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Starting Salary of a Nurse

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What is the starting salary of a nurse today? Nursing is a very demanding job and it has been said by many nurses that nursing is one of the occupations that offers the greatest potential for personal and professional fulfillment. Hard-working nursing professionals are afforded remarkable career opportunities, financial security, and the opportunity to make a great change in the lives of their patients and the families of their patients.

The national mean wage for registered nurses with less than five years of experience is $47.120, while those with the most experience can make up to $102.990 per year on average. This indicates that the potential for RNs to improve their income over the course of their careers is $55,870, which is equivalent to around $1,400 in annual increases on average over the course of a nursing career spanning about 40 years.

Nevertheless, location is a very important consideration. The potential increase in income for registered nurses working in Savannah, Georgia is the lowest, at approximately $19,500 over the course of their careers. On the other hand, registered nurses working in San Rafael, California have the opportunity to earn approximately $110,000 more over the course of their careers.

Starting Salary of a Nurse: Nursing Homes

Nursing home registered nurses (RNs) earned an average income of $66,250 in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. An annual pay of $73,300 is lower than the average for all registered nurses. A wing or a unit of patients is often assigned to a nursing home nurse, who is then responsible for performing rounds on this group of patients on a regular basis.

Patients’ questions and concerns are addressed, vitals are taken, medications are given, treatment plans are addressed, and patient queries and concerns are directed. In addition, RNs are often tasked with chronicling their patient encounters. The scope of practice for a registered nurse at a nursing home will vary from location to location, but it will not go beyond what the state allows. While an Associate of Science in Nursing (ADN/ASN) is required for RN licensure, many nurses have already obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN). 

starting salary of a nurse

Types of Nurses and What They Do

There are varying wage expectations associated with each of these distinct nursing specializations:

  • LPN:  Licensed Practical Nurse
  • RN:  Registered Nurse
  • Advanced Practice Nurses include Certified Nurse-Midwives, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Certified Nurse practitioners, Certified Registered Nurse anesthetists

Location is important for registered nurses and advanced practice nurses, and the pay for nurses varies greatly from one state to the next. However, which state pays its registered nurses the most? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state of California is currently ranked first among the top 10 best-paying states for registered nurses, followed by the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Oregon, Alaska, New York, Nevada, New Jersey, and Washington. Following California on the list of best-paying states for RNs are Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Oregon (BLS).

Licensed Practical Nurses

Under the direction of a licensed physician, a licensed practical nurse (LPN) provides patients with essential day-to-day care, including the preparation of equipment, the administration of medications, and the administration of immunizations. LPNs are also able to assist registered nurses and physicians with patients, as well as maintain medical records and coordinate contact between the entire medical care team. This really helps the patients and their families to be aware of what appropriate at-home care entails outside of the hospital or clinic setting.

These nurses work in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices. In addition to this, they provide individualized care directly to patients, which may include house calls.

According to nursing employment data the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a licensed practical nurse earns a median annual salary of $46,240. In 2018, the lowest-earning ten percent of licensed practical nurses made less than $33,680 per year, while the highest-earning ten percent made more than $62,160.

starting salary of a nurse

For example, the average salary for a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in the state of Florida is $44,400 per year, while in the state of California, the average salary for an LPN is $56,200 per year. Comparatively, the minimum wage in Pennsylvania is $48,120, while the minimum wage in Missouri is $42,580. Salaries vary per state and work setting.

Registered Nurse

A registered nurse is a person has completed the requirements necessary to obtain a license to practice nursing in their state. Registered nurses provide care for patients in a variety of settings, including major hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and schools. Registered nurses (RNs) include clinical nurse specialists, but advanced practice registered nurses are not part of this group. Licensed practical nurses (RNs) provide medical care to patients, diagnosing and treating conditions that are associated with particular specialties such as oncology and geriatrics. Investigate the availability of bachelor’s degrees in nursing online.

According to the data provided by the BLS in 2018, the average annual salary for registered nurses was $75,510. However, registered nurse salaries can vary. The annual income of those in the top 90th percentile was calculated to be $106,530.

Advanced Practice Nurses

Advanced practice nurses, also known as advanced practice registered nurses, are registered nurses who have completed additional clinical and educational requirements to earn advanced certifications. They are registered nurses who have chosen to advance their education, acquire additional certification credentials, and specialize in a specific area of nursing practice. Investigate the availability of master’s degrees in nursing online.

Nursing data from the BLS identifies the following three types of nurses as belonging to this category:

Certified nurse-midwives provide care for expecting mothers and their families. This includes assisting with prenatal care, labor and delivery, and helping new mothers adjust to life with a newborn during the postpartum phase of care.

A certified nurse practitioner provides care for patients of all ages, focuses on wellness and overall changes that promote better health outcomes, diagnoses and treats illnesses, and cares for patients of all ages. NPs have the ability to specialize in a variety of areas, including acute care, psychiatric mental health, women’s health, and family nurse practitioner.

A certified nurse anesthetist is someone who is qualified to administer anesthesia both before and after surgical procedures.

Has the COVID-19 Pandemic affected the starting salary of a nurse?

The pandemic had an effect on virtually every sector of the economy in the United States and around the world, but the nursing profession was particularly important. The high number of patients caused an increase in the need for staffing in a profession that was already chronically short-staffed. This occurred at the same time that nurses were experiencing extreme stress, exhaustion, and burnout.

In the end, this has led to an increase in the average annual salaries of nurses of approximately 4 percent over the past year, which comes on top of the 3.3 percent increase that was seen in 2020. In response to pay increases being offered by other healthcare providers, hospitals are increasing their own salaries and benefits packages.

Not only has the shortage of available professionals resulted in starting salaries for new nurses being higher than they have ever been, but it has also resulted in jobs being easier to find, along with more flexible schedules and time off being available to them.

They are also being provided with more opportunities to advance their careers, such as receiving training on the job and the ability to make quicker transitions into work in more specialized fields than would have been possible otherwise.

Thank you nurses for all that you do and thank you for reading our blog post on the starting salary of a nurse.

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