Nursing salary projections for 2011

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We keep hearing the demand for nurses is expected to grow, but how much can we expect to earn in the coming year?

Look no further! Whether you’re a CNA in Delaware or an RN in California, we’ve rounded up salary projections for 2011 you don’t want to miss.

Find out what you could be earning.





Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants

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Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants all provide basic patient care, such as feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, and moving patients between rooms. Employment for each is expected to grow 19% over the next eight years, a faster-than-average rate compared to the national average. The number of jobs is expected to grow by 2% in 2011 to total 1,552,600, with an annual median wage growth increase to $24,641.

According to the U.S. Institutes of Labor, the main reason for the growth is because the U.S. population that is moving into elderly homes is growing to record levels and is in greater need of physical and long-term care. In addition, the bad economy is forcing hospitals to discharge patients sooner than normal to less urgent patient care facilities where orderlies can take care of them.

Number of Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants Jobs: 1,469,800 (2008), 1,552,600 (2011), 1,745,800 (2018)

Median Hourly Wages: $11.56
Median Annual Wages: $24,040
Mean Annual Wage for 2011: $24,641

Hourly Wage Annual Wage
Alaska                  $15.32              $31,900
New York           $15.15               $31,500
Nevada                $14.72              $30,600
Hawaii                  $14.44               $30,000
Connecticut       $14.31               $29,800
Rhode Island     $13.84              $28,800
Massachusetts   $13.68              $28,500
Delaware              $13.38              $27,800
New Hampshire $13.30            $27,700
Maryland              $13.07           $27,200


Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

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Licensed practical and vocational nurses are needed in all types of healthcare environments, including hospitals and residential facilities. The former constitutes about 25% of all vocational nurse jobs in the U.S. Other types of facilities include community care facilities for the elderly, outpatient care centers and government agencies

Employment for this type of nursing has grown faster than the national average. The best job opportunities are in nursing care facilities and home healthcare services, with the overall number of jobs growing to nearly 1 million by the end of next year (2011). Just like other nursing jobs, the biggest demand for licensed practical and vocational nurses stems from the growth of the elderly population and the shift of after-surgery patient care from hospitals to nursing care facilities. In addition, the U.S. Labor Department says one of the biggest reasons for growth is the fact many of these types of nurses are exiting the workforce, leaving many highly needed jobs open.

Median annual wages of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses were $39,530 by end of last year. Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses are: Employment services ($44,690); nursing care facilities ($40,580); home health care services ($39,510); general medical and surgical hospitals ($38,080); and offices of physicians ($35,020).

Mean Hourly Wage: $19.66
Mean Annual Wage: $40,900
Mean Annual Wage for 2011: $41,900

Hourly Wage Annual Wage
Connecticut                $25.34                        $52,700
New Jersey                 $24.23                        $50,400
Rhode Island             $23.99                        $49,900
Maryland                     $23.82                        $49,500
Massachusetts           $23.81                        $49,500
California                     $23.74                        $49,400
District of Columbia $23.16                        $48,200
Nevada                          $23.15                        $48,200
New Mexico                $22.89                       $47,600
Delaware                      $22.88                        $47,600

Salary Projections for RNs–>

Registered Nurses

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There were 2.6 million nursing jobs in 2009 and about 60% of them were in hospitals. In 2011, there will be small increase of jobs from last year (0.5%), and unfortunately, an even smaller increase of the median wage of 0.2%, to $65,075.

The three main paths to becoming a registered nurse are attaining a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree, or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Specialists like nurse anesthetists and practitioners need a master’s degree.

The median annual wage of registered nurses has gone up about $3,000 on average since May 2008. Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of registered nurses were employment services, general medicine and surgical hospitals, offices of physicians, home health care services, and nursing care facilities.

Mean Hourly Wage: $30.65
Mean Annual Wage: $63,800
Mean Annual Wage for 2011: $65,075

Hourly Wage Annual Wage
California             $39.86                           $82,900
Hawaii                             $39.34                            $81,800
Massachusetts                $37.39                           $77,800
Maryland                         $36.38                           $75,700
New Jersey                       $35.85                           $74,600
District of Columbia         $35.36                            $73,500
Alaska                              $35.33                             $73,500
Oregon                            $35.30                            $73,400
Nevada                             $35.23                             $73,300
New York                          $34.66                              $72,100

Popular Industries: Family medicine, hospital, medical office, health clinic


Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary

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Nurse educators play an important part in the healthcare business. They develop the educational programs for the professional development of nurses and RNs, which are becoming increasingly central in the caring of patients.

For 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor expects there will be a small increase (< 2%) in the number of new postsecondary teachers and that the annual wage will rise from $61,360 to nearly $63,000.

Mean Annual Wage: $61,360
Mean Annual Wage for 2011: $63,000


Annual  Wage
California                   $79,800
New Jersey                  $77,000
Connecticut                 $71,000
Oregon                          $70,900
Hawaii                           $70,700
Florida                          $70,600
Rhode Island              $70,200
New York                     $69,000
Massachusetts           $67,600
Michigan                      $67,400

Popular Industries: Education/college, education, secondary education, technical college, community nursing

Top Degrees: Master of Science, Nursing (MSN), Bachelor of Science, Nursing (BSN), and Master of Science (MS)


Wage Range Estimates of Specific Jobs:

Case manager RN: $65,000 to $165,000
CCU nurse: $48,000 to $62,000
Community health nurse: $35,000 to $56,000
Emergency room nurse: $42,000 to $67,000
Gerontology nurse: $38,000 to $92,000
Licensed practical nurse: $35,000 to $41,000
Nurse assistant: $21,000 to $27,000
Nurse midwife: $47,000 to $86,000
Nurse practitioner: $59,000 to $123,000
Nurse supervisor: $53,000 to $81,000
Registered nurse: $38,000 to $64,000
School nurse: $19,000 to $40,000

Editor’s note: All data used in this article comes from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Numbers are based on the most recent available data.

Related Reads:

The 411 on nursing degrees

10 questions to ask when negotiating salary

10 expert tips to increase your salary

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11 Responses to Nursing salary projections for 2011

  1. If you would like more detailed information on case manager and non-bedside nursing salaries in NY, NJ and PA, we just just conducted a survey in 2010 that focuses solely on these jobs. Check out the results on our website at Pathway Medical

  2. Nursemillie

    Hmmm. I am making less than a CNA and I have been an LPN for 9 yrs. I need to step back into my old job.

  3. With today’s growing economy “Pains”- the money can be nice,but it is not worth it when 1 nurse has to do the work of 2-3 people.(leaning more on the end of 3. The mentality of so called upper management just doesn’t get it . They’ve taken the Care out of Caring-and trust me after 37+ years it’s long past “Tiring”- I am “Hopeful” that someday Nurses will stand united and stop the Back-biting we are patient advocates and there for them, not the Adm or the Docs. Power to the NURSES!!! Right on!!

  4. Kathy

    Staff RN positions at our local hospitals are not nearly in this pay range – actually about $10 an hour LESS even for nurses with 20 years experience. Some specialty units pay more. Physicians offices pay about $20 an hour for RNs. Large regional medical centers might be paying this … but the average RN in North Carolina is not making this kind of money. This misleading information colors the public’s perception of us when we DO ask for more money. I’ve basically made the same hourly pay for the past 10 years, despite moving between 3 states. The last hospital I worked did not even pay time-and-a-half on holidays (to ANY nursing staff). After 20 years of working with a BSN degree, I got my MSN and FNP in an effort to increase my income.

  5. George

    I agree with Kathy, the pay range is about $10.00/hour high for here in Central Illinois also.

  6. Jenny

    About $6 – 10. too high compared to rates in VA. Where did they get these figures?

  7. Rhonda LPN

    I work in a hospital setting in LA an a LPN. LPN’s are required to do the majority of the nursing skills that an RN do however we make half to a third of the RN salary.
    What gets me more, is when I am an LPN on a floor working with a MSN and I have to teach her the job.This chaps my you know what! I just don’t get it! I think education is great, however in this field, experience should count for something as well.

  8. Janet RN

    I agree with everyone, the salaries listed are much higher than any in this area as well. NW Florida is one of the lower paid areas in Florida for nurses to begin with, and this list really makes us look like we make MUCH more than we do. We are not even close to the average unless in a specialty for many years. Hospital staff of course pays more than office work usually, but when I left the hospital to go back to the office I actually got a raise in my base pay, but still lower than the national average. I only wish I made what the charts show.

  9. Brandy RN

    I noticed they only show the coastal states. I know for a fact the midwest and mountain state RNs don’t make the kind of money being published here. While cost of living is higher in the coastal states this article should include a more accurate portrayal of wages across the US.

  10. Your name

    What do Cnas have to do to get more money per hour? We must refuse the minimum or first salary offered to us when interviewing or move on to another company. Only when we have respect for ourselves will anyone else have respect for us and pay us what we deserve.

  11. Elisa RN

    If you look at each of the listings they start with the highest and move to the lowest in about 10….. I believe these lists consist of the ‘top ten’ in each category. California doesn’t even make the list until the RN listings. And, although I just graduated and acquired my RN, I will be making close to what is listed. I think the list is accurate in showing the highest paid of these positions (top ten). Hope that helps! :)