RN pay in 2020: 7 things to know

Here are seven takeaways from Nurse.com's Nurse Salary Research Report pertaining to salaries and earning power for registered nurses in 2020. 

1. Male registered nurses continue to outearn their female counterparts even though they report less education and are less likely to be certified. The median salary for all RNs in the sample is $73,000; it is $80,000 for male RNs and $72,703 for female RNs. (Of those responding to "What is your gender?," 93 percent of RNs were female, 7 percent were male, and 0.2 percent were nonbinary.)

2. Nurses earn the highest median salary in the region made up of California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon and Alaska ($88,156).

3. Nurses earn the lowest median salary in the region made up of Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida ($62,193).

4. The highest-earning RN roles are "executive" or "vice president," with a median salary of $150,000 overall, based on a sample size of 13 and 11, respectively. 

5. The next highest-earning roles for RNs are: 

  1. Nurse manager — $92,000 based on sample of 266
  2. Assistant nurse manager — $90,000 based on 57
  3. Supervisor — $79,000 based on 213
  4. Case manager — $78,000 based on 405
  5. Charge nurse — $76,375 based on 536
  6. Staff RN — $70,000 based on 2,623
  7. Nurse educator — $68,000 based on 229

6. RNs identified regular merit increases as the most important determinant of their career satisfaction. Ability to use their full scope of practice ranked second. Their manager, organization's mission and advancement opportunities tied for the third most important determinants.

7. Eleven percent of RNs polled are actively looking for a new job, while 41 percent are passively open to new opportunities. Eleven percent of RNs are also looking to exit the nursing profession altogether, with the No. 1 reason being stress. 


Survey findings are based on a pool of 6,493 RN participants. The overall sample is representative of each state's percentage of RNs when compared to the U.S. workforce. Respondents could choose not to answer any question. This design led to different sample sizes for different questions. So while there were 6,493 participants, some participants chose not to answer certain questions, meaning not all questions' sample sizes add up to 6,493.

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