What nurses make, 2013: Salaries for RNs, CNAs, LPNs, staff nurses and more!

iStockPhoto | ThinkStock + Scrubs

iStockPhoto | ThinkStock + Scrubs

Are you curious about how your salary stacks up against that of other nurses with similar credentials and experience? Do you wonder if you have more earning potential? Would going back to nursing school for a more advanced degree substantially change your take-home pay?

Asking your coworkers how much money they make is considered rude—and HR certainly isn’t going to spill the beans. But you can at least look at some of the same benchmarking data your employer uses to determine your pay.

On the following pages, you’ll find median salaries for many popular nursing careers. Keep in mind that regional or even local pay can vary substantially from these numbers (especially for surveys with only a few hundred respondents). Fortunately, PayScale lets you input your own data to get an idea of how you really stack up against your “competition.” We’re interested to see how accurate these numbers are for our readers. Is your pay in line with what other nurses are making?




RN Salary by Years of Experience


CNA Salary by Years of Experience


LPN Salary by Years of Experience


Staff Nurse Salary by Years of Experience


Charge Nurse Salary by Years of Experience


Nurse Practitioner Salary by Years of Experience


Emergency Room Nurse Salary by Years of Experience


Operating Room Nurse Salary by Years of Experience


Psychiatric Nurse (RN) Salary by Years of Experience

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19 Responses to What nurses make, 2013: Salaries for RNs, CNAs, LPNs, staff nurses and more!

  1. lwd338

    I think (at least in R.I. that max salary is a bit low try over 65,000.00 for 37 years. but try and find a hospital job for that long. not sure what nurseing homes or homecare agency,s pay

  2. RSA80

    Not sure what “type” of nursing this study applies to but the starting salary for even NEW grads in certain upstate NY hospitals for med-surg jobs is $28/hr. which is $58,240/yr. Albany ranks lower even though its a big city but to say that a new nurse averages $48,378/yr. might be a little misleading to some readers. I know nurses in their 5th year making what this study averages for 20yrs or more. I just want anyone reading this, students or new nurses, to know that it is all job and area dependent. Also, the hospitals with the better benefit packages have considerably lower starting salaries, ie…Veterans…etc…I realize these are just “averages” but they seem low from my experience.

  3. jeromestone

    After 31 years in nursing, I find it depressing – not encouraging – to see how little I’m “worth” compared to other professionals’ salaries. When you compare an RN’s salary to someone in tech, business, or construction; someone who does not have others’ lives depending upon them, someone who doesn’t have to work weekends, holidays, and nights; someone whose “PTO” or “PAL” doesn’t include mixing sick time with vacation time in one pot; someone who isn’t required to think immediately with the threat of loss of limb or life hanging over their head; it’s actually pathetic what RNs make. When hospital CEO salaries continue to climb, and drug companies are bringing in record profits, where has the appreciation gone for those of us “in the trenches?”

    A 25% increase in all RN salaries, across the board, from newbies to us old timers, would be a great start.

    Thanks for listening.

    • nursemate93

      Its VERY DEPRESSING.I’ve veen an RN since 1993 n the new nurses are coming in close to my salary.its very FRUSTRATING!

  4. JanPattersonRN

    Hey, can you pull out Home Health Care salaries for RN, LVN, CNA, IHSS? I’m curious to see where my agency stacks up.

  5. sandra_perezsandi@hotmail.com

    OMG !! I did the math and I’m surprised the numbers
    here in mexico we won 23 dlls per day in the area of operating rooms

  6. colleen5772

    Well you all think that’s bad trying working in Florida. N Fl hospitals start new grads at $18-20 per hour. I’ve been a nurse since 2005 and I work in OR and I only get paid 24.33 an hour. If we have a BSN we get a whole extra dollar. It’s very sad! We do have 2 hospitals that pay roughly 28-32 for my experience but they are horrible hospitals to work for.

  7. angietorres

    I live in puerto rico, i’ve been an RN ADN for 10 yrs and right now i am finishing my BSN because i realized i’m not going anywhere, i feel like i’m at a stand still….right now i’m at 16.24/hr…its taken me 10 yrs to get there…..its really sad….so my goal is to finish my BSN and eventually move back home to either Bethlehem or Allentown…

  8. suzdown

    Hard to hear that you nurses are struggling and frustrated with hospital and pay. fortunately in California, certain northern CA hospital start pay at $55/hr. I’ve been a nurse for 5 years now and make over 6 figures easily and only 32 hrs/ week. My base pay is over $75/hr. My hospital is union based and very union oriented. California is setting the standards for all nurses across US. I hope everything we fought for in nursing will transpire other states to adapt like ours. Yes, there is a lot of fighting bwtn management/ union but what we do, every other state should listen… stay strong and voice your concerns- for the patient’s safety and your sanity!!!

    • Sarz1066 Student

      I agree it is sad to hear this. I live in NorCal and earn $50hourly as a new grad but my friends in the Bay Area earn $35/hr at the hospitals there. My hospital has a union though. And as far as cost of living that some others mentioned, it varies all over CA. I hope something changes to improve the wages for equally hard working nurses across the US and even in CA… SoCal rates can be even lower with still more expensive housing compared to where I am and where I live is relatively inexpensive.

    • samcl1

      Where in Northern California? I want to move from washington but my salary of almost $60/hr (incl shift diff) is hard to match. Taking much of a pay cut is just not doable. I have been a nurse for 35 years,

  9. suzdown

    I heard that travel nurses made $7000 a day when the hospital where I work (California) went on a strike last year. The nurse was from Mississippi and worked for an agency. Couldn’t believe what she made per hour!! I was blown away, makes me wonder if I should look into this!

  10. Dee Caption Contest

    I’ve been a nurse for 20 yrs. BSN doesn’t help where I am now – new hospital may, when it takes over. According to this chart I’ve only been a nurse “4-5” yrs. California does pay better – cost of living is higher too! You have to take that into consideration. Benefits pkg. is another consideration; having a Union – I wish!!! jeromestone had a lot of great comments! Too right!

  11. MBRN1288

    I am questioning the source. Hourly pay for RN’s in Myrtle Beach, SC is between $26 – $38 depending on experience. RN’s in doctor’s offices make about $18 an hour.

  12. ellybean

    32 years as RN & only make 28.50, whereas administrators make 6 figures, no weekends or holidays & meetings all day. I will be pushing a med cart in instead of a walker because I won’t be able to afford retirement

  13. jfeebs

    Well, I’m a hospice LPN in Oklahoma and I made 55,000 last year. These reports make me nor want to get my RN I make what a lot of them do with much less paperwork.

  14. jezzie1

    Where are these numbers from. I would be interested to know. Where I worked Lpn’s made 29.00 an hour after 30 years. And Rn’s made 45.00 an hour.

  15. joanna APN

    I Think this salary survey is way off key……LPNs in the northeast under 5 years make approx. $25/hr which would be $52,000. not including holiday pay and overtime. I myself made $29.50/hr after 6 years, which would be approx. $57,000 not including holiday pay and overtime.