Nursing is one of the most in-demand professions globally. The US alone projects an average of 203,200 RN openings per year. With such demand, you likely wonder if the profession pays well. The shortest answer is it depends.
In May 2021, the Bureau of Labor reported the median annual pay for RNs as $77,600. This statistic only represents some nurses' salaries; some rake in double the figure or more, and others earn way less. Additionally, RN salaries differ from state to state. For instance, Massachusetts ranks 6th in the list of highest-paying States for RN, with an average salary of $96,630.
Other factors determining a Registered Nurse's salary include specialty, education, and experience, bringing us to the question: who are the highest and lowest-paid nurses? Dig in and find out.
Becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist is the way to go if you are interested in joining the highest-paid Registered Nurses. CRNAs enjoy an estimated mean annual wage of $202,470, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2021 report.
That amount is higher in some States like Massachusetts, where the average annual salary reads $219,680. The education level of CRNAs and the roles played justify their handsome pay. The minimum requirements for becoming a CRNA include a graduate degree or a master's in nursing.
The central role of a CRNA, one of the highest-paying rn jobs in the US, includes preparing patients for painless and comfortable surgical processes by administering anesthesia. Other functions include assessing a patient before anesthesia and monitoring their recovery post-anesthesia.
The least-paying RN jobs are in the school nurse category. School nurses take home an average annual wage of $46,840, which can be more or less depending on factors like school location, school type, education qualifications, and experience.
In Massachusetts, for example, the average salary for a school nurse falls between $46,611 and $ 73,648, making it one of the highest-paying States for school Registered Nurses. On top of their salary, school RNs qualify for compensation packages like paid leave, pensions, and insurance.
School nurses give primary medical care to students in public and private educational settings like college, high school, or elementary. Compared to other RN categories, school nurse jobs are less demanding, especially for nurses working in a slow-paced education institution.
Among the duties performed by school nurses include treating common illnesses like colds and stomach aches, administering supervised medication, and attending to less-severe injuries. There are many ways school nurses can increase their salary, including changing locations and enrolling in further studies.
Nursing job lucrativeness depends on several factors you can exploit to reach your desired career level. You can start in the lowest-paid RN category and earn your way up through additional education, working extra shifts, and networking with well-established professionals so they can inform you about rising opportunities.
If you give it some serious thought, the nursing profession is one of the best because it offers plenty of areas of specialization to choose from. And besides earning a good salary from your job, you spend most of your time doing something you are passionate about.