Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Nursing Salary Survey reports Western Nurses earn more

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, May 15, 2012

One category of expert nurses this survey omitted – perhaps purposely – was Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists.

As a group, they have consistently earned six-figure salaries, typically upwards of $125,000/year.

Among Advanced Practice Nurses, CRNAs have continually earned significantly more than the average APN.

In fact, according to a salary survey report performed in 2005 by LocumTenens.com, CRNA respondents reported income ranging from $90,000-$250,000, with 63% reported earning between $110,000-$170,000/year.

The average salaries reported were: 2008-$163,467 / 2009-$169,043 / 2010-$166,833.

And, in 2011, the average reported salary for CRNAs in that survey was $168,998.

Research published by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists in AANA Journal, April 2008, indicated that the median range for CRNA faculty – academic and clinical – earned between $120,000 and $140,000.

So, as you read the following items, please bear that in mind.

In the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall average salary for Registered Nurses in 2010 was $64,690 per year, or $31.10 per hour. The job outlook (forecast) for 2010-2020 is that need is expected to grow 26% (Faster than average). According to the BLS, there were 2,737,400 Registered Nurses in 2010.

Among Nurses, NPs and Those in the West Earn the Most

Jennifer Garcia

Authors and Disclosures
Jennifer Garcia
Jennifer Garcia is a freelance writer for Medscape.
Disclosure: Jennifer Garcia has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

May 11, 2012 — Nurse practitioners are the top earners among nurses, according to the Physicians Practice 2012 Staff Salary Survey . The survey reports salary averages from 1268 respondents, including nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and nurse managers. Salary information from other staff members such as physician assistants, medical records clerks, medical assistants, front desk staff, billing managers, and medical billers was also included in the survey.

Physicians Practice collected data during the fourth quarter of 2011, and stratified respondents by years of experience: 0 to 2 years, 3 to 5 years, 6 to 10 years, 11 to 20 years, and more than 20 years.

Experience Counts

Overall, nurse practitioners with 3 to 5 years of experience top the list for staff members at that level, with an average annual salary of $80,903.30. Those with 20 or more years of experience earn an average of $90,794.77 annually. Approximately 35% of nurse practitioners reported being on staff.

In the overall analysis, registered nurses with 3 to 5 years of experience earn an average of $50,964.64 a year, with 48.2% reporting being on staff. Annual income in general appeared to rise commensurate with experience, with registered nurses with from 11 to 20 years of experience earning an average of $59,945.73 and those with 20 or more years of experience earning $65,046.15 annually.

Nurses in managerial positions fare slightly better, with those who have from 11 to 20 years of experience earning an average of $67,280.55. Only 21.6% of these respondents were on staff.

Geography Matters

When broken down by region, nurses in the West (California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska) earn the most money. Among nurse practitioners in this region, across all years of experience, the average income was $91,827.43, with 26% on staff, whereas registered nurses across all years of experience earned an average of $61,283.23, with 36% on staff. Among those with 20 or more years of experience, nurse practitioners earn an average $105,900.00 a year, nurse managers earn $88,000.00, and registered nurses earn $71,513.64 annually.

Registered nurses in the Mid-Atlantic region (North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland) earned the least, with an annual income of $51,154.32 when averaged for all experience levels. Nurse practitioners in the Southeast region (South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi), in contrast, had the lowest levels of compensation across the nation, at $78,091.03, averaged across all levels of experience.

Physicians Practice 2012 Staff Salary Survey .


Because salary norms are partly dependent on local costs of living, we also present the regional results online, to the extent that our response rates in each region allow us to report credible data.

Our goal is to report all the salary information for which we have enough data to do so credibly. But we will not report salary averages drawn from too few responses, as these can often be misleading. There are several instances where we did not receive enough responses to report on salaries of specific job titles at particular experience levels. For example, in the Northeast, we had too little data on billing managers at any particular experience level, so experience-level averages are withheld. Yet we did have enough responses to report Northeast billing manager salaries generally — that is, at all experience levels — and so we have included that information. Please pay careful attention to experience levels as you examine the charts.


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