Are You Getting Paid What You Should? Nursing Salary Trends in the U.S.


You work hard. You should be paid for your time, education and experience. As a new nurse, you won’t be getting paid as much as others in your field with more experience, but you should be on par with the rest of the country. Where you practice can determine your wages as it should be commensurate with the cost of living. If you’re curious about nursing salary trends in the United States, here are some numbers for you.  

Top Ten Nursing Salary States

These are the top ten states for annual nursing salaries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data for 2019:

  • California: $102,700

  • Hawaii: $96,990

  • District of Columbia: $90,110

  • Massachusetts: $89,330

  • Oregon: $88,770

  • Alaska: $87,510

  • Nevada: $84,980

  • New York: $83,450

  • New Jersey: $82,010

  • Connecticut: $80,200

The national average salary for nurses in the US is $73k, with some states being higher than others, and that is usually because the cost of living is higher than in other areas. For example, the cost of living in California is notably higher than a suburb in the Midwest or the rural south. Salaries are usually tied to the cost of living, experience and the overall type of nurses. Specialized nursing professionals will receive higher pay, as they have more education and training.

If you want to increase your salary, consider taking more certifications, working in a more specialized field and learning more within a certain area such as pediatric nursing, ICU nursing, travel nursing and similar fields. The higher the demand and the shorter the supply, the higher the salaries will generally be.

Nurses are in high demand as baby boomers continue to age, which is creating an increase in demand for nurses in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and rehabilitation centers.  A lot of the employers throughout the United States are eager to attract qualified nurses to their facilities and are offering competitive salaries, and some will even offer relocation packages.

At Nurse Backpack, our goal is to make your life as simple as possible, so you can focus on what matters – saving lives! The Nurse Backpack app helps you stay organized while tracking all your professional credentials and personal information. If you’re looking for a way to streamline your career, give the app a try today.

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