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How Much Does a BSN Make? Here are the Top 25 Highest Paying States

Considering getting your BSN? Are you curious about how much a BSN makes? Learn about the top 25 highest-paying states for RNs that have obtained their BSN.

stethoscope on money

Registered nurses (RNs) are responsible for providing and coordinating the care of patients to help them heal from health conditions, as well as educate and provide emotional support to patients and their families.

Some of the duties of RNs include: 

  • Assessment of patient
  • Documentation of the patient’s medical history
  • Administration of medications, wound dressing changes, and other treatments
  • Monitor patients’ vital signs lab work
  • Review and interpret patient medical information to make appropriate treatment decisions
  • Consult and collaborate with physicians and other healthcare providers
  • Operate and monitor medical devices
  • Perform diagnostic exams and analyzes results obtain
  • Discharge teaching
  • Direct and supervise other nurses, nursing aides and assistants
  • Research evidence-based practice to improve patient outcomes

To become an RN you must:

  1. Complete an approved educational program.
  2. Upon completion of the program, you must pass the NCLEX licensing exam
  3. Obtain an RN license in the state you wish to practice in

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there is an expected 9% growth of employed registered nurses by 2030, with close to 200,000 job openings projected annually for the decade. 

With this job growth, many RNs will have the opportunity to find the best position that suits their personal and professional needs.

The type of degree the RN holds can be a determining factor in obtaining employment. There are several degree options for RNs to pursue, such as an Associate’s or Bachelor’s, as well as advanced options which include Master’s and Doctorate degrees. 

As a new RN, the degree program that opens the most doors is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), as it provides:

  • Basic nursing knowledge
  • Research and evidence-based practice
  • Health policy 
  • Leadership development
  • Health promotion
  • Scientific, clinical, and decision-making skill development
  • Improves critical thinking and analytical skills

With the increase in job growth, RNs that hold a BSN degree will likely hold higher-paying management roles and earn higher salaries than non-BSN-prepared nurses. If you are an RN looking to earn your BSN, Aspen University offers an accelerated RN to BSN program that can be completed in as little as 12 months.

How Much Does a BSN Make a Year?

The U.S. BLS reported that the median annual salary for BSN-prepared RNs is $75,330 or $36.22 hourly. 

Quick Facts: Registered Nurses

2020 Median Pay

$75,330 per year

$36.22 per hour

Typical Entry-Level Education

Bachelor’s degree

Work Experience in a Related Occupation


On-the-job Training


Number of Jobs, 2020


Job Outlook, 2020-30

9% (As fast as average)

Employment Change, 2020-30


Chart obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021

What are the highest paying jobs for BSN-prepared nurses?

Depending on what specialty or industry you work in, the pay can vary. The highest-paying jobs for BSN-prepared nurses include:

  1. Informatics Nurse: Technology is vital for health institutions, so informatics nurses can make over $102,000 per year. 
  2. Intensive care unit (ICU) nurse: ICU nurses provide specialized care to critically ill patients, and due to this specialized skill they can make over $92,000 per year.
  3. Travel Nurse: Travel nurses get to travel all over the country, providing medical care to patients during a number of contracted weeks. 
    • The pay for travel nurses includes base pay, travel, and housing costs
    • Travel nurses can earn an average of over $100,000 per year. 
    • With the current COVID pandemic, travel nurses have been covering many of the nursing shortages around the country. As a result, some travel nurses have made over $200,000 per year since the pandemic started in 2020.  
  4. Pharmaceutical nurse: A BSN-prepared nurse has many job opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry and can make over $90,000 annually by becoming a: 
    • Pharmaceutical sales representative
    • Pharmaceutical article writer
    • Trainer/educator of new drug therapies
  5. Hospice nurse: Instead of caring for patients to get better, hospice nurses take care of patients at the end of their lives by ensuring that the patient has a high quality of life during their remaining days, as well as providing emotional support to the patient and family. The average annual salary a hospice nurse earns is $82,000.

Top 25 Highest Paying States for BSN-Prepared Nurses in the U.S.

How much does a BSN make an hour? Weekly? Monthly? It can vary largely depending on the state you work. For example, how much BSN nurses make in Texas will vary widely from how much they make in California.

We did the research and compiled a list of the 25 highest paying states for BSN-prepared nurses. According to the data, the highest paying state for BSN-prepared nursing jobs is Washington, with an average median salary of $93,772 annually. 

Remember to take into account the cost of living expenses for each of these states, as this can have an effect on the average salary that you receive, and depending on the city within these states that you work in, the pay may vary.


Annual Salary

Monthly Pay

Weekly Pay

Hourly Wage






New York





New Hampshire













































West Virginia




















Rhode Island





New Jersey

























North Dakota




















Chart obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021

Are any states requiring nurses to have a BSN?

In the state of New York, a bill was signed into law on December 19, 2017, that requires future nurses that graduate with an associate degree to obtain their BSN within 10 years of becoming a registered nurse. 

While nurses that were licensed prior to the date the law was enacted are grandfathered in, any new licensed nurse that does not have a BSN will be required to obtain one within the given timeframe. 

Other states are considering taking these same measures, so don’t wait until this happens to start looking into a BSN.

Takeaway for Nurses

BSN-prepared RNs are and will continue to be in high demand. The job market is not the only thing growing—the salaries being offered are increasing! Although salary is important, before accepting a nursing position, consider the:

  • Benefits offered
  • Cost of living
  • Work environment

If you do not have your BSN, Aspen University has two options for you:

  1. Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Pre-licensure)

  2. RN to BSN



Dr. Margarita David


Dr. Margarita David is a doctorally-prepared Registered Nurse, #1 Bestselling Author, and founder of the Dr. Registered Nurse Success Academy, LLC. which provides tutoring, mentoring and consulting to prospective nurses, nurses, and students in graduate and doctoral studies. 

Dr. David also has a YouTube channel called Dr. Registered Nurse, where she makes videos on hard-to-understand nursing school concepts easy to comprehend. She also holds a Bachelors in Business Management & Administration and a Masters in Nursing Education and Leadership. She has been married for over 20 years and is a mother of 3! Follow her on Instagram and YouTube!