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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.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a staff nurse. For example, did you know that they make an average of $32.08 an hour? That's $66,734 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 Staff Nurse Do

There are certain skills that many staff 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 Staff Nurse does

How To Become a Staff Nurse

If you're interested in becoming a staff nurse, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 44.0% of staff nurses have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 5.4% of staff nurses have master's degrees. Even though some staff 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 staff nurse. When we researched the most common majors for a staff nurse, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on staff nurse resumes include diploma degrees or master's degree degrees.

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

Staff Nurse Career Paths

Average Salary for a Staff Nurse

Staff Nurses in America make an average salary of $66,734 per year or $32 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $117,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $38,000 per year.
Average Staff Nurse Salary
$66,734 Yearly
$32.08 hourly
$38,000
10 %
$66,000
Median
$117,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Staff Nurse Education

Staff Nurse Majors

85.0 %

Staff Nurse Degrees

Bachelors

44.0 %

Associate

39.8 %

Diploma

8.1 %

Top Colleges for Staff 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 Staff 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, 14.9% of staff nurses listed patient care on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and compassion are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Staff Nurse Resume templates

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

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Staff Nurse Demographics

Staff Nurse Gender Distribution

Female
Female
88%
Male
Male
12%

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

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

  • The most common race/ethnicity among staff nurses is White, which makes up 70.1% of all staff nurses.

  • The most common foreign language among staff nurses is Spanish at 59.7%.

Online Courses For Staff Nurse That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Vohra Wound Care Certification for Facility-Based Nurses
edX (Global)

The Vohra Wound Care Certification program was developed by Vohra Wound Physicians. Vohra is the largest group of wound physicians in the United States, with more than 20 years of clinical experience providing wound care services to more than 3000 skilled nursing facilities in 30 states, with thousands of patients treated every month. We believe every patient, family, nurse, and caregiver can be empowered through education. Hundreds of thousands of people have already benefited from this course...

Vohra Wound Care Certification for Facility-Based Nurses
edX (Global)

Vohra’s expert physicians developed this advanced wound care program to help you deliver excellent healthcare: Understand the latest, most innovative wound care techniques and treatment options Identify the different types of wounds and recommended treatment plan for non-healing wounds Review the primary wound dressing options and wound care products Treat wound patients confidently, leading to improved medical outcomes Benefit from an enhanced knowledge share from Vohra´s healthcare...

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 consideratio...

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Best States For a Staff Nurse

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a staff nurse. The best states for people in this position are California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. Staff nurses make the most in California with an average salary of $112,382. Whereas in Hawaii and Oregon, they would average $103,596 and $94,670, respectively. While staff nurses would only make an average of $90,044 in Washington, 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 Staff Nurse Jobs:
654
Highest 10% Earn:
$123,000
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

2. Washington

Total Staff Nurse Jobs:
5,530
Highest 10% Earn:
$145,000
Location Quotient:
1.05 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. Oregon

Total Staff Nurse Jobs:
2,601
Highest 10% Earn:
$157,000
Location Quotient:
0.87 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
Full List Of Best States For Staff Nurses

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Top Staff Nurse Employers

Most Common Employers For Staff Nurse

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Good Samaritan$87,553$42.09564
2St Joseph's Hospital$86,472$41.57940
3St. Luke's Hospital$86,374$41.53519
4St. Vincent's Medical Center$84,578$40.66296
5University Hospitals$81,148$39.01541
6GradyHealth$74,856$35.99294
7Cleveland Clinic$74,417$35.78280
8Boston Children's Hospital$70,920$34.10375
9Memorial Hospital$66,733$32.08397
10UPMC$65,434$31.46452

Staff Nurse Videos

Becoming a Staff Nurse FAQs

How long does it take to become a Staff Nurse?

It takes 4 years of professional experience to become a staff nurse. That is the time it takes to learn specific staff 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 7 to 9 years years to become a staff nurse.

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