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Registered Nurse: Salary

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Salary Outlook

The BLS reports the median salary for a registered nurse was $65,470 in 2012. The best-paid 10 percent of RNs made more than $94,720, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $45,040. In 2012, the highest median salaries were earned by nurses working in government, hospitals and home health care. By location, the highest-paid positions are clustered in the metropolitan areas of northern California, including San Jose, Vallejo and Oakland.

Job Salary Year
2004 $54,020.00
2006 $59,710.00
2008 $65,220.00
2010 $67,720.00
2012 $67,930.00

Average Registered Nurse Pay vs. All Health Care Jobs

In 2012, registered nurses made an average salary of $67,930, which is pretty good pay compared with some of the other health care jobs on this year’s list of the Best Jobs of 2014. That’s comparable to the pay of an occupational therapist, but less than what a physical therapist makes. Nurse practictioners usually make more money – in 2012, they earned an average salary of $91,450 – while licensed practical and vocational nurses usually make less (about $42,400).

Job Name Salary
Physical Therapist $79,860.00
Occupational Therapist $75,400.00
Registered Nurse $65,470.00
Paramedic $31,020.00
Medical Assistant $29,370.00

Best Paying Cities for Registered Nurses

The highest paid in the registered nurse profession work in the metropolitan areas of San Jose, Calif., Vallejo, Calif., and Oakland, Calif. The Sacramento, Calif. area also pays well, as does the city of San Francisco.

San Jose, Calif.

Average Salary: $122,990 | See Job Openings

The annual median wage of a registered nurse working in San Jose, Calif. is $122,990, which is $57,520 more than the average pay in the profession.

Vallejo, Calif.

Average Salary: $119,310 | See Job Openings

The annual median wage of a registered nurse working in Vallejo, Calif. is $119,310, which is $53,840 more than the average pay in the profession.

Oakland, Calif.

Average Salary: $113,520 | See Job Openings

The annual median wage of a registered nurse working in Oakland, Calif. is $113,520, which is $48,050 more than the average pay in the profession.

Sacramento, Calif.

Average Salary: $110,630 | See Job Openings

The annual median wage of a registered nurse working in Sacramento, Calif. is $110,630, which is $45,160 more than the average pay in the profession.

San Francisco

Average Salary: $110,630 | See Job Openings

The annual median wage of a registered nurse working in San Francisco is $110,630, which is $45,160 more than the average pay in the profession.

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How much do registered nurses make in your city?

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Last updated by Jada A. Graves.


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