RN Salary Guidelines

LPN SalaryRegistered nurses (RNs) make up the largest occupation within the healthcare industry. Of the estimated 2.6 million jobs for RNs, 60 percent are in hospitals. A bachelor’s degree, associate degree or an approved nursing diploma is required to become an RN. A master’s degree is required to become an advanced practice nurse. Advanced practice nurses include nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists and clinical nurse specialists. The outlook for job opportunities is excellent for RNs. Employers have reported having trouble hiring and keeping an adequate staff of RNs. RN salaries and openings may vary by location, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects nursing opportunities will continue to grow heartily in the future.

Registered nurses wear many hats. An RN may:

• Assist in performing tests and analyzing the results.
• Provide treatment and medications to patients.
• Record medical records.
• Teach patients about their injuries or illnesses.
• Advise family members on how to help the patient recover.
• Assist with rehabilitation and patient follow-up.
• Provide emotional support to family members.
• Operate medical devices.

RNs contribute on many levels. Naturally, those with the most experience earn the most. Advanced practice nurses earn more than standard registered nurses. An RN’s salary is proportionate to the length of time spent studying. It takes four years to complete a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing. An Associate Degree in Nursing requires two to three years. Hospital diploma programs take three years. After passing the licensing exam, entry level jobs are available to those with a BSN, ADN or diploma.

Down the road, RNs with a BSN or better will find more opportunities for advancement when compared with RNs who hold an ADN or diploma. That’s because BSN training includes classes on leadership, critical thinking and communication. With more responsibility being placed on nurses in more complex situations, these skills are essential. A BSN also requires more clinical exposure to non-hospital situations than an ADN or diploma. Teaching, consulting, research work and administrative positions usually require a bachelor’s degree.

Of the 2.6 million jobs held by RNs during 2008, hospitals employed the vast majority with 60 percent. Private physician offices employed 8 percent and home healthcare employed 5 percent. Home healthcare services and nursing care facilities each employed another 5 percent. Employment services hired the other 3 percent. The field is expected to grow by 22 percent by 2018. This is due to advanced technology that enables more illnesses to be treated on an outpatient basis and a larger elderly population segment.

That growth will not be across the board. Hospitals are projected to only add 17 percent while the needs of physicians’ offices will grow by 48 percent. Home healthcare will expand by 33 percent. Nursing care facilities will need 25 percent more nurses. Employment services will grow by 24 percent.

Based on 2008 figures, average RN salaries are highest at employment services at $68,000. Hospitals pay $63,000 per year. Private physicians pay $59,000. Home healthcare and nursing care facilities are only $2,000 apart at about $59,000 and $57,000. With those salaries, RNs also receive a fine benefit package with educational benefits, child care, bonuses and flexible work arrangements. Those nurses on the top level are advanced practice nurses.

The needs and availability of jobs for RNs varies by location. The areas that pay the most have the greatest need. RN salaries vary with the availability of those jobs. California pays the most for RNs with an annual mean wage of $87,000. Massachusetts pay averages $84,000. New York pays $74,000. Texas is next with $66,000. Pennsylvania and Florida pay $65,000 and $63,000 respectively. South Dakota, Mississippi and Kentucky, on the other hand, only paid $54,000, $58,000 and $58,000.

To Learn More about a career as a Licensed Practical Nurse, please visit http://www.http://licensed-practical-nurse.net