The Average RN Salary in the San Diego Area

Registered nurses provide essential patient care.
Registered nurses provide essential patient care. (Image: Nurse in Scrubs image by Mary Beth Granger from

The Medical Resource Group reports that about 17,000 Registered Nurses (RNs) work in San Diego, California, as of 2008. RNs in the San Diego area have a wide range of training, experience and responsibilities, all of which affect their salary.

2009 Median Salaries

The median annual salary for RNs in San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos as of May 2009 was $80,020, with 50 percent earning between $69,350 and $93,030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the low end of the pay scale (10th percentile), RNs earned $60,620, and at the high end (90th percentile), RNs earned $105,770.

January 2011 Salary Data

As of January 2011, the Payscale website reports that San Diego is the fifth highest paying U.S. city for RNs, with an hourly rate of $27.71 to $37.23. reports the average salary for currently listed RN jobs is $64,000.

Advance Practice Nurse Salaries

RNs with a master's degree can become an advance practice nurse, such as, a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse midwife or certified registered nurse anesthetist. According to, the average salaries for advanced nursing specialties in San Diego include clinical nurse specialist, $70,000; certified nurse midwife, $87,000; nurse practitioner, $81,000; and certified registered nurse anesthetist, $93,000.


For RNs who belong to the California Nurses Association union, salaries are negotiated between the union and the employer and are often based on years of experience.

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