nurse income

Average Nurse Income

nurse incomeDiscussing pay is a taboo subject in most jobs, and in a lot of cases considered impolite. At best, you probably won’t get a straight answer from your coworker, especially if they are senior to you and make more money. But we’ll take a look at known current (2014) base salaries and break them down for you in a variety of avenues. Let’s start with the nursing jobs that require the least certifications and least amount of class time. One thing to note, these are averages and there are a lot of factors that determine actual pay such as demographics, company size, location, years of experience and level of education and setting.

The National base pay average for CNAs with one to four years experience is around $25,000.00 and up to around 30,000.00 annually with 10+ years of experience. Licensed Practical Nurse start at around $34,000.00 annually and upwards of $50,000.00 with 10+ tears of experience.

Now we get into the Registered Nurse pay scales which will also vary widely depending again on the size of the company, demographics, experience, education, etc. In addition, Nurses who obtain specialty certifications make approximately $8.00 more per hour than those who have no specialty certifications. Remember these are only Average Base Salaries except where otherwise noted.


1: Registered Nurse (RN): $34,000.00 and up to $82,000.00

Typically RNs average between $42,000.00 and $82,000.00 per year.

In places like California, which has the highest nurse pay rate in the nation, RNs can make well over $90,000.00 annually. RN Median Salaries are in the neighborhood of $70,000.00


2: RN Staff Nurses: Staff Nurses earn anywhere from $54,000.00 to $75,000.00 annually.

Median Salary is in the $60,000.00 range.


3: RN Charge Nurse:

Charge Nurses typically earn $59,000.00 to $73,000.00 annually.

Median Salary is in the $65,000.00 range.


4: ER Nurse: Emergency Room nurses earn between $50,000.00 and $75,000.00 annually.

Median Salary is in the neighborhood of $60,000.00


5: Nurse Practitioner:

Nurse Practitioners typically earn an average of $70,000 to 95,000.00 per year.

Median salary is around $80,000.00

6: OR Nurse: Operating Room nurses earn on average $48,000.00 to $70,000.00 annually.

Median is around $57,000.00


7: Psychiatric Nurse (RN) Psychiatric Nurses earn an average of $52,000.00 to $60,000.00 per year.

Median is around $58,000.00


8: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Nurse Anesthetist earn between $140,000.00 and $195,000.00 per year and due to their special certifications they are some of and if not the highest paid nurses in the profession. Median Salary is in the $170,000.00 range.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist administers and monitors anesthesia.


9: Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner earns on average between $68,000.00 and $124,000.00 per year. Median Salary is in the $95,000.00 range.

A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner is an advanced practice nurse who treats patients suffering from both mental health and psychiatric disorders.


10: Nurse Researcher

Nurse Researchers average between $58,000.00 and $94,000.00 per year. Median Salary is around $75,000.00 annually.

Nurse Researchers typically work as an analyst for a health policy nonprofit or private company. They must possess a strong research background and the ability to publish research studies.


11: Certified Nurse Midwife

Certified Midwife Nurses average salaries are between $79,000.00 and $112,000.00 per year. Median Salary is in the $95,000.00 per year range.

Certified Nurse Midwives provide primary care for women including everything from annual exams to prenatal care, family planning, labor and delivery assistance, and neonatal care.


12: Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse

Pediatric Endocrinology Nurses average between $40,000.00 and 95,000.00. Median salary average is about $80,000.00

Pediatric Endocrinology Nurses treat young children afflicted with disorders and diseases of the endocrine system. Beyond providing treatment, Pediatric Endocrinology Nurses also must educate parents and the children on their particular disorders as well as on the daily maintenance of the disorders throughout the lifetime of the child.


13: Orthopedic Nurse

Average median salary is around $80,000.00 per year.

Orthopedic Nurses treat patients afflicted with musculoskeletal disorders that include but are not limited to diabetes, arthritis and joint replacement. Orthopedic Nurses are tasked with educating patients on their disorders as well as self-care management.


14: Clinical Nurse Specialist

Average median salary is in the $75,000.00 to $80,000.00 range.

Clinical Nurse Specialists develop uniform standards of quality for care and work closely with staff nurses to ensure proper practices are carried out. This type of specialization requires advanced managerial skills and the intuitive ability to anticipate potential conflicts and resolve them.


15: Clinical Nurse Leader

Average median salary for this nursing profession is in the $80,000.00 to $85,000.00 range.

A Clinical Nurse Leaders role is tasked with improving patient outcomes. They are expected to be able to implement new procedures and positively change health care systems in order to create favorable patient outcomes and financial outcomes.


16: Gerontological Nurse Practitioner

Average median salary is in the $70,000.00 to $80,000.00 range.

Specializing in Geriatrics, Gerontological Nurse Practitioners diagnose and manage long-term and debilitating conditions for patients.


17: Neonatal Nurse

Neonatal Nurses average between $65,000.00 and $85,000.00 range. Median salary for a Neonatal Nurse is around $75,000.00 annually.

Neonatal Nurses care for sick and/or premature infants as well as providing consultation and emotional support to the infants families.


18: Nurse Administrator

These nurses average $60,000.00 to $90,000.00

Median salary average is around $75,000.00 annually.

The Nurse Administrator in most places is THE head nurse. They supervise the other nurses, administrative staff, recommending policy and procedural changes and serving as instructors and mentors to incoming nurses.


19: Nurse Educator

This type of nurse makes approximately $70,000.00 annually. Nurse Educators are passionate about teaching and they’re responsible for preparing nursing students for their careers or conducting health seminars in the community, schools and clinics.


20: Nurse Director

Nurse Directors typically earn around $89,000.00 per year.

These nurses supervise nursing staff and inform them of new procedures and policies. The Nurse Director’s main functions are with recruitment, retention and training of nurses, as well as ensuring that legal procedures, nursing laws and work standards are met in the health care facility in which they work.


How much are you earning? What type of work do you do? How can you make more? leave a comment if you would like to below.


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George Tall

Author at Hug Your Nurse
George Tall works in the legal field, is a father of three, and a husband of a RN for 25 years. He enjoys writing about everything, especially nursing! He has been writing for a living, at least partially, since around 2000. As an author on dozens of websites, he enjoys being factual, while spinning a bit of humor where possible.
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