Although few people become nurses for the money, determining your potential RN salary is an important part of the decision-making process when contemplating becoming an RN. The average RN salary range is between $38,386 and $73, 879. While several variables determine a person’s actual RN salary, the level of education is one of the most straightforward variables at play in determining RN Salary

RN Education Basics

There are essentially three ways to become an RN:

  • Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) – LPNs/LVNs can often transition to a two-year Associate’s Degree in Nursing in their school. Or they can sign up for an ADN program through another college at a later time.
  • Diploma Program – A diploma program is often associated with the places a nurse will work. They offer training to their employees already working in healthcare to advance their training to nursing. Some students may come into the program from outside the workplace, but it more often involves current employees.
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) – A BSN in nursing can be obtained through a four-year program or from programs that transition ADN nurses to BSN nurses on campus or online.

Each program varies from the others by the difficulty of admittance, the length of time required to complete it, and level of difficulty of the program.

At the end of each program, graduates are eligible to sit for the Nursing Exam and earn their certification as an RN. Some programs allow for nurses seeking a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing to test for the NCLEXRN exam after a certain number of core courses are successfully completed with accompanying clinical hours. This is so nurses may work and gain experience while continuing their education.

Despite the fact that graduates of all three programs are equally eligible to become RNs, and thus should theoretically have the same knowledge base, employers tend to pay a higher salary to those who have completed the more difficult program.

10 Qualities Employers Look For When Hiring Registered Nurses

After reviewing nursing journal articles and compiling a list of qualities, we did an email survey of 371 employers and had them list the most importance qualities they look for in nurses. We list the 10 qualities employers look for in an nurse and are willing to pay higher wages to.

  1. Communication Skills – Can you express yourself well and can you be understood when you speak and can you listen well. You must be able to speak and listen well to be an effective communicator and an effective nurse.
  2. Emotional Stability – Nursing is a stressful job and you may be involved in traumatic situations. A nurse needs to be able to accept that death and suffering happens and move on without losing the ability to empathize with the patient and their family or even your fellow workers.
  3. Empathy – Great nurses have the ability to have empathy for the pain and suffering of their patients. They are able to be compassionate and give comfort to patients and their family. The nurses are to be the advocates for the patients and to be a good advocate for the patient you will need to be able to show empathy.
  4. Flexibility – A nurse needs to be able to be flexible with their working hours and responsibilities. Nurses are often required to change shifts on a minute’s notice, they may be pulled to work nights or weekends or even work on another unit to cover staffing.
  5. Attention to Detail – Nurses must be able to pay attention to detail. Errors in nursing can be life-threatening. Missing details in a patient who is critical and begins to have changes that deteriorate she must be able to notice when this happens and make the correct decisions.
  6. Interpersonal Skills – Nurses need to have great interpersonal skills. They work in a variety of area and with a variety of patients as well as other healthcare workers. A really good nurse can balance the work required with the ability to maintain good relationships with their fellow staff and patients.
  7. Physical Fitness – Nurses have to stand on their feet for long hours. They need to be able to lift heavy objects and patients on a daily basis. The nurse needs to be able to meet the physical demands for the job.
  8. Problem Solving Skills – The nurse should be a problem solver. A good nurse should be able to look at a situation and figure out how to resolve it. Sometimes the nurse will need to involve other people, but a good nurse should know what to look at, what treatment may be needed or what personnel may need to be involved in resolving the situation.
  9. Quick Response – A good nurse knows they must respond quickly in certain situations. A nurse needs to be ready for unexpected situations.
  10. Respect – Nurses respect the rules and the people they work with and for. As well as the patients they treat. Respecting others is vital to getting respect from others.

ADN and Diploma Programs Result in a Solid RN Salary

The Associate Degree in Nursing takes approximately two years at a brick-and-mortar institution and is often offered by community colleges, though some four-year universities offer it as well. Admittance into ADN programs is usually less competitive. Both levels of program have prerequisites and GPA requirements that must be met. The ADN degree has core nursing courses that students must complete as well as related science and math courses, as well as some general education courses, such as English and History. ADN courses tend to be more focused on the practical, and less focused on the theories of nursing. The RN salary for someone with an ADN ranges from about $55,000 to about $61,000, depending on the number of years of experience.

There are only about 100 Diploma Programs offered in the US. The Diploma program was the primary way in which nurses earned their RN certification prior to the 1970s. As the need for nurses with increased theoretical and clinical knowledge has grown, the Diploma programs have decreased to only 100 programs that are offered in the US. The majority of the program takes place in a hospital and is almost entirely hands-on learning, versus classroom time. It takes between two and three years to complete and includes very few non-nursing related classes. The non-nursing classes are usually taken at a local community college with ties to the hospital where the Diploma program is located. The RN salary range for someone with an RN Diploma is between $49,000 and $59,000.

LPN to RN Salary Comparison

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the average LPN/LVN can expect to make $43,170 per year, or about $20.76 per hour. The BLS also estimates that RNs can expect to make $67,490 per year, or about $32.45 per hour.

That is an average yearly difference of $24,320 per year, or $11.69 per hour – quite the substantial difference. Read more in the LPN Salary Guide.

StateLPN Average Annual WageRN Average Annual WagePercentage Difference
District of Columbia$51,320$79,64036%
New Hampshire$46,970$63,82026%
New Jersey$53,640$78,04031%
New Mexico$46,300$64,65028%
New York$45,040$75,91041%
North Carolina$41,880$58,93029%
North Dakota$39,680$57,19031%
Puerto Rico$20,050$31,48036%
Rhode Island$53,630$75,69029%
South Carolina$39,000$58,35033%
South Dakota$34,960$52,09033%
Virgin Islands$42,250$46,0508%
West Virginia$34,490$55,31038%

RN Salary Potential with a BSN Degree

The most rigorous route to an RN certification is via a BSN degree. These degrees are only offered at four-year universities, though many can be completed online. There are usually more requirements for admittance into a BSN program than into an RN program, and they can be more competitive, especially at traditional brick-and-mortar institutions.

For the student entering the BSN program with no prior nursing or college experience, it takes approximately four years to complete. Courses cover not only the practical, but also the theoretical side of nursing as well as the general education courses required for receiving a Bachelor’s Degree.

For students who already have some nursing experience, many universities offer RN to BSN Degrees or LPN to BSN degrees, and many of these are online programs. There are accelerated BSN degrees for people who have already completed a Bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field. These shortened programs usually take around 2 years to complete, depending on the specific program.

Employers look very favorably upon RNs with a BSN, as research has shown a direct link between the number of BSN-prepared nurses in a facility and lower patient mortality rates. BSN prepared nurses are also thought to have a better sense of the big picture because of the greater emphasis on theory in BSN courses. In addition, nurses who have completed a BSN show a stronger level of commitment and focus because of the greater length of the program. The average RN salary for someone with a BSN is between approximately $56,000 and $72,000, depending on years of experience.

How Much Does BSN Actually Increase One’s Salary?

While the RN salary for those with only a few years of experience does not vary significantly between the three different education levels, there is clearly a salary ceiling in place for RNs with either an ADN or a Diploma, as compared with RNs with a BSN degree. BSN-prepared nurses with 20 or more years of experience can potentially earn up to $11,000 more a year when compared with AND-prepared nurses, and up to $13,000 when compared with Diploma-prepared nurses.

Many nurses who begin with either a Diploma or an ADN later go on to earn their BSN, in part because of the higher salary potential. For those willing to make the commitment to a more rigorous program, earning a BSN offers the potential for a significantly higher RN salary.

What Does an RN Do?

An RN has a wide range of responsibilities, depending on the clinical environment they choose to work in. Regardless of where they work, RNs are responsible for the safety of their patients and providing quality care using evidence-based practice.

RN duties will vary greatly depending on where they work. For the RN working on a hospital-based nursing unit, duties may include obtaining vital signs, administering medications, performing assessments and reporting abnormalities to physicians or midlevel practitioners, starting intravenous lines, responding to emergency situations, delegating tasks to LPNs/LVNs and aides, amongst various other tasks, all while performing tasks safely and prioritizing care.

The RN working, for example, in case management in the hospital setting may not be providing direct care to patients but would be involved in transitioning patients out of the hospital safely. They would be involved in figuring out what their discharge needs are (for example, home health, physical therapy, infusion therapy, nursing home placement) and assisting in make it happen safely. They may find alternatives for getting them to their destination, such as arranging for an ambulance to transport them to their destination if traveling by car is not safe.

In both of these instances, the RN has different responsibilities but the end result is performing quality care that is safe to the patient.

Typical Tasks: A Day in the Life of an RN

As a nurse on a typical day you would check in to work at the nurse’s station and get report for the patients you would have for the day. You could have anywhere from 5 to 10 patients. The number of patients can depend on patient census, staffing numbers, and the care level needed. You may or may not have an LPN/LVN working with you and a Certified Nurses’ Aid (CNA). It is not uncommon for the RN to delegate vital signs and Activities of Living (ADLs) such as helping patients bathe, brush their teeth, get dressed, eat their meals if help is needed to the LVN/LPN and the CNA’s while the RN would do the morning assessments and medication rounds. In the majority of hospitals and clinics there are electronic health records and the nurse will use a COW (Computer on Wheels). You would chart while you do the morning assessments in the Electronic Health Record (if available in your facilty) and on medication rounds. As the day would go on you would complete any orders or tasks in the plan of care, charting and make suggestions or call the physicians if there issues that needed addressed.

Patient assessments can include bandage changes, checking urine output, checking IV sites and putting in new IVs. Drawing blood from IV lines. Checking tube feedings. Etc. At some point during the day you may attend a unit meeting and care plan meeting to discuss what the plan for the patient is and any changes or suggestions to the treatment plan that needs to be included or changed. You would also ensure that other patient treatments ordered for the patient were being carried out. Such as respiratory treatments or physical therapy. You would arrange for any testing that was ordered to be carried out. Such as CT Scans or X-rays. At the end of the day you would give report to the oncoming nurse assigned to your patients. That is pretty much the typical day for a nurse, but there are always more tasks that can occur during the day. A nurse must be able to adapt and make decisions quickly as patient conditions can change quickly in some patients.

When it comes to specific career specialties, such as a Certified Midwife, you would deliver babies, give prenatal and postpartum care and assist the OB/GYN physicians in delivering care or assessing patients.

Common Career Paths for the RN

As previously discussed, there are various ways to obtain an RN – a diploma program, an associate’s degree, a BSN degree. Each of these paths can lead to the final result – an RN license.

Typically, most new RNs start with some type of entry-level RN position. This may be on a hospital-based nursing unit, such as a Medical-Surgical unit. These units may be staffed as 8 hour or 12 hour shifts, so the new nurse can expect to work morning, afternoon or night shift, depending on the type of hours being worked on the unit.

Often, nursing students go into school with some type of idea about what they’d like to do with their nursing career. Most of the time, Med-Surg nursing isn’t that “ideal” and working this type of unit can be frustrating. It can take years of experience before landing that ideal job as most advanced nursing jobs will require experience first.

After obtaining nursing experience, the “doors” will open, so to speak. Nurses may choose to go into specialized units in the hospital, such as the emergency room, pediatric unit or oncology unit. They may work in an ICU unit, or the operating room. However, with the changing face of health care, RNs have other options aside from the patient bedside.

There are currently 104 nursing specialties that operate within 9 clinical environments as per

There is an increasing need for nurses in education roles, both for patients and in educating new nurses. Nurses can work for insurance companies, schools and colleges. A new up and coming field is that of Health Informatics. Nurses will work to integrate the newest information technology with healthcare provision to provide the most up to date way to share information possible, one example is tele-health. Forensics Nurse is another field opening up for nursing.

Although the pay for all of these RNs varies based on the exact position, PayScale estimates that entry-level RN can expect to earn $25.89 per hour, a mid-career RN can expect to earn $29.64 per hour, an experienced RN can expect to earn $32.16 per hour, and a late-career RN can expect to earn $33.99 per hour.

RN Salary Potential: Top Ten Jobs to Consider by Salary and Opportunity

Certified Nurse Midwife

Job Tasks

  • Work with OB/GYNs to care for patients
  • Deliver babies
  • Give prenatal and postpartum care

Job Characteristics

  • Structured environment
  • Direct patient contact
  • Independent

Steps to the Job

  1. Nursing Diploma, ADN, or BSN
  2. Pass the NCLEX exam for licensure
  3. Work as an RN in an L&D or other field related to being a midwife for two to four years.
  4. American College of Nurse-Midwives Certification (ACNM) or similar organization
  5. Learn more about Certified Nurse Midwife.

Where You Work

  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Patient homes

Job Growth/Pay

      • 22% increase from 2008-2018/
      • $102,330 (median)

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Job Tasks

      • OR care
      • Outpatient procedures
      • Emergency Room Care
      • Pain Management
      • Epidurals

Job Characteristics

      • A variety of tasks
      • Structured environment
      • Direct patient contact
      • Independent

Steps to the Job

      1. BSN required
      2. Pass NCLEXRN
      3. Work as an RN for experience.
      4. MSN in nursing
      5. Work for a year in the ICU or ER
      6. Pass the National Certification Exam (NCE)
      7. Get Certificate of Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
      8. Learn more about the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist career.

Where You Work

      • Hospitals
      • Independent
      • Clinics

Job Growth/Pay

        • Increase of 22% or higher between 2008-2018
        • $98,000-$128,000

Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse

Job Task

      • Take care of Newborn’s
      • Give needed medications to the newborn
      • Record the newborn’s condition after birth and any changes
      • Hold and comfort babies in distress
      • Change diapers

Job Characteristics

      • Fast-paced
      • A variety of tasks
      • Structured environment
      • Direct patient contact

Steps to the Job

      1. RN Diploma, ADN, BSN
      2. Take Neonatal Nursing courses in school
      3. Pass NCLEX RN
      4. Work as an RN to gain experience for several years working with newborns.
      5. Pass Critical Care Neonatal Nursing Certification Exam through the American Association of Critical Care Nursing.
      6. Become a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse
      7. Learn more about the Neonatal Nurse career.

Where You Work

      • NICU in Hospitals

Job Growth/Pay

        • Very competitive field
        • $45,000 to $58,000

Psychiatric Nurse

Job Task

      • Assess examine and diagnose patients with mental illnes
      • Teach patient’s families about the patient’s illness and how to deal with ii

Job Characteristics

      • A variety of tasks
      • Structured environment
      • Direct patient contact

Steps to the Job

      1. RN Diploma, ADN, BSN
      2. Pass NCLEXRN
      3. Work as an RN to gain experience in Psychiatric hospitals and other mental health facilities
      4. Become a Psychiatric Nurse
      5. Learn more about the Psychiatric Nurse career.

Where You Work

      • Mental Health Clinics
      • Correctional facilities
      • Independent practice
      • Psychiatric Hospitals

Job Growth/Pay

        • Due to increase by 19% from 2012 to 2022 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
        • $58,011 (median)

Nurse Practitioner

Job Task

      • Prescribe medication
      • Diagnose
      • Develop Treatment plan
      • Order lab tests

Job Characteristics

      • A variety of tasks
      • Structured environment
      • Direct patient contact
      • Independent

Steps to the Job

      1. BSN
      2. Pass NCLEX RN
      3. Work as an RN
      4. MSN
      5. Get significant clinical experience as a Nurse Practitioner
      6. Get Board Certification in your specialty through the American Nurses Credential Center (ANCC)
      7. Learn more about Nurse Practitioner careers.

Where You Work

      • Hospitals
      • Physician Offices
      • Independent Practice

Job Growth/Pay

        • Due to increase 13% from 2008 -2018
        • $63,000 – $85,000

Family Nurse Practitioner

Job Tasks

      • Diagnose
      • Prescribe medication and therapies
      • Routine check-ups
      • Order lab tests
      • Assist in minor surgeries
      • Disease prevention

Job Characteristics

      • A variety of tasks
      • Structure environment
      • Direct patient contact
      • Independent

Steps to the Job

      1. BNS
      2. Pass NCLEX RN
      3. Work as an RN
      4. MSN
      5. Take courses in family nursing theory and intervention, acute and chronic illness management, research, primary healthcare concerns and leadership preparation.
      6. Board certification in family practice through the American Nurses Credentialing Center of the American Academy.
      7. Learn more about Family Nurse Practitioners

Where You Work

      • Physician Offices
      • Independent Practice
      • Hospice Facilities
      • Rehabilitation Facilities

Job Growth/Pay

        • Due to increase 31% from 2014 to 2024 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
        • $63,000 – $85,000

Informatics Nurse

Job Tasks

      • Incorporate Information Technology into clinical settings
      • Perform research based on clinical data and trials
      • Work with information systems to help patient manage their own health.
      • Work in bio- surveillance, outbreak response and electronic lab reporting
      • Develop storage and analytic technology to optimize data for research.

Job Characteristics

      • A variety of tasks
      • Structure environment
      • Behind-the-scenes
      • Managerial
      • Research oriented

Steps to the Job

      1. BSN
      2. NCLEX RN
      3. Work as an RN to gain clinical experience.
      4. Get Informatics Nurse Certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
      5. Become an Informatics Nurse
      6. Learn more about Informatics Nursing

Where You Work

      • Hospitals
      • Pharmaceutical and Research Facilities
      • Healthcare Consulting Firms

Job Growth/Pay

        • Due to grow 26% by 2020 per the Bureau of Labor Statistics/
        • $48,000 – $87,501

Pain Management Nurse

Job Task

      • Work in hospitals, rehab centers and nursing homes to manage patient’s pain without causing addiction

Job Characteristics

      • A variety of tasks
      • Structured environment
      • Direct patient contact
      • Managerial

Steps to the Job

      1. Diploma RN, ADN, BSN
      2. NCLEX RN
      3. Practice two years as a full time RN.
      4. Practice pain management nursing for at least 2,000 hours in the three years before taking your Pain Management Certification Exam.
      5. Certification (RN-BC) from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
      6. Become a Pain Management Nurse (PMN)

Where You Work

      • Hospitals
      • Rehabilitation Centers
      • Nursing Homes

Job Growth/Pay

        • Due to increase over 16% from 2012 to 2022 (estimated from a variety of sources)
        • $45,000 – $61,000

Geriatric Nurse

Job Task

      • Patient rehabilitation after injuries
      • Routine Check-ups and screenings
      • Create Patient Care Plans
      • Administer medication
      • Assist with pain management
      • Bathing and bedsore prevention

Job Characteristics

      • Varied tasks
      • Structured environment
      • Direct patient care

Steps to the Job

      1. Diploma RN, ADN, BSN
      2. NCLEX RN
      3. Work as an RN to gain experience
      4. Get at least 2,000 hours of clinical experience in geriatrics
      5. Take 20 hours of continuous education in Geriatric Nursing
      6. Gerontological Nursing Certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
      7. Certified Geriatric Nurse
      8. Learn more about Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner.

Where You Work

      • Nursing Homes
      • Private Practice
      • Hospitals
      • Patient homes

Job Growth/Pay

        • Due to increase24% from 2012 to 2022 (estimated)/
        • $41,000 to $54,000

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Job Task

      • Clinical Practice
      • Teaching
      • Research
      • Consulting
      • Management

Job Characteristics

      • Variety of tasks
      • Direct Patient Care
      • Managerial

Steps to the Job

      1. BSN
      2. NCLEX RN
      3. Work as an RN to get experience
      4. MSN with an emphasis in your specialty
      5. Pass National Nurses Licensing Exam
      6. Pass Certified Nurse Specialist Exam (CNS)
      7. Become a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS

Where You Work

      • Hospitals
      • Outpatient Clinics/facilities
      • Home care systems

Job Growth/Pay

        • Due to grow 19% from 2008 – 2018/
        • $62,000 – $79,000

Top Ten Professions (Information from )

How to Find the Best RN Jobs

When finding the first job out of nursing school, remember that obtaining nursing experience is important. Getting the “dream job” likely won’t happen without some work – and employers want to see that their employees are willing to put in the work.

After gaining some experience, passions may change or they may stay the same. From a personal standpoint, I initially wanted to pursue a career as an emergency room RN. I took the advice of a mentor and floated to the ED one evening to help out. I enjoyed it, although it did seem a bit chaotic for my anxious personality. Nonetheless, I signed up for the Trauma Nurse Core Course (TNCC) because it was an essential certification for nurses working in my facility’s ED – and I had heard having it before posting to a position could give me an “edge.”

I failed TNCC miserably. However, I learned something about myself that day – although I enjoy certain aspects of the fast-paced environment of the ED, there is no way to predict what will come through the proverbial doors – the ED was not the place for me!

This is why gaining experience is so vital. It allows nurses to experience all types of nursing, finding their niche.

Finding the “best” jobs is subjective. Finding the “right” job is important, though. Once a niche or passion is found or discovered, there are ways to increase chances of securing a job in that area.

  • Obtain certifications in the chosen field. Some certifications require that the nurse already be working in their chosen career field (for example, Certified Diabetes Educator, or CDE, requires a specific number of hours working in diabetes education prior to being able to sit for the certifying exam) but other certifications simply require a nursing degree and be a licensed nurse in good standing. Having a certification may be the “edge” that gives one nurse the job over another nurse.
  • Float to that unit. See what it is like, meet the managers and supervisors, and actually work there from time to time.
  • Be prepared. During an interview, it is best to understand the position as much as possible. If the position is not completely understood, come prepared with a list of questions. If the position is in a new facility, attempt to learn as much about this facility as possible.

Nine Essential Work Environment for RNs

There are essentially nine work environments in nursing. These work environments are:

  1. Advanced Practice – usually requires Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, but there are some that allow a nurse with an ADN to specialize.
  2. Clinical Practice – Nurses who work in the clinical field can do patient care, Management or a variety of tasks depending on the clinical practice. This setting can be physician’s office, hospital or urgent care.
  3. Community – Community Nursing can be working with home care, respite care, the military, Public Health, schools and colleges, and in industry as occupational health nurses.
  4. Emergency – Nurses will work in Emergency Rooms, or they could work for FEMA, LifeFlight or other organizations that provide Emergency Care.
  5. Family – Nurses that work in family care would work in Family Practice or Pediatrics. Geriatrics is a field that is becoming a wide open expanse for nurses due to the aging population.
  6. Management – Nurses that work in management usually go into Health Administration or Management. They can also go into Health Informatics and they can manage clinics and various programs in the community.
  7. Psychological – Nurses that work in mental health are in increasing demand. They work with Psychiatrists to manage mental health, counseling and other such tasks. They can work in hospitals, clinics, prisons or in community outreach programs.
  8. Surgical – There are several specialties opening up to nurses in the hospital or on the clinical side. Nurse Anesthetist is one such field that has expanded rapidly for nurses in the last 5 – 10 years.
  9. Women’s Health – The increased demand for specialties in women’s health has led to an increased role for nurses. Certified Nurse Midwife, L&D, Lactation Consultant, Obstetrics Nurse, Perinatal and Reproductive Nurse are all fields where nurses are becoming the primary care provider.

Each of these work areas will have specific needs and demands from the nurses that work there. For example, many RNs will have jobs working in the hospital setting. Their colleagues will be other RNs, perhaps LPNs/LVNs, aides and unit clerks as well as other healthcare providers. Their specific patient population will depend on the type of unit they are working. A nurse who is working on the floor of a hospital in Med-Surg could have a post-operative patient who has had an open cholecystectomy or a patient with COPD exacerbation. For the cardiac catheterization nurse, he or she may have a patient who is actively having a myocardial infarction. For the operating room nurse, he or she may take care of a mother who is having a cesarean section. Nurses who work in the clinical setting may work with LPNs/LVNs, medical technicians, secretaries, scribes and medical transcriptionists. Their patient population will also vary greatly, depending on the type of clinic setting they are employed.

Working hours will vary, depending on the type of setting of employment. For example, the RN employed on a hospital unit or in a nursing home can expect to work all hours, as these types of facilities are open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. RNs working in the hospital in certain settings, such as the operating room, or home health, may work a day shift schedule with longer hours based on the workload and may also work weekends, evenings, nights and holidays with varying hours depending on the workload. Most nurses that work in hospitals and in certain clinics will have an on-call schedule. Clinic nurses may work a strictly Monday-Friday schedule.

Some jobs will pay overtime, but not all will – it will depend on how the RN is paid. For example, the RN who is paid salary may not be paid an overtime rate. The RN who is paid hourly will most likely be paid overtime for hours worked over 40 hours per work or 80 hours biweekly, depending on how the facility and the nurse have agreed to pay overtime. Many facilities are choosing to offer Paid Time Off (PTO) in place of overtime pay.


When researching the best hospitals to work for there are several methods available. You can ask nurses that already work at the facility. You can also ask for a tour of the facility to see for yourself what the working environment is about. You can use the internet to look up how well the hospital is rated as a place to work and compare the benefits offered to other hospitals. Research patient satisfaction with the hospital. That is often a clue to how well the hospital works in regards to staffing and the general work environment. There are also nursing websites where you can get information from other nurses nationwide on the best and worse places to work.

The following links can give you a good idea of the best hospitals to work for in the United States:

Salary by location

Salaries for nurses vary quite a bit by state. Some states have a higher cost of living so wages are higher. There are several websites to look at as far as salaries by state.

Related Job Salaries

RN nursing salaries as compared to other similar jobs: (Per

RN$22.04 – $40.17$45,424 – $86,045
Paramedic$12.47 – $22.30$28,938 – $58,578
Respiratory Therapy (BS)$19.52 – $32.72$40,523 – $70,014
Physical Therapist (BS) $59,125 – $96,273

RN Job Listings

When you begin doing a search online to look for work, you can use a search for local hospitals and clinics. Usually these places have their own websites and area for “Careers” that you can click on and find out what jobs are available to apply for directly on their site. You can also use,, or Glassdoor is a good site because you can also get an idea of how workers feel about working at that hospital or facility. There is a place for employees to comment on how they feel about having worked there in the past or currently. Here are some links to these sites:

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