Congratulations on choosing a nursing career. You have picked an occupation that not only is in high demand but one that also makes an excellent salary. Nursing is, in fact, one of the few occupations in which a mere one- to two- years of education will yield a fairly high standard of living. Read on for some interesting facts about nursing salaries—and what YOU can do to earn the higher salaries.
Determining Nursing Salaries
Although all nurses, as a group, make excellent salaries, their individual salaries vary depending upon four factors:
- Level of nursing degree or education
- Years of nursing experience
- Geographical area
- Type of Specialty
Level of Nursing Degree or Education
The type of nursing education that you receive will figure prominently in your nursing salary. The typical educational paths for registered nurses, for instance, include either an associate degree in nursing (which takes two-years to complete) or a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing (which takes four-years to complete). In general, the higher your degree level—in this case, a bachelor’s degree—the higher will be your salary.
The educational path needed to become a licensed practical nurse, conversely, is the completion of a one-year practical nursing program. Consequently, the salary of a licensed practical nurse is lower than that of a registered nurse.
Years of Nursing Experience
As with any job, the more experience you have in nursing, the higher the rate of pay you will command. According to the US Department of Labor, the breakdown of percentile wages for LPN/LVNs are:
Bottom 10%: $29,680/annually
Median Salary: $40,380
Top 10%: $56,010
The geographical area of your workplace is another significant indicator of pay rate. In general, the higher the cost of living for an area, the higher your pay rate will be—and this pay rate can vary greatly.
For instance, the median hourly pay rate for LPN/LVN nurses in California is $24.27 while the pay rate of LPN/LVN nurses in Louisiana is $18.19. As you can see, location can make a big difference in your pocketbook.
All Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.
Type of Specialty
Nurses that specialize in particular areas can expect to earn more than their non-specializing counterparts—a LOT more. Some of the nursing specialties that you can pursue in this occupation include forensic nursing, pediatric nursing, and surgical nursing, but the list of nursing specialties is almost endless.
There are some nursing specialties, however, that pay more than do others. Some of the most popular nursing specialties:
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
- Nurse Researcher
- Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
- Certified Nurse Midwife
- Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse
- Orthopedic Nurse
- Nurse Practitioner
- Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Gerontological Nurse Practitioners
- Neonatal Nurse
But regardless of specialty, nurses earn excellent salaries and they earn it while helping other people. What could be better?
Top Nursing Schools
Lincoln / Lincoln Technical Institute
Are you looking for hands-on training at a well-respected technical school?
Since 1946, Lincoln Technical Institute has been helping students achieve professional success through personalized career support and hands-on, job-specific education. Our in-depth training programs are designed to meet the changing needs of today’s tough job market, and cover a variety of fields, including: Health Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Hospitality, automotive Technology, HVAC Technology and Electrical Systems Technology.
What sets Lincoln Technical Institute apart from other schools? Quite a few things, actually; our training programs emphasize experiential, interactive learning activities – that means you’ll do the job before you take the job. Plus, our Certificate, Diploma and Associate Degree programs are designed to accelerate your entry into the job market by offering a shorter length of training, so you may be earning valuable on-the-job experience before many of your peers do.
But our strengths go beyond that. our Lincoln instructors possess a combination of seasoned teaching skills, subject matter expertise and real world experience. Plus, we’ve built working partnerships with important industry contacts in your area. So when you graduate, we’ll help you find a good position and start your career off right.
When it comes to choosing a post-secondary educational institution, keep this in mind: Our dedication to your success sets us apart from the competition – and the specialized, career-focused training you’ll receive at Lincoln will set you apart from yours. Lincoln Technical Institute offers flexible daytime and evening programs to accommodate your busy schedule. Financial Aid is available for those who qualify and Career Placement Assistance is available upon graduation.
- Center City Philadelphia (Downtown)
- Edison (Central NJ)
- Paramus (Northern NJ)
- Northeast Philadelphia (Bucks County)
- Nursing (Practical)
- Nursing (RN)
Concorde Career College
We believe hands-on experience is the best way to learn. And at Concorde, you’ll find that a “learn by doing” approach to healthcare training will get you the skills you need to succeed – and get you into the workforce quickly.
Even in today’s economy, the demand for skilled healthcare professionals shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Career Guide to Industries (2010-2011 Edition), the healthcare industry will generate .2 million in new wage and salary jobs between 2006 and 2016 – more than any other industry.
Now’s a great time to get started – and to move toward a rewarding healthcare career.
- Kansas City
- San Diego
- San Bernardino
- North Hollywood
- Garden Grove
- Nursing - (AAS)
- Practical Nursing - Diploma
- Practical Nursing
- Nursing - (AS)
- Vocational Nursing
- Vocational Nurse
Discover all that Northwestern College has to offer:
- Financial aid and scholarships (for those who qualify)
- Day, evening, weekend, and online courses
- Academic and career advising
- Free tutoring sessions
- Employment assistance
- Externship opportunities
- An encouraging learning environment
- Medical Assisting
Carrington College California
Now you can earn your associate degree and can get started in the career field you’ve always dreamed of more conveniently than ever by attending the online Campus of Carrington College California. Considered a leader in education, Carrington College California has a long history of helping students succeed in real world careers.
- San Jose
- Registered Nursing
- Vocational Nursing
- Vocational Nursing
The Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health
The Salter School of Nursing & Allied Health is a licensed, post-secondary vocational school with a primary purpose of training individuals for employment in health care. The Career Education courses being offered are designed to provide participants with knowledge and skills that will foster employment success on a career ladder. The Salter School of Nursing & Allied Health is dedicated to the provision and promotion of quality, career-oriented educational opportunities for Nurses, Nursing Assistants, and Laboratory Personnel, through classroom presentations, hands-on laboratory experience and applicable on-the-job training in externship opportunities.
The institution is accredited by ACICS. The LPN program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.
- Practical Nursing
- Licensed Nursing Assistant