A nurse is taking care of a patient in the hospital.

Nursing FAQs – How Much Do Nurses Make?

If you’re a nursing student or are interested in pursuing a career in nursing, you probably have many questions about becoming a nurse. First, you might be wondering what you can do with a nursing degree, because there are many different types of nursing jobs all over the world. Another question you probably have is how much nurses make.

Whether you want to work in pediatrics, an emergency room, or intensive care, it’s undeniable that becoming a nurse is a great opportunity for many ambitious adults. To get started with a career in nursing, it’s time to do your research on jobs available for nurses, along with their coordinating salaries.

Here are some factors that determine how much nurses make:

Level of education

In today’s competitive healthcare industry, a bachelor’s degree in nursing can ensure you stand out among your peers and expand your knowledge and experience. If you don’t have your nursing license, a good option would be a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), which will prepare you to take the licensing NCLEX-RN exam. If you have a nursing license, the RN to BSN degree might be a great fit. Already earned a bachelor’s? CCU’s master’s degree in nursing (MSN) is your next step. Either way, earning a degree could provide a higher salary. Nurse Journal reports that back in 2014, “an RN earns a median of $39,100, while a BSN holder earns $69,000.”

State of employment

A nursing salary and the number of jobs available all depend on the state where you want to work in as a nurse. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California has over 255,000 registered nursing jobs, whereas Pennsylvania has less than 140,000. And although the salary might be higher in places like California and New York, the cost of living is also more expensive. The Colorado nursing salary depends on the type of nurse, but Nurse Journal reported that the average annual income is $59,000. Salary, number of jobs, and cost of living should all be factors when deciding where you want to work as a nurse.

Types of nursing jobs

With so many types of nursing jobs available, figuring out what you what to do after you graduate with a nursing degree is important. For instance, working in nursing education requires different education and experience than working in clinical care management. Many nursing degrees offer emphases to choose from in order focus on your field of interest from the start. If salary is a factor when choosing your nursing focus, do some research on different salaries per industry focus. Nurse Journal states that the average salary of a labor and delivery nurse is $64,000, while a postpartum RN salary is $58,000.


Becoming a nurse can not only impact the lives of your future patients, but it can also provide you and your family with beneficial career opportunities. Check out CCU’s in-seat and online nursing programs for more information about how to start investing in your future.