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What is the Average Nurse Salary for 2021? State and Specialty Breakdown

Sara Cantu
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average-nurse-salary-state-specialty
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A career in nursing is a wonderful option for those hoping to enter the healthcare field. Job prospects for nurses are rising, and this profession allows people to be heavily involved in patient care without the need for a medical degree. These are just some of the reasons why people choose to pursue a degree in nursing.

But just because a nursing degree is a wise career choice doesn’t mean it’s a cheap one. Healthcare degrees are costly, with many students looking to student loans to finance their schooling. In fact, according to the National Student Nurses’ Association, over 70% of students use student loans to help pay for their nursing education.  This means that by the time they graduate, nurses will have accumulated thousands in debt, and this debt can be a struggle to repay.  

According to a study by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, graduate nursing students can expect to graduate with between $40,000 and $54,999 in debt. One study conducted by the National Student Nurse’s Association found that some ADN RNs and BSN RNs may have accumulated upwards of $80,000 in student debt by the time they graduate. These are startling figures, particularly for graduates who don’t secure employment immediately upon graduation.

If you’re a nurse struggling with student loan debt, you’re not alone. You may be searching for answers for how to pay off your student loan debt faster. One option is student loan refinancing.

Refinancing student loan debt can carry many benefits. While job prospects in the healthcare field are plenty, nurse salaries by state can vary, and many professionals in the medical industry are still faced with sky-high loan payments and interest rates. This leaves many to wonder how they will pay off their student loans and begin living a debt-free life. Many wonder whether it’s even possible.

The truth is that it is possible to pay off student loan debt, but there is no quick fix. There are, however, things nurses can do to ease the brunt of big monthly payments and accruing interest.  

What is the average nurse salary?

How well nurses are able to manage student loan debt is largely dependent upon how much they earn. “What is the average nurse salary” is a common question graduates will ask when deciding where to begin their careers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses can expect to earn an average of $71,730 per year as of May 2018. But keep in mind that nurse salaries by state can vary. If you are one of the thousands wondering what is the average nurse salary, here is some helpful data about nurse salaries by state from Nurses.org, ranked from lowest to highest.

51.  South Dakota: $59,540

50.  Mississippi: $59,750

49.  Alabama: $60,230

48.  Iowa: $60,590

47.  Arkansas: $61,330

46.  Kansas: $62,450

45.  Tennessee: $62,570

44.  West Virginia: $63,220

43.  Kentucky: $63,750

42.  Missouri: $64,160

41.  Oklahoma: $64,800

40.  South Carolina: $64,840

39.  Louisiana: $65,850

38.  North Dakota: $66,290

37.  North Carolina: $66,440

36.  Indiana: $66,560

35.  Nebraska: $66,640

34.  Florida: $67,610

33.  Utah: $67,970

32.  Ohio: $68,220

31.  Wyoming: $68,690

30.  Montana: $69,340

29.  Idaho: $69,480

28.  Georgia: $69,590

27.  Maine: $69,760

26.  Vermont: $70,240

25.  Pennsylvania: $71,410

24.  Virginia: $71,870

23.  Wisconsin: $72,610

22.  Michigan: $73,200

21.  New Mexico: $73,300

20.  Illinois: $73,510

19.  New Hampshire: $73,880

18.  Delaware: $74,100

17.  Texas: $74,540

16.  Colorado: $76,230

15.  Maryland: $77,910

14.  Arizona: $78,330

13.  Minnesota: $80,130

12.  Rhode Island: $82,310

11.  Connecticut: $83,440

10.  New Jersey: $84,280

9.  Washington: $86,170

8.  New York: $87,840

7.  Nevada: $88,380

6.  Alaska: $90,500

5.  Oregon: $92,960

4.  Massachusetts: $93,160

3.  District of Columbia: $94,820

2.  Hawaii: $104,060

1.  California: $113,240

Nurse salaries by specialty

Evaluating nurse salaries by specialty is important when determining which route of study to pursue. Nurse salaries by specialty can differ significantly, so it’s wise to consider this prior to making any final decisions about what type of nursing you’d like to go into. According to Zip Recruiter, the average for nurse salaries by specialty include:

  • ER Nurse: $93,405/year
  • Critical Care Nurse: $100,433/year
  • Nurse Practitioner: $109,025/year

Luckily, nurses have options when it comes to paying off their student debt faster. The answer is student loan refinancing. Nurses make excellent candidates in qualifying for this type of financial move. Many nurses earn good salaries and carry good credit, which makes them preferable borrowers for all types of lenders.

There are a number of benefits associated with student loan refinancing. For one, doing so can help you save on interest throughout the course of your loan. By refinancing, you’ll be agreeing to new loan terms and may be able to secure a much lower interest rate than you are paying now. This alone can save thousands in savings!

Other benefits of refinancing student loan debt include the ability to shorten or lengthen your payment terms. Maybe you’d like to extend your repayment period in order to lower your payments each month, or maybe you’d like to shorten it and pay more per month to rid yourself of debt faster. Refinancing your student loans allows you to secure new terms that reflect not only your current financial standing but also your goals for your future. Whether you’re hoping to purchase a vehicle, a new home, or even start a family, simplifying your finances sooner rather than later is a smart move.

Comparing student loan refinancing rates

Research is crucial before making any big decision about your financial future. Student loan refinancing is no different. Comparing rates is a great way to help you determine which offer is willing to extend the best deal. You don’t want to accept the first offer that comes your way only to find out you could have saved more money had you just shopped around.

By using a comparing rates tool and carefully evaluating all of your options, you can remain confident that you are making the best possible move to get closer to a life that’s free of student debt.

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