Typical salaries can vary by 300% between these 5 types of nurses

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2022

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Typical salaries can vary by 300% between these 5 types of nurses

During the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses played a vital role in providing care and preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. A study published in July 2022 in Frontiers in Public Health found that many nurses reported feelings of anxiety and depression during the pandemic. This job-related stress resulted from a heavy workload, staffing shortages, SARS-CoV-2 infection and death risk, and shortages of protective gear.

Study.com used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to rank the median wages for five different types of nurses nationwide. Health care workers earn a median of about $75,040 a year. Many nurses earn at least that much, depending on their level of education.

Licensed practical and vocational nurses earn about a year of nursing education and earn about half or a third of what advanced practice registered nurses, who hold master’s degrees, earn per year. Traveling nurses, who are not on staff but take short-term contracts, often at hospitals, can earn even more—as much as triple regular wages.

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Nurse reviewing patient information on tablet.

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#5. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

– Annual median wage: $48,070
– Hourly median wage: $23.11
– Nationwide employment: 641,240

Licensed practical nurses, more commonly called LPNs, and licensed vocational nurses, called LVNs, are trained to provide basic nursing care. They work under the supervision of doctors and registered nurses in settings such as hospitals and nursing homes. Depending on the state in which they work, LPNs and LVNs may be allowed to start intravenous drips or administer medication.

LPNs and LVNs must complete an educational program that takes about one year. The program includes training in biology, nursing, and pharmacology, which is the science of medications and their effects on the body. They are required to pass a licensure exam from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing before beginning work as an LPN or LVN.

Young child talking to nurse in pediatric care unit.

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#4. Registered nurses

– Annual median wage: $77,600
– Hourly median wage: $37.31
– Nationwide employment: 3,047,530

Registered nurses provide nursing care and teach patients and the public about different health conditions. They work in various settings, including hospitals, physicians’ offices, and nursing homes. RNs earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing or complete an approved nursing certification program. They are required to pass a more advanced national licensure exam than LPNs and LVNs. RNs may get additional certifications in specific fields, such as pediatrics or gerontology.

Midwife nurse talking to pregnant patient.

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#3. Nurse midwives

– Annual median wage: $112,830
– Hourly median wage: $54.24
– Nationwide employment: 7,750

Nurse midwives, or CNMs, are advanced practice registered nurses, meaning they are typically RNs who go on to earn a master’s degree—in this case, in nurse midwifery. They primarily provide health care to women, including routine gynecological and pre- and post-natal care. CNMs also deliver babies, manage emergency situations during delivery, and assist physicians during Cesarean sections. They may work in doctors’ offices or hospitals.

Nurse checking oximeter on senior patient.

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#2. Nurse practitioners

– Annual median wage: $120,680
– Hourly median wage: $58.02
– Nationwide employment: 234,690

Nurse practitioners, called NPs, are a different type of advanced practice registered nurses who provide primary and specialty care to specific patient populations, such as adult and geriatric patients, pediatric patients, or psychiatric patients. Depending on the state where they work, they can prescribe medication and order laboratory tests. NPs usually work in hospitals or doctors’ offices. They have a master’s degree in their field.

Anesthetist holding oxygen mask above patient.

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#1. Nurse anesthetists

– Annual median wage: $195,610
– Hourly median wage: $94.04
– Nationwide employment: 43,950

Nurse anesthetists, or CRNAs, are advanced practice registered nurses. They administer anesthesia and care for patients before, during, and after medical procedures that require general or local anesthesia. CRNAs also monitor patients’ vital signs during procedures. They must have at least one year of experience working as an RN in a critical care setting before being allowed admission to an accredited CRNA program.

This story originally appeared on Study.com and was produced and
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