RN Salary Comparison by State (2012)

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Comparison of RN Salary by StateThe Registered Nurse (RN) is the most commonly used nursing occupation. RNs are found in hospitals, clinics, medical centers, and even home-based care. Many students elect to complete RN programs because the salary is very competitive. The average RN salary in the U.S. is over $65,000 per year, or about $31 per hour.

Also, the job prospects for registered nurses is very good. The BLS projects that registered nurse jobs will grow by 19% over the next decade, resulting in over 500,000 new RN jobs across the country. In the section below we’ve identified which states pay the best RN salary.

2012 Annual RN Salary Comparison by State

It’s important to understand that the dollar amount of RN salary itself doesn’t tell a whole lot. In order to see which states have the BEST RN salary, it’s important to measure RN salary against median salary for the state. This will give you a better idea of what the average worker in the state earns compared with registered nurses. The data shows that California and Nevada are the best places to be a registered nurse. Not because they have high salaries, but because RNs in those states earn significantly more than the average worker. It’s for this reason that many students are enrolling in RN programs, so they can qualify for these excellent salaries. On average, RN salary is 25% higher than median salary.

State  2012 Median Income  2012 RN Income RN Income Difference
Alabama $43,472 $54,100 +24%
Alaska $61,139 $80,600 +32%
Arizona $48,340 $71,200 +47%
Arkansas $40,591 $54,400 +34%
California $55,751 $91,300 +64%
Colorado $58,555 $67,000 +14%
Connecticut $65,515 $74,600 +14%
Delaware $52,387 $69,900 +33%
District of Columbia $60,826 $75,500 +24%
Florida $46,059 $60,100 +30%
Georgia $47,527 $61,200 +29%
Hawaii $58,272 $85,200 +46%
Idaho $48,186 $58,300 +21%
Illinois $51,716 $65,200 +26%
Indiana $45,766 $56,600 +24%
Iowa $52,355 $51,700 -1%
Kansas $48,557 $55,400 +14%
Kentucky $40,887 $56,600 +38%
Louisiana $40,296 $59,800 +48%
Maine $49,944 $59,800 +20%
Maryland $71,075 $70,300 -1%
Massachusetts $64,146 $79,500 +24%
Michigan $49,957 $63,800 +28%
Minnesota $60,411 $70,600 +17%
Mississippi $39,295 $55,200 +40%
Missouri $48,247 $55,500 +15%
Montana $43,104 $58,200 +35%
Nebraska $54,487 $55,200 +1%
Nevada $47,679 $77,600 +63%
New Hampshire $67,538 $62,200 -8%
New Jersey $65,166 $75,900 +16%
New Mexico $43,142 $66,000 +53%
New York $49,687 $73,100 +47%
North Carolina $43,852 $58,000 +32%
North Dakota $56,652 $53,300 -6%
Ohio $44,978 $60,000 +33%
Oklahoma $48,937 $55,700 +14%
Oregon $52,189 $78,800 +51%
Pennsylvania $51,428 $63,600 +24%
Rhode Island $53,061 $72,900 +37%
South Carolina $42,661 $57,700 +35%
South Dakota $48,812 $50,400 +3%
Tennessee $43,079 $55,100 +28%
Texas $50,999 $65,700 +29%
Utah $57,497 $58,700 +2%
Vermont $54,264 $61,100 +13%
Virginia $64,278 $62,600 -3%
Washington $60,112 $74,300 +24%
West Virginia $43,124 $53,100 +23%
Wisconsin $53,112 $63,000 +19%
Wyoming $56,580 $59,600 +5%

All salary and wage data is provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 Occupational Employment Statistics Survey.