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
Since 1946, Lincoln Tech 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, Information Technology, Spa & Cosmetology, Automotive Technology, Welding, HVAC and Electrical.
What sets Lincoln Tech 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 Tech 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.
- Iselin, NJ (Edison)
- Nursing (Practical)
- Medical Assistant
Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career-focused education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.
At Keiser University, you will find a warm, friendly community with faculty and staff truly committed to your success. Our small class sizes, individualized attention, and one-class-at-a-time schedules create a positive learning environment where you can excel. Whether your goal is to prepare for a new career or to advance with your current employer, Keiser University is designed around your needs.
h3. Keiser University Advantage
- Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degree programs
- Day, Evening, and Online Classes
- Financial Aid to Those Who Qualify
- Job Placement Assistance Available
- Military-friendly, scholarships for qualified active duty personnel, Veterans, and dependants. Yellow Ribbon program participant, approved for Veterans training
Programs and delivery format vary by campus. Courses are subject to change.
Keiser University’s programs and curriculum remain in-line with technology and workforce trends, helping you develop the skills and qualifications necessary to succeed in today’s job market. Our career-focused programs make it possible for you to graduate in less time than you may think.
Keiser University is a private, not-for-profit university.
- Pembroke Pines
- Ft. Myers
- Port St. Lucie
- New Port Richey
- Ft. Lauderdale
- Daytona Beach
- Master of Science in Nursing
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Online Only)
- Associate of Science in Medical Assisting
- Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- Associate of Science in Nursing
- Master of Science in Nursing (Online Only)
- Traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- FastTrack Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- BS in Nursing (RN to BSN Bridge) (Hybrid)
- Associate of Science in Medical Assisting (Hybrid)
- Associate of Science in Medical Assisting
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) (Hybrid)
- Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner
- Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences - Pre-Physician Assistant Concentration
College of Westchester
Since 1915, The College of Westchester (CW) has focused on the career success of its students. CW’s academic programs are carefully designed to provide the skills and competencies most desired by employers. Our campus environment is highly personal and our culture centers on service to students. CW faculty is selected based on experience, credentials and a caring attitude to bring real world knowledge to the classroom. The College’s technologies and web-enhanced learning tools give students anywhere, anytime connectivity to courses, professors, classmates and services. The College of Westchester offers an exceptional experience that can lead to a lifetime of achievement and success.
- White Plains
- Medical Assistant Management - Associate
West Coast University
For over 100 years, West Coast University has been educating and helping prepare students to enter the workforce and make a difference.
Each day, medical techniques and technology take impressive strides forward. At West Coast University, our objective is to stay at the leading edge of the health care industry, helping prepare graduates for a career in health care that is responsive to the demands of the community and the global society.
Our goal is to help each student grow professionally and personally, becoming highly skilled professionals and health care leaders. Along the way, we provide a dynamic educational experience that we hope will be memorable and truly enjoyable. We look forward to meeting you!
West Coast University is institutionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). The University’s nursing programs are programmatically accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Accreditation serves as an indicator that an institution is committed to delivering a quality education by providing external and objective review.
1 (WSCUC) 985 Atlantis Avenue, #100, Alameda, CA 94501, 501-748-9001, www.wascsenior.org
2 (CCNE) 655 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20001, (202)887-6791 www.aacn.nch.edu/ccne/reports/accprog.asp .
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- LVN/LPN to BSN
Find out where the future can take you with an outstanding college education. At Platt College, you’ll find the career-specific programs and training for the careers you really want. Come explore a variety of career paths that fit your lifestyle in a positive learning environment that combines real-world experience with small, private college instruction. Classes are conveniently scheduled during morning or evening hours to work around outside employment commitments. For working adults, Platt’s curriculum offers a way to continue earning a living while studying for a new career.
- Los Angeles
- Associate of Science in Medical Assisting
- Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing (LVN)