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Registered Nurses Pay Salary

The median annual wage of registered nurses was $64,690 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half of the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $44,190 and the top 10 percent earned more than $95,130.

As shown in the tabulation below, median annual wages for registered nurses in private general medical and surgical hospitals were $66,650 in May 2010, highest among those industries employing much of the occupation.

General medical and surgical hospitals; private$66,650
Offices of physicians62,880
General medical and surgical hospitals; local62,690
Home health care services60,690
Nursing care facilities58,180

Many employers offer flexible work schedules, child care, educational benefits, and bonuses. About 19 percent of registered nurses are union members or covered by a union contract.

Because patients in hospitals and nursing care facilities need round-the-clock care, nurses in these settings usually work in rotating shifts, covering all 24 hours. They may work nights, weekends, and holidays. They may also be on call, which means they are on duty and must be available to work on short notice.

Nurses who work in offices, schools, and other places that do not provide 24-hour care are more likely to work regular business hours.

In 2010, about 20 percent of registered nurses worked part time.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition