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Masters in Nursing Average Salary

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Serves: USA
Accredited: Yes
Enrollment: Several Terms
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The demand is high for nurses, and consequently, the salaries of nurses with advanced education is increasing steadily. But exactly how much would a nurse with an advanced degree make per year? You may want to know this information before you commit to approximately two years’ of study and tuition debt.

Salary Ranges

The mean annual salary of registered nurses in the United States is $62,450 as of May 2008, with the middle 50% of RNs earning in the range of $51,640 and $76,570. Higher salaries can be commanded of RNs who go on to earn a master’s degree in nursing and advance to the level of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). In 2006, the average annual salary of an APRN with a masters in nursing degree was $69,200.

With additional certification in certain specializations, including anesthesiology or midwifery, the advanced-degree nurse can draw an even larger salary. Nurse midwives, for example, can draw salaries in excess of $90,000 per year according to Salary.com. Additionally, location can help to draw a larger salary. Areas in the Northeast and along the West Coast tend to offer higher pay scales for their nurses. California RNs, for example, earn $87,480 on average.

Median Salaries by Select Types of Nurse

Occupation Education Requirement Median Salary*
Licensed Practical Nurse High School/Associate $41,273
Staff Nurse (RN) Associate/Bachelor’s $65,570
Clinical Nurse Specialist Master’s $87,975
Nurse Practitioner Master’s $89,899
Certified Nurse Midwife Master’s $91,355
Nursing Director Master’s $121,082
Certified Nurse Anesthetist Master’s $156,226
* According to Salary.com

Other Factors that Affect Salary

Length of time in the field also affects salaries. For instance, after five years of practice, the salary range for APRNs stretches from $60,000 to $100,000 a year. Again, it depends on location. After five years, nurse midwives earn salaries ranging from $65,000 to $120,000 annually.

If you prefer to combine a business degree (such as an MBA or MHA) with your MSN, you may realize a higher salary as well. Nursing directors on average earn more than $120,000 per year, compared to a cardiovascular ARNP who may make $78,428 per year.

Location is everything in this career, even when it comes to overtime. Certain medical facilities reimburse overtime by paying a high hourly rate, while others compensate the time by increasing time off. If the reimbursement comes as an hourly pay, the pay rate will differ from one specialty to another. Nurses may acquire their hourly pay by the number of beds or by the size of the supervised staff.

Whether you want to continue your education to be at the forefront of administration or research depends upon your willingness to pay for that master’s degree and a commitment to a specialty. When you earn a master’s degree in nursing, you show a commitment that many nurses may not be willing or able to take on. This desire often is one of the requirements that many health facitilities look for when hiring the best personnel.

Featured Schools With Online Master's in Nursing Degrees


Southern New Hampshire University provides healthcare professionals with the unique opportunity to further advance their careers through Clinical Nurse Leader degree program. Southern New Hampshire is an accredited online university furthering the academic advancement of thousands of individuals nationwide.

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The Master of Science in Nursing program, which is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of registered nurses with baccalaureate-degree preparation.

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Earn your M.S. in Nursing with a specialty in nurse administration or nurse education with an online degree from Kaplan University. The Master of Science in Nursing is also a foundation for future doctoral studies. And because these programs are completed online, it is easy to continue your current job.

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The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of registered nurses with baccalaureate-degree preparation. Coursework covers advanced nursing content and process, as well as leadership skills, teaching experience and the ability to manage health care systems. Areas of specialty within their MSN program include health education, informatics, health administration, and healthcare management.

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Earn your dual master's degree in business and nursing, along with specialties in clinical care, education, family nurse practitioner, or nursing leadership at Grand Canyon University's college of nursing and health sciences. Each course can provide you with the skills and techniques you need to become the best in your field.

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At Walden, we believe that knowledge is most valuable when put to use in organizations, communities, and families. We offer over 75 online degree programs with more than 345 specializations and concentrations, all designed to help professionals gain the knowledge they need to have a real impact in their lives and the lives of others.

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