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The pay scale for registered nurses varies throughout the United States and between employers. An RN's salary is also influenced by his or her experience level, education, and individual skills. Despite these factors, there are still some trends in registered nursing salaries.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary in 2012 for registered nurses nationwide was $65,470. This translates to $31.48 per hour. It was also reported that the job outlook for RNs is positive over the next ten years, with nursing experiencing more job growth than many other occupations.
In a report published by the BLS in May of 2018, Alabama was said to employ 43,600 registered nurses. The largest percentage of these professionals is employed in the Birmingham area. The average salary of RNs in Alabama is lower than the national average, with the median annual salary reported at $54,490. The median hourly wage in Alabama was $26.20 at the time of the report. The lowest tenth percentile of RNs in Alabama earned $40,740 or less, and 25 percent of nurses in this state earned $63,970 or more. According to the BLS report, RNs in the Montgomery area were paid the highest salaries on average and those in Florence-Muscle Shoals area were paid the lowest.
Though RNs earn lower wages on average in this state, Alabama makes up for this with a cost of living below the national average. A 2018 report by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) ranks Alabama's cost of living as the 15th lowest in the country.