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Registered Nursing Major

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Registered Nursing

146,563 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
17,491 Master's Degrees Annually
#1 in Popularity
$75,510 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Registered Nursing Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many registered nursing graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 146,866
Associate’s Degree 81,677
Master’s Degree 17,491
Undergraduate Certificate 2,414
Basic Certificate 1,376
Doctor’s Degree 1,045
Graduate Certificate 410

What Registered Nursing Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, registered nursing majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Registered Nursing Majors

Registered Nursing majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills for Registered Nursing Majors

A major in registered nursing prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities for Registered Nursing Majors

As you progress with your registered nursing degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Registered Nursing Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with registered nursing:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Nursing Instructors and Professors 24.0% $73,490
Registered Nurses 14.8% $71,730

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Registered Nursing?

146,866 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
87% Percent Women
32% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 87% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of registered nursing majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Registered Nursing Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 9,702
Black or African American 13,978
Hispanic or Latino 18,840
White 91,454
International Students 1,032
Other Races/Ethnicities 11,860

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Registered Nursing. About 0.7% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Registered Nursing Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $75,510 to $81,350 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to registered nursing. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Registered Nursing Major  ( 75510 to 81350 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
0K
250K

Some degrees associated with registered nursing may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to registered nursing have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Some College Courses 5.8%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 36.1%
Bachelor’s Degree 15.1%
Master’s Degree 23.7%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 1.0%
Doctoral Degree 17.1%
Post-Doctoral Training 3.2%

Online Registered Nursing Programs

In 2018-2019, 2,046 schools offered a registered nursing program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 46 4
Certificate (1-2 years) 49 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 38 0
Associate’s Degree 1,116 54
Bachelor’s Degree 38 9
Post-Baccalaureate 46 4
Master’s Degree 313 147
Post-Master’s 68 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 35 10
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 31 13
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 1 0

Is a Degree in Registered Nursing Worth It?

The median salary for a registered nursing grad is $75,510 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 89% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $712,200 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to registered nursing.

Major Number of Grads
Family Practice Nurse/Nursing 15,536
Nursing Administration 9,071
Other Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing 6,319
Nursing Practice 6,250
Nursing Science 4,704
Nurse Anesthetist 2,031
Adult Health Nurse/Nursing 2,012
Nursing Education 1,991
Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse/Nursing 1,266
Public Health/Community Nurse/Nursing 1,022
Critical Care Nursing 643
Clinical Nurse Leader 527
School Nursing 523
Nurse Midwife/Nursing Midwifery 475
Geriatric Nurse/Nursing 464
Clinical Nurse Specialist 428
Perioperative/Operating Room and Surgical Nurse/Nursing 236
Maternal/Child Health and Neonatal Nurse/Nursing 211
Emergency Room/Trauma Nursing 37
Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing 35
Palliative Care Nursing 23

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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