Registered Nurse Salary Information

RN salaries vary as much as the types of jobs RNs do. The salary for an RN depends upon several factors, including job duties, the region where the nurse works, experience, and current shortages. In some cases, it even depends on what time of day the nurse works. The range is from less than $40,000 annually to more than $100,000.


Types of RN Jobs

  • The most intense RN positions pay the highest salaries. For instance, an ICU nurse or one working in labor and delivery has a higher salary than an elementary school nurse. An emergency room RN in an urban hospital earns more than a home care nurse or one working in long-term care. An RN instructor earns a lower salary than a travel nurse.

Regional Differences

  • In California, the average base salary for an RN is $75,000. Indiana reports $55,000 according to The nearer an RN works to a large city, the higher the salary. RNs working in Boston, Massachusetts, earn $70,000 to $83,000 yearly as of May 2009, according to the same source. In Springfield, Massachusetts, RN salaries average $65,000. In the Southern states, Atlanta, Georgia, reports an average RN salary of $64,000. In Jackson, Mississippi, the average RN salary is $53,000. In Omaha, Nebraska, the average RN salary, according to, is about $60,000.

Nursing Shortages

  • Nursing shortages are prevalent in all areas of the country and in all areas of nursing. RNs are frequently offered "sign-on" bonuses of up to $10,000. Some facilities, in order to attract nurses, promise to pay student loans or give company cars. According to, the direst need is in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Although the average salaries are about $53,000 for staff nurses, RNs have been offered sign-on bonuses of as much as $50,000.

Education and Experience

  • It is easy for an RN to make more than $50,000 yearly with a minimum of a two-year associate degree. RNs with advanced degrees can earn more depending upon the setting they work in. However, experience is highly valued in the profession and RN salaries reflect that. It is possible for an RN with an associate degree and 10 years of specialized experience to make a higher salary than an entry-level master's prepared RN.

Advanced Practice RNs

  • RN salaries are substantially higher for those with additional education and training. Nurse Practitioners see and treat patients independently. Their annual salaries average more than $80,000, according to Certified Nurse Midwives specialize in women's health care and make as much as $90,000 annually or more. CRNAs, or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, administer anesthesia to patients in surgery. Their annual salaries average more than $113,000.

Read more: The Salary Range of an RN |