While there is a range in how much nurses earn, nurses reported making more money this year than they earned five years ago. Respondents to the first annual Minority Nurse salary survey reported an overall current median salary of $67,000 and said they had a median salary of $60,000 five years ago. Further, many, though not all, employers also offer benefits, most commonly health insurance and a retirement plan.
However, those values encompass all regions of the United States as well as a variety of specialties and other factors, including ethnicity and education.
For example, respondents living in the West reported the highest median salary, $74,250, while respondents living in the Midwest reported the lowest median salary at $63,000.
To gather all this data, Minority Nurse and Springer Publishing emailed a link to an online survey that asked respondents some 18 questions to characterize their educational backgrounds, main roles as nurses, and employer type, as well as to ascertain their current and past salaries. More than 3,000 nurses responded to this survey, representing every US state and the District of Columbia. The respondents also correspond to a broad swath of the profession, with nurses working in administrative roles or performing research as well as nurses tending to patients at their bedside in the NICU or in a psychiatric clinic.
Breaking the data down reveals some key differences in salary levels.
Median salary also varied by ethnic background. People of white/non-Hispanic backgrounds earned a median $71,119, followed by people of Asian descent making a median $64,000 and African Americans reporting a median $60,500. Hispanic or Latino/Latina nurses reported a median salary of $58,000 and Native American nurses earned a median salary of $60,000. Additionally, people who identified as multiracial reported earning $50,000, as the median.
Education also affected salaries as respondents with higher levels of education reported earning more in income. For instance, nurses with a bachelor’s level degree commanded a median salary of $65,000, while nurses with a master’s level degree said they earned a median salary of $70,000.
In addition, nurses with an advanced practice nursing specialization reported a median salary of $84,000. However, nurses with a medical-surgical specialization said they made a median salary of $55,000.
The good news, nearly all respondents reported earning more than they did just five years ago.
- 23.2% of respondents have a PhD or other doctoral-level degree
- 43.7% work at a college or university
- 50.0% have been at their current job for five years or longer
- 63.2% received a raise within the last year
- 54.3% left prior job to pursue a better opportunity
- 45.2% do not expect a raise this year
- 49.1% are looking to leave their current job in coming years
Five Most Common Specialties
- Critical care (NICU, PICU, SICU, MICU)
- Certified Nurse Educator
- Advanced practice nursing
- Psychiatric/mental health
Highest Paid by Employer Type
- Private hospital
- Private practice
- University or college
- Public hospital
- Walk-in clinic
Most Common Beneﬁts Provided
- Health insurance
- Retirement plan (401(k), 403(b), pension, etc.)
- Dental insurance
- Paid time off
- Sick leave