Nurses may seem to be just a cog in the machine of healthcare systems, but they are as essential as it gets. As trained healthcare professionals, they provide medical care for patients in hospitals or homes, caring for them before and after their medical procedures.

Working closely with physicians and other healthcare staff members, they plan and implement nursing care, evaluating the processes and assessing their efficiency.

Nurses are responsible for monitoring patients' symptoms and reporting any changes in their condition. They keep an eye on eventual side-effects of drugs and follow vital signs in severe cases. They administer pills and intravenous medication and create and maintain patient records. Properly managing the storage of medical substances they use on a daily basis and maintaining nursing supply inventory is also their responsibility.

It goes without saying that they keep facilities and work areas squeaky clean and comply with infection control standards without compromise.

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 communication skills, compassion and detail oriented.

Learn more about what a Nurse does

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 42.8% of nurses have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 7.0% 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.

Learn More About How To Become a Nurse

Nurse Job Description

Nurses are licensed healthcare professionals who ensure that patients receive proper care and attention. They manage patients' health plans by ensuring that patients get proper nutrition, administering medicine, tracking vital signs, updating patient records, and reporting progress to doctors.

Learn more about Nurse Job Description

Nurse Career Paths

Average Salary for a Nurse

Nurses in America make an average salary of $57,564 per year or $28 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $86,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $38,000 per year.
Average Nurse Salary
$57,564 Yearly
$27.68 hourly
$38,000
10%
$57,000
Median
$86,000
90%

What Am I Worth?

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Roles and Types of Nurse

The role of a nurse includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general nurse responsibilities:

  • Conduct nursing assessment on all acute
  • Coordinate services (home health, dme, etc.) As requested by the patient or their family educate members on disease processes
  • Effectively develop, enhance and maintain provider clinical relationship across product lines deliver provider/member-specific metrics (e.g., star quality reports (sqr), member on a page, anvita alerts)

There are several types of nurse, including:

Registered Nurse

Role:

If you're looking for a job that will provide a lot of opportunities, you've come to the right place. Registered nurses are needed everywhere to provide patient care and educate patients about various health conditions.

All registered nurses need to be licensed, but there are three different ways you can go about it. One is earning a bachelor's degree in nursing. Another is to obtain an associate's degree in nursing. Or receive a diploma from a nursing program.
  • Average Salary: $73,349
  • Degree: Associate Degree

Licensed Practical Nurse

Role:

A licensed practical nurse, also known as an LPN, works in a healthcare setting. Their responsibilities range from providing routine care to taking note of patients' health. The LPN is super-important to each patient's visit.

LPNs also serve a critical role in helping doctors and registered nurses when needed. Sometimes, as an LPN, you'll have to explain a lot, including medication, home-based care, and preventative lifestyle changes

While, you'll probably work a full-time schedule, it may look a little wonky. Some days you might work a shift that's longer than 8 hours or you might have to take a weekend or night shift. The schooling it takes to become an LPN isn't that long, in fact, most LPN programs take a year to complete.
  • Average Salary: $52,912
  • Degree: Associate Degree

Staff Nurse

Role:

If healthcare is your name and helping patients is your game, then you might consider a career as a staff nurse. Typically, you'll work in a healthcare facility of some sort, whether that be a hospital or a nursing home.

As a staff nurse, you'll be working closely with doctors and other nurses to ensure patients receive the utmost care and treatment for their health conditions. Usually, this line of work seals the deal with crazy hours. But staff nurses tend to be a little different.

It can vary, but you usually won't work over 40 hours a week. In fact, some weeks you may only work 35 hours. This great schedule does come with a price tag - student debt, to be exact. In order to become a staff nurse, you'll need to earn a bachelor's degree. I mean, you have to know what you're doing in this job so that much makes sense.
  • Average Salary: $68,342
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Nurse Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active nurse jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where nurses earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Nurse Jobs By State

Nurse Education

Nurse Majors

79.2 %

Nurse Degrees

Bachelors

42.8 %

Associate

34.6 %

Diploma

8.8 %

Top Colleges for Nurses

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

5. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089

6. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568

7. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA • Private

In-State Tuition
$17,653
Enrollment
16,405

8. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

9. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

10. Chamberlain College of Nursing - Arlington

Arlington, VA • Private

In-State Tuition
$19,375
Enrollment
506

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, 21.3% of nurses listed patients on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and compassion are important as well.

  • Patients, 21.3%
  • Home Health, 6.9%
  • CPR, 6.4%
  • BLS, 6.0%
  • Acute Care, 4.7%
  • Other Skills, 54.7%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Nurse Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Nurse templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Nurse resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Nurse Demographics

Nurse Gender Distribution

Female
Female
86%
Male
Male
14%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among nurses, 86.0% of them are women, while 14.0% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among nurses is White, which makes up 65.3% of all nurses.

  • The most common foreign language among nurses is Spanish at 61.2%.

Online Courses For Nurse That You May Like

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Transitions in Care from Survivorship to Hospice
coursera

This course should be taken after the Symptom Management course and continues building your primary palliative care skills – communication, psychosocial support, goals of care, and symptom management. You will explore transitions in care such as survivorship and hospice. You will learn how to create a survivorship care plan and how to best support a patient. The course also covers spiritual care and will teach you how to screen for spiritual distress. Finally, you will learn the requirements...

Essentials of Palliative Care
coursera

This course starts you on your journey of integrating primary palliative care into your daily lives. You will learn what palliative care is, how to communicate with patients, show empathy, and practice difficult conversations. You will learn how to screen for distress and provide psychosocial support. You will learn about goals of care and advance care planning and how to improve your success with having these conversations with patients. Finally, you will explore important cultural...

Trauma Emergencies and Care
coursera

Welcome to Trauma Emergencies and Care. In this course, you will learn about some of the mechanics and physics of trauma on the human body, and how this can cause injury. You will continue to expand your new vocabulary with medical terminology, and learn how to describe the different injuries you may see. You will also learn about the trauma system itself- and when it is important to transport patients to a trauma center. Then we will dive into specific injuries based on what part of the body...

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Internship
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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 California, Oregon, Alaska, and New York. Nurses make the most in California with an average salary of $78,160. Whereas in Oregon and Alaska, they would average $75,028 and $74,932, respectively. While nurses would only make an average of $73,583 in New York, 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. Massachusetts

Total Nurse Jobs: 8,616
Highest 10% Earn:
$120,000
Location Quotient:
1.05

2. New York

Total Nurse Jobs: 12,341
Highest 10% Earn:
$120,000
Location Quotient:
1.08

3. Alaska

Total Nurse Jobs: 866
Highest 10% Earn:
$86,000
Location Quotient:
1.17
Full List Of Best States For Nurses

How Do Nurse Rate Their Jobs?

Zippia Official Logo

5.0

Nursing August 2020

5.0

Zippia Official LogoNursing August 2020

What do you like the most about working as Nurse?

helping people and saving lives Show More

What do you NOT like?

the pay is not good not enough for the lifestyle I would like to live Show More

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 Navy Mutual was the best, especially with an average salary of $63,414. Peraton follows up with an average salary of $59,265, and then comes Maxim Healthcare Services with an average of $69,129. 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 Cigna, The Judge Group, and Kindred Healthcare

Most Common Employers For Nurse

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Maxim Integrated$82,200$39.5235
2Maxim Healthcare Group$69,129$33.2458
3New York State Restaurant Association$66,309$31.8832
4Signature Healthcare$66,096$31.7851
5Interim HealthCare$64,278$30.9029
6Navy Mutual$63,414$30.49248
7Medical Staffing Network$63,172$30.3728
8State of West Virginia$61,074$29.3627
9Anthem$60,152$28.9256
10Home Health Foundation$60,012$28.8556

Nurse Videos

Becoming a Nurse FAQs

Dental Hygienist Vs. Nurse

A dental hygienist provides basic dental care to patients under the supervision of a licensed dentist, while a nurse work alongside doctors and physicians to provide quality medical care to patients.

Medical Assistant Vs. Nurse

A medical assistant is a professional who focuses on scheduling, clerical, and billing tasks, while a nurse is more focused on patient care.

Medical assistants may work in doctors' offices, hospitals, or other medical facilities. Their job centers around many administrative duties. They may be tasked with reaching out to patients to schedule appointments or follow-up care. Medical assistants also have a role in bookkeeping and billing. Most of their duties are performed at a desk in a medical facility.

Nurse Vs. Doctor

A nurse is a medical professional that has a wide array of duties in patient care, while a doctor is a more senior medical professional who is informed by patient information gathered by nurses.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Nurse?

It takes 5 years of professional experience to become a nurse. That is the time it takes to learn specific nurse skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 8 to 10 years years to become a nurse.

Cna Vs Nurse

A CNA is a certified nursing assistant and works under registered nurses, while a nurse works under the direction of head registered nurses and doctors.

A CNA provides direct care to patients in hospitals, nursing homes and home care.They help patients with a wide range of basic needs, including eating, bathing, grooming, mobility and more. CNAs report to and take orders from registered nurses, doctors and other higher-level hospital staff.

How Can I Become A Nurse Fast?

The fastest way to become a nurse is to become a licensed nurse practitioner (LPN). Programs to become an LPN typically last around one year and cost under $50,000.

However, to become a registered nurse (RN), you need an associate's degree, which typically takes about two years. This educational path generally consists of 60 credits of coursework and supervised clinical hours.

How Many Types Of Nurses Are There In The Us?

There are seven main levels of nurses in the United States, with a wide variety of specialties. This means there are many avenues a person can choose to pursue a satisfying nursing career that caters to their interests and aptitude.

How Many Years Does It Take To Become A Nurse?

It takes between one and four years to become a nurse. This wide range is because there many levels within nursing that all have different educational requirements.

The simplest route to be considered a nurse is to become a licensed nurse practitioner (LPN). This typically requires a one-year program, which is about 60 credits plus clinical hours.

Is Radiology Tech School Harder Than Nursing School?

No, radiology tech school is not harder than nursing school. It's a common misconception that Radiology Tech School is harder than Nursing School. In fact, both radiology tech school and nursing school are difficult in their own ways and require different skill sets and knowledge.

Nurse Vs Pharmacist

A nurse is a medical professional that has a wide array of duties in patient care, while a pharmacist is a healthcare professional that focuses on the right way to use, store, preserve, and provide medicine.

Paramedic Vs Nurse

A paramedic is a registered healthcare professional that provides emergency medical treatment to patients in many settings, while a nurse is a caregiver to patients in a hospital setting.

Respiratory Therapist Vs Nurse

A respiratory therapist is a certified medical professional that treats patients that have medical issues with their lungs or breathing, while a nurse is a more broad medical role and helps to manage patient's physical needs, prevent illness, and treat health conditions.

What Are Careers In Nursing Informatics?

Chief information officer and informatics nurse are careers related to the field of nursing informatics. Careers in this field begin with being a registered nurse and advancing your education in the specific area of informatics.

  • Chief Information Officer

    Nursing informatics involves the use of technology to better administer nursing care in hospitals and other medical institutions. Chief information officers oversee employees and technology to achieve productivity and streamline costs.

    CIOs in the nursing field typically have a great deal of nursing experience and have worked in multiple management-level positions prior to functioning as a CIO.

  • Informatics Nurse

    Informatics nurses, on the other hand, work directly with nurses and use the information that they gather combined with technology to propose changes in health care protocols and individual patient care plans.

    An informatics nurse may see patterns develop when examining data to reveal new ways of achieving an outcome while saving money or increasing the comfort of the patient. The shift from paper to electronic record keeping and patient charting is a key responsibility for informatics nurses.

    Making sure that the electronic records kept by multiple different healthcare providers are compatible and able to be accessed easily helps ensure that the patient does not incur any unnecessary delays in treatment or diagnosis.

    Informatics nurses typically have a master's degree in nursing informatics. Some employers will hire tech-savvy RNs for informatics positions with the expectation that they will continue to advance their education after being hired.

What Are The Best Gifts For Nurses?

The best gifts for nurses are comfortable and durable athletic shoes, nurse bags, and inspirational books on nursing. Nursing is a stressful and tiring job, so there are many different types of gifts you can get to counteract their demanding job and make their lives easier.

What Is The First Step To Becoming A Nurse?

The first step to becoming a nurse is to get a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification. While this is not a direct step to be a licensed nurse practitioner (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN), it is crucial to determine if a person has the aptitude and personality to pursue nursing certifications and education.

What Kind Of Nurses Get Paid The Most?

Anesthetist Registered Nurses (ARN) get paid the most of any nurse. An ARN earns a mean annual salary of $181,040 ($88.26 per hour).

ARNs are paid the highest because they are highly skilled in preparing and administering anesthesia to patients in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, and similar health professionals.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Become A Nurse?

The minimum qualifications to become a registered nurse are an associate's degree in nursing (ADN) and a license to practice. This can take between two and three years to achieve for most people.

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