How Much Does a Nurse with a BSN Make?

5 Min Read Published May 5, 2023
BSN Salary Guide | Nurse.org

Average Salary for a Nurse With a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (BSN)?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median average registered nurse salary is $81,220 or $39.05 per hour, which includes both ADN and BSN-prepared nurses.

To find out how much nurses with a BSN earn, Nurse.org ran a salary survey and found that nurses with a BSN earn $40.98 per hour, on average. Which is $3.89 more per hour than ADNs!

BSN Nurse Salary by City & State

Highest Paying States for Nurses With a BSN

The amount you can make as a nurse can vary largely depending on which state you work in. The highest-paying states for registered nurses, according to ZipRecruiter, are:

  1. Washington: $113,758 per year, $54.69 per hour
  2. New York: $107,012 per year, $51.45 per hour
  3. Idaho: $103,683 per year, $49.85 per hour
  4. California: $101,533 per year, $48.81 per hour
  5. New Hampshire: $99,338 per year, $47.76 per hour

Interested in working as a nurse in one of the sunniest and highest-paying states? Read more about the average nurse salary in California!

BSN Salary by State

State Annual Salary Hourly Wage
Washington $113,758 $54.69
New York $107,012 $51.45
Idaho $103,683 $49.85
California $101,533 $48.81
New Hampshire $99,338 $47.76
Vermont $97,825 $47.03
Massachusetts $96,667 $46.47
Hawaii $96,380 $46.34
Nevada $95,881 $46.10
Maine $95,869 $46.09
Tennessee $94,506 $45.44
Arizona $94,023 $45.20
Wyoming $93,597 $45.00
New Jersey $92,820 $44.63
Texas $92,337 $44.39
Connecticut $92,258 $44.35
Alaska $91,313 $43.90
Rhode Island $91,127 $43.81
Oregon $90,977 $43.74
Indiana $90,784 $43.65
Minnesota $90,713 $43.61
West Virginia $90,183 $43.36
Montana $89,792 $43.17
Maryland $89,115 $42.84
North Dakota $89,003 $42.79
Pennsylvania $88,038 $42.33
Virginia $86,871 $41.77
Wisconsin $86,057 $41.37
Ohio $85,585 $41.15
South Dakota $85,351 $41.03
Colorado $84,435 $40.59
Iowa $84,407 $40.58
Utah $84,080 $40.42
Delaware $83,993 $40.38
Kentucky $83,959 $40.37
Nebraska $83,860 $40.32
South Carolina $82,668 $39.74
Alabama $81,900 $39.38
New Mexico $81,514 $39.19
Kansas $80,714 $38.81
Oklahoma $80,130 $38.52
Arkansas $79,916 $38.42
Mississippi $79,177 $38.07
Illinois $78,800 $37.88
Michigan $78,745 $37.86
Missouri $77,977 $37.49
Florida $77,142 $37.09
Georgia $75,348 $36.23
Louisiana $72,627 $34.92
North Carolina $69,270 $33.30

Source ZipRecruiter

>> Related: Nurse Starting Salary Guide

BSN Nurse Salary by Industry

The type of business or industry also influences how much you can earn as an RN. According to the BLS, the top-paying industries for registered nurses are:

  1. Government: $85,970 annual
  2. Hospitals; state, local, and private: $78,070 annual
  3. Ambulatory healthcare services: $76,700 annual
  4. Nursing and residential care facilities: $72,420 annual
  5. Educational services; state, local, and private: $61,780 annual

Highest Paying Jobs for Nurses with a BSN

The amount of money a BSN nurse can make depends on the type of job the nurse does. Some of the highest paying roles for nurses with a BSN include:

Pharmaceutical RN - $100,359

Pharmaceutical RNs earn an average annual salary of $100,359. These nurses usually work for pharmaceutical or medical device companies as representatives for products or assist with medication education.

Nurse Educators - $93,981

Nurse educators earn an average salary of $93,981 per year. Nursing educators are primarily responsible for ensuring that the nursing staff knows current practices and unit protocols. They often teach evidence-based care based on the most recent studies. Some nurse educators are also responsible for educating patients as well, such as diabetes educators.

Nurse Informaticists - $82,640

Nurse Informaticisists earn an average salary of $82,640. The job involves developing new communication technologies for health care and improvement of medical record systems. 

RN Case Manager - $76,677

On average, RN cases managers in the US earn an annual salary of $76,677. In this role, registered nurses help develop and manage health plans for patients who need longer-term care. Nurses coordinate the care their patients need, such as scheduling post-discharge appointments and ordering home supplies.

What Is the Difference Between a BSN and an ADN?

In the US, there are two routes to obtaining an RN license. One way is to achieve an ADN, or Associates Degree in Nursing Degree, a two-year community college education. The second and more preferred method by most employers today is to earn a BSN degree, which takes about four years to complete. 

Some of the differences between a BSN and ADN are:

  • A BSN may provide more new graduate job opportunities. Most employers will only hire (or at least prefer) bachelor's-prepared nurses.  Many nurses who have graduated with an ADN return to get a BSN due to having more limited employment opportunities, especially within the hospital setting.
  • Earning a BSN can improve your chances of promotion.
  • Nurses with a BSN often earn more money than those with only an ADN.
  • A BSN provides more classroom and clinical training in different specialties.
  • A BSN usually costs significantly more money than an ADN (4-year degree vs. a 2-year community college)

Many nurses with an ADN will make a similar salary to nurses with a BSN early on in their careers. However, having a BSN is usually a consideration for promotional opportunities or taking another job in a different facility. In these situations, BSN nurses are often selected above a nurse with an ADN, allowing the BSN nurse to earn higher wages, develop higher-level nursing skills, and gain more experience.

In other words, achieving your BSN can be an essential component to advancing your skills and earning higher-paying jobs throughout your entire career!

>> Click to Compare RN-to-BSN Programs

Is Earning Your BSN Worth It?

If you are trying to decide if obtaining a BSN is the best choice for you, there are many aspects to consider, including career potential, salary, and geographical location where you want to work. Also, many employers will only consider BSN-trained nurses for employment. 

It is faster and less expensive to obtain a two-year ADN versus a 4-year BSN. Only you can decide what is suitable for you in the long run. Many ADN nurses end up returning to college to obtain a BSN at a later date. 

A BSN is worth obtaining in most cases as it provides additional education, skills, career potential, and employment opportunities overall. Many studies also show that BSN-trained nurses can serve their patients better and deliver higher nursing care overall.

Find Nursing Programs

>>Related: Top 10 Online RN to BSN Programs 2023

Sarah Jividen
RN, BSN
Sarah Jividen
Nurse.org Contributor

Sarah Jividen, RN, BSN, is a trained neuro/trauma and emergency room nurse turned freelance healthcare writer/editor. As a journalism major, she combined her love for writing with her passion for high-level patient care. Sarah is the creator of Health Writing Solutions, LLC, specializing in writing about healthcare topics, including health journalism, education, and evidence-based health and wellness trends. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two children. 

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