Embarking on a career in nursing in the USA can be a very lucrative endeavor. There are many different positions in the field of nursing, including certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and advanced practice nurses and your salary will depend on upon which position you choose. Different positions require varying amounts of formal education that include degrees and nursing licenses. Generally the more degrees or licenses required for a position, the higher your salary will be. Other factors that will determine your salary are your experience level and the city and state where you live. This article will list salaries for various nursing positions as well as degrees and licenses needed to pursue a career in those positions.
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA’s)
Some people enter the field of nursing as a certified nursing assistant. This position requires the least amount of formal education. You can become a certified nursing assistant if you have a high school diploma and attend a CNA certificate program. The median annual salary for a CNA ranges from $18,000 per year to $35,000. This salary can increase significantly when factoring in overtime hours and location. Some CNA’s work more than 40 hours per week, and by doing so can nearly double their salary. Also, a CNA who works in California or Massachusetts tends to have a higher base salary than someone working in Nebraska or Utah.
Licensed Practical Nurse
In order to become an LPN, it is necessary to enroll in an education program that typically lasts a year. This program can be given at a community college, in a hospital, or at a vocational school. At the end of the year, the prospective LPN has to pass an exam in order to earn their nursing license. The average salary of an LPN in the USA is around $42,000, but that number can decrease or increase depending upon experience, overtime hours, and location.
The requirements for registered nurses are much more stringent than for CNA’s and LPN’s. If you want to become a registered nurse, you will have to earn an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or attend a special program that will allow you to obtain your nursing diploma. Registered nurses, like LPN’s, must pass an exam before they can obtain their nursing license. Even though there are more education requirements for registered nurses, their salaries are higher. A registered nurse can expect to earn $66,000 per year on average. This figure is based on a 40 hour work week so the salary will greatly increase for nurses who tend to work lots of overtime hours.
Advanced Practice Nurse
Advanced practice nurses are usually specialists. Pursuing a career as an advanced practice nurse requires more formal education than an RN, but the average salary is also higher. Advanced practice nurses include nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse practitioners just to name a few. Advanced practice nurses generally have a master’s degree and specialize in certain areas as denoted by the titles listed above. The annual salaries in the USA associated with these positions range from $100,000 to $150,000.
As you can see, pursuing a career in nursing can be economically rewarding. If you are someone who enjoys caring for people and working with different types of people, you should seriously consider a career as a nurse. You will be able to earn a good living and make a difference in the lives of others.