Last Updated: April 2, 2017
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Registered Nurse Salary
How much does a registered nurse make? Registered nurses earned a mean average wage around $72,180 or about $34.70 per hour in 2016 per bls.gov. The lowest paid 10% of employed RNs made less than $47,120 ($22.65 per hour), and the upper 10% percent made more than $102,990 ($49.52 per hour). However, the annual mean wages for RNs will depend on the type of healthcare industry worked in. One of the highest paying industries for registered nurses is outpatient care centers. The average salary for a RN working for an outpatient care center is $74,800 or $35.96 an hour. In general medical and surgical hospitals, the average annual salary is roughly $74,270 ($35.71 per hour). Home health service RNs earn an estimated $69,350 ($33.34 hourly). For nursing and residential care facilities, the average annually salary is around $63,970 or $30.75 per hour. Finally, in offices of physicians, a RN can earn an average of $65,890 ($31.68 per hour). In 2016, the top paying state for a registered nurse was California with an average annual mean salary of $101,750 ($48.92 an hour). California also has the highest level of employment for RNs with an estimated 274,650 working registered nurses. Registered nurses can also earn additional compensation with callback hours, shift differentials, and sometimes extra duties that form a clinical ladder that has an extra rate tacked on the hourly rate depending on the level of the ladder the RN is holding.
Registered Nurse Annual and Hourly Wages by State
|Job Title||State||Hourly Rate||Annual Salary|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Alabama||$27.36||$56,900|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Alaska||$41.56||$86,450|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Arizona||$35.31||$73,430|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Arkansas||$27.71||$57,630|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||California||$48.92||$101,750|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Colorado||$33.92||$70,550|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Connecticut||$37.63||$78,270|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Delaware||$34.05||$70,820|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||District of Columbia||$38.70||$80,500|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Florida||$31.07||$64,630|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Georgia||$31.13||$64,750|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Hawaii||$42.75||$88,910|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Idaho||$30.04||$62,470|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Illinois||$34.08||$70,890|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Indiana||$28.87||$60,050|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Iowa||$27.06||$56,290|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Kansas||$28.01||$58,260|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Kentucky||$28.76||$59,810|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Louisiana||$30.47||$63,370|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Maine||$30.67||$63,800|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Maryland||$35.92||$74,710|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Massachusetts||$42.82||$89,060|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Michigan||$33.22||$69,100|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Minnesota||$35.55||$73,940|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Mississippi||$27.41||$57,010|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Missouri||$29.25||$60,830|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Montana||$30.91||$64,300|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Nebraska||$29.02||$60,370|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Nevada||$40.28||$83,790|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||New Hampshire||$33.02||$68,680|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||New Jersey||$38.74||$80,580|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||New Mexico||$33.02||$68,670|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||New York||$38.86||$80,830|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||North Carolina||$29.49||$61,330|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||North Dakota||$29.25||$60,840|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Ohio||$30.75||$63,960|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Oklahoma||$29.15||$60,630|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Oregon||$41.83||$87,000|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Pennsylvania||$33.06||$68,770|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Rhode Island||$36.15||$75,200|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||South Carolina||$30.51||$63,470|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||South Dakota||$26.89||$55,920|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Tennessee||$28.08||$58,410|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Texas||$33.84||$70,390|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Utah||$29.98||$62,360|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Vermont||$32.59||$67,780|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Virginia||$32.05||$66,670|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Washington||$38.52||$80,120|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||West Virginia||$28.55||$59,380|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Wisconsin||$32.66||$67,930|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||Wyoming||$30.28||$62,980|
Source: bls.gov, mean average salary data as of May 2016 | For more detailed information, try Payscale.com
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Registered Nurse Job Description
The Registered Nurse (RN) explains courses of treatment, hope for the future, illness, symptoms, and teaches the patient about the use and benefits of personal recovery and prevention of relapse. The RN is also informing the patient of active treatment; including medication and the intended/unintended effects, and ensures that the patient is educated about choices and resources available. In addition to a “safe environment for all,” this person develops a therapeutic relationship with each patient which is critical in the healing process. A registered nurse works independently to provide quality patient care to patients. This person should also encompass the roles of direct caregiver, patient educator, researcher, and be knowledgeable of components pertaining to patient care. The RN works under general supervision and is responsible for various shifts. This person may also be subject to work over 40 hours per week and callback hours may be required. Typically, in a hospital setting, the RN may also be required to remain on campus immediately before, during, and after severe weather or disasters.
What Does a Registered Nurse Do?
A registered nurse provides professional nursing care to patients. This person assesses the physical and psychosocial status of patients by means of interview, health history, physical examination, and diagnostic studies. The RN should assist physician(s) with examinations, diagnostic procedures, and treatments when needed. The person in this position coordinates all prescribed diagnostic testing of the patient. The RN should also document and record all activities, interventions, patient/family responses, and medication dispensed/prescribed for each patient medical chart (EMR or paper). Additional duties for the registered nurse may include:
- Provides education material and communicates physician advice/instructions to patients.
- Develops and documents a plan of care with physician approval and support that prescribes interventions to attain expected outcomes, individualized to each patient per condition and need using assessment data.
- Demonstrates a clear understanding of quality improvement and patient satisfaction, while actively improving policies/procedures.
- Adheres to infection control, safety guidelines, and confidentiality policies.
- Assesses additional needs of patient such as transportation assistance, nutritional counseling and psycho-social support.
- Communicates effectively (verbally and in writing), as well as report any patient problems encountered during treatment.
- Maintains the standards of the Nursing profession.
- Performs other duties as assigned to support the duties and responsibilities of the job and operational needs of the department and organization.
Registered Nurse Education and Qualifications
- Current State License as a Registered Nurse (RN)
- Continuing Education per Licensure Requirements
- Current Basic Life Support Training (BLS)
How Long Does It Take to Become a Registered Nurse?
- A Bachelor’s Degree of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) generally takes 4 years
- An Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) generally takes 2 to 3 years
- To become licensed, a nurse must complete an approved nursing program and pass the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination)
- Additional requirements may vary in each state
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