Are you looking into a career that pays but is also versatile in terms of work environments? And what if you only need a bachelor’s degree to do that? A career in nursing may just be the one for you! With that being said, what about wages and employment rates for registered nurses (RNs)? Look no further, ladies and gents, for I will indulge you with such juicy information!

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses made an average of USD  33.55 per hour and USD 69,790 annually in 2014. However, hourly wages ranged from USD 22.06 to 47.54; and annual wages from USD 45,880 to 98,880. The average entry-level education was a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN). The bureau also reported that in 2014, there were about 2,751,000 nursing jobs in the United States. The average growth employment rate was at 16% which is higher than the average rate for all occupations – 7% – from 2014 to 2024. In the same time interval, approximately 439,300 nursing jobs will be available.

Now, all these numbers are good but what about industry wages and employment?

In the table below, I’ve arranged the data from highest to lowest annual wage.

Legend: Corporate; Highest employment rate

In 2014, the top annual earners were the “corporate” nurses in which they only served the organization’s employees. The specialty, outpatient and medical-surgical hospitals had the low 70’s in terms of annual wages whereas everybody else had the 60’s range. However, medical-surgical hospitals had the highest employment rate which is good because it’s recommended for new nurses to work in those areas for experience.

The following tables are going to be a smack of data so that you are able to see what’s up without me trying to ramble on about it!

 Top 5 states with the highest employment levels


According to the bureau, most of the high end employment levels were in the east coast ranging from 62,700 to 253,310. As for Massachusetts (MA), we had about 79,910 nursing jobs!

Top 5 states with the the highest job concentration


For MA, employment per 1,000 jobs were 24.053.

Top 5 highest paying states


Oh look! MA was top 3 for its average annual wage of USD 85,770. The west coast and northeast coast dominated this category, ranging from USD 71,450 to 98,400.

Summary

As it turns out, working for corporate gives nurses the big bucks but going into medical-surgical hospitals may be ideal for new nurses in terms of employment rate. However, California has the highest employment level. In terms of job concentration, South Dakota scored the highest employment per 1,000 jobs. Last but not the least, California won another round and this time it was for its average annual wages.

Consequently, high annual wages mean high cost of living. For example, if you want a USD-75K standard of living in California, you’re going to need an annual income of approximately USD 95,000 according to USA Today in 2014. Fortunately, California nurses made an average of USD 98,400 in the same year!

So, have I convinced you on going into nursing? What are your thoughts on employment and wages in general?

With that said, I am officially off to my cave. I will see you all in 3 weeks!

Reference
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Registered Nurses,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm (visited February 06, 2016).

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