The nursing profession is one of the most in-demand and well-paid professions in the United States. In this article, we will take a look at the average nurse salary across different states. We will also explore what nurses do on a day-to-day basis, and how to become a nurse, as well as what the job outlook is like.
History of the Profession
Nursing is one of the oldest professions in the world. It is thought that nurses have been caring for people since ancient times. The first nursing school was established in 1844 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and they first wore uniforms in 1851. Nurses have been instrumental in the development of many medical procedures and practices. Today, there are over 3 million nurses in the United States.
A nurse’s job is to provide care for patients in the hospital setting. This can involve providing basic needs like bathing and dressing or changing bedsheets, as well as more complex tasks like monitoring vital signs and administering medication. Nurses also play an important role in patient education, helping people and their families to understand their conditions and how to best manage them. Nurses must be able to work well under pressure, as they often have to deal with time-sensitive tasks and rapidly changing situations. They must also be able to effectively communicate with both patients and other members of the healthcare team. Nurses need to be capable of thinking on their feet and handling stressful situations calmly and effectively.
Becoming a Nurse
The educational requirements for nursing vary depending on the level of nursing practice and the geographical location. In general, registered nurses (RNs) must have at least an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), while nurse practitioners (NPs) must have at least a master’s degree. Some states allow RNs to practice with a diploma from an accredited nursing program, but this is becoming increasingly rare.
Becoming a Registered Nurse
Generally, there are two main ways to become a registered nurse: completing an accredited nursing program and passing the NCLEX-RN exam, or obtaining a bachelor’s degree (BSN) in nursing.
Nursing programs typically take two to four years to complete, depending on the level of education you pursue. During your nursing program, you will take classes in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, and other subjects related to nursing. You will also complete clinical rotations in a variety of healthcare settings:
- To become a registered nurse, you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam. The NCLEX-RN is a national exam that assesses your knowledge and skills as a nurse. To pass the NCLEX-RN, you must demonstrate your ability to safely and effectively care for patients.
- An advanced practice nurse (APN) is a registered nurse who has completed additional training and education beyond the basic level of RN training. APNs play an important role in providing high-quality patient care, particularly in underserved and rural areas.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) recognizes that many nurses do not have the opportunity to pursue a BSN, and it has developed a series of pathways that nurses can follow to earn their degree. These include online and accelerated programs, as well as programs offered at community colleges. There are also many opportunities for nurses to continue their education after obtaining their BSN, including specialties like nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, and nurse practitioner.
Average Nurse Salary by State
So, how much do nurses make? The average nurse salary in the United States is $64,000 per year. The hourly wage is therefore estimated to be $31.18. However, salaries can vary significantly depending on the location. According to recent reports, nurses make the most money in Alaska ($110,000), Hawaii ($102,000), and California ($97,000), which is significantly higher than the national average nurse salary. On the other hand, nurses can expect to earn the lowest yearly wages in West Virginia, Indiana and Tennessee, with average nurse salaries of $40,000, $41,000 and $42,000, respectively. Additionally, nurse salaries can vary depending on the type of employer. For example, nurses who work in hospitals tend to earn more than those who work in clinics or doctor’s offices. And finally, it should be noted that these figures are only averages and that nurses at the top of their field can earn significantly more than the average nurse.
What About Registered Nurses?
Registered nurses earn considerably more than regular nurses. The average registered nurse salary in the United States is $72,000 per year, or $34.63 per hour. The state that pays its registered nurses the most is California, with an average annual nurse salary of $107,000. This is followed by Hawaii, with an average annual salary of $102,000. The state that pays the least is Iowa, where an average RN can expect to be paid $60,000 a year. So, if you’re looking to maximize your earnings as a nurse, California is definitely the place to be.
The demand for nurses is high, and job prospects are excellent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the number of nursing jobs will grow by 16% between 2016 and 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due, in part, to an aging population and the increasing number of people with chronic conditions that require long-term care. In addition, the BLS notes that the demand for nurses will continue to grow as more organizations adopt policies and procedures that promote health and wellness.