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What Do RNS Make? Learn The Real Truth!


In this article, we will reveal what RNs make and what they actually do. It’s a profession where one can expect to earn much more than the national average of US. In most cases, RNs earn more than twice the national average of US. Median annual salary of RN being 67, 490 USD.

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
75% 90%
Annual Wage* $46,360 $55,320 $67,490 $82,490 $101,630


RN is a person who has successfully passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and is at least holder of an associate degree in nursing. RN can expect to make more and get a better job if holding a bachelor’s degree in Nursing.

As hospitals and most medical facilities work 24 hours a day, so most RNs work in shifts. RNs often do night duties and work on holidays.

What do RNs make depends on too many factors;

Industry they work

As per statistics around 20% of nurses work part-time, though most of the RNs take a full-time job.

RN working in the hospital usually earns more than RN working in a physician’s office.


Median Annual Wages*

Government $72,100
Hospitals; state, local, and private 69,510
Home healthcare services 63,840
Offices of physicians 60,820
Nursing and residential care facilities 60,370

Region of work

Salary of RN depends on lots the regions and location. Some states pay much better than other, and metropolitans areas pay higher than rural.

Top 5  paying states are:

  1. California
  2. Hawaii
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Alaska
  5. Oregon

While the lowest paying are; Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, Iowa, and South Dakota.

Refer the map below to get an idea of what you can expect to make as an RN.what do rns make

Education and Experience

RNs can make much more if they have few years of experience along with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The Associate degree has a bleaker future, more and more hospitals are now insisting that RN has a bachelor’s degree. Over the years as your nursing experience grows you can expect to make much more above the median RNs wages.

Specialty of RN

Specialty is the single most factor having the greatest impact on how much do RNs make. Below are the high paying 5 specialties. These specialties require additional education and you can expect to make more than $90,000 per annum.

  1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) – It is the highest paying specialty, as it requires intense training and involves administration of anesthesia to the patient. One can expect to get wages above 130,000 USD.
  2. General Nurse Practitioner- GNP has a better scope or making more wages, as apart from working in hospitals GNP can also carry out independent practice.
  3. Gerontological Nurse Practitioner – this specialty involves taking care of the elderly, helping to improve their quality of life, supporting them in healthy aging.
  4. Pain Management Nurse – this position requires helping patients in pain, post surgical, oncological, or any other.
  5. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner – this position often requires having a masters degree and involves taking care of psychiatric patients. It has always remained as one of the best paying and stable positions.

Other Factors

There are many other factors having an impact on what do RNs make. RNs working on holidays get more wages, as do RNs working during night hours. Many RNs can make extra money by providing private services or having additional part-time jobs.  Most common methods to make more for RN are; agreeing for extra shifts, providing part-time nursing services (many nursing agencies may help in it), taking the temporary job of immunization during seasonal epidemics, giving advice in telemedicine centers, medical writing, medical transcription, part-time teaching jobs.

The job of RN has good perspectives as wages are expected to grow much faster than national average.

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