How Well are Nurses Compensated?


What’s the Scoop With Nurse Pay and Benefits?

There are not many jobs where you can literally determine your own pay, but nursing is one of them. By deciding on what type of educational route you’ll take, and whether or not you’re going to specialize in any particular area, you can have a minimum salary of $30,000 a year to well over $100,000.

For instance, if you decide to become a CNA, you can begin the job quickly – within a couple of months – but you won’t have the luxury of a higher paying salary.

On the other hand, if you decide to specialize in an area, such as oncology or anesthesiology, you can make as much as some doctors.

It’s all up to you, and if you’re just starting your career, you’ll have to give some serious thought to how you want to shape your career.

What Does it Pay?

Of course the salary that you earn will depend in great deal upon how much responsibility that you have at work. For example, the CNA that I mentioned above won’t have to make a lot of decisions on her own, but will perform her duties mostly under the direct guidance and supervision of a nurse supervisor or a doctor. She won’t have a lot of stress on the job, and most likely, when she leaves work, it will stay behind. But a nurse anesthesiologist will make many life and death decisions throughout the day, and will work alongside doctors. She will experience a great deal of stress throughout her workday, and may indeed take some of that stress home.

These are two extremes, but there are many job levels in between that all pay on different scales. When deciding on your career, you’ll obviously take into consideration the skills and knowledge that you’ll need to bring to any area of nursing, along with your specific interests and passions. But a look at the potential earning levels of your choices should play into your decision as well. It would be impossible for us to cover the salary of each nursing career here, but we do cover them in depth in our guide.

What About Benefits?

Nurses enjoy the traditional benefits that other workers do, such as medical benefits, vacation time, sick leave and retirement plans, but they also get benefits that most other types of jobs don’t offer. Here’s a listing of some that are unique to the nursing industry:

  • Flexibility: As a nurse, you’ll be able to choose between shift work, routine schedules or on-call duties. It’s one of the jobs that fit into your life, rather than the other way around.
  • Location: Just because you’re a nurse, that doesn’t mean that you’ll have to work in a hospital. Nurses work in many areas from spas to plastic surgery offices to the stars to remote villages for charities.
  • Variety: You’ll never have to settle in and do the same thing for the rest of your life – unless you want to. You can change specialties as many times as you want during your career, or even change jobs every couple of months by signing up to be a traveling nurse.

There are many wonderful benefits to dedicating yourself to a life as a nurse. You can earn a salary that will make you comfortable and chart your own path, following your passions and interests. Truly, if you’re looking for a new career, you simply can’t go wrong with nursing.


Learn More: Nursing Salaries