Are you making the nurse salary that you should be? There comes a time — maybe five years or maybe even two decades — when you might have to reckon if you’re being paid your worth.
You’re not alone. In American Nurses Foundation’s November 2022 “Pulse on the Nation’s Nurses Survey Series: Annual Assessment Survey,” 31% of respondents planned on leaving their current workplace in the next six months, pursuing higher nurse salaries.
So if you’re wondering if you’re making below average or in the top one percent of earners, you’re in the right place.
Read our nurse salary breakdown and learn the answer to what both seasoned and new nurses question: How much do nurses actually make?
What Is The Average Nursing Salary?
The mean licensed practical and licensed vocational nurse salary is $55,860, according to May 2022 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
💡 A Quick Note on Mean vs. Average Salary: Average is defined by the sum of all salaries divided by the fifty states. Mean salary is defined by the average set of values.
The mean nurse salary is one data point, and does not not tell the whole story. Multiple factors decide how much nurses make, including:
- Experience: Let’s get real for a moment. If the ink just dried on your nursing certification, you will not have the same earning potential as nurses 25 years into their career.
- Occupation: “Nursing” spans an array of occupations, and unsurprisingly, some nursing professions have a higher salary range than others. We’ll explain in the next section.
- Location: The local cost of living will vastly influence your nurse salary projection. For example, nurses in NYC will make more money than nurses in Oklahoma City.
How Much Do Nurses Make By Occupation?
Let’s face it. “Nursing careers” just doesn’t cut it. “Nurse” is an overarching term that encompasses a variety of disciplines. Nurse assistants perform a different function than nurse instructors. For this reason, you’ll get a wide range of salaries googling “nurse salary” or “how much should I make as a nurse.”
Don’t fret—learn where you fall on the spectrum of nurse salaries. Here are the mean nurse salaries broken down by occupation.
|Nursing Occupation||May 2022 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates|
|Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary||$84,180|
|Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses||$55,860|
|Home Health and Personal Care Aides; and Nursing Assistants, Orderlies, and Psychiatric Aides||$32,440|
|Nursing Assistants, Orderlies, and Psychiatric Aides||$36,270|
How Much Do Nurses Make By State?
Your location impacts your pay? What!? You bet it does.
Here’s the deal: Metropolitan areas have a higher cost of living than small towns. Most employers adjust their salary range to accomodate the local cost of living. So even a specific nursing occupation may vary in pay.
Take a look at licensed practical and licensed vocational nurse salaries organized by state.
|State||Mean salaries for Licensed Practical|
and Licensed Vocational Nurses
Frequently Asked Questions About Nurse Salaries
What is the highest paying state for nurses?
Washington is the highest paying state for nurses! The mean salary for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses is $69,950, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The next highest paying states are California ($69,930), Massachussets ($68,170), Rhode Island ($66,770), and Alaska ($66,710).
What nursing occupation has the highest salary?
Nurse anesthetists are highest paid nurse professional with a salary of $205,770. Nurse practitioners ($124,680) and nurse midwives ($122,450) are the next highest paid nurses, according to the Bureua of Labor Statistics.
Looking For A New Nursing Job?
Are you looking for a new nursing job with a higher salary? Jogan Health has your back. We place nurses in travel and local positions, with varying rates of pay. Do you want to live in Colorado, exploring mountains, and work in the Mile High City? Jogan Health can help. Contact Jogan Health and check out our nurse job board to find the latest placements.