nurse payHow much do jobs for a nurse pay? This is the most commonly asked questions of individuals considering a job in nursing. Fortunately pay for nurses is top tier for most nursing positions, states and cities. If you are considering a nursing job, but want to make the most money possible, check out this information about the best and worst paying nursing jobs.

Types of Nursing Jobs

For starters consider the main types of nursing careers. These include nurse practitioner (NP), registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN), and nursing aides or nursing assistants. Nursing aides make the least amount of money, and these jobs require the least amount of education and training. On the other end of the spectrum advanced practice registered nurses, i.e. NPs, are a degree below physicians, which requires these workers to have a great deal of training and education. As a result, NPs make the most money among nursing careers.

Nurse Pay on the Low End

Let’s get the less desirable news out of the way first. Nurses that earn the lowest amount are paid an average of $20 per hour. For example, a licensed practical nurse will earn about $20 an hour working in a nursing home in a rural area. One thing to keep in mind here is that even with lower pay per hour nursing jobs, these nurses can still earn upward to $100,000 an hour. This is due to overtime hours that often leads to nurse pay of time-and-a-half. Overtime hours or on-call work is part of the regular job expectations of nurses, so this can easily increase a nurse’s pay rate in the lowest paying cities and states.

Nursing Pay on the Upper End

For those nurses earning the most money, they are averaging $40 per hour for nursing jobs in urban center hospitals. However, the states paying nurses the most are averaging at $26.75 per hour. The fact is there are so many different nursing job types and titles, as well as the factor of overtime pay, that it’s very difficult to gauge how much nurses are paid. Here is the latest look at specific job titles for nurses and the median wages earned according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2015:

  • Registered nurse pay is $67,490 per year at $32.45 per hour
  • Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses earn $43,170 per year at $20.76 per hour
  • Nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists make $104,740 per year at $50.36 per hour

Where to Work as a Nurse

The next factor in deciding if you want to become a nurse is where to work and live as a nurse.Here is a look at the five worst states to live in as a nurse because of their low pay scales:

  • South Dakota nurse pay is the bottom of the barrel at $52,090 a year Iowa nurses earn $53,220 a year
  • Alabama nurses make $54,900 annually
  • Mississippi nursing jobs earn $54,940 a year
  • West Virginia nurses make $55,310 annually

On the other hand, these are the five best paying states for nursing jobs:

  • California nurses earn $96,470 a year
  • Hawaii nursing jobs earn $90,220 a year
  • Massachusetts nurses make $85,530 annually
  • Alaska nursing positions bring in $83,650 a year
  • Oregon nurses earn $81,380 annually

Keep in mind that these are some of the most expensive states in which to live, so factor that into your decision when searching for the best nurse pay per state.

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