Nurse Salaries 2015: What CNAs, LPNs, NPs, RNs and more are making this year!

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

Money In Pocket Image

It’s classic etiquette: Never discuss politics or religion in public—and particularly not in the workplace. For most of us, discussing salary also falls on this list of forbidden topics.

However, knowing how your salary stacks up to other nurses in your area can be crucial to your career planning process. With nursing salaries on the rise, learning where you stand among your colleagues can help determine if you should be happy where you are or if it’s time to update the ol’ resume.

With that in mind, we’ve created the 2015 nurse salaries guide.

The charts below, from, display the median salaries of a variety of nursing positions for different levels of experience. Nurses enter real salaries on the site, and the numbers are continually updated as more nurses respond. (As you know, nurse salaries will vary greatly from region to region and city to city. Additionally, it’s important to note that some positions have less respondents than others.)

We want to know: How do these salaries compare to those in your area? Sound off in the comments below.

RN Salary by Years of Experience


CNA Salary by Years of Experience


LPN Salary by Years of Experience


Staff Nurse Salary by Years of Experience


Charge Nurse Salary by Years of Experience


Nurse Practitioner Salary by Years of Experience


Emergency Room Nurse Salary by Years of Experience


Operating Room Nurse Salary by Years of Experience


Psychiatric Nurse (RN) Salary by Years of Experience

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.



  1. I have been a Registered Nurse for 20+ years. I’ve learned so much over the years and concluded that we (nurses) don’t get into this field for the money. Nursing is part of my identity and the monetary benefits of my career are secondary. I am a nurse because I love helping people, not for a paycheck. Yes, it’s nice to receive a check on Friday, and the bills still have to be paid, but I NEVER go into any nursing position for the money! Nursing is my passion, it’s who I am, not just what I do. If you have reservations in the morning, or “dreadful ” thoughts about going to work everyday, you’re probably not in the best position?
    I work with recovering opiate addicts, my patients give me so much more than I could ever receive in a paycheck! The benefits of seeing people evolve from active addiction into recovery is amazing. Watching folks grow as they integrate into society with jobs, healthy habits and wellness ; priceless!

  2. These numbers are plain and simple BS. If a new grad makes $25 an hour that is a fantastic wage. With over six years experience and board certification I make less than $45K per year. These guys must have conjured up the numbers. Or perhaps the numbers are reflective of the fact that most nurses work 2-3 jobs to make this kind of money.

  3. I too became an RN late in life ,46 and could not get job in town I lived in, went to Fl med surg for $20 an hour. Then went back home after a few months worked in a small hospital and hospice, paid very well 34+$ hr. I then went to a large hospital and wirk in a specialty area making 40+ hr.Its not easy but if you keep pounding the pavement you will eventually find work. I think age bias is bogus we have hired many older nurses, on in particular in her 70s.

  4. What do you think a school nurse should be making? My coleauges and I are making $ 14.75 and hr. We do so much, and get so little recognition. Thank you for letting me vent.

  5. Thank you. This confirms I’m making the right choice to not pursue my RN. I’m an LPN and still paying my school loan for 15 years now. Don’t want more loans and be in the same boat. Very sad.

    • I’ve got about a year and a half to finish up my RN after working as a LPN for 25 years.

      Now I just don’t know if at my age 50) it’s worth it. my last job of 5 years was eliminated due to budget cuts 2 years ago and there is nothing out there aside from long term care/home health and it’s slim pickings for me. My pay scale seems capped at $24-25 an hour but I have a really hard time justifying investing more $, not even talking about the pay but hospitals in my area seem loathe to hire someone my age and believe my I have great med/surg experience

      I think education for educations sake is important however I am wondering is nursing is a positive and wise career move for middle aged folks anymore? I am very torn on just doing it or completely changing careers. I’m really struggling with this decision and need to bring more income-but will jobs be there for me if I do pursue it? I don’ believe there is a nursing shortage at least where I live anymore and it’s pretty obvious employers will choose a 20 something nurse over a 50 something nurse every time.

  6. Those figures are low. In our area Licensed Nurses make a lot more than what’s posted. Yet nurses feel they are getting underpaid. Where did you get your figures?

    • It is an average…. That means they are averaged together from all states. That being said here in FL it is much lower but in some other parts of this state it can be higher it really just depends where you live.

  7. That was the most unrealistic pay scale I have ever seen, so far off it was laughable. I agree with the others, the bean counters and pogues could care less about experience, especially when they can get a new grad for 20K less. Before you know it, they will be hiring unlicensed personnel at 30K less. Many, many of my friends and colleagues are leaving Nursing because of ineffective leaders who make stupid decisions. I have been around for a while (combat medic, LPN, Paramedic, RN, BSN, CEN, was working towards MSN and I realized I was spending a boatload of money for minimal return. Bye Nursing, it’s been real, but I’ve been hearing the same old tired stuff for 30+ years, and nothing has changed.

  8. I hear your frustration- I am a Registered Nurse with 30 years experience and a specialty certification in my field and excellent references. It took me months to find my current job after I moved to this state. I took a $5000 a year cut in income, so I’m now making about $54K a year.
    Where are those $72K jobs? I know of no one who makes that kind of money working ordinary hours. The only RN I know making that kind of $, regularly works 48-50 hours a week, 12 to 16 hour days, evenings, holidays, weekends.

  9. I too am an RN with 30 years experience and a specialty certification in my field. It took me months to find a job after I moved to this state, and HR told me that the hourly rate they quoted me was their starting range for a nurse with my experience, about $5/hour less than it is back in my home state. According to your charts I should be making $70-72,000 a year. I make about $54,000. I had to take the job because, although I can’t prove it, I believe ageism or the fact that they can hire a new green nurse for much less, keeps them from giving well experienced nurses the opportunity to share their knowledge and skill. I’ve talked to the newer nurses and I know they are making just a few dollars less than I am. Stinks, but it’s reality.
    Where the heck did you get your stats?

  10. Yes I agree with you two ladies. I am in the same boat with you guys. I am 55 work at an RN job making 41 k. Worst in my career. That being said, with all the young girls we are screwed. No way will I ever be able to pay my school loans. I can barely make it and have taken a second job back in a nursing home I swore would never do. Worst decision of my life was to do this.

  11. You’re so right Madelyn. I’m in the same boat – 30+ years of diverse experience, double masters (MS/MPH), and no recognition for what I can bring to the table. The problem with my situation is any job that really pays wants my life an I’m not willing to give that up so easily; plus the fact that no organization will even entertain my resume due to my age. Like you, I can’t prove that, but I know it’s true. So, I work at a non-profit for less money than I was making as a LPN back in the 80’s. I love being a RN, but it’s a cruel world. At this point, I just want to pay off my student loans and retire someday. Those income charts must have been skewed to only ask the under 40 crowd.

    • Absolutely. I am 55 making 41 K. Worst in my career was desperate for a job. Local college cranks out 2 nursing programs. Experience does not matter. Young live bodies. No way I can ever afford to pay these loans. Worst decision of my life to go back at 45 and do this. It’s very sad

  12. What were you guys smoking when you came up with these charts? With almost 30 years experience, I cannot even get hired at a local hospital. I’ve been doing agency nursing because no hospital is going to hire someone my age (experience be damned) if they can get someone out of nursing school for 20 grand less. So experience means nothing. Oh yeah, can’t prove it’s the age thing.
    I even reapplied for a job I held for 10 years and had only been gone for 2 years, and was told they wanted someone with more experience.

    • I agree with you but also understand I have the same problem as a new nurse and I know it has to do with where I live and what jobs are available as well. Also older nurses are rarely the most positive.

    • Lmao ???????????
      I was wondering the same thing!!!
      What state are they looking in for these numbers. As an LVN like you with over 20 plus years experience in ICU, Burn ICU, Telemetry, Med/Surg., ER, and Pediatric Home Care for critically ill vent/teach babies, I too have been stopped by hospital staffing for fulltime work, but as soon as I’m Agency I get more phone calls then the Pope himself ?. I eventually just said they can have it period. LVNs with my experience have it the worst because every so often some big shot RN has it in her mind that we are highly trained techs with a license ?. Truth be told I’ve helped a lot of them with their admissions and discharge paperwork and I’m IV, ACLS and PALS certified. Some RNs can’t pass the course??? and I never made less than $1000 a week so get those numbers right!!!


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