Nursing Employment

As the largest health care occupation, registered nurses hold about 2.4 million jobs.

About 3 out of 5 jobs are in hospitals, in inpatient and outpatient departments.

Others work in offices of physicians, nursing care facilities, home health care services, employment services, government agencies, and outpatient care centers.

The remainder work mostly in social assistance agencies and educational services, public and private. About 1 in 4 RNs work part time.

Earnings of nurses

Median annual earnings of registered nurses are $52,330. The middle 50 percent earn between $43,370 and $63,360.

The lowest 10 percent earn less than $37,300, and the highest 10 percent earn more than $74,760. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of registered nurses are as follows:

  • Employment services $63,170
  • General medical and surgical hospitals 53,450
  • Home health care services 48,990
  • Offices of physicians 48,250
  • Nursing care facilities 48,220

Many employers offer flexible work schedules, child care, educational benefits, and bonuses.

Foreign-educated nurses

Foreign-educated nurses wishing to work in the United States must obtain a work visa. Applicants are required to undergo a review of their education and licensing credentials and pass a nursing certification and English proficiency exam, both conducted by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools. (The commission is an immigration-neutral, nonprofit organization that is recognized internationally as an authority on credentials evaluation in the health care field.) Applicants from Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom are exempt from the language proficiency exam. In addition to these national requirements, most States have their own requirements.

Information on Registered Nurses in America:

Information on Licensed Vocational and Practical Nurses in America: