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
At Post University, we believe you shouldn’t have to put your life on hold to further your education. That’s why we offer a wide range of quality Certificate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in a highly interactive online format that emphasizes flexibility, convenience, and support. Whichever program you choose, you can take classes in 8-week modules, six times a year from faculty members with advanced degrees and extensive real-world experience. You’ll also enjoy access to a full array of academic support services, including advising, tutoring, writing center assistance, and our virtual library at no additional charge.
- Post University Online
- Certificate: Legal Nurse Consulting
Franklin Pierce University
- 100% online – complete your degree on your own time, wherever you’d like
- 8-week courses – finish courses faster than in a traditional semester program
- Credit transfer available – transfer your associate degree or diploma credits easily
- Financial aid available to those who qualify – don’t let costs keep you from progressing in your nursing career
- RN to BS in Nursing
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
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.
- Licensed Nursing Assistant
- Practical Nursing
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.
- Los Angeles
- Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing (LVN)
- Certificate in Vocational Nursing (LVN)