Nurse Salary Insights for 2023

Nurse Salary Insights for 2023

May 11, 2023

Are you thinking of becoming a nurse? Or maybe you’re already a nurse and looking for a new opportunity. We've outlined the current trends in nursing salaries for 2023.

While there is a significant shortage of nurses across the country, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, the outlook for this profession is strong and salaries are increasing across the board. The vacancy rate for RNs stands at 10% and approximately 90% of nurse leaders anticipate a post-pandemic staffing shortage, which means plenty of work is available for those entering the nursing field or looking to make a change.  

Higher Nursing Salaries

Nursing salaries have increased for generalists and specialists, and are expected to continue. According to the 2022 Nurse Salary Research Report, which is produced every two years, the average RN salary for 2022 was $78,000 — a nearly 7% increase over the 2020 rate of $73,000. Meanwhile the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is estimating the median annual salary for RNs in 2023 will be approximately $81,200. Similarly, APRN salaries have increased by $13,000, and LPN/LVN salaries are up by $3,000.

Not all nurses have seen an increase, however. In a survey by, 25% of respondents noted salary increases, while 9% saw decreases. RNs who work in American Hospital Association Region 3 saw declines in salaries compared to last year, which includes facilities in Kentucky, Delaware, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. 

Hiring Bonuses and Negotiation

To fill employment gaps nationwide, some nurses are also taking advantage of hiring bonuses. Healthcare facilities are implementing various attraction and retention measures, including higher salaries, flexible schedules, loan forgiveness, sign-on bonuses, relocation packages, and tuition assistance. 

The Nurse Salary Research Report noted that male RNs continue to outearn female RNs. The reported pay gap increased from $7,297 in 2020 to roughly $14,000 in 2022. The report theorized that male nurses are more likely to negotiate their salaries. Notably, around 30% of nurses surveyed claimed they had never negotiated their salaries compared with 18% who said they had.

Salary by Education

We have covered how nurse salaries have generally increased for RNs, APRNs, and LPN/LVNs, but what about educational differences? According to the same survey, the median salary for those holding an associate's degree or below is $67,000. BSN holders earn around $78,000 on average, while those with a graduate nursing degree earn $100,000. For those with non-nursing college or graduate degrees, the salary hovers around $75,000.

How Do Benefits Compare by License Type?

As you know, salary is not the only compensation you receive as a nurse. Benefits received through your employer are also important. The most common benefits, received by at least two-thirds of all respondents, include paid time off (PTO), 401(k), dental, medical, and life insurance.

Among the findings, 80% of APRNs and 76% of RNs were offered a 401(k) by their employers compared with 62% of LPN/LVNs. Likewise, more than RNs and APRNs were offered dental insurance, medical insurance, and paid time off at an increased rate compared to LPN/LVNs. 

It should also be noted that nurses working in ambulatory or acute care settings receive more benefits than those working in home health, long-term health care, or school settings. 

The top three benefits that nurses want but don't currently also vary by license type.

  • RNs are looking for bonuses, malpractice insurance, and profit sharing.
  • APRNs would like bonuses, profit sharing, and reimbursement or paid continuing education.
  • LPN/LVNs are interested in bonuses, reimbursement or paid continuing education, and tuition reimbursement. 

The Time is Now to Become a Nurse or Change Nursing Jobs

As you can see, salaries are trending higher for most nurses and nurse specialists as nurses remain in demand. If you are new to nursing or changing jobs, make sure you negotiate your salary to maximize your pay. You also may be able to take advantage of the many benefits being offered by employers that need to fill employment gaps — resulting in an even higher salary, potential tuition reimbursement options, a flexible schedule, and paid time off.

You can start your nursing job search by applying to work with Prolink. In addition to competitive salaries, we offer medical and dental benefits, life insurance, and a 401(k). 

We partner with some of the most prestigious healthcare facilities around the country, which lets us notify you of job opportunities when they become available before the general public is notified. Start now by filling out our easy online application form.

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