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Salaries for Nurses in the US

Salaries for Nurses in the US

In the United States, nursing is one of the best paid professions and with the greatest demand for professionals. Salaries vary according to specialty, degree, place of work, years worked and, even, place of work performance.

This article reports on how much nurses earn in the United States, according to data from Medscape, Nurse Salary, PayScale and the Bureau of Official Statistics and taking into account the three major categories in which this profession is divided:

LPN / LVP, also known as vocational nurses

RN, by the abbreviations in English of Registered Nurses

NP, by acronym in English of Nurses Practicantes

Finally, it specifies what legal documents are necessary to work in the United States and what types of visa can be obtained to work in the field of nursing.


How much LPN / LVP earn in the United States

Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVP) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) are the equivalent of what in many Spanish-speaking countries is known as a nursing assistant.

From the academic point of view, the LVN and LPN are characterized by not having completed university undergraduate studies in this area, however, they must pass the test known as NCLEX-PN to work in any of the 50 states of EE .US., The District of Columbia and the territories of Guam, Samoa, Marianas and the US Virgin Islands.

In fact, it is possible to work as a LVP or LPN with only high school courses -which in some countries is called baccalaureate, high school or high school-, and, in addition, have completed certain technical courses. They can take care of healing wounds, bathing and feeding the sick, giving injections and the like.

Currently, the average annual salary of LVP and full-time LPN is $ 42,400 gross, that is, before taxes are deducted. For those who work part-time, the average payment is $ 20.30 per hour.

However, there are large differences depending on the type of work being done, additional academic knowledge, experience, etc.

Among the factors that determine the salary is the geographical place where you work. Thus, the states in which LVP and LPN command the best payrolls are Connecticut, Nevada and Alaska, with average annual salaries over $ 52,000 gross. On the other side of the scale are West Virginia, South Dakota and Alabama, where salaries are lower for these professionals.

By region, the non-metropolitan area where salaries are highest in the southeast area of laska and the metropolitan area with the highest salary is that of San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood, where the average annual gross salary is $ 60,550.

Currently, there are more than 718,000 LVP and LPN working in the United States, with the states of Texas, California, New York, Florida and Ohio using the largest number.


Registered Nurses (RN) Salaries in the United States

The majority of nurses in the United States  Florida belong to registered nurse. They can start working with a university degree, which is equivalent to an Associate's degree in the USA. If they have a bachelor's degree, (BS for its acronym in English) earn more.

In any case, to work in the United States, in any of the 50 states, Washington DC. and all its territories except Puerto Rico, it is necessary to pass the test known as NCLEX-RN . The island of Puerto Rico follows its own certification system, but Puerto Rican professionals who wish to work in one of the 50 states or in the other territories of the Union need to pass said exam.

Currently, the average annual gross salary of a full-time RN is $ 67,930 , while for part-time RN the average payment per hour is $ 32.66.

California, Hawaii and Massachusetts are the states in which wages are higher, exceeding on average $ 90,000 gross annual. On the other hand, Iowa is where the worst salary is obtained, with an average of $ 52,540 gross per year for full-time RN.

By areas, the one that commands the best salaries for RN is the area formed by San José-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, in the state of California, where the average annual gross income is $ 122,990.

As for the specialties that earn the most in the RN category, they include anesthesia, critical care or Intensive Care Units as well as certified midwives .

But undoubtedly the best paid specialty among the RN is registered and certified nurse anesthetist (CRNA, for its acronym in English). They have completed master's studies with a specialty in anesthesia and have passed a national certification exam although each state may establish additional regulations.

In addition, in many states they can work without being under the supervision of an anesthesiologist. They can do a job very similar to these, but they are cheaper to hospitals. This is a specialty known for its high levels of stress and long hours of work.

The average salary of a CRNA professional is $ 157,000 , with the entry point being $ 105,000 and the highest point being $ 242,000 gross annual.

In the United States, the distribution between men and women CRNA is practically the same, with a little more males in total. It is one of the few areas in nursing where men are so numerous.


Salary specialized nurses or Nurse Practitioner (NP)

The specialized nurses, known in English as Nurse Practitioner or NP, have completed, at least, masters studies in that specialty. In some states, they can prescribe and work independently of a doctor.

Currently, the gross annual average salary is $ 91,540 for full-time NPs . in the case of working part-time, the average gross payment per hour is $ 43.97.

The salary differences are large, depending on the specialization. The most charged are the specialists in newborn care, in psychiatry (ARNP, for its acronym in English) and care for the elderly (AGNP, for its acronym in English). In the latter case, the knowledge in additional medical fields such as diabetes or palliative care is paid with more salary.

By geography, Alaska, Hawaii and Oregon are the states with the highest salaries while by areas, the metropolitan with higher salaries in San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, in California, and in non-rural area the eastern area of he state of New Mexico.

On the other hand, the states where the NPs receive the lowest wages are Illinois, West Virginia and the city of Washington DC

It is estimated that a total of 105,780 NP are currently practicing in the United States, being California, New York, Florida, Texas and Massachusetts the states with the most work.


Visa to work as a nurse / to the United States

To work legally in the United States, it is necessary to have a migratory situation that allows it to do so. Obviously, American citizens can do it, although in the case of professions such as nursing they need to validate their studies if they have obtained them in another country.

All those who are not citizens need one of these three documents:

·        permanent residence card, the one stamped in the passport being valid

·        work permit , which are given in very specific circumstances

·        Work visa  that the employer must sponsor

Occasionally, US employers may be encouraged to sponsor a work visa. Those interested in exploring this route can consult these  10 agencies that look for companies that sponsor and accompany foreign nurses in the process of validating studies and passing exams necessary to work in the US.

In the case of graduates in nursing of Mexican nationality it is always particularly interesting to consult the previous link since for them the TN visa for professionals is enabled and the nursing is included in the list.

In addition, all foreigners regardless of nationality can try to find a sponsor of an H-1B visa for professionals. Although it must be borne in mind that each fiscal year the number of applications for this type of visa exceeds the available quota, so it is determined who wins the visa by lottery.

While at this point it is convenient to highlight two characteristics of the H-1B visa. First, research and educational institutions can sponsor these visas without an annual limit on the number. Therefore, if a sponsor of this class is obtained, the visa could be obtained at any time of the year.

Second, Chileans have reserved a number of H-1B visas that only they can use. As a general rule, the offer is higher than the demand so if a sponsor is obtained and all the requirements for obtaining the visa are met, there would not be, in principle, the problem that the H-1B visas for the current year ended .

When higher salary does not equal a higher standard of living.

Charging more is not always equivalent to living better because in the United States, taxes are paid many times higher than in the country of origin and, moreover, things are more expensive.

For this reason this  salary comparison of 18 professions in 8 countries taking into account differences in food basket may be of interest to clarify the situation.

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