What's the Salary of an Acute Care Nurse?

As an acute care nurse, you may work as a manager, director or nurse practitioner. In any case, you'll deal with patients who have conditions that require care for a short period of time, such as those recovering from a heart attack or surgery. Read on to see how your salary may depend on your job title, where you work, how much experience you have and if you hold any certifications. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Salary Overview

PayScale.com offers an overview of acute care nursing salaries according to different factors. According to the website, those working in acute care as registered nurses had a median salary of $59,755 as of October 2015. Nurses licensed in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) earned a median wage of $81,303 at that time.

Acute care nurse practitioners earned a median annual salary of $91,188 as of October 2015, according to PayScale.com. Those working as family nurse practitioners with a specialty in acute care earned a median wage of $89,708. In the same time period, clinical nurse managers in acute care earned a median annual salary of $82,823. Nursing directors in acute care earned a median wage of $94,134.

Important Facts About Acute Care Nursing

Work SettingHospital or Physician's Office
Education LevelAssociate's or Bachelor's degree in Nursing
CertificationIncludes but is not limited to: Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Basic Life Support (BLS), Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
LicensureNational Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN)

Salary by Industry

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't publish data pertaining directly to acute care nurses, it does have figures for all registered nurses, a category that includes those specializing in acute care. The average salary for registered nurses working general hospitals was $69,810 as of 2015, while the average annual wage of RNs in physicians' offices was $72,890. Those who worked in outpatients care centers averaged $72,220 per year.

Salary by Experience

In October 2015, PayScale.com reported that acute care nurse practitioners with 0-5 years of experience earned a median wage of $89,567. Mid-career practitioners can expect to see a median wage of $93,790. Experienced nurses have a median salary of $97,304.

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