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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.

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 an average salary of $76,938 as of June 2019. Nurses licensed in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) earned an average wage of $87,656 at that time.

Acute care nurse practitioners earned an average annual salary of $101,110 as of June 2019, according to PayScale.com. Those working as family nurse practitioners with a specialty in acute care earned an average wage of $96,574. In the same time period, clinical nurse managers in acute care earned an average annual salary of $85,790. Nursing directors in acute care earned an average annual wage of $99,628.

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)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 15% growth (for registered nurses)

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 $77,730 as of 2018, while the average annual wage of RNs in physicians' offices was $67,790. Those who worked in outpatients care centers averaged $79,230 per year.

Salary by Experience

In April 2019, PayScale.com reported that acute care nurse practitioners with 0-4 years of experience earned an average wage of $97,381. Mid-career practitioners can expect to see an average wage of $105,824. Experienced nurses have an average salary of $110,028.