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Do Nurses Make Good Money? (Important Facts)

As altruistic as some professions are, workers that dedicate their time, energy, empathy, and intellect deserve high rewards. Nursing is one such profession and as the world got to learn from the COVID-19 pandemic, some groups of people are vital to humanity’s survival.

Besides, Superheroes like Superman, Batman, the Hulk, and Flash, reinforced their existence as pure fantasy. The real superheroes – healthcare workers, such as nurses, sacrificed their lives to push back the pandemic.

A career in nursing can be lucrative even though that has not always been the reality. However, labor shortages in the healthcare industry and other factors have put nurses at an advantage on the earning scale.

At the moment, the average Registered Nurses (RN) salary in the United States is $82,750, while the median, or 50th percentile, is just over $76,000. Still, some nurses, especially advanced ones, are pulling in significantly more. If you’re considering a career in nursing, you might want to learn about the financial rewards here.

Do Nurses Make Good Money? 

The short answer: Yes. Based on some facts and figures obtained on nurse salaries, they do make some good money. The first pointer lies with the average base salary of staff nurses across the United States, which is about $65,097 per year. This figure is often accompanied by about $11,250 of overtime pay per year, leading to a total above $75,000 per year.

With that in mind, nurses are also well-taken care of, thanks to more competitive benefits than many professions. For example, they enjoy loan forgiveness, license (certificate reimbursement), tuition reimbursement, health, dental, vision, life, and life insurance options, etc.

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They have access to their 401(k) and 403(b) accounts, sometimes with company matching. That’s hardly the case in other professions.

Compared to the typical American, nurses earned an average of about $61,372 in 2021. While this figure seems high, nurses agitate for more, and with good reasons. They face dangerous situations on the job and with the world not done with the COVID-19 pandemic, they should be paid more.

Highest Paid Nursing Jobs in 2022

The highest-paid nursing jobs aren’t just higher than other professions, but also reflect the fact that nurses make good money. Nurses represent the beating heart of the medical industry, with many responsibilities falling to them. Whether that’s tending to sick patients, organizing treatments, delivering babies, or assisting physicians, you can rely on nurses.

Further, the growing need for nurses continues unabated nationwide. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates a 9% job growth in the field over the coming years.

They also estimate about 200,000 openings for Registered Nurses per year through 2030. The United States will need to brace up to fill all those positions to avoid a nursing shortage. How they’re paid will go a long way to determining how those positions are filled.

Jobs in nursing are diverse much like other professions. For example, there are different types of doctors and medical technicians. Nursing careers vary according to specialties, individual responsibilities, demand, and even salaries. To that extent, here are the highest-paid nursing jobs today (2022):

  1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist – $202,000
  2. Nursing Administrator – $120,000
  3. Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse – $120,000
  4. General Nurse Practitioner – $118,000
  5. Critical Care Nurse – $118,000
  6. Certified Nurse Midwife – $114,000
  7. Informatics Nurse – $102,000
  8. Clinical Nurse Specialist – $95,000
  9. Nurse Educator – $82,000
  10. Legal Nurse Consultant – $81,000
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How Nurses can Find High-paying Positions: Tips

1. Get an Advanced Degree

On a general note, nurses make good money, but there’s a big pay difference between registered nurses and nurses working in advanced practice. For this reason, you may need more credentials by way of an advanced nursing degree.

For example, a master of science in nursing (MSN) degree, can give you an edge in salary negotiations. The current short supply of nurses will also give you an advantage over other, less-credentialed nurses.

2. Choose In-demand Nursing Practices

From the list above, it’s pretty clear that not all nurses are the same, and neither are nursing concentrations. Moreover, the shortage of nurses in advanced practices means they have a better bargaining position.

Salaries can be higher for nurses that have specialized skill sets, but employers can also improve incentives. For example, some nurses earn signing bonuses of up to $40,000, however, power lies in supply and demand.

Since skilled nurses are at an advantage in the current economic climate, you can toe this line.

3. Navigate the Field

You can improve your earning potential by playing the field. Be open to different opportunities, leaving your current employer, or leaving your current city/state.

For example, statistics show that registered nurses in Boston, Massachusetts earn $96,630. Contrast that figure with $124,000 obtainable in California, or $106,530 in Hawaii. You can also choose to start your practice.

Nursing Side Hustles

side hustle puzzle

Like everyone else, nurses are also looking to get some extra cash on the side. There are tons of bills to pay and with more financial independence, you’ll take care of the. Besides, some nursing salaries are still considered low. An additional income stream is most welcome, especially during your off days.

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You can consider these options:

  • Taking paid medical surveys
  • Freelance health writing or opinion blogs
  • Telehealth nursing
  • Immunization nursing
  • Selling out your old scrubs, books, nursing gear
  • Pet walking

These side hustles can take some strain out on your everyday bills. Perhaps you’re passionate about a skill or talent you could turn into a money-generating business – that’s your side hustle.


So do nurses make good money? A resounding ‘Yes!’ Based on the information above, nurses don’t just earn good money; their salaries are competitive.

Further, their earnings per hour and the year goes beyond the national average hourly wage for all occupations. With consistent demand for their caring hands and hearts, nurses will continue to earn improved salaries.

Nursing is a terrific profession with passionate individuals in a career filled with opportunities for growth and advancement. With salaries above what many doctors earn, it’s no wonder that nursing is getting the attention it deserves.

However, there’s a shortage of these heroes in the United States and the world at large. With more appreciation and financial benefits, that will be a thing of the past.

About Martin Vernon

A lifelong learner, educator, and advocate for education as a means for individual and social change. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great day!

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