RN Salary Guide and Career Outlook

The base pay for registered nurses in the United States stands at $61,803 per year. While in Canada that is lower, at C$59,191 ($47,570) per year. The RN salary in Australia is AU$58,132 ($46,545) each year, same workers from New Zealand earn around NZ$55,805 ($40,631) per year.

In the UK the median hourly wage is £13.62 ($18.90), while the annual pay is £23,351 ($32,406). The pay in South Africa is lower, at R210,985 ($17,300) per year. While in India it barely reaches Rs 238,233 ($3,730) each year. An RN salary is impacted by experience, job skill, and location. Therefore, you can learn more about these factors and the job outlook for registered nurses in the article below.

nurse in blue scrubs comforting a patient

How Much Does a Registered Nurse Make per Year by Country?

RN SalaryUSCanadaUKAustraliaNew ZealandIndiaSouth Africa
Hourly Pay$28.90C$32.76 ($26.33)£13.62 ($18.90)AU$31.22 ($25.00)NZ$26.68 ($19.43)Rs 203 ($3.18)R102 ($8.36)
Annual Pay$61,803C$59,191 ($47,570)£23,351 ($32,406)AU$58,132 ($46,545)NZ$55,805 ($40,631)Rs 238,233 ($3,730)R210,985 ($17,300)

RN Salary Influencing Factors

An RN career is a popular profession regardless of location. Even if there are variations in the RN salary based on the sample and how many people report their income, the data from Payscale.com provides a good understanding of the variances in pay.

1. Location

How Much Does an RN in the US?

RN Salary USPer YearPer Hour
OvertimeNo additional pay$59.71
Total Pay$46,633 to $88,955

How Much Does an RN Make in Canada?

RN Salary CanadaPer YearPer Hour
OvertimeNo additional payC$75.93
Total PayC$46,255 to C$88,744

How Much Does an RN Make in the UK?

RN Salary UKPer YearPer Hour
Bonus£5,051No additional pay
OvertimeNo additional pay£24.64
Total Pay£18,547 to £35,588

How Much Does an RN Make in Australia?

RN Salary AustraliaPer YearPer Hour
OvertimeNo additional payAU$64.01
Total PayAU$48,475 to AU$83,388

How Much Does an RN Make in New Zealand?

RN Salary New ZealandPer YearPer Hour
BonusNZ$3,606No additional pay
OvertimeNo additional payNZ$49.56
Total PayNZ$45,824 to NZ$68,083

How Much Does an RN Make in India?

RN Salary IndiaPer YearPer Hour
MinimumRs 123,989Rs 25.34
MaximumRs 493,302Rs 1,973
BonusRs 29,479No additional pay
OvertimeNo additional payRs 50.51
Total PayRs 123,292 to Rs 527,708

How Much Does an RN Make in South Africa?

RN Salary South AfricaPer YearPer Hour
BonusR41,251No additional pay
OvertimeNo additional payR13.19
Total PayR145,053 to R320,520

2. Experience

Registered nurses in all countries experience an increase in pay as they gain more experience. However, experience is valued more highly in some countries than others.

In the United States, Canada, and South Africa, the RN salary growth has consistency as experience is gained. While in the UK, Ne Zealand, and Australia, the pay remains the same for professionals with experience between 5 and 20 years. In India, there is a rise in pay from Rs 290,000 per year for professionals with 5-10 years of experience, to Rs 401,000 per year for those with 10-20 years of experience. Then it starts decreasing as years go by, so for people with 20 years on the job or more, the yearly salary can get as low as Rs 120,000.

3. Industry

An RN career will look different depending on where they work. In the United States, most registered nurses work in hospitals, 61%. However, they also work in nursing homes, physician offices, home healthcare, and the government such as in schools. Those who worked for the government had the highest average pay at $72,100 and nursing care had the lowest average pay of $60,370.

Different skills are valued depending on the country. In the United States skills in anesthetics are valued, in Canada registered nurses who work in psychiatry, or the intensive care unit are valued. Meanwhile, registered nurses in India are paid under the average if they work in the intensive care unit. In the United Kingdom cardiology, home care, and dialysis skills are valued while dialysis is also highly valued in South Africa.

Schedule & Working Hours

The working environment of registered nurses is highly dependent on where they work. Registered nurses frequently have to work nights, weekends, and holidays because people always need medical care. Registered nurses also can go work in countries that need medical care and will travel around the world. Most nurses work full-time but one in six works part-time. Registered nurses may also need to be on call if the other registered nurses are not able to work their scheduled hours.

Bonuses & Benefits

Registered nurses will receive a variety of benefits depending on where they work and if they are full or part-time. While many employers may contribute to retirement, this is dependent on the country and business. The table below shows the healthcare benefits.

CountryUnited StatesCanadaUnited KingdomAustraliaNew ZealandIndiaSouth Africa

Career Outlook

Being a registered nurse is a smart choice around the world. In the United States, registered nursing is expected to grow as a field by 15% until 2026. So, depending on the demographics of a country nurses will be needed in different fields. For example, countries with a high birth rate may need more neonatal nurses while those with a higher elderly rate may be needed more in nursing homes.

The highest paying areas for registered nurses in the United States are Los Angeles, San Diego, New York, Seattle, and Philadelphia. While in Canada, the high paying areas are Edmonton, Calgary, and Saskatoon and in Australia, the high paying areas are New Castle and Townsville.

It is worth it to invest in the education to be a registered nurse because the pay is relatively high, the job satisfaction is high and there is variety in the workplace. While it can be competitive to get the job you want there are several openings to work as a registered nurse anywhere in the world. You can also read about the nurse practitioner salary.


Being a registered nurse is a high-value job in society and it can give a high job satisfaction when being able to meet the daily needs of patients. The job outlook is quite positive and there even are education transfers across cultures so registered nurses can practice in many different parts of the world. Given all of these benefits, it is clear that choosing to become a registered nurse is a smart career choice for those who are compassionate and like helping people.

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