In the United States, registered nurses (RN) earned an average salary of $71,000. The average registered nurse salary is C$66,414.40 ($49,531.02 USD) in Canada, AU$62,566.40 ($47,617.70 USD) in Australia and CHF58,522 ($59,120.88) in Switzerland. Registered nurses in the United Kingdom made an average £23,019 ($28,160.97 USD) per year, while Norwegian nurses fetched pay of NOK492,000 ($59,512.01 USD) per year.
Registered Nurses Salary Influencers
The pay of a registered nurse depends typically on the work setting, the demand for registered nurses in a country, experience and certifications or expertise.
Hospitals, doctors’ offices and nursing homes tend to dominate employment of registered nurses. For example, General Medical and Surgical Hospitals in the United States employed an estimated 1,587,040 registered nurses. A number of registered nurses may find employment in military hospitals and healthcare facilities that serve combat and other veterans.
Many countries face a shortage of registered nurses. The need can generate for registered nurses higher salaries, including signing bonuses and other incentives. Other industry influencers of salaries include experience, specialty, whether the employer is in the private or public sector and location.
2. Geographical Area
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Registered Nurse Salary in the US
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, as of May 2015, registered nurses earned on average $71,000 per year. Ten percent made more than $101,630 and 25 percent earned above $82,490. The average hourly wage for registered nurses in general is $34.14 per hour, but $46.75 for emergency room registered nurses, says PayScale.
Registered Nurse Salary in Canada
According to PayScale, registered nurses in Canada average an hourly wage of C$31.93 ($23.80 USD). Accounting for overtime, bonuses and profit sharing, PayScale reports an annual salary range of C$44,686 ($33,315.33 USD) to C$86,110 ($64,198.10 USD).
RN Salary in the United Kingdom
PayScale reports the average salary for registered nurses in the United Kingdom is £23,019 per year. According to PayScale, the highest earners among registered nurses came from cardiology and home health settings. RNs designated as “Experienced Registered Nurses” averaged annual earnings of £27,527 ($33,681.06 USD).
RN Salary in Australia
PayScale reports that registered nurses made on average AU $30.08 ($22.89 USD) per hour. The total pay for Australian registered nurses spans from AU$46,131 ($35,109.65 USD) to AU$79,850 ($60,773.39 USD). This range takes into account profit sharing, overtime and bonuses along with basic pay.
RN Salary in Switzerland
According to PayScale, the average registered nurse pay in Switzerland is CHF 58, 522. Basic pay ranges between CHF 32,974 and CHF95,131.
Registered Nurse Salary in Norway
Statistics Norway reports, in 2015, nurses earned an average of NOK41,000 ($4,961 USD) per month, which translates to NOK492,000 annually.
Generally, registered nurses obtain supervised clinical experience as part of degree programs. The length of study may vary by nation, but generally degree programs last three to four years. Nursing students take courses in biology, anatomy, nutrition, psychology, physiology, chemistry and other subjects commonly encountered in nursing practice.
Qualification as a registered nurse requires passing an examination. In the United States and Canada, the exam is administered by the National Council Licensure Examination – RN. Nurses in the United Kingdom must be registered through the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Some countries require applicants to pass language proficiency tests. For instance, nurses in Australia and at least some Canadian provinces must speak English. Nurses in Norway must show the ability to speak Norwegian.
Nurses generally work full-time, but part-time work is not uncommon. For instance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says one in six registered nurses work part-time. In the United Kingdom, nurses work on average 37.5 hours per week.
Shifts depend on the setting in which the registered nurse practices. Nurses who work in hospitals and nursing homes likely will have some late night, early morning and weekend work hours. In physician’s offices, schools and other facilities that do not provide around-the-clock care, registered nurses typically work traditional business hours. Registered nurses employed by home health care agencies and companies will spend considerable time traveling.
Bonuses & Benefit Packages
Benefits for registered nurses are typically set by employers. Registered nurses in public schools and in hospitals or clinics run by the U.S. Veterans’ Administration and by military, state, provincial or local governments and their agencies receive benefits set by state personnel laws and regulations. Depending on the state, these registered nurses may have tenure or protections from termination without cause. Nurses in the UK’s National Health Service receive up to 27 days of paid leave per year, bonuses for working overtime and irregular shifts and pension benefits. Certain health care providers, such as in certain Canadian provinces, may obtain bonuses at hiring, as the employers address nursing shortages.
Switzerland and Norway mandate particular benefits, such as holiday time, occupational pensions and insurance. Switzerland establishes a pillar system in which retired registered nurses get a pension equal to 60 percent of total pay. Australian registered nurses can obtain superannuation payments of at least 9.5 percent of salaries, ten paid sick days per year and five weeks of paid leave per year.
Registered nurses can expect many opportunities for jobs, with many countries reporting or fearing nursing shortages. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increase of 16 percent in registered nursing jobs between 2014 and 2024. According to the Canadian Nurses Association, Canada could experience a shortage of 60,000 nurses by 2022 . Aging populations in the United States, Canada and other countries and the enhanced availability of health insurance will spur the demand for registered nurses.
Opportunities are also available for registered nurses in military hospitals, especially in nations where personnel are or have experienced injuries from combat. Job openings with public and governmental agencies may be affected by budgetary constraints.
A registered nurse can find solid employment and pay prospects as regions and nations address nursing shortages. Experience and certification will also play a role in registered nurse salary. Opportunities exist for work in private and public settings, including those serving students and military personnel and veterans. Read more about related professions salaries, such as nurse practitioner or the basic nurse pay.