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.

What Does a Registered Nurse Do

Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.

Learn more about what a Registered Nurse does

How To Become a Registered Nurse

Registered nurses usually take one of three education paths: a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Registered nurses also must be licensed.

Learn More About How To Become a Registered Nurse

Registered Nurse Career Paths

Average Salary for a Registered Nurse

Registered Nurses in America make an average salary of $73,349 per year or $35 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $117,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $45,000 per year.
Average Registered Nurse Salary
$73,349 Yearly
$35.26 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?

How To Become a Registered Nurse
How To Become a Registered Nurse Career Overview

States With The Most Registered Nurse Jobs

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

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Registered Nurse Jobs By State

Registered Nurse Education

Registered Nurse Majors

85.1 %

Registered Nurse Degrees


45.6 %


43.5 %


4.7 %

Top Colleges for Registered Nurses

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

3. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition

5. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition

6. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

7. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA • Private

In-State Tuition

8. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

9. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

10. Chamberlain College of Nursing - Arlington

Arlington, VA • Private

In-State Tuition

Top Skills For a Registered 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, 23.8% of registered nurses listed patients on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and compassion are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Registered Nurse Resume templates

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

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Registered Nurse Demographics

Registered Nurse Gender Distribution


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

  • Among registered nurses, 87.7% of them are women, while 12.3% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among registered nurses is White, which makes up 69.1% of all registered nurses.

  • The most common foreign language among registered nurses is Spanish at 58.5%.

Online Courses For Registered Nurse That You May Like

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Trauma Emergencies and Care

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 ma...

Essentials of Palliative Care

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 consideratio...

Home Health Aide, Nurse Aide, Caregiver Certification Course

Become A Certified Home Health Aide, Personal Care Aide, Nurse Aide/ Caregiver At The End Of This Course. Enroll Now!...

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Best States For a Registered Nurse

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a registered nurse. The best states for people in this position are California, Hawaii, Alaska, and Rhode Island. Registered nurses make the most in California with an average salary of $104,725. Whereas in Hawaii and Alaska, they would average $100,541 and $97,253, respectively. While registered nurses would only make an average of $93,942 in Rhode Island, 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. Alaska

Total Registered Nurse Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Massachusetts

Total Registered Nurse Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. New Mexico

Total Registered Nurse Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Registered Nurses

How Do Registered Nurse Rate Their Jobs?

Zippia Official Logo


Not so greatDecember 2021


Zippia Official LogoNot so greatDecember 2021

What do you like the most about working as Registered Nurse?

Caring for patients Show More

What do you NOT like?

Staffing ratios, unfairness, constant expectations. Healthcare is a business but doesn’t treat nurses like business employees Show More

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Poor work life balance January 2020


Zippia Official LogoPoor work life balance January 2020

What do you like the most about working as Registered Nurse?

The feeling I get when helping people. Show More

What do you NOT like?

Nursing isn’t what it was 12yrs ago when I started. It is all about “family centered care” and not what is actually best for the patient. Not only am I a nurse and caring for the patient, but I’m the house keeper, waitress, and coffee go getter. There is no more respect for nurses and their patients. Show More

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DirectorJune 2019


Zippia Official LogoDirectorJune 2019

What do you like the most about working as Registered Nurse?

Patient Care Show More

What do you NOT like?

Business people micromanaging and wanting more from clinical staff without providing proper pay or incentives. Show More

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Top Registered Nurse Employers

Most Common Employers For Registered Nurse

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
2Medical Staffing Network$98,994$47.59743
3Favorite Healthcare Staffing$90,613$43.56579
4Maxim Healthcare Group$82,996$39.901,865
5DaVita Kidney Care$82,362$39.60846
6Maxim Integrated$78,820$37.89557
7Encompass Health$75,870$36.48585
8Kaiser Permanente$74,261$35.701,183
9University Hospitals$74,172$35.66682
10Methodist Hospital Of Henderson, Kentucky$73,639$35.40898

Registered Nurse Videos

Becoming a Registered Nurse FAQs

Registered Nurse Vs. Lpn

A registered nurse is someone who provides direct care to patients, while an LPN is a nurse that assists registered nurses and doctors.

A registered nurse has a broad list of duties in a hospital setting. These include activities such as preparing patients for exams and treatments, administering medications, operating and monitoring medical equipment, educating patients and their family members on treatment, and supervising practical and vocational nurses.

Can You Become An Rn In Two Years?

Yes, you can become a registered nurse (RN) in two years. An RN can start with a vocational degree (one to two years) or an associate's degree (two years) in nursing after passing the exam.

Certified Nurse Vs Registered Nurse

A certified nurse (CN) provides general patient care and works under registered nurses, while a registered nurse (RN) provides a higher level of patient care and coordination and works under a doctor.

Clinical Nurse Vs Registered Nurse

A clinical nurse is an expert clinician with advanced education and training in a specialized area of nursing, while a registered nurse (RN) supervisors subordinate nurses and provides direct care to patients in a hospital setting.

How Hard Is It To Be A Registered Nurse?

It is quite hard to become a registered nurse. In terms of education and training, the minimum requirement to become a registered nurse (RN) is an associate's degree and a passing grade on the NCLEX-RN exam. The coursework and exam requirements, however, require a lot of studying and class time.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Certified Nurse?

It takes between two to four years to become a certified nurse. The amount of time needed depends on the specific nursing program. While an Associate's Degree in Nursing (two-year program) is technically the fastest way to become a registered nurse, employers tend to favor applicants with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

Is There A Difference Between A Nurse And A Registered Nurse?

No, there is no difference between a nurse and a registered nurse. A nurse is an umbrella term used for any type of nurse, from RN to caretaker.

A registered nurse (RN) has met their state's education and training requirements, a background check to verify that they do not have a criminal background, and have passed their national board examination (NCLEX-RN).

Practical Nurse Vs Rn

A practical nurse typically provides assistance to doctors and registered nurses, while an RN (registered nurse) provides direct care to patients.

A practical nurse is responsible for a range of hands-on patient care and administrative tasks. This includes monitoring a patient's health, such as vital signs and overall health condition. Changing bandages and inserting catheters. They also provide basic patient care, such as daily physical activities. A practical nurse is subordinate to doctors and registered nurses and will assist them in certain medical procedures.

Vocational Nurse Vs Rn

A vocational nurse is someone who works in a hospital to care for disabled, sick, or otherwise injured patients, while a registered nurse is a licensed medical professional who provides hands-on care in different medical and community settings.

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.

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