Nurse Salary and Nursing Job Outlook

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Are you considering a career in nursing? That may be a good choice, as the nursing job outlook for some careers is strong. Job growth for registered nurses between 2010-20 is projected at 26%.I The projection for job growth for all professions is 14%.II The median annual registered nurse salary was $64,690 in 2010.III

A nurse salary can vary depending on the specialty. The median annual critical care nurse salary is $65,470,IV while an anesthetist nurse’s median annual salary is $148,160.V A specialty nurse salary can increase with advanced degrees, such as a nurse practitioner, where the median annual salary is $89,960.VI

Let’s take a look at some more employment statistics in nursing, including national averages of nursing salaries:

Registered NurseVI
  • 2,737,000 employed (2010)
  • 20 to 28 percent projected growth by 2020
  • 1,207,400 projected job openings 2010-2020
  • $65,470 median annual salary (2012)
  • Top industries: Health care, social assistance.
Nurse AnesthetistsVIII

$148,160 median annual salary (2012)

Learn more about how to become a nurse anesthetist.

Nurse PractitionersIX

$89,960 median average salary (2012)

Critical Care NursesX

$65,470 median annual salary (2012)

Nurse MidwivesXI

$89,600 median annual salary (2012)

Job Outlook for Nurses

The nursing job market offers many diverse career opportunities. The nursing job outlook remains promising as the need for preventive care grows, among other factors.XII

Job Growth within Nursing Specialties

Here is the nursing job outlook for three different career prospects:

Registered Nurse

Depending on where you decide to work, you may be able to score a job as a registered nurse. Hospitals want to hire and keep registered nurses, and may offer incentives such as signing bonuses or subsidized training.XIII Employment for registered nurses is expected to grow by 26 percent between 2010 and 2020.XIV

Nurse Practitioner

If you want to specialize in a field, such as geriatrics or women’s health care, you can pursue a career as a nurse practitioner by earning your master’s degree in nursing. Jobs for nurse practitioners are expected to grow between 20 and 28 percent between 2010 and 2020.XV

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Becoming a clinical nurse specialist gives you the chance to specialize in fields such as pediatrics and critical care. As with nurse practitioners, the job growth is expected to be up between 20 and 28 percent between 2010 and 2020.XVI


I, II, XII, XIII, XIVbls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Registered-nurses.htm#tab-6 | IIIbls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Registered-nurses.htm#tab-5 | IV, Xonetonline.org/link/summary/29-1141.03 | V, VIIIonetonline.org/link/summary/29-1151.00 | VI, IXonetonline.org/link/summary/29 -1171.00 | VIIonetonline.org/link/summary/29-1141.00 | XIonetonline.org/link/summary/29-1161.00  | XVonetonline.org/link/summary/29-1171.00 | XVIonetonline.org/link/summary/29-1141.04

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