Nurse Salary

What you can earn as a nurse depends on your education, experience, role, industry, and locale. Your nursing career may begin as a certified nurse assistant or registered nurse. Perhaps you’ve earned a master’s in nursing and become a nurse practitioner.

Whatever your chosen pathway, it could be beneficial to research what the average salary is for your career, in your state of practice. Nationally, the 2018 median pay for nurses was as follows:

2018 Median Salary for Nurses
Nursing Career 2018 Median Salary
Nursing Assistant $29,850
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse $47,050
Registered Nurse $75,510
Nurse Practitioners $110,030
Nurse Midwife $106,910
Nurse Anesthetist $174,790
Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary $81,350

Median salary for the above nursing careers was retrieved from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) May 2018 National Occupational Employment and Wages Estimates.

Nursing Salary by State

Nursing Salary by State
State Nursing Assistants Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Registered Nurses Nurse Practitioners Nurse Midwives Nurse Anesthetists Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary
Alabama 24,110 38,230 59,470 95,970 Unavailable 161,780 Unavailable
Alaska 39,830 58,250 89,310 122,880 85,210 187,690 79,210
Arizona 31,450 54,090 77,000 110,750 114,900 144,670 81,110
Arkansas 25,080 39,570 60,780 104,300 Unavailable 186,970 54,920
California 35,220 56,200 106,950 133,780 139,990 212,210 101,320
Colorado 32,610 51,210 74,240 111,210 107,100 172,700 62,720
Connecticut 33,390 56,970 81,220 118,020 111,340 190,480 101,760
Delaware 30,780 52,860 74,800 108,340 96,340 187,860 Unavailable
District of Columbia 33,510 53,370 92,350 109,800 95,730 Unavailable 153,830
Florida 26,840 44,400 66,210 101,100 88,060 177,390 Unavailable
Georgia 25,870 41,690 68,950 106,750 109,640 151,070 71,470
Guam 27,270 34,700 59,030 Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable
Hawaii 35,770 50,930 98,080 120,570 Unavailable 192,580 79,560
Idaho 27,400 44,280 67,110 102,600 67,950 143,270 71,680
Illinois 28,810 51,080 73,890 105,800 105,640 190,500 69,310
Indiana 27,210 44,310 64,860 103,200 110,040 156,580 76,280
Iowa 29,120 42,820 59,130 106,290 Unavailable 209,130 80,490
Kansas 26,210 43,240 61,030 99,430 Unavailable 159,600 63,640
Kentucky 26,800 41,920 63,100 99,790 101,990 172,780 73,170
Louisiana 22,750 39,480 63,970 105,340 Unavailable 159,370 72,010
Maine 28,710 45,610 67,610 103,220 Unavailable 170,300 60,810
Maryland 31,310 53,650 76,820 115,060 115,440 191,160 92,980
Massachusetts 33,630 58,990 92,140 122,740 119,380 191,320 87,970
Michigan 30,130 49,040 71,330 106,880 92,030 180,560 81,230
Minnesota 33,710 47,020 78,920 119,160 113,440 188,130 Unavailable
Mississippi 23,100 37,930 58,490 109,700 Unavailable 163,320 73,840
Missouri 25,930 42,580 65,130 102,470 Unavailable 159,080 77,540
Montana 29,110 43,770 67,450 103,510 Unavailable 246,370 71,830
Nebraska 28,730 43,160 64,470 103,800 Unavailable 189,030 71,400
Nevada 35,130 57,140 85,620 112,540 Unavailable 163,220 76,120
New Hampshire 32,200 52,510 72,760 109,460 105,120 171,800 77,290
New Jersey 30,380 56,290 82,750 122,100 113,980 189,150 89,950
New Mexico 28,310 47,560 71,730 109,810 97,930 Unavailable 64,660
New York 37,010 48,770 85,610 120,970 110,150 191,130 91,900
North Carolina 25,570 44,610 64,850 104,100 106,570 178,250 68,710
North Dakota 33,990 46,410 65,740 106,200 Unavailable 197,860 75,650
Ohio 27,570 43,430 66,820 101,970 106,830 174,380 71,950
Oklahoma 25,690 41,260 63,080 103,280 Unavailable 176,780 59,070
Oregon 33,230 53,240 91,080 110,010 108,950 205,730 76,090
Pennsylvania 30,630 48,120 70,390 98,250 96,710 171,250 78,810
Puerto Rico 23,740 23,530 34,940 20,910 Unavailable 57,810 40,240
Rhode Island 31,340 59,130 78,420 109,290 107,700 Unavailable 78,450
South Carolina 25,390 40,890 64,940 99,910 89,150 164,480 67,430
South Dakota 26,820 38,630 58,340 100,690 Unavailable 188,360 67,410
Tennessee 26,400 40,120 61,320 95,990 85,040 150,880 75,300
Texas 27,030 46,990 72,890 111,060 85,900 158,510 71,780
Utah 27,880 48,130 65,670 105,840 106,590 161,300 78,360
Vermont 30,730 49,720 69,160 106,000 89,700 Unavailable Unavailable
Virgin Islands 29,610 46,970 61,550 Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable
Virginia 28,770 44,850 69,790 105,170 89,870 187,320 70,540
Washington 32,130 55,420 82,670 117,650 102,670 195,610 77,540
West Virginia 26,410 36,770 61,780 100,690 113,720 183,080 58,530
Wisconsin 29,590 45,290 71,470 106,790 108,690 204,820 86,040
Wyoming 30,910 46,790 67,360 116,030 Unavailable Unavailable 69,720

Information on state by state nursing career salaries was retrieved from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics Data for May 2018 - National XLS table.

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Highest Nursing Salaries

Some nursing careers experience a higher salary in specific states. Moreso, some nurses earn more salary in metropolitan areas. These variations could be dependent on need for nurses, funding, type of employment, and/or type of education.

Highest Paying States for Nursing Assistants

Information for the below tables on highest paying states and metro areas for nursing assistants was retrieved from BLS Occupational Employment and Wages - Nursing Assistants.

Highest Paying States for Nursing Assistants
State Salary
1. Alaska $39,830
2. New York $37,010
3. Hawaii $35,770
4. California $35,220
5. Nevada $35,130
Highest Paying Metropolitan Areas for Nursing Assistants
Metropolitan Area Salary
1. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $44,260
2. Salinas, CA $42,590
3. Fairbanks, AK $40,710
4. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $39,620
5. Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ $39,420

Highest Paying States for Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

Information for the below tables on highest paying states and metro areas for nursing assistants was retrieved from BLS Occupational Employment and Wages - Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses.

Highest Paying States for Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
State Salary
1. Rhode Island $59,130
2. Massachusetts $58,990
3. Alaska $58,250
4. Nevada $57,140
5. Connecticut $56,970
Highest Paying Metropolitan Areas for Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
Metropolitan Area Salary
1. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $65,410
2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $63,650
3. Santa Rosa, CA $62,480
4. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA $61,540
5. Boston, Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH $61,150

Highest Paying States for Registered Nurses

Information for the below tables on highest paying states and metro areas for nursing assistants was retrieved from BLS Occupational Employment and Wages - Registered Nurses.

Highest Paying States for Registered Nurses
State Salary
1. California $106,950
2. Hawaii $98,080
3. District of Columbia $92,350
4. Massachusetts $92,140
5. Oregon $91,080
Highest Paying Metropolitan Areas for Registered Nurses
Metropolitan Area Salary
1. Salinas, CA $131,710
2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $128,990
3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $128,610
4. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA $127,440
5. Sacramento-Roseville, Arden-Arcade, CA $120,530

Highest Paying States for Nurse Practitioners

Information for the below tables on highest paying states and metro areas for nursing assistants was retrieved from BLS Occupational Employment and Wages - Nurse Practitioners.

Highest Paying States for Nurse Practitioners
State Salary
1. California $133,780
2. Alaska $122,880
3. Massachusetts $122,740
4. New Jersey $122,100
5. New York $120,970
Highest Paying Metropolitan Areas for Nurse Practitioners
Metropolitan Area Salary
1. New Bedford, MA $156,980
2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $150,790
3. Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA $148,440
4. Sumter, SC $145,890
5. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA $145,400

Highest Paying States for Nurse Midwives

Information for the below tables on highest paying states and metro areas for nursing assistants was retrieved from BLS Occupational Employment and Wages - Nurse Midwives.

Highest Paying States for Nurse Midwives
State Salary
1. California $139,990
2. Massachusetts $119,380
3. Maryland $115,440
4. Arizona $114,900
5. New Jersey $113,980
Highest Paying Metropolitan Areas for Nurse Midwives
Metropolitan Area Salary
1. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA $170,590
2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $147,820
3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA $129,130
4. Cleveland-Elyria, OH $124,950
5. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC $122,400

Highest Paying States for Nurse Anesthetists

Information for the below tables on highest paying states and metro areas for nursing assistants was retrieved from BLS Occupational Employment and Wages - Nurse Anesthetists.

Highest Paying States for Nurse Anesthetists
State Salary
1. Montana $246,370
2. California $212,210
3. Iowa $209,130
4. Oregon $205,730
5. Wisconsin $204,820
Highest Paying Metropolitan Areas for Nurse Anesthetists
Metropolitan Area Salary
1. Akron, OH $285,460
2. Columbus, GA-AL $244,330
3. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL $243,660
4. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $242,890
5. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA $237,260

Nursing Schedule, Location, and Career Paths

  • Nurses are often able to choose between shifts of varying lengths and at different points in the day.
  • Nurses may work in hospitals, schools, homes or other healthcare facilities.
  • Nurses may enter a number of healthcare industries and may pursue a wide variety of specialties, many of which come with higher wages and improved benefits.

Nursing Job Opportunities

Nursing Benefits

  • Nurses generally receive generous benefit packages that include health insurance, vacation time, holiday pay, childcare and college tuition reimbursement. Benefits vary by location, employer and specialty.
  • Various professional organizations exist for all nurses, as well as for each nursing specialty. These groups offer increased benefits and resources in exchange for annual membership fees.
Sponsored Online Healthcare Programs

Nursing@Georgetown

Nursing@Georgetown is an academically rigorous, evidence-based program that culminates in a Master of Science degree in Nursing, delivered online by Georgetown University’s nationally ranked School of Nursing & Health Studies.

Nursing@Simmons

Nursing@Simmons is an online Family Nurse Practitioner program designed for currently licensed RNs who are at various stages of their career.

Nursing@USC

The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Department of Nursing offers an online Master of Science in Nursing program for aspiring family nurse practitioners through Nursing@USC.

MPH@Simmons

MPH@Simmons, the online Master of Public Health from Simmons College, is designed to give you the real-world skills you need to address health inequity on a local, national, and global level.

MPH@GW

An innovative online Master of Public Health program offered by the top-ranked Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.

MHA@GW

Offered by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, this online Executive Master of Health Administration program is designed for healthcare professionals who aspire to become leaders in their field.

HealthInformatics@GW

This online Master of Science in Management of Health Informatics and Analytics program from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University enables graduates to improve the efficiency of health care organizations through the use of data and technology.

Sponsored Online Healthcare Programs