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Nursing Offers Plenty of Options: Types of Nurses and Salaries 2024 Nurse Salary and Work-Life Report

Regardless of whether you’re happy at your current workplace, you want to change your role, or move to a different organization, it’s important to know how your nurse salary compares to nurses with similar roles and educational backgrounds.

In our 2024 Nurse Salary and Work Life Report, we surveyed 3,662 nurses across licensures about their compensation, benefits, education, and workplaces. The findings give valuable insights into several types of nurses and their salaries across license types, degrees, and roles. 

Types of nurses and their salaries 

Median salaries are typically more representative salary indicators for a population than average salaries. This is because averages can be misleading due to a few high or low outlier responses. 

For this reason, it’s useful to know the median salaries for nurses in various categories instead of the average registered nurse (RN) salary, for example. The survey provided some fresh insights into types of nurses and their salaries.

School nurses: School nurses work in a variety of academic settings, ranging from daycare centers to universities, and provide medical care to students while also educating parents and teachers about wellness. 

School nurses should have at least a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), according to the National Association of School Nurses. Our survey revealed school nurses make a median salary of $56,000.

Staff nurses: Staff nurses have a registered nurse (RN) license and either a two- or four-year nursing degree — a BSN or an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). Staff nurses provide direct patient care in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Nursing homes
  • Home health agencies 

In the survey, staff nurses made a median salary of $72,500.

Charge nurses: Charge nurses oversee a nursing unit with direct patient contact, acting as liaisons between doctors and nurses. To succeed in this leadership role, charge nurses need excellent communication skills and multitasking abilities to manage staff and handoffs during shift changes. Charge nurses made a median salary of $78,000, according to our data.

Case managers: Case managers coordinate patient care in various settings, including medical practices and hospitals. Typically, case managers hold at least a BSN. Some case managers also have Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degrees with a specialty in case management or a related field. The report found that case managers made a median salary of $80,500.

Clinical specialists: Clinical specialists are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) with a master’s or doctoral degree and certification in a specialized area of nursing. This can be for a specific setting or medical issue, type of care, patient population, or disease. 

Clinical nurse specialists care for patients and have other goals such as participating in research or quality improvement efforts. The report showed clinical specialists had a median salary of $85,000.

Salaries of nurses in management roles

Some nurses seek leadership or management roles. To thrive in these roles, nurses need strong leadership, teamwork, and communication skills. Work settings, responsibilities, and educational requirements vary somewhat for these roles, depending on the practice setting and organization. Here are some management roles you may want to learn more about:

Managers: Managers, including nurse managers, are licensed nurses with mainly administrative roles and often work in office environments. Some nurse managers have Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees or certifications such as the Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML) credential. 

In the survey, nurse managers made a median salary of $99,000. Assistant managers, who provide similar duties and work with a nurse manager, made a median salary of $82,000.

Nursing supervisors: Nursing supervisors typically have an MSN degree. Nursing supervisors focus on administrative duties. Typically, they’re responsible for ensuring safe patient care operations on a unit; hiring, training, and monitoring staff nurses; and overseeing the units’ financials, scheduling, and quality improvement. Nursing supervisors had a median salary of $88,608, according to our findings.

Directors: Directors are responsible for hiring nursing staff, overseeing the nursing budget, implementing policies, and meeting departmental goals. Directors of nursing typically have an MSN or a doctoral degree. 

Years of bedside experience, along with a proven record in managerial or leadership roles, are necessary to obtain this high-level management position. According to our report, nursing directors had a median salary of $100,000. This aligns closely with data from Payscale, which reported an average annual salary of $97,979 for nursing directors. 

Nurse executives: Nurse executives are the highest-ranking nurses in an organization, responsible for managing the nursing team, planning training, and creating efficient patient care workflows. Nurse executives typically have graduate degrees (such as an MSN or MBA, a Master’s in Healthcare Administration, or a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree). 

Some nurse executives obtain additional credentials such as the NE-BC (Nurse Executive Board Certified). Nurse executives who participated in the survey had a median salary of $123,000.

Salaries vary depending on license

According to’s 2024 Nurse Salary and Work-Life Report, the median salary is $80,000. This closely mirrors data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showing the median pay for RNs as $81,220. 

Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) had a median salary of $117,300, according to our data. Within this category, nurse practitioners had a median salary of $118,000. This is was somewhat lower than comparative data from BLS, showing a median pay of $125,900 for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners. 

Licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses (LPNs/LVNs) usually work under the supervision of RNs and perform tasks such as changing wound dressings, inserting catheters, and taking vital signs. The survey found the median salary for LPNs and LVNs was $58,000. This is somewhat higher than BLS data, showing a median salary of $54,620 for an LPN/LVN.

Nursing assistants provide basic care, helping patients with activities of daily living, and they made a median salary of $35,760, according to BLS data. 

Salaries by degree 

Our report also looked at salary by degree. Nurses with advanced degrees obtained relatively higher compensation. 

The report revealed the median annual salary for nurses with BSNs was $80,000. Nurses with BSNs can work in a wide variety of clinical settings, such as long-term care, acute care, critical care, and outpatient facilities. 

RNs with BSN degrees often work in hospitals, and many work in other settings, including clinics or physicians’ offices. 

Nurses with BSNs can also work in alternative roles other than bedside nursing. Remote roles have become more prevalent in recent years, for example. In our survey, 11% of nurses said they worked in a remote role. 

After obtaining your RN license and BSN degree, you may decide to pursue additional degrees. It typically takes an additional two years for nurses to earn an MSN. With MSNs, nurses can work as nurse educators, nurse practitioners, or clinical nurse specialists. For nurses with MSNs who participated in our survey, $100,000 was the median salary reported.

Some nurses with MSNs seek further career advancement by pursuing a DNP, which generally takes an additional two years to obtain. Nurses with DNPs can seek advanced clinical leadership roles or work as executives at hospitals or health systems. According to our findings, nurses with DNPs had a median salary of $128,500.

Use the survey to advance in your career

Salary is important for all nurses, regardless of their role or education. For the majority of nurses who took the survey (66%), higher pay was the top-ranked motivator to stay in the profession of nursing. 

You can use the data on nursing salaries in multiple ways. 

  1. If you’re staying at your organization, you can see if you’re being fairly compensated. This can help you to decide whether it’s time to negotiate for a higher salary. 
  2. If you want to move to another organization, you can use the survey data to determine if an offer is fair or if there’s room to negotiate. 
  3. If you want to change settings or roles, you can use the survey data to see how a future salary would compare to your current compensation. 

Download your free copy of's 2024 Nurse Salary and Work-Life Report today!