Nursing salary preview: What can RNs expect in 2012?

Location, location, location!
The state of California boasts the highest annual salaries for RNs—on average, about $95,000. Compare that to a national salary range that puts most RNs somewhere between $40,112 and $79,763, with the median RN salary sitting at $55,114 (according to September 2011 data published by PayScale, an online market research company that specializes in salary analysis), and it sounds as if California RNs must be downright rich. Consider, however, that California also has an extremely high cost of living, which makes that $95,000 lose some of its sparkle.

Compare that to RN salaries in the state of Oklahoma. estimates that in 2009 they were approximately 11 percent below the national average, but business magazines continue to rank Oklahoma as one of the top states to live because of its low cost of living.

The bottom line is that a higher nursing salary doesn’t necessarily correlate with a higher standard of living.

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Cynthia Dusseault

Cynthia Dusseault is a professional freelance writer with both a health and an education background. A former medical radiation technologist and elementary school teacher, she realized that no matter what she did, she was drawn to any task that involved writing, so she decided, over a decade ago, to write full-time. Since then, she has written for a variety of magazines and websites including Nursing PRN, National Review of Medicine, University Affairs, Your Health, Education Leaders Today, Today's Parent, Children's Playmate, and many more.She has written about topics such as asthma, genital herpes, circumcision, teleradiology, body art, learning disabilities and exercise trends, and she absolutely adores the fact that writing—particularly doing the research for the articles she writes—makes her a lifelong learner.

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