Average Salaries for Nursing

Salaries vary greatly depending upon the nursing degree, the state a nurse might be employed and the economy. Nurses are in high demand in every state, but most northeastern states in the U.S. pay more than states in the south. The economy plays a part, too. The cost of living is higher in the northeastern states and in the west and many hospitals have to deal with strict budgets.

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) Salaries:

The degrees earned play the most important role in determining a nurse's salary or income. Certified Nursing Assistants make the least amount. At the CNA level, the salaries average about $30,000 per year. This level of nursing is also the lowest education level required. Most all Certified Nursing Assistants are trained at their job site. Back to top

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Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) / Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN) Salaries:

Licensed Practical Nurses or Licensed Vocational Nurses are both one step above a certified nursing assistant. They have a one year college training program. They average about $47,000 per year, but that includes a low salary range of $24,000 to a high of $92,000. Licensed Practical or Vocational nurses may also earn an Associate of Science or Associate of Arts degree in a two year college or vocational school to improve their chances of being employed at a higher salary. Back to top

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Registered Nurses (RN) Salaries:

Registered Nurses are the most common type of nurses in the United States. These nurses graduate from a four year college nursing program, earning a Bachelors of Science. RN's are licensed and must registered in the state they are employed. Their salaries range from a low of $33,000 to a high of $99,000, with the average of $77,000. Back to top

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Advanced Degree Nursing (ADN) Salaries:

The highest salary level of nursing falls under APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse) and they usually have a master's or doctorate degree from a university, earned after their bachelors' degree. The salary range of APRN's is from $50,000 to $114,000 per year. Back to top

Nurse Practitioners (NP) Salaries:

Included in the advanced degree category are Nurse Practitioners that are able to diagnose and treat patients. They work with physicians mostly in private practice or clinic settings. Nurse Practitioners are one step below a physician, but they perform many of the same functions as a doctor. Their salaries range from a low of $52,000 to a high of $123,000 per year. Back to top

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Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) Salaries:

Certified Nurse Midwives provide prenatal care and delivery for pregnant women and care for newborns. This is also an advanced education degree. Most nurses in this field are employed in private practice or birthing clinics. And they are paid between $80,000 and $122,000 a year. Back to top

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Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) Salaries:

Clinical Nurse Specialists are experts in diagnosing and treating illnesses. This career also requires a masters or doctorate degree. They can find jobs in the education or medical fields so their salaries do vary depending on their job description. Most CNS earn over $50,000 per year, with slightly higher salaries for administrative positions. Back to top

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Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) Salaries:

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are specialized in administering anesthesia. This career also requires higher education beyond the registered nursing degree. To become a CRNA requires a masters or doctorate degree. This field is very specialized and garners the highest pay for nurses. As a CRNA, one can expect to make between $137, 000 to $186,000 per year. Back to top

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