May 18, 2007
On average, the 2.4 million registered nurses in the U.S. earned $28.71 per hour in May 2006. Registered nurses in California were the highest paid among all of the States, with an average hourly wage of $36.12.
At the metropolitan area level, mean hourly wages of registered nurses were about twice as much in the highest paying areas as in the lowest paying areas.
The metropolitan areas with the highest mean hourly pay for registered nurses were in California: the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan area ($44.42) and the Oakland-Fremont-Hayward metropolitan division ($43.18). The Salinas, San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, and Santa Rosa-Petaluma areas also had some of the nation's highest mean hourly wages for registered nurses.
Among the areas with the lowest wages paid to registered nurses were Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, Virginia ($19.70), Morristown, Tennessee ($20.16), Lawrence, Kansas ($20.55), Jonesboro, Arkansas ($20.68), and State College, Pennsylvania ($20.76).
These data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics program. To learn more about occupational earnings and employment, see "Occupational Employment and Wages, 2006" (PDF) (TXT), USDL news release 07-0712.