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How Much Do Nurses Make?

For every job out there, there is one fact everyone wants to know. How much will I make? It is an important question, it defines the lifestyle you can have, which school you’ll be able to send your children to, and the family vacations you’ll be able to take. Unfortunately, nursing is a career that pays drastically different depending on region, employer, type of nurse, and experience. Take a look below to discover the range of pay for nursing.

By location

Much of the discrepancy among nurse’s pay is due to location. Some states and regions have a higher cost of living, requiring higher pay to maintain a certain lifestyle. The median pay for nurses is $65,470 per year, with the top 10% making over $94,720 and the bottom 10% making less than $45,040. The cities with the top paying nursing jobs include San Jose California, Vallejo California, Oakland California, Sacramento California, and San Francisco California. The top ten highest paying states for nurses are California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Alaska, Delaware, Oregon, Nevada, Maryland, and Connecticut. The ten worst paying states are North Dakota, Louisiana, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Kansas, West Virginia, Arkansas, Mississippi, Iowa, and South Dakota in order from best to worst.

By industry sub-section

Health care is a broad industry, it can range from legal advice to elderly care. Nurse salaries depend largely on the industry sub-section for which a nurse works. For example, nurses who work in government locations make over $68,000 on average annually, compared to the $58,000 annual wages earned in nursing and residential care facilities, a full $10,000 less.

Regardless of the type of nurse you become, there are many ways you can earn a high salary. Consider relocating to a state or city with high nurse wages, or work in sub-sections of the health care industry that pay well.

How Do I Become a Nurse?

Nursing is one of the most rewarding career paths a person can choose. In the last couple of decades, critical tasks have been shifted from doctors and performed by nurses, making nurses more valuable members of the medical profession. So how does someone become a nurse? Below we cover the basic steps needed in order to start achieving your goal of becoming a nurse.

Determine the type of nurse you want to become
There are many different types of nurses, each with a special set of education and skills, so you can find a career to best suit your exact needs. The three basic types of nurses are

  •      Non-Degree – CNAs, and LPN’s
  •      Degree – RNs
  •      Advanced Degree – APNs

Accelerated Nursing ProgramsSome nurses, such as Emergency Nurses, act well under pressure and have incredible bedside manner while dealing with grieving loved ones. They want to be in the heart of hectic situations and they thrive in high-energy scenarios. Or perhaps you want to use your knowledge about nursing to help hospitals and insurance companies hold people more accountable by using your expertise to audit paperwork and procedures.

Enroll in a nursing program
There are award-winning programs all over the country that can provide an outstanding nursing education. What you need to do is determine what program best fits your life. A mother with a day job may find it easier to take most nursing classes online. As a nursing student at any one of the many accredited programs in the U.S., you will learn about the human body, about the specialty you’ve declared, and all about the medical industry, including important laws and regulations.

Working hand in hand with doctors and helping patients feel better every day are just two reasons that many people are entering the nursing field. All you need to do is figure out what you want out of your nursing career, find the right program, and work hard to make sure you become another valuable member of the medical industry.