What is the Median Pay for RNs? How Long Does it Take to Reach It?

Posted On January 19,2017

bigstock-Senior-patient-with-young-doct-24078074.jpgIf you are considering a career in nursing or already work as an entry-level nurse, you are likely curious as to how much money RNs earn. RNs are in high demand across the country as well as the world. Let’s delve into the details of RN compensation and take a look at how long it usually takes to reach the median pay rate.

RN Compensation

Statistics show that nearly 2.75 million RNs are employed in the United States. The starting salary of RNs is about $15,000 more than that of LPNs. The median annual salary for RNs is $67,500. This equates to about $32 per hour. RNs in the top 10 percent of earnings received a median salary of just under $102,000 in 2015. With hard work and dedication, it is possible to earn six figures as an RN.

Even RNs in the bottom 10 percent of earnings were compensated with a median salary of more than $46,000 last year. If you are more interested in mean earnings, the mean annual salary of RNs was $71,000 in 2015. This equates to more than $34 per hour.

It is clear that RNs earn a substantial amount of money for their hard work. Even entry-level nurses are compensated quite handsomely, especially when pitted against entry-level professionals in other lines of work. RNs are well-compensated because they are entrusted with important medical responsibilities that often make the difference between life and death. RNs advise the ill and disabled on health maintenance as well as disease prevention. They craft and implement care plans, maintain patient medical records, and provide case management. Many RNs have reached the level where they manage a team of nurses or specialize in a medical niche that offers extensive responsibilities.

How Long Does it Usually Take to Reach the Median Level of Pay?

RNs spend two or four years in college earning an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). If you have already earned your LPN degree, you have the perfect foundation for RN education. It is possible to complete an LPN-to-RN program in as little as two years. RNs are well on their way to reaching the median pay rate after joining the field at an entry level position.

Those who specialize in a particular nursing niche tend to reach the median level of pay faster than those who do not specialize. Those who earn a BSN as opposed to an ADN almost always breach the median rate of pay in less time. All-in-all, one’s geography, education, experience, title and specialization all play a role in determining how quickly an RN can reach the median level of pay. In some cases, it is possible to reach the field’s median pay rate in as little as a few years. In other instances, it requires upwards of a decade of experience or even longer to reach a yearly salary of $60,000-$70,000.

Complete an RN Program and You’ll Live Comfortably

The statistics outlined above make it crystal clear that RNs earn enough money to maintain an upper-middle class lifestyle. Unlike many other career paths, you won’t have to invest decades of hard work to reach the median level of RN pay. Though providing care as an RN isn’t exactly a “get rich quick” scheme, it will empower you to live a debt-free life that doesn’t require extensive physical sacrifice, long hours or in-depth technical knowledge. Whether you are looking to support a family, own property or enjoy luxurious vacations, a career as an RN will make it all possible.

Start Your Journey Now

To learn more about a career as a Registered Nurse, and whether it’s the right fit for you, schedule an appointment with Athena Career Academy today. One meeting with our Admissions counselors could help put you on the path to a successful new career that could change your life for the better.