A career in nursing is one of the better paying career options for those pursing an associate or bachelor's degree. It is also one of the fastest growing career fields, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which projects job growth at a rate of 22 percent from 2008 to 2018. Weekly pay for nurses depends upon a number of different factors. Degrees and certifications often factor into the equation, but so do other factors such as geographical location and venue.
The average salary for registered nurses on an annual basis was $66,530 in May 2009. On a weekly basis that computes to a salary of $1,279. This total was based on the average pay for the 2,583,770 individuals employed as nurses in 2009. This also takes into account the fact that these figures include nurses with both associate and bachelor's degrees and those that have certifications in various areas of nursing specialization.
The median salary for registered nurses provides some perspective on the average weekly pay of registered nurses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for registered nurses was similar to the average pay for nurses at $63,750 per year, as of May 2009. This amounts to a weekly median salary of $1,226. The majority of these nurses made between $52,520 and $77,970, or $1,010 and $1,499 per week. The highest paid nurses made more than $1,802 per week or $93,700.
Pay by Industry
The largest number of registered nurses work in general and surgical hospitals, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau notes that 1,492,000 nurses worked in these facilities and made an average salary of $67,740 or $1,303 per week. The next largest group -- 223,970 nurses -- worked in physicians' offices and made $67,290 per year or $1,294 per week. The highest average salaries were made by those working in medical equipment and supplies manufacturing at $77,870 annually or $1,498 weekly.
Location also has a bearing on how much registered nurses make. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the five highest paying states for registered nurses were California, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Maryland and New Jersey. The bureau notes that nurses in California made $85,080 annually or $1,636 weekly. Nurses in Massachusetts made a comparable annual salary of $81,780 or $1,573 per week. The highest paying metropolitan area for registered nurses was in Visalia-Porterville, California. Nurses there made an average salary of $111,030 or $2,135 per week.