnings slightly above that of the other advanced practice registered nurses.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) remain the highest paid nurses at an average annual salary of $189,190, or $87.04 per hour. CRNAs earn in a range of $133,970 (lowest 10%) to $208,000 (top 10%). If you are interested in becoming a CRNA, please read our guide Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist: How To Become a CRNA.


***Keep in mind that the discussion below refers only to registered nurses and does not include nurses with advanced qualifications.

Nurse Salaries by State

What are the best paying states for nurses? According to the latest BLS data, the top five highest paying states for registered nurses are: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Oregon and Alaska.

(Video) How Much Do Nurses EARN in Nepal? || Salary and Earnings of Nepali Nurses in private,gov. and All

The table below provides details on the total number of employed registered nurses in each state, their average annual nurse salaries, and the average hourly wage. Not all nurses earn the same. As you can see in the table, the state in which a nurse works has a big influence on the salary they’ll earn. When considering your potential salary, it’s also very important to keep in mind the cost of living in a particular state – in other words, the actual buying power of each dollar you earn. To allow for easy comparison, we have provided the relative purchasing power (RPP) for each state. This figure is a percentage of the cost of living in each state compared to national price levels. In terms of the RPP, you can do the same with a salary of $55,000 in Massachusetts (RPP 110.4) as with a salary of $45,000 in Tennessee (RPP 89.7).

District of Columbia10,320$90,050$43.29115.2
New Hampshire13,840$75,970$36.52106.5
New Jersey78,590$85,720$41.21116
New Mexico17,100$75,700$36.4091.1
New York178,550$89,760$43.16116.3
North Carolina99,110$68,950$33.1591.7
North Dakota9,970$69,630$33.4789.3
Rhode Island12,150$82,790$39.81101.3
South Carolina45,930$67,140$32.2891.5
South Dakota13,130$60,960$29.3187.8
West Virginia19,800$65,130$31.3187.1

Salaries also differ considerably between metropolitan and rural areas – the cost of living and nurses’ salaries are generally much higher in the cities. This is mainly because housing costs a lot more. The large populations in cities create a greater demand for housing and this drives prices up.

Salaries by Employer

Registered nurse salaries differ quite a bit depending on where and by whom they are employed. Of the 2,986,500 registered nurses included in the BLS survey, the single largest group is employed in general medical and surgical hospitals (31%) with an average salary of $81,680. Registered nurses employed in outpatient care centers earn more than those working in hospitals at an average of $89,300. Registered nurses working in offices of physicians, residential care services, and in school or college health services earn well below-average salaries. Nurses in school or college health services earn an average of $69,180.

Hospitals (Government and private)1,832,95061.4$39.24$81,630
Nursing and Residential Care Facilities197,6106.6$34.36$71,470
Offices of Physicians192,3006.4$34.45$71,660
Home Health Care Services169,6305.7$36.48$75,870
Outpatient Care Centers150,3805$42.93$89,300
Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation)86,8602.9$46.26$96,230
Educational Services (all levels of education)86,1802.89$33.26$69,180
Direct health and medical insurance carriers25,4804.3$38.12$79,290
Health and personal care stores15300.05$39.46$82,070
Computer systems design and related services13200.04$36.77$76,490
Business support services5600.02$51.28$106,670
Legal Services3500.01$35.61$74,080
Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing3400.01$44.29$92,110

Certain industries pay considerably more than the average. Registered nurses who work for the federal government, as opposed to state or local governments, earn an average nurse salary of $96,230. The small number of nurses working in business support services are very well paid at an average of $106,670.

Salary by Educational Level and Academic Preparation

The type of education with which you qualify as a registered nurse is also a factor in the salary you’ll earn. With a Diploma in Nursing, you’ll earn an average of $66,220 while with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) you can expect $71,091 on average. There is a significant salary jump between an ADN and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). With the latter, you can earn an average of $86,900 according to

Nurses with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) can earn an average of between $96,000 and $100,000, depending on their specialty. The average salaries for nurses with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Ph.D. in Nursing Science are $102,600 and $97,400 respectively.

There is a significant time and cost difference between qualifying as a registered nurse with a two-year ADN and a four-year BSN. You may ask yourself whether the difference is worth it in terms of potential income. Some employers might start newly qualified registered nurses on the same salary but, as seen in the table above, those with higher qualifications earn more on average.

Another factor to consider is that nurses with a BSN have far greater opportunities for employment in the job of their choice and for career advancement. BSN nurses can be promoted to managerial positions such as that of a clinical nurse manager or a nursing director. They can also opt to study at the post-graduate level to become an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) specializing in a field of nursing that interests them – and earning the salary that goes with the role. There is wide support in the US that all nurses should hold a BSN and a number of hospitals now employ only nurses qualified with a BSN.

(Video) How much does a registered nurse earn in New Zealand? ന്യൂ സീലാന്റിലെ നഴ്സിന്റെ ശമ്പളം എത്ര?


Obviously, a newly qualified registered nurse will likely earn quite a bit less than the average registered nurse salary, which includes those with many years of experience. As you gain experience your salary will increase and you can also apply for another position that pays more – especially once you’ve gained at least a few years of experience in a particular field of nursing where there is a demand. Here it is worth mentioning that should you be interested in doing some travel nursing, most positions require 2-3 years of experience in a particular field like ICU.

Travel nurses help to meet staffing needs in hospitals and other facilities, usually for two to three months. In many cases, travel nurse salaries are higher than the pay for full-time permanent staff, from $50 an hour or more in specialty positions. An added benefit is that free, furnished, housing is usually included in the package.

Male vs Female: Gender Pay Gap in Nursing

The gender pay gap occurs even in nursing where females dominate the industry and only 12% of the nursing workforce is male. The 2020 Nursing Salary Research Report by found that average male nurse salaries in the sample was $80,000 compared to an average of $72,703 for women – a difference of more than $7,200 per year.

While men reported working slightly longer hours than women, this was not enough to explain the gender pay gap. One aspect that could contribute to men’s higher salaries is that men are more likely to negotiate their salaries: 57% of men “most of the time or always” negotiate, while only 34% of women do so.

Nursing: Still a Great Career Choice in the US

The average registered nurse salary is higher than the average national wage in the US and unemployment is low at 1.2%. Furthermore, the BLS predicts that the number of jobs for registered nurses will grow by 12% up to 2028 – considerably more than most other jobs. There are also lots of opportunities for nurses to increase their income through specialization or promotion.

Besides, the job of nurse practitioner ranked #3 in the US top 100 jobs for 2021, while registered nurse came in at #37. This ranking considers not only salary and job opportunities, but also factors like job satisfaction, the potential for advancement, stress levels, and work-life balance.


  1. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020 –Registered Nurses (
  2. Registered Nurses – Occupational Outlook Handbook (
  3. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020 –Nurse Practitioners (
  4. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020 –Nurse Midwives (


How much do nurses earn in USA 2021? ›

What is the Average Nurse Salary? The national average salary of a registered nurse according to the most recent data is $80,010 per year, representing an hourly wage of $38.47. This is according to the estimates released by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook in March 2021.

How much is the salary of a nurse in Canada 2021? ›

Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (NOC 3012) usually earn between $26.28/hour and $48.37/hour in Canada.

How much do nurses make 2022 UK? ›

The pay rise introduced across the NHS in 2022 means that average is probably now closer to £35,000. More broadly, we estimate that the average salary for a nurse is somewhere between £33,000 and £35,000. That takes into account the average amount of experience of a UK nurse, and data collected on major job boards.

How much does a band 5 nurse earn 2022? ›

Band 5 nursing roles apply to newly qualified Nurses. The current starting salary for a Band 5 Nurse is £27,055. With 2-4 years' experience, a Band 5 Nurse will earn £29,180, and the very top of this banding pays £32,934.

How much do nurse earn? ›

The average nursing salary in South Africa is R342 120 per year or R175 per hour. Entry-level positions start at R254 906 per year, while most experienced workers make up to R 3 328 380 per year. Generally, nursing salaries can range between R15 000 and R350 000.

How much do nurses earn monthly? ›

The average salary for a Nurse in SA is R 341 620 gross per year (R 28 470 gross per month), which is 21% higher than the South Africa's national average salary.

Which country pays highest salary for nurses? ›

15 Highest Paying Countries in need of Nurses
  • Germany. ...
  • Norway. ...
  • Netherlands. ...
  • Virgin Islands. Average Annual Nursing Salary: $72,000. ...
  • Denmark. Average Annual Nursing Salary: $78,000. ...
  • Italy. Average Annual Nursing Salary: $43,000. ...
  • United Kingdom. Average Annual Nursing Salary: $47,000. ...
  • Israel. Average Annual Nursing Salary: $48,600.
22 Jan 2022

Where are the highest paid nurses? ›

California tops our list of the highest-paying states for RNs, with nurses receiving $124,000 per year on average. Following it is Hawaii, at $106,530, and Oregon at $98,6300.
See salaries by state for:
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs)
  • Nurse Practitioners.
  • Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs)
14 Sept 2022

Do nurses get paid enough? ›

The median annual wage for registered nurses was $77,600 in May 2021, according to the most-recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nurses in the 90% percentile of earners were bringing in more than $120,000 per year.

What is a senior nurse salary? ›

For Senior Registered Nurse in London Area. £41,275 /yr. Senior Registered Nurse. £38,569 /yr.

Does nursing pay well? ›

The average salary for a nurse is ₹20,296 per month in India.

What date do nurses get paid? ›

The first thursday of each month.

What is a band 5 nurse salary? ›

Salary for Band 5 £31,163 – £37,875 per annum inclusive of HCAS.

What is pay band 3 salary? ›

Band 3 salary in India ranges between ₹ 0.9 Lakhs to ₹ 22.3 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 12.3 Lakhs.

What is nursing Short answer? ›

Nursing encompasses autonomous and collaborative care of individuals of all ages, families, groups and communities, sick or well and in all settings. It includes the promotion of health, the prevention of illness, and the care of ill, disabled and dying people.

How much do you make a year? ›

Multiply the number of hours you work per week by your hourly wage. Multiply that number by 52 (the number of weeks in a year). If you make $20 an hour and work 37.5 hours per week, your annual salary is $20 x 37.5 x 52, or $39,000.

Why are nurses paid so much? ›

One of the easiest ways to explain why a registered nurse makes so much is to think about supply and demand. The higher the demand for highly skilled and trained registered nurses, the more they will receive. In turn, it leads to a higher salary and incentives.

How much do student nurses earn in South Africa? ›

In South Africa, a school nurse makes an average of R 629 400 per year, or R 323 per hour. Most experienced professionals can earn up to R 1 032 000 per year, while entry-level roles start at R 226 800.

How much do teachers earn in South Africa Monthly? ›

Teacher Average Salary

The average salary for a Teacher in SA is R 258 060 gross per year (R 21 510 gross per month), which is 9% lower than the South Africa's national average salary. Salary Range: a Teacher can expect an average starting salary of R 182 500. The highest salaries can exceed R 618 000.

How much do staff nurses earn in South Africa? ›

The average staff nurse salary in South Africa is R 216 000 per year or R 111 per hour. Entry-level positions start at R 180 000 per year, while most experienced workers make up to R 1 374 239 per year.

Is nursing a good career? ›

The nursing field is an ever changing, high-paying, and always in-demand career field with high rates of job satisfaction overall. In fact, Advisory Board found that the vast majority of nurses in all positions—NMs, CNSs, CRNAs, NPs, LPNs, and RNs—all reported 94–98% job satisfaction.

How much is a nurse paid in Dubai? ›

Registered Nurse in Dubai, United Arab Emirates Area Salaries
Job TitleLocationSalary
Dubai Health Authority Registered Nurse salaries - 4 salaries reportedDubai, United Arab Emirates AreaAED 10,700/mo
American Hospital Dubai Registered Nurse salaries - 3 salaries reportedDubai, United Arab Emirates AreaAED 13,042/mo
18 more rows

Where are the best nursing jobs? ›

Best Places for Nursing Jobs
  • New York (123,640)
  • Los Angeles (75,160)
  • Chicago (73,820)
  • Houston (50,780)
  • Boston (44,890)
  • Atlanta (39,460)
  • Dallas (39,460)
  • Phoenix (37,120)

Which country is cheaper to study nursing? ›

Norway is the cheapest country to study nursing because higher education at public universities is tuition-free. Nursing students in Norway just need to pay a semester fee to cover registration and exams. Other countries with affordable nursing programs include Sweden, Russia, Hungary, and Australia.

How many years is nursing abroad? ›

Nursing study abroad programs

These courses last three years full time and you qualify as a registered nurse when you graduate. You can also study an MNurs, which is four years and will earn you a master's qualification.

How many types of nurses are there? ›

16 Types of Nurses with Job Descriptions and Salary | SNHU.

What type of nurses are most in demand? ›

Registered nurse (RN)

BSN-prepared nurses are the most sought-after RNs in the job market and can advance to leadership and management roles more quickly than the ASN nurse.

How much is the nurses pay rise 2022? ›

In July 2022 the government confirmed a pay rise for NHS Nurses, which will be back-dated to April 2022. Full-time salaries will increase by £1,400 for most Nurses, which will equate to at least a 4% rise.

Will nursing pay increase 2022? ›

RN salary growth in the state of California is expected to follow the previous years' trends. In fact, in 2022, RNs across the state will earn an average of $124,000 annually.

Why do nurses get paid little? ›

You may be lacking some skills or do not have adequate training or years of experience. Another important aspect is that nurses often do not have the right skills required to negotiate with their employers resulting in lesser wage.

Who is a senior nurse? ›

A Senior Staff Nurse is responsible for the provision and management of nursing care to patients, supervising and guiding junior nurses and nursing students to ensure that optimal care is provided.

What qualifications do you need to be a nurse? ›

Entry requirements for nursing degree courses vary because each university sets its own entry criteria, but you are likely to need at least two (usually three) A-levels or equivalent qualifications at level 3, plus supporting GCSEs including English, maths and a science (usually biology or human biology).

How much do doctors get paid? ›

According to the Medscape Physician Compensation Report, in 2021, Primary Care Physicians in the United States earned on average $260,000, while Specialists earned $368,000.

Do nurses live longer? ›

The findings, which appear in a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, show that people with access to informal health expertise, such as having a doctor or nurse in the family, are 10 percent more likely to live beyond age 80.

Are nurses happy? ›

Nurse's job satisfaction

Overall, the vast majority of nurses at every position were satisfied with their jobs. NMs, CNSs, and CRNAs all reported 98% job satisfaction, while NPs, LPNs, and RNs had satisfaction rates ranging from 94% to 96%.

How can nurses increase their salary? ›

8 Ways Nurses Can Increase Their Income
  1. Network. ...
  2. Work Night Shift. ...
  3. Work in Critical Care Areas. ...
  4. Obtain Additional Certifications. ...
  5. Participate in Career Ladder Programs. ...
  6. Move Into Management, Shift Leader, or Charge Nurse Positions. ...
  7. Earn an Advanced Degree. ...
  8. Change Your Industry.

How much is a nurse paid in USA? ›

In the United States overall, the average registered nurse salary is $82,750 and the median (50th percentile) is $77,600. California, with RN salaries averaging $124,000, is the highest-paying state for nurses as of May 2021 (according to the BLS).

What kind of nurses get paid the most? ›

Highest Paid Nursing Jobs:
  • Family Nurse – $113,000.
  • Urgent Care Nurse – $113,000.
  • Oncology Nurse – $113,000.
  • Orthopedic Nurse – $115,000.
  • Cardiac Nurse – $116,000.
  • Emergency Room Nurse – $116,000.
  • Neonatal Nurse – $127,000.
  • Nurse Anesthetist – $189,000.
11 May 2022

What country do nurses make the most money? ›

1. Luxembourg - $91,000 (USD) Currently topping the list as the highest-paid country in the world for nurses, this tiny country in Western Europe pays its nurses very well. Because of the tiny size of the country and its tax haven laws, getting a job as a nurse is extremely difficult.

How Much Do Registered nurses earn in America? ›

Registered Nurses made a median salary of $75,330 in 2020. The best-paid 25 percent made $93,590 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $61,630.

Are nurses paid enough? ›

Nurses are coming off a strong year for salaries in 2021

The median annual wage for registered nurses was $77,600 in May 2021, according to the most-recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nurses in the 90% percentile of earners were bringing in more than $120,000 per year.

Do nurses make a lot of money? ›

Registered nurses in California earn an average of $124,000 per year (or $59.62 per hour). California registered nurses earn 49% higher than the national average salary for RNs, at $82,750 (or $39.78 per hour).

What is nursing Short answer? ›

Nursing encompasses autonomous and collaborative care of individuals of all ages, families, groups and communities, sick or well and in all settings. It includes the promotion of health, the prevention of illness, and the care of ill, disabled and dying people.

How can nurses make more money? ›

Make more money as a nurse with higher education
  1. Earn an advanced degree. ...
  2. Get certified in a specialization. ...
  3. Consider a leadership role. ...
  4. Become a travel nurse. ...
  5. Become a private duty nurse. ...
  6. Become an immunization nurse. ...
  7. Become an instructor. ...
  8. Become a nurse health coach.
16 Jun 2022

Who is the best nurse in the world? ›

Florence Nightingale certainly holds the honor of being the most famous nurse on our list. She became a nurse in 1851 and traveled to Turkey to aid British soldiers during the Crimean War.

Is nursing a good career? ›

The nursing field is an ever changing, high-paying, and always in-demand career field with high rates of job satisfaction overall. In fact, Advisory Board found that the vast majority of nurses in all positions—NMs, CNSs, CRNAs, NPs, LPNs, and RNs—all reported 94–98% job satisfaction.

Do nurses salary increase every year? ›

In nursing, salaries increased on average about 1.3% per year from 2008 to the middle of 2014, and since then the rate has gone up 2.6% per year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What is the salary of nurse in abroad? ›

Nurses working in countries like Canada and USA can earn as much as 40-50 Lakhs INR a year. Similar are the figures in the case of countries like the UK, Middle Eastern nations, and New Zealand. Most of you would like to earn a great salary.


(Danica Haban)
2. Nurse Salary in Germany (payslip reveal) | Nurse vlog #1
(Happy Tune Vlogs)
3. Highest paying nursing jobs in Canada (2021)
(Simple Fit Nurse)
4. RN Salary & Wages for All 50 States | Registered Nurse Income
5. How much do nurses actually make? (2021)
(Simple Fit Nurse)
6. SALARY OF ENROLLED NURSES IN NEW ZEALAND - Public Hospital | How much do ENs in NZ earn?
(The Little Cup (from New Zealand to Australia))
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ms. Lucile Johns

Last Updated: 27/01/2023

Views: 6060

Rating: 4 / 5 (41 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ms. Lucile Johns

Birthday: 1999-11-16

Address: Suite 237 56046 Walsh Coves, West Enid, VT 46557

Phone: +59115435987187

Job: Education Supervisor

Hobby: Genealogy, Stone skipping, Skydiving, Nordic skating, Couponing, Coloring, Gardening

Introduction: My name is Ms. Lucile Johns, I am a successful, friendly, friendly, homely, adventurous, handsome, delightful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.