Salary Structure of Nurses in the United States 2021: See How Much They Earn

Salary Structure of Nurses in the United States 2021: A nurse is a licensed Healthcare Professional who takes care of the Sick, infirm, and who operates independently or is supervised by a Physician or Surgeon in the Hospital.

Salary Structure of Nurses in the United States 2021
Salary Structure of Nurses in the United States 2021

While Doctors or Physicians often Specialize in one area of Practice, Nurses are able to coordinate the care of all aspects of a Patient’s overall health. Hence, making it an indispensable Profession and it’s no surprise it is the most in demand profession in the United States. According to the U.S department of Labour, the demand of Nurses In the United States has been on the rise for several years and it is projected to increase in the foreseeable future.

In fact, the Bureau of Labour statistics 2020 predicts employment of Registered Nurses in United States to rise by 15% between 2016 and 2026, a rate much faster than the average of all occupations in United States.

With Currently approximately Four Million registered Nurses (RNs) in U.S, Nursing is the Country’s largest Healthcare Profession, and it’s rising demand means that it offers Job security and lucrative salaries to Nurses in the United States. Let’s therefore consider how one can become a Nurse in the United States and the Lucrative Salary of Nurses therein.

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How to Become a Nurse in United States

1. Nursing being a sought after profession requires advanced training. Thus, the first step to get such advanced training is to enroll for a Nursing Program.

Some of the Nursing Programs includes:

Associate Degree in Nursing (AND)

This degree program is designed to develop individuals in solid foundational knowledge, attitudes, and skills for the Nursing Program.

It requires 2-4 years to complete this program in an accredited College or University.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

This Program provides the Full knowledge and clinical experience necessary to meet the ends of today’s patients. It usually takes around 4 years to complete depending on your education provider.

Nurses with BSN usually have a greater chance of securing Nursing Jobs and higher salaries than Nurses with ADN.

Accelerated Bachelor of Science (ABSN)

This is a Second degree Nursing Program designed for Students who wishes to obtain a Nursing degree after obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in another field. It usually lasts for 11 months- 2years depending on the Institution you attend.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

This Nursing Program is the highest level Nursing Program. In most cases, a BSN degree is  required for an individual to start an MSN Program.

2. Upon the Completion of any of the aforementioned programs, you are required to sit for the NCLEX Exams; which is the Nationwide Examination for licensing of Nurses in the United States.

3. If you are successful in the NCLEX Exams, you will be licensed to practice as a Nurse in U.S and can now be called a Registered Nurse who we define as a Nurse who has obtained a Nursing degree, has passed the NCLEX-RN Exam, and has fulfilled all other state licensing requirements.

Registered Nurses are usually in High demand. Hence as a Registered Nurse who has completed all aforementioned requirements, you will eligible to be employed at any place of Work.

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Salary Structure of Nurses in the United States 2021

The Salary of a Registered Nurse in USA differs based on Specialty, Industry, State, and Geographical location of your place of Work.


Specialty refers to the area of Specialization of a Registered Nurse in United States. It plays a major role in determining the salary of a RN in U S.

Some areas of Specialization and their average salary are:

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA)

CRNA are  highly trained and well specialized in assisting with Anesthesia during surgeries. It is the highest paying Nurse Specialty with an estimated median salary of $180,000 annually.

Neonatal Nurses

Registered Nurses Specializing this area are charged with taking care of sick or premature new born babies by administering oxygen, Medication, and various niche procedure. They earn estimatedly $120,000 annually.

Cardiac Nurse Practitioner

They assist with surgical procedures as well as conducting in depth Cardiovascular assessment on Patient’s who may have an acute or chronic illness to their heart. Hence, earning a salary of about $115,000 annually.

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Nurses in this Specialization usually provide direct patient care by working with other Nurses and Staff to improve the quality of care a Patient receives. They earn $80,000 annually.

Critical Care Nurse

They are Specialized and well trained for emergency situations. They earn $75,000 annually.

Geriatric Nurse

They Specialize in the treatment of Older patients, providing care for injuries, ailments, illness, and maintaining of the quality of life of these patients. They earn $67,000.

Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner

A Nurse Practitioner here provides care to Patients dealing with Injury’s or disease of the Musculoskeletal system. They earn $116,000 annually.

Oncology Nurse Practitioner

An Oncology Nurse Practitioner specializes in assisting Cancer patient, they earn $113,000 per year.

Family Nurse Practitioner

A Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) are specifically trained in Primary Health Care services for all ages and Family practice. They earn $100,000 per year.


The Industry where a Registered Nurse specializes in, plays a part in the determining the salary of such Nurse in United States.

Research has shown that Nurses in the respective industries in U.S.A earn the following average salaries: General Hospital $76,000 annually, Specialty Hospital $80,000, Federal Government hospital $87,000, Private Hospital $76,000, Psychiatric and Abuse Hospital $69,460, Pharmaceutical Industry $88,260, Home Health Care Service $69,000.


The Salaries of a Registered Nurse varies from state to state. The estimated average salary of Registered Nurses in States of U.S are as follows: South Dakota ($59,000), Alabama ($60,000), Arkansas ($ 61,300),  Kansas ($62,450), Missouri ($64,500), Oklahoma ($63,000), North Carolina ($66,000), Indiana ($67,000), Ohio ($68,500), Georgia ($69,590), Pennsylvania ($71,500), Wisconsin ($72,600), Illinois ($73,000), Texas ($74,540), Colorado ($78,000), Arizona ($78,600), Mimesota ( $80,300), Rhode Island ($82,400), New Jersey ($84,400), Washington ($86,500), New York ($88,000), Alaska ($90,500), Oregon ($92,960), Massachusetts ($93,100), District of Columbus ($94,200}, Hawaii (  $104,000), California ($114,000).


Lastly, the City wherein your place of Work is located plays a part role in determining the Salary of a Registered Nurse.

Based on Research the Highest paying Cities for Nurses in U.S.A are:  San Francisco ($139,900), Salinas CA ( $ 129,000), San Jose ($128,000), Santa Cruz ($121,000), Napa CA ($113,500), Honolulu ($98,190), Los Angeles ($95,600), Boston ($92,000), NYC New York ($90,800), Anchorage ($ 87,100).

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In Conclusion, it is important to state that irrespective of your Specialty, Place of Work, Industry, and State, your definite Salary as a Registered Nurse in the United States of America will be majorly determined by your Level of experience, Education, Training, and Certifications.

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