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Working as a Nurse

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a nurse. For example, did you know that they make an average of $29.94 an hour? That's $62,266 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 12% and produce 371,500 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Nurse Do

There are certain skills that many nurses have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed physical stamina, compassion and critical-thinking skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a nurse, we found that a lot of resumes listed 16.0% of nurses included rn, while 10.7% of resumes included health care, and 10.4% of resumes included patient care. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the nurse job title. But what industry to start with? Most nurses actually find jobs in the health care and non profits industries.

How To Become a Nurse

If you're interested in becoming a nurse, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 37.2% of nurses have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 14.3% of nurses have master's degrees. Even though most nurses have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a nurse. When we researched the most common majors for a nurse, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on nurse resumes include master's degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a nurse. In fact, many nurse jobs require experience in a role such as staff nurse. Meanwhile, many nurses also have previous career experience in roles such as registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.

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Average Salary$62,266
Job Growth Rate12%

Nurse Jobs

Nurse Career Paths

Top Careers Before Nurse

Top Careers After Nurse

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Nurse

Nurses in America make an average salary of $62,266 per year or $30 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $98,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $39,000 per year.
Average Salary
$62,266

Best Paying Cities

Average Salary
Salary Range62k - 119k$86k$86,315
Salary Range64k - 114k$86k$86,188
Salary Range63k - 115k$86k$85,523
Salary Range59k - 121k$85k$85,328
Salary Range55k - 112k$79k$78,944
Salary Range55k - 110k$78k$78,236
$38k
$121k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Corrections Nurse II
Corrections Nurse II
State of Illinois
State of Illinois
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$70,14010/30/2020
$70,140
Nurse (Medsurg/Inpatient)
Nurse (Medsurg/Inpatient)
Indian Health Service
Indian Health Service
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$51,19710/30/2020
$51,197
Nurse (Community Health)
Nurse (Community Health)
Indian Health Service
Indian Health Service
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$60,83710/30/2020
$60,837
Nurse (Care Coordinator)
Nurse (Care Coordinator)
Indian Health Service
Indian Health Service
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$60,83710/30/2020
$60,837
Indian Health Service
Nurse (Emergency Room Clinical Coach)
Nurse (Emergency Room Clinical Coach)
Indian Health Service
Indian Health Service
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$86,88310/30/2020
$86,883
See More Recent Salaries

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

Nurse Demographics

Gender

female

78.7%

male

15.9%

unknown

5.4%

Ethnicity

White

70.9%

Black or African American

9.4%

Asian

9.3%

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.2%

French

7.9%

Russian

4.9%
See More Demographics

Nurse Education

Majors

Nursing
78.8%

Degrees

Bachelors

37.2%

Associate

26.8%

Masters

14.3%

Top Colleges for Nurses

1. Duke University

Durham, NC

Tuition and fees
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Tuition and fees
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. Yale University

New Haven, CT

Tuition and fees
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI

Tuition and fees
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

5. Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Tuition and fees
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089

6. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

Tuition and fees
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568

7. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA

Tuition and fees
$17,653
Enrollment
16,405

8. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC

Tuition and fees
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

9. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY

Tuition and fees
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

10. Chamberlain College of Nursing - Arlington

Arlington, VA

Tuition and fees
$19,375
Enrollment
506
See More Education Info

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Nurse

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Nurse

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 16.0% of nurses listed rn on their resume, but soft skills such as physical stamina and compassion are important as well.

  • RN, 16.0%
  • Health Care, 10.7%
  • Patient Care, 10.4%
  • Acute Care, 6.7%
  • Treatment Plans, 6.0%
  • Other Skills, 50.2%
  • See All Nurse Skills

Best States For a Nurse

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a nurse. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, California, New York, and Massachusetts. Nurses make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $92,452. Whereas in California and New York, they would average $88,056 and $85,505, respectively. While nurses would only make an average of $85,397 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Hawaii

Total Nurse Jobs:
1,096
Highest 10% Earn:
$146,000
Location Quotient:
1.53
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New York

Total Nurse Jobs:
15,790
Highest 10% Earn:
$154,000
Location Quotient:
1.13
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Connecticut

Total Nurse Jobs:
3,649
Highest 10% Earn:
$149,000
Location Quotient:
1.08
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Nurse Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a nurse. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless nurse resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Write a Nurse Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless nurse resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

How Do Nurse Rate Their Jobs?

What do you like the most about working as Nurse?

Ready to be a server in an high-end restaurant. !😰😰 Show More

What do you NOT like?

Far to many things to mention but to be on your feet for 12 hours plus a stressful environment the job should be double in salary especially they save lives just like a policeman or fireman ! I could go on and I am a mother of a nurse !! Show More

Zippia Official Logo

4.0

L&D NurseMarch 2019

4.0

Zippia Official LogoL&D NurseMarch 2019

What do you like the most about working as Nurse?

Very rewarding job helping others and bringing new life into the world. Show More

What do you NOT like?

Trauma, bad outcomes, fetal demise, constant stress and frequent emergencies. Long hours and little pay. Show More

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Top Nurse Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ nurses and discovered their number of nurse opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Maxim Healthcare Services was the best, especially with an average salary of $46,242. CNA Financial follows up with an average salary of $38,710, and then comes Indian Health Service with an average of $54,603. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a nurse. The employers include Anthem, LifeBridge Health, and Veterans Affairs

1. Maxim Healthcare Services
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$46,242
Nurses Hired: 
61+
2. CNA Financial
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$38,710
Nurses Hired: 
60+
3. Indian Health Service
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$54,603
Nurses Hired: 
60+
4. US Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$53,674
Nurses Hired: 
33+
5. St. Joseph Hospital
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$43,747
Nurses Hired: 
25+
6. The Connection
2.9
Avg. Salary: 
$31,572
Nurses Hired: 
25+

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Recently Added Nurse Jobs