Do nurses make good money? What is the average salary of a nurse? How much money do nurses make per hour?
Nurses work hard to provide great care to their patients, but like other professionals, they still have bills to pay. If you’re considering a career in nursing, you might be wondering how much money you could earn per year.
Average Salary in the United States
To answer the question of whether nurses make a good salary, it might be helpful to first talk about the average salary for all professions combined in the U.S.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for all occupations in 2019 was $53,490 per year. The average hourly wage for all occupations was $19.14 per hour.
Remember, we are talking averages here, so some will make more and some will make less, depending on your state, industry, experience, education, and so on. However, when you add all of the salaries together and divide by the number of salaries reported in a data set, you get the average salary figure for a particular profession.
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs), also called licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) earned an average salary in 2019 of $48,500 per year, and an average hourly wage of $23,32.
The time it takes to become an LPN can vary, but it typically takes around a year to complete an LPN program, after which you’ll have to pass the NCLEX-PN exam to become licensed.
Registered nurses (RNs) earned an average salary of $77,460 in 2019, and an average hourly wage of $37.24.
The two most common ways to become a registered nurse is through either an associate’s degree in nursing, which takes approximately 2-3 years, or a bachelor’s degree in nursing, which takes around 4 years to complete. After completing an RN program, you’ll have to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed.
If you want to advance in your nursing career and earn an even higher salary, you can become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).
Advanced practice registered nurses include nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, CRNAs, and clinical nurse specialists. To become an APRN, you’ll typically need to complete a bachelor’s program and gain at least 1-2 years of RN work experience.
Then, you can generally apply to a master’s degree program, which typically takes 2-3 years, and then pass the required licensing exam.
Nurse Midwife Salary
Nurse midwives earned an average salary of $108,810 in 2019, and an average hourly wage of $52.31.
Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) earned an average salary of $181,040, and an hourly wage of $87.04 in 2019.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) earned an average salary of $111,840 per year, and an average hourly wage of $53.77.
Clinical Nurse Specialists
Clinical nurse specialists’ salary figures are not reported by the Bureau of Labor statistics, but it is typically close to the midwife salary, coming in by most estimates at around $108,000 per year, with an hourly rate close to around $50 per hour.
Do Nurses Make Good Money? Yes!
Based on the statistics above, nurses definitely earn a competitive salary. LPNs earned more per hour ($23.32) than the national average hourly wage for all occupations ($19.14), and all of the other types of nurses earned more than both the average salary and average hourly wage for all occupations in the United States.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2017 Edition, on the Internet at bls.gov.