Those Greedy, Caring Nurses

Capitalism works well in the work force, especially for those who choose careers that have an obvious demand like nurses and doctors.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the median annual wage for registered nurses at $66,220 in May 2013. The job outlook at 19% is faster than the average growth rate for all occupational categories. For a profession that requires only an associate degree for entry-level positions, this is a highly-rewarding career.

How much a registered nurse makes is largely determined by education, experience, training, geographical location, and the industry where the job being is offered.

Entry-level RN positions, which require at least an associate’s degree in nursing, pay $45,630 per year or $21.94 per hour. These are positions constituting the lowest 10-percentile of registered nurses. Registered nurses in specialty areas earn a $70,590 annually. Those with much longer specialized training and higher education have corresponding salaries, too. According to Salary.com, neonatal nurses earn around $106,000 annually as of July 2014.

Geographical location definitely matters in terms of RN wages and salaries. California is the top-paying state where registered nurses earn an annual median of $96,980, or $46.62 per hour. Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania follow, in that order.

RNs’ wages and salaries also depend on the industry or job category where the position falls under. Here are some of the industries and job categories where a registered nurse finds a job and the corresponding pay:

1. Federal executive branch – RNs earn $38.07 per hour, or $79,190 annual mean wage, as members of federal agencies’ workforce. They work in the different departments responsible for disease control and prevention, healthcare administration, Medicare and Medicaid services, and rural health assistance.

2. Aerospace products and parts manufacturing – a little less than 200 RNs work in this industry and earn $35.67 per hour, or an annual mean wage of $74,200.

3. General medical and surgical hospitals – this is the industry where there is the highest concentration of RNs. It pays an annual mean wage of $70,590, or $33.94 per hour.

Flight nurses earn an annual median of $71,791. RNs in the Insurance and Benefit Funds industry earn as much as $78,600 a year. Even home-based jobs prove lucrative for RNs.

A medical writing job, for instance, provides an annual income of $69,000-$110,000, according to the American Medical Writers Association. Various jobs, both in the clinical and non-clinical settings, offer opportunities for RNs and a wide range of salary potentials.

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