How Much Do Registered Nurses Make in an Hour?

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The majority of nurses today work for hospitals.
The majority of nurses today work for hospitals. (Image: Hospital image by Raulmahón from Fotolia.com)

As of 2010, there are more candidates for nursing school than there is room for them, yet the need for qualified nurses is great, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is primarily because there aren't enough nursing instructors to teach the students eager to enter the profession. Registered nurses earn hourly wages plus overtime pay. Some also earn bonuses and profit-sharing plans.

Average Hourly Salary

In 2010, registered nurses reported earning between $22 and $30 an hour, according to PayScale, an online compensation database. Hourly overtime pay increased these amounts to between $30 and $46 an hour. The addition of bonuses, which range between $200 and $1,600 on a yearly basis, brought the nurses' annual income to $46,000 to $66,000, on average.

Hourly Pay by Experience

As of 2010, registered nurses with a year or less of experience reported earning between $19 and $25 an hour, according to PayScale's figures. After five to nine years working in their industry, nurses saw their pay increase to $23 to $31 an hour. Registered nurses with over 20 years' experience report earning as much as $36 an hour.

Average Pay in Different Settings

Where a nurse is employed impacts her bottom line, according to PayScale. Registered nurses who travel and work by contract report earning as much as $34 an hour, as of 2010. Nurses working in ambulatory or surgery care report earning as much as $32 an hour, and nurses who work in a general capacity in a hospital report earning a top hourly pay of $31 an hour. Nurses in a physician's office report earning a top hourly pay of $26 an hour.

Medical Benefits

Most registered nurses receive medical benefits as part of their compensation, according to PayScale. As of 2010, 51 percent of registered nurses are getting vision care insurance from their employers, 66 percent are getting dental insurance and 76 percent are receiving medical insurance.

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