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Grades and Salaries of Nurses in the United States

There are four levels of nurses in the United States: advanced practice nurses, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nurse practitioners.

Advanced Practice Nurses:

Advanced Practice Nurses must have a 2-year master's degree in nursing or a 2-year doctorate in nursing. The starting salary for an advanced practice nurse with a graduate degree is around $50,000. Registered nurses who work in anesthesia have an average income of about $65,000. 

RN (Registered Nurse):

Applicants need 2-4 years of professional nursing training and must obtain a 2-year nursing school diploma, a 3-year nursing school college or a 4-year bachelor's degree in nursing. Upon graduation, they must pass an examination administered by the National Council of Licensing Examiners (NCLEX) to obtain a registered nurse license. The starting salary for a four-year graduate RN is around $35,000.

LVN (nurse practitioner):

LVNs usually require several months to a year of classroom study and hospital internships. Like RNs, they must also pass the nursing licensing exam and obtain a license in the state before they can work in the state. Their duties are to provide basic safe and effective nursing knowledge and techniques under the supervision and direction of the RN to implement and complete the plan of care established by the RN. Duties are focused on technical aspects of nursing, such as wound care, aseptic technique, and dispensing medications and injections. Within the scope of legal authority, the nurse cannot perform assessments and analyses, nor can she give intravenous injections.

CNAs (CNAs):

are considered general laborers and do not need to pass a licensing exam, requiring only 75 hours of short training and a simple nursing skills exam to obtain a certificate to work. CNAs do only basic patient care work, with the possibility of working in the patient's home or in the hospital.

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