Helping and educating patients in private clinics, hospitals, emergency centers, schools and walk-in clinics, registered nurses (RNs) make up the U.S. Department of Labor’s largest contingent of health care occupations in the country. Some registered nurses choose a specialty area of care, such as pediatric oncology, trauma, dermatology or perioperative; others perform their duties with a wide range of patients. In Texas, RNs earned salaries just under the national average for the field.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the countrywide salary median for registered nurses is $63,750 per year, as of 2009. Texas RNs earned just under that of their colleagues throughout the nation, with a Texas statewide annual median wage of $63,050, a difference of $700 per year.
A portion of Texas' approximately 168,000 registered nurses did earn salaries higher than the country's average for the profession. In Texas' highest bracket of earners, salaries in the 90th percentile of RNs averaged $85,790 per year. At the bottom 10th percentile of the range, RN salaries averaged $44,950 per year.
Texans seeking salaries as registered nurses usually enroll in either a two-year associate degree or four-year bachelor’s degree program in nursing. The National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission accredits more than 50 in-state schools, including Navarro College, Central Texas College, Amarillo College, Stephen F. Austin State University, Victoria College, McLennan Community College and Lamar University. Texas requires prospective registered nurses to take the National Council Licensure Examination.
The BLS expects a 22 percent growth rate in employment of registered nurses across the country, adding 581,500 jobs to the field by 2018.The Bureau suggests Texans seeking employment look for jobs in parts of the state with elder care facilities and nursing homes, as an aging population will contribute to the heightened demand for registered nurses’ services.
2016 Salary Information for Registered Nurses
Registered nurses earned a median annual salary of $68,450 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, registered nurses earned a 25th percentile salary of $56,190, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $83,770, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 2,955,200 people were employed in the U.S. as registered nurses.