Nursing Salary and Career Information

Salary and career prospects for registered nurses are higher than the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that RNs can expect excellent job opportunities and competitive compensation in today’s hiring market. But as in other fields, along with the perks comes higher expectations.

Advanced degrees are highly valued. This is evidenced by the better jobs and pay that follow the additional education and training. If you are ready to capitalize on these opportunities, enrolling in an LPN to BSN program is the first step toward more lucrative employment.

BSN Salary Data by Area of Specialty

So just how much can you make as a registered nurse with a BSN? That depends on a number of factors, not the least of which is your job title. BSN programs prepare you to work in a variety of settings. Employers often look for nurses with a broad range of specialties to accommodate patients’ diverse health needs. Below are expected salaries for a registered nurse with a BSN degree in an area of specialty:

In addition to these base salaries, you can expect bonuses, benefits packages, paid vacation time, sick days and other perks.

Experience is another factor. You can expect your salary to increase as you continue working as a nurse. You will gain field experience on more advanced tasks after earning your BSN. Nurses who only possess an associate’s degrees are not allowed to perform these tasks. Some employers even offer tuition reimbursement, better benefits packages and other incentives to employees who seek a master’s degree following their BSN. Note: Most states will also require you to complete continuing education courses to keep you abreast of the latest medical advancements in your area of specialty.

BSN Salary Data by Location

Location is another important factor when it comes to determining salary. Nurses are in high demand across the country so you should not have trouble finding a job where ever you live. Notice in the chart below from the Bureau of Labor Statistics the annual mean wage of registered nurses by state:

BLS Mean Annual Wage

California is very lucrative for nurses, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a high-paying job elsewhere in the country. Massachusetts, Hawaii, Maryland, and New York all pay their nurses an average of $70,000 and above per year. If you want to live where the top-paying nursing jobs in the country are located, check out these cities for up-to-date salary data:

  • California: $94,120
  • Hawaii: $84,750
  • Massachusetts: $83,370
  • Alaska: $80,970
  • Oregon: $78,530

BSN Salary Data by Industry

Where you work can have a dramatic impact how much you earn. Nurses work in a variety of settings from hospitals, government agencies, schools, and private practices. Each setting has unique healthcare needs that can influence your salary. Each year, The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the mean annual wages by industry:

  • Outpatient Care Services: $67,550
  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals: $63,880
  • Offices of Physicians: $59,210
  • Home healthcare Services: $58,740
  • Nursing Care Facilities: $57,060

Hospitals are in need of qualified nurses. Notice in the chart to the right the percentage of nurses needed in New York alone to fill positions in abulatory care and in hospitals. What’s more, nurses who work in hospitals often make more money than nurses who work at physicians’ offices or private practices. Hospitals require nurses to work longer hours and handle more patients when short-staffed. Therefore, salaries are higher to compensate for the additional duties and hours assigned.

Healthcare Job Trends

Jobs in healthcare are expected to grow by 20% per year through 2018, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the demand for qualified nurses is higher than ever before. Notice in the chart to the right the dramatic rise in job vacancies over a nine-year period.

As healthcare advances, nurses are taking on new roles and responsibilities. With state-of-the-art technology and training opportunities, it’s an exciting time to take advantage of the many benefits a nursing career offers. In today’s market, nurses can expect above-average wages in addition to:

  • attractive bonuses
  • career growth opportunities
  • health insurance and other related benefits
  • option to travel
  • flexible schedule
  • job security

So is getting your BSN worth the time and money? Absolutely. You’ll quality for better jobs that come with higher salaries and more responsibilities. There is no better time than now to take your career to the next level. Review our list of LPN to BSN programs below and find the right program to fit your needs today!


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