Average Nursing Salary for RNs, LPNs, and APRNs


Registered nurses earn an average salary of $ 80,000 per year, according to a 2019 study by online medical resource Medscape. Nurses who earn hourly wages instead of wages earn slightly less overall, averaging $ 78,000 per year.

But for all nurses, salaries vary widely depending on their specific job. Here are the current median salaries – meaning that half of nurses earn more than these amounts and half earn less – according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Caregivers: $ 28,530 in annual salary.

  • Licensed practical nurses: $ 46,240 annual salary.

  • Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners: Annual salary of $ 113,930.

Many other factors can affect the average nurse’s salary, including education level and location. If you plan to withdraw nursing student loans or if you have already done so, you will ideally earn enough that your debt does not exceed 10% of your after-tax take-home pay.

Nurses salaries by level of education

The average nurse’s salary usually increases if you spend more years in nursing school. For example, you can become a nursing assistant in a matter of months, but on average you will earn the least among nursing professionals. Alternatively, it can take almost a decade to become a nurse practitioner, but your average salary stretches to six figures.

Although earning a master’s degree should increase your earnings, the salary difference is narrower between RNs who earn an associate’s degree in two years (ADN) and those who earn a bachelor’s degree in four years (BSN). . Medscape found that the average salaries for DNA RNs and BSN RNs differed only by $ 5,000: $ 75,000 for DNAs and $ 80,000 for BSNs.

The jump is considerably larger if you are moving from a Licensed Practical Nurse, or LPN, to a Registered Nurse. The average salary of an LPN of $ 53,000 is $ 22,000 less than the average salary of an RN DNA.

Nurses salaries by location

The average salary for a nurse can range from $ 70,000 to $ 96,000 depending on where a registered nurse lives, according to Medscape. You will earn the most in the western states, such as California, Hawaii, and Oregon. Nurses in southern states, including Alabama, Kentucky, and Mississippi, earn the least.

Median salary data from the US Department of Labor supports these findings for other nursing occupations. For example, if you are planning to be a licensed practical nurse in California, you can expect a median salary of $ 33,070; in Alabama, that number drops to $ 23,290. Nurse practitioners in these two locations have median salaries of $ 126,890 and $ 95,010, respectively.

Paying Student Loans From A Nurse’s Salary

Graduate degrees in nursing increase your earning power, but add to your student debt. MSNs end their programs with almost twice as much nursing student debt like BSN ($ 47,321 vs. $ 23,711), according to an analysis of data from the Department of Education.

  • If your nurse’s salary does not cover your debt: Go for a income based repayment plan. Income-oriented plans calculate your payment amount based on your family size and discretionary income. These plans extend your repayment term to 20 or 25 years and write off any debt remaining after that date.

  • If you earn enough to make your payments: Look for opportunities repay your loans fasterincluding the refinancing of any high interest nursing school graduate loan. To refinance, you will need a credit score in the range of 600 and a high debt-to-income ratio, or a co-signer who meets these criteria.

Refinancing with a private lender can cost you access to student loan waiver programs for nurses. If you are considering taking advantage of any of these opportunities, carefully review the terms of the program before refinancing.

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