Do Nurses Make Good Money?

Do Nurses Make Good Money

Many people look at nursing and wonder whether or not it is the right job for them. There are many aspects that make this job a good one, and helping patients to recover back to full health is just one of them.

But of course, knowing whether or not being a nurse makes a good amount of money is something that cannot be forgotten. In general, yes, nurses do make good money when compared to other professions that only require an Associate Degree.

You can get a job straight out of school and go on to make a decent amount of money without needing any additional specializations or further schooling, which is quite appealing to most.

Continue reading if you are interested to learn more about what nurses are, what they do exactly, and the salary that can be expected as a registered nurse.

Getting to Know About Nurses

What is a Nurse?

As a refresher for anyone who either is not fully aware of the responsibilities of a nurse or what it is that a nurse actually does other than assisting doctors, we will go over just a quick description of the job.

There are actually a myriad of different types of nurses and specializations, but most commonly when people talk about nursing as a career or a nurse, they are referring to what is known as a registered nurse. 

These nurses are considered by everyone to be the backbone of the current state of healthcare within the United States. Registered nurses attend to and accommodate patients at nearly every single hospital or clinic available.

Nurses provide basic healthcare and medications to patients while also performing physical exams and checking the health history of patients before a doctor deals with the patient themselves.

In many ways, nurses are the bridge between the doctor and the patient and keep track of records and other important information of the patients which may be used later on down the line for treatment.

What Do Nurses do, Exactly?

As discussed earlier, nurses perform a variety of duties, and many of these are of the utmost importance in terms of providing proper healthcare to patients.

Because there are so many different types of nurses, like we mentioned earlier, we will only be focusing on the typical responsibilities of a Registered Nurse, seeing as this is what most will be referring to when they wonder what a nurse does.

To start, registered nurses will be in charge of performing exams on patients in order to determine their physical health. In addition to this, they will run a thorough check on the history of the patient’s health and see what is on their medical history before they come to any decisions.

Nurses are also tasked with the job of providing health counseling and educating patients on things related to their health as well as how they can take care of themselves or deal with their conditions.

And of course, nurses are also responsible for coordinating with other healthcare professionals on how they can treat a patient. This could be a surgeon, doctor, or any other type of specialist. 

The nurse is tasked with feeding them relevant information about the patient and then assisting them in treating said patient.

There is in fact a process known as the Nursing Process, which every nurse uses in order to provide the very best care possible to the patient. This process is very similar to the scientific method.

Firstly, nurses start with the assessment step. In this step, nurses will assess the patient on a variety of different facets. These include the economic situation of the patient, the patient’s physiological health, as well as their lifestyle and social aspects.

After this, the nurse will give their diagnosis. They will take everything into account, including the physical and psychological symptoms and behavior of the patient, and then come to a diagnosis that fits the patient best.

Following this, nurses will utilize their knowledge in the field in order to set some attainable goals for the patient and their recovery. Using their expertise, they will monitor the objectives set and see that they are met.

The fourth step in the nursing process entails the actual implementation of the previously formulated healthcare plan. Nurses closely document each and every change in the patient’s symptoms and behavior, while keeping things consistent.

Lastly, nurses will perform evaluation. This step is essential, seeing as the nurse will analyze closely the plan which they implemented previously. They will also gauge how effective this plan was and learn and improve from it.

Performing this final step is key in becoming a better nurse, as you can look back on your past results and see how you can better yourself and become a better nurse overall.

So, Do Nurses Make Good Money?

Now the question that needs to be answered: do nurses make good money? Of course, we cannot really compare nursing in general, seeing as there is such a wide variety of other professions and jobs out there. But we can compare nursing to similar courses or situations.

To start, we can ask if nurses make good money when compared to other graduates of four-year courses or Bachelor degrees. 

Keep in mind that moving forward we will be speaking of the average wages of other professions, for the sake of simplicity.

On average, nurses make around $70,000 for their yearly salary, coming in at just under $34 per hour of work. 

When compared to other college graduates, this being graduates of similar four-year courses or Bachelor degrees, comes in at just around $50,000. 

This sets nurses as earning a bit higher than the average for other college graduates with other degrees.

Making that amount of money per year as a fresh graduate is nothing to scoff at, and is definitely a sum that can be considered good by most.

Now, when taking into account that other graduates such as engineers (who make on average between $58,000 and $117,000 yearly) or similarly technically involved courses may make a more, you may think that nurses do not make the most out of any graduates.

Although it is true that nurses do not make the most money out of any four-year graduate course, the amount of effort and skill that is involved in nursing when compared to how much money you can expect to make on average is quite good.

Even if you are only a Licensed Practical Nurse, you will still be making what can be deemed as a good salary. On average, licensed practical nurses make a bit less than registered nurses, but not by very much.

Licensed practical nurses can expect to see a salary right around $46,000 every year while making around $22 hourly. 

Bear in mind that these numbers are for nurses who are fresh out of college, who do not hold any further specializations.

The amount of money a nurse can make straight out of college is very good, and more than enough for most young professionals. 

What makes things even better is the fact that most nurses start out young, and will see a pay increase the longer their tenure is with a certain hospital or clinic, in most cases.

Alternatively, you may choose to go back and attain a specialization. This is also a great choice as you will see an even larger pay increase if you have more credentials and specializations under your belt.


Overall, becoming a nurse is a great choice for anyone who has the desire to help those who need treatment. And of course, the money that you will earn while performing your duties as a nurse is considerably good, especially for a fresh graduate or young professional.

When compared to other careers held by graduates of four-year courses, nurses make a good amount of money. The average amount of $70,000 for a yearly salary is excellent for any young professional who has just finished their schooling.

With multiple options available to increase your salary, either through further study or growing tenure with the hospital or clinic you are working at, there is truly no reason not to become a nurse in this day and age.

Work is readily available, and nurses will always be needed by the populace. Becoming a nurse is a great choice for those who would like to have a steady career which also pays well.

Jonathan Holmes

Jonathan Holmes is a writer for HKS Siblab, an education and business blog. He has a MSc in Cyber Security & Digital Forensics from the University of Hertfordshire and has been working in the cyber security industry since 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing guitar and spending time with his family.

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