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Nursing Salaries: Averages By Each State
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Workforce Management

Nursing Salaries: Creating a Career Path to Success

As the nursing shortage continues to be a growing hindrance in the healthcare field, it’s important to develop improved ways to recruit, retain and keep nurses more engaged in their jobs.

One concern nurses have expressed about their jobs is the need to develop a practical career path to help them grow in expertise, salary and job satisfaction. Keeping nurses engaged and optimistic about their jobs means helping them map out a course to success. Nursing is an extremely diverse and specialized field with many options and paths to grow in a career. Below is a summary of several types of nursing jobs, including educational requirements, salaries and general duties.

Types of Nursing Jobs and Nursing Salaries

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

A nursing assistant, or a nurse’s aide, provides basic care to patients and helps them carry out basic tasks they cannot do on their own. They work under the supervision of a licensed nurse in home care, correctional institutions, hospitals, nursing homes and other health care centers.

  • Education Requirement: 1 to 4 months accredited training program
  • Expected Job Growth: 8% increase
  • Employment Locations: Hospitals, residential care facilities, etc.
  • Certification Requirements: pass state certification exam
  • Average Salary: $30,700

Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN)

A Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN) is trained to assist registered nurses and physicians and provide a wide range of patient services. These can include: monitoring and recording vital signs, updating patient charts, providing bedside care, dressing wounds, administering medications, cleaning and managing medical equipment and instruments, and starting intravenous fluids, among other duties. Many LPNs decide to continue their schooling and become RNs in order to take advantage of a greater array of career choices.

  • Education Requirement: 1 year LPN program at a community college
  • Expected Job Growth: 9% increase
  • Employment Locations: Hospitals, physicians office, residential care facilities, etc.
  • Certification Requirements: Pass the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCLEX-PN) exam and apply for your professional LPN/LVN certification.
  • Average Salary: $48,600

Registered Nurse (RN)

Registered Nurses provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their families. Most RNs work on a team with physicians and other health care specialists in various settings. Registered Nurses have many career opportunities to work in different specialties depending on their interests.

  • Education Requirement: Associate degree or Bachelor of Science
  • Expected Job Growth: 15% increase
  • Employment Locations: Hospitals, residential care facilities, etc.
  • Certification Requirements: State Nursing License
  • Average Salary: $73,900

Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners serve as primary and specialty care providers, delivering more advanced medical services to patients and their families. A practitioner requires a master’s degree or even a Doctor of Nursing Practice. The typical duties of a nurse practitioner include diagnosing and treating illnesses, physical exams, diagnostic testing and prescribing medications.

  • Education Requirement: Master’s degree or Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree (DNP)
  • Expected Job Growth: 31% Increase
  • Employment Locations: Hospitals, physicians office
  • Certification Requirements: Certifications dependent on specialty of care
  • Average Salary: $110,500

Nurse Midwife

A nurse midwife specializes in the care of pregnant women. They also assist in labor and delivery, as well as in prenatal appointments. Nurse midwives continue their care after the delivery room by educating and counseling new mothers on how to care for their babies.

  • Education Requirement: Associate degree or Bachelor of Science, and Registered Nurse License (RN)
  • Expected Job Growth: 9% increase
  • Employment Locations: Hospitals, physicians office
  • Certification Requirements: American College of Nurse Midwives
  • Average Salary: $106,000

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) specializes in assisting with anesthesia during surgeries and must complete a degree from a graduate level program. CRNAs make up some of the highest-paid nurse specialties in the medical field due to the high demand in surgical settings and detailed training they receive.

  • Education Requirement: Master’s degree (MSN), Registered Nurse License (RN) and one year in acute care setting
  • Expected Job Growth: 16% increase
  • Employment Locations: Hospitals, surgical centers, specialty physician’s office
  • Certification Requirements: CRNA certification
  • Average Salary: $184,600

Nursing Instructor

Nurse educators are responsible for teaching students in a nursing school or a college nursing program. They may teach comprehensive lessons about general nursing subjects or focus on an area of special expertise.

  • Education Requirement: Master’s degree and Registered Nurse License (RN)
  • Expected Job Growth: 19% increase
  • Employment Locations: Hospitals, universities, community colleges
  • Certification Requirements: Certified Nurse Educator Examination
  • Average Salary: $78,900

Median Nursing Salaries by State

Nursing salaries can vary considerably by state, so it can be helpful to get a more detailed look at the breakdown across the country. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) regularly tracks salaries by job type and location.

New Hampshire$33,430$54,220$73,880$110,680$196,000$72,890
New Jersey$31,190$57,510$84,280$123,810$193,900$87,120
New Mexico$28,850$48,330$73,300$111,930$162,320$67,120
New York$38,810$49,860$87,840$122,550$200,350$97,750
North Carolina$26,540$45,880$66,440$105,890$189,060$70,300
North Dakota$34,320$46,760$66,290$110,950$195,010$72,180
Rhode Island$33,020$59,860$82,310$115,310N/A$80,220
South Carolina$26,560$42,190$64,840$100,680$165,940$74,020
South Dakota$28,120$38,760$59,540$102,230$190,880$73,160
Washington, D.C$35,320$54,220$94,820$111,950N/A$157,560
West Virginia$26,900$37,500$63,220$103,170$188,580$58,590

There are additional areas of specialization that nurses can pursue such as ER, surgery, cardiology and many others. The nursing field offers a wide range of opportunities for growth and development, and is expected to continue growing for the foreseeable future.

Paycor has many tools, including Learning Management and Talent Development, that can help you prepare and guide your nursing staff to chart a course for career growth and success.