Current statistics report that the mean nursing salary in the United States is $64,000 per year. This is a 14% increase since 2003. Nursing salaries are expected to continue to climb as the demand for quality nurses continues to grow and the nursing shortage continues.
The actual salary that an individual nurse earns varies by many circumstances. In large cities, the salaries are usually higher, however the hours worked may be longer and the number of patients served higher. In small communities, the salaries are generally lower, and job choices less prolific; but the trade-off may be better hours and fewer patients to serve. Nursing salaries can also vary widely by state. In 2006, California nurses made an average of $31.88 per hour and Tennessee nurses averaged $22.25.
Nursing salaries also vary by specialty, with nurses working for employment services earning an average of $63,000 per year while nurses working in nursing homes averaged $48,000 per year.
Salaries generally vary by education and years of experience as well, with nurses with associate’s and bachelor’s degrees earning more than licensed practical nurses. Average hourly starting salary for an LPN ranges from $10.11 in the east south central United States to $14.65 in New England. In general, the higher the degree, the higher the yearly salary.
Nurses also report increased salaries with certification in their area of practice. Nurses who choose to become certified, enjoy recognition for the special knowledge they have attained, as well as recognition for their excellence in practice. Nurses report that certification brings them an average increase in salary of $9,000 per year.
There are also many extra benefits being given by employers as extra incentives to nursing salaries. Many offer tuition reimbursement to employees wishing to further their education, some offer childcare, sign-on bonuses, or relocation assistance. Some major companies also offer profit-sharing plans or performance bonuses.