Nursing: Occupation Overview

All About The Nursing Profession

Registered nurses typically do the following:

  • Assess patients’ conditions
  • Record patients’ medical histories and symptoms
  • Observe patients and record the observations
  • Administer patients’ medicines and treatments
  • Set up plans for patients’ care or contribute information to existing plans
  • Consult and collaborate with doctors and other healthcare professionals
  • Operate and monitor medical equipment
  • Help perform diagnostic tests and analyze the results
  • Teach patients and their families how to manage illnesses or injuries
  • Explain what to do at home after treatment

Some of the many subcategories for the nursing profession include: cardiovascular, critical care, addiction, genetics, nephrology, neonatal, rehabilitation, public health, and clinical nurse specialists.

Pay and Employment

Median Pay (2021): $77,600 per year ($37.31 per hour)

Bachelor’s degree is a typical requirement

Number of jobs (2020): 3,080,100

Job Growth (2020-2030): 9% (about as fast as the average for all jobs)

Resulting employment change from 2020 through 2030: +276,800

The largest employers are hospitals (61%) followed by ambulatory healthcare services (18%), nursing and residential care facilities (6%), government (5%), and finally educational services (3%)

Job Satisfaction

(78.72%) Personality: My personality was a good fit for the job.
(70.45%) Work Environment: The work environment suited me.
(77.08%) Interest: I found the work interesting.
(70.45%) Skill Utilization: I felt like I utilized my full skills and potential.
(72.73%) Meaning: My work gave my life purpose and meaning.
(69.77%) Salary: I was compensated fairly for my work.


Annual Mean Wage of registered nurses
Annual Mean Wage of registered nurses by area

Top Paying Metropolitan areas for Registered Nurses

  1.  San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($155,230)
  2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($151,640)
  3. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($146,360)
  4. Santa Rosa, CA ($141,440)
  5. Napa, CA ($139,680)
  6. Santa Cruz, CA ($139,580)
  7. Sacramento, CA ($135,490)
  8. Salinas, CA ($130,520)
  9. Modesto, CA ($127,730)
  10. 10. Hanford-Corcoran, CA ($124,790)

Top Paying Nonmetropolitan areas for Registered Nurses

  1. North Valley-Northern Mountains region of CA ($115,160)
  2. North Coast Region of CA ($110,760)
  3. Eastern Sierra-Mother Lode region of CA ($109,990)
  4. Alaska ($100,470)
  5. Hawaii/Kauai ($100,050)

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