You’ve probably heard that nursing is a career that is in demand. What that means is that there is a great need for nurses. But nursing degrees are also in demand because of the salaries that those degrees offer. While not as lucrative as being a doctor or specialist the salary of a nurse is nothing to sneeze at. Starting salary for new RNs average around $40K per year and that goes up over the years to an average of around $65K per year for an experienced RN.
There are some things to consider when deciding whether to pursue a nursing degree for a chance to draw a great salary:
Different locations offer different salaries for nurses. Rural and small hospitals don’t usually have the budget that a huge inner city hospital does. This means that the medical centers and hospitals that are large and in busy locations are often not hiring because the nurses there have a great salary and don’t plan on that changing. Certain positions within nursing offer better salaries than others. For example if you were to become a private duty nurse you could negotiate your salary based upon your duties. If you are a surgical nurse or a nurse in a dangerous area the compensation and salary packages are often designed to allow for the danger or the extra duties.
The schedules that nurses work for good salaries are often long tiring hours with little time off. Imagine spending 12 hours a day performing your duties surrounded by sick, injured, dying and stressed people. This has to have an effect on a nurse’s attitude and the pay needs to be commensurate with all of the challenges that a nurse faces.
If you plan to earn a nursing degree so that you can provide excellent care to the sick and injured, if you have always dreamed of being a nurse or if you’ve come to realize that even though it is a lot of work and not very glamorous that nursing is the career for you then you will probably make a great nurse and should go for your nursing degree.
On the other hand, if you are thinking that an in demand career is going to set you up with a great salary for a cushy job and a cute white uniform there’s a good chance you’ve seen too many television shows and may need a dose of reality before you waste your time attempting to earn a degree in a field that you aren’t interested in other than for the salary.
Nursing salaries also vary according to the state that you live in. For example, the average CAN salary in Florida is between $20,800- $25,000. But the average CAN salary in Oregon is $22,880 – $29,120.
Salary.com says the median expected salary for a typical Nurse Practitioner in the United States is $89,345. The median expected salary for an RN non-specialized is $65,165. It is about the same for a hospice nurse. The median for a Certified Nurse Anesthetist is $145,216 and for a Certified Nurse Midwife is $89,337.
A family nurse practitioner can earn an average median income of $82,590. An acute care nurse can earn $73,141 and a cardiovascular nurse $75,780. A school nurse can earn $43,296 and a pediatric nurse $59,498.
As you can see, the median income varies according to specialty, state you live in as well as the number of years of experience you have in the nursing profession. Even the lowest incomes on the pay scale are decent and a specialty nurse can easily make over $100,000 a year in most cases.