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How Much Do Nurses Make an Hour? A Guide for Employers

Whether you run a private practice, a clinic, a hospital or a long-term care facility, nurses are an important part of your team. Attracting quality candidates to your open positions will help you deliver a high standard of care for your patients, and offering competitive salaries will help you make attractive offers to the right hires.

Understanding how much nurses make an hour is an important first step in establishing a fair rate of pay for candidates.

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Why is it important to offer a competitive nurse salary?

As the frontline healthcare workers delivering vital patient care, nurses are in high demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that there will be around 193,100 open positions for registered nurses (RNs) and 54,000 open positions for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) per year through 2030. A large nationwide survey revealed that 800,000 RNs and 184,000 LPNs anticipate leaving the field by 2027, and one research study predicts a nursing labor shortage of 918,232 workers will exist by 2030.

These statistics indicate that nurse job seekers are likely to have many open positions to consider when looking to change employers or advance their careers. As an owner, hiring manager or HR professional for a healthcare business, you’ll need to prioritize recruiting to keep your practice or facility well-staffed.

According to an Indeed survey of 1,400 nurses, 46% report that they want better compensation. Offering a competitive salary based on candidates’ qualifications and trends in your geographic area is essential to attracting and hiring quality candidates for your nursing positions.

How much do nurses make an hour?

How much nurses make an hour varies based on a variety of factors. Among them, job title and geographic location are perhaps the most impactful. Keep reading to explore pay rates for the most common nursing job titles across the United States.

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)

If your practice requires nurses to deliver basic care like monitoring vital signs, changing dressings and assisting with daily living tasks, LPNs or licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) are likely the right hires. LPNs and LVNs typically complete yearlong post-secondary programs and earn an average of $33.01 per hour nationwide. Check out the table below to see how much LPNs and LVNs earn in your state.

State

 

Average hourly pay rate

 

Alabama

 

$31.98

 

Alaska

 

$48.06

 

Arizona

 

$32.49

 

Arkansas

 

$26.63

 

California

 

$34.70

 

Colorado

 

$33.66

 

Connecticut

 

$34.44

 

Delaware

 

$35.18

 

Florida

 

$29.17

 

Georgia

 

$27.78

 

Hawaii

 

$41.06

 

Idaho

 

$33.42

 

Illinois

 

$33.19

 

Indiana

 

$31.04

 

Iowa

 

$33.10

 

Kansas

 

$30.15

 

Kentucky

 

$29.49

 

Louisiana

 

$27.39

 

Maine

 

$39.95

 

Maryland

 

$34.15

 

Massachusetts

 

$38.99

 

Michigan

 

$34.01

 

Minnesota

 

$30.16

 

Mississippi

 

$24.53

 

Missouri

 

$29.70

 

Montana

 

$36.80

 

Nebraska

 

$33.11

 

Nevada

 

$31.92

 

New Hampshire

 

$36.31

 

New Jersey

 

$34.52

 

New Mexico

 

$37.57

 

New York

 

$37.55

 

North Carolina

 

$32.20

 

North Dakota

 

$46.40

 

Ohio

 

$30.56

 

Oklahoma

 

$27.65

 

Oregon

 

$40.11

 

Pennsylvania

 

$33.95

 

Rhode Island

 

$38.96

 

South Carolina

 

$29.13

 

South Dakota

 

$47.36

 

Tennessee

 

$27.68

 

Texas

 

$27.33

 

Utah

 

$32.97

 

Vermont

 

$42.64

 

Virginia

 

$32.26

 

Washington

 

$38.91

 

West Virginia

 

$32.73

 

Wisconsin

 

$34.72

 

Wyoming

 

$33.08

 

Salary info as reported on February 14, 2024

Registered Nurses (RNs)

If your facility is in need of healthcare workers to administer medications, assist with the creation of treatment plans, operate medical equipment and assist with diagnostic testing and procedures, RNs may be the right fit. Typically earning two-year associate or four-year bachelor’s degrees in nursing, RNs have in-depth knowledge of anatomy, microbiology, physiology and psychology.

Their extra training and advanced duties generally translate to higher rates of pay. Nationwide, RNs make an average of $43.72 per hour. Examine the table below to find out how much RNs earn per hour in your state.

State

 

Average hourly pay rate

 

Alabama

 

$39.66

 

Alaska

 

$51.09

 

Arizona

 

$42.20

 

Arkansas

 

$50.82

 

California

 

$52.75

 

Colorado

 

$41.40

 

Connecticut

 

$44.58

 

Delaware

 

$45.72

 

Florida

 

$37.03

 

Georgia

 

$39.88

 

Hawaii

 

$59.33

 

Idaho

 

$40.72

 

Illinois

 

$41.51

 

Indiana

 

$41.60

 

Iowa

 

$41.63

 

Kansas

 

$37.83

 

Kentucky

 

$56.38

 

Louisiana

 

$38.33

 

Maine

 

$57.12

 

Maryland

 

$41.54

 

Massachusetts

 

$46.79

 

Michigan

 

$43.85

 

Minnesota

 

$42.07

 

Mississippi

 

$49.60

 

Missouri

 

$41.57

 

Montana

 

$41.05

 

Nebraska

 

$41.33

 

Nevada

 

$41.88

 

New Hampshire

 

$42.79

 

New Jersey

 

$44.59

 

New Mexico

 

$39.07

 

New York

 

$50.78

 

North Carolina

 

$39.56

 

North Dakota

 

$59.73

 

Ohio

 

$40.03

 

Oklahoma

 

$52.03

 

Oregon

 

$49.67

 

Pennsylvania

 

$44.10

 

Rhode Island

 

$46.03

 

South Carolina

 

$37.98

 

South Dakota

 

$37.91

 

Tennessee

 

$50.46

 

Texas

 

$38.89

 

Utah

 

$38.18

 

Vermont

 

$55.20

 

Virginia

 

$42.15

 

Washington

 

$47.60

 

West Virginia

 

$58.25

 

Wisconsin

 

$42.40

 

Wyoming

 

$40.13

 

Salary info as reported on February 14, 2024

What factors affect how much a nurse makes per hour?

When determining how much to offer a candidate, take other factors beyond the job title and your geographic location into account. Some additional considerations that impact how much nurses make an hour include the following.

Experience

How much previous experience a nurse has should help determine their wages, as those with more years of practice will typically require less on-the-job training and be ready to take on additional responsibilities more quickly.

Nationwide, the average hourly wage for entry-level RNs with less than one year of experience is $39.51 per hour, while the most experienced RNs who have worked in the field for more than 10 years earn an average of $51.64 per hour. The difference is slightly less pronounced among LPNs, with entry-level nurses averaging$31.07 per hour versus $35.49 for those with more than 10 years of work experience.

Metropolitan area

Salaries for nurses can vary greatly within states due to cost of living and demand for healthcare workers. For example, RNs in New York City earn an average of $58.07 per hour, while in Buffalo, average hourly wages are just $40.18. When setting a pay rate, examining the going trends in your area will help you remain competitive.

Certification status

Depending on the nature of your open position, you may decide to prioritize candidates who have met the education, experience and testing requirements to earn voluntary certifications in relevant fields. Certified nurses will typically expect to earn more than their peers.

For example, RNs who have gained the Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist credential from ACDIS earn around 36.84% more than the nationwide base salary, and those with infection control certification from the Certification Board of Infection Control & Epidemiology, Inc., (CBIC) earn around 39.73% more.

Specialty

Specialty also influences how much nurses make an hour, with those working in fields that require unique skills or are in high demand generally earning more. According to Indeed Salaries, some of the highest-paying specialties for RNs are sports medicine, labor and delivery, transplant surgery, cath lab and oncology, with nurses in these fields earning 14% to 23% more than the nationwide average base pay.

Are you paying your nurses enough?

Even if you don’t have any open positions for nurses at the present time, reexamining your pay rates can benefit your business. After all, competitive salaries contribute to employee job satisfaction and retention rates as well as recruitment efforts.

To see how your wages compare to others in your area and how you should factor in experience, certification, specialty and other considerations, use Indeed Salaries, a powerful research tool that provides a wealth of up-to-date statistics.

Nurse pay FAQs

Is overtime pay common for nurses?

Yes, overtime pay is common for nurses, as they may be asked to remain on the job for longer to cover for coworkers who have called off or to provide emergency assistance to patients. Nationwide, LPNs and RNs earn an average of $8,062 and $12,000 in overtime wages per year, respectively.

What benefits are typical for nurses?

Benefits increase nurses’ total compensation, and offering an attractive benefits package can strengthen your job offers to quality candidates. Paid time off, sick time and health, dental and vision insurance are typically standard benefits for nurses. Other benefits you can consider providing include retirement plans, flexible scheduling, licensing and certification reimbursement, continuing medical education allowances, relocation assistance and tuition reimbursement.

How does travel nurse pay compare to the pay for employed nurses?

Generally, travel nurses earn slightly more than employed nurses. The overall average hourly rate for travel nurses in the US is $49.14, which is around 12% more than the nationwide mean pay rate for RNs. One reason for the difference is that they are usually independent contractors who don’t receive benefits or have taxes withheld from their wages.

How much do Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) make per hour?

Because they typically hold graduate-level degrees, work more independently and have increased responsibilities, APRNs tend to earn significantly more than RNs. The average hourly pay rate for nurse practitioners (NPs) is $92.66, while nurse-midwives earn an average of $47.83 per hour. Certified nurse anesthetists are among the highest-paid nurses, earning an average of $166 per hour.

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