The Washington State Nurse’s Association continues to push for 80% of the state’s nursing workforce to be educated at the baccalaureate level or higher. As a result, more registered nurses in Washington are enrolling in RN to MSN programs, which typically confer a BSN in addition to an MSN. As these graduates take on roles as advanced clinicians, clinical leaders, administrators and educators, they enjoy a greater level of autonomy and considerably higher salaries.
In 2013, the American Association of Colleges of Nurses reported that RN-MSN programs in Washington worked to construct a more highly educated nursing workforce in the state by:
- Helping to enroll 1,076 students into graduate level programs
- Granting bachelor’s and master’s degrees to 1,815 graduates
- Preparing 827 students to become APRNs, including: 735 nurse practitioners, 42 certified nurse midwives, and 50 clinical nurse specialists
Salaries for Washington’s MSN-Educated Nurses
In 2012, a salary survey conducted by the Advance Healthcare Network polled salary averages among nurses working in the western states, including Washington. The results of this study showcased the earning power of MSN-educated nurses as compared to those with lesser degrees:
- Diploma: $67,994/yr.
- ADN Degree: $71,469/yr.
- BSN Degree: $75,973/yr.
- MSN Degree: $87,993/yr.
In the next two years both the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Washington Employment Security Department would also release occupational wage statistics that would further support the Advance Healthcare Network’s conclusion that MSN degrees lead to some of the highest salaries in the field:
- Entry-Level: $74,300/yr. or $35.70/hr.
- Mid-Career: $95,900/yr. or $46.09/hr.
- Experienced: $123,00/yr. or $59.13/hr.
- Entry-Level: $64,000/yr. or $30.78/hr.
- Mid-Career: $88,200/yr. or $42.38/hr.
- Experienced: $145,600/yr. or $70.00/hr.
As of June 2014, the Washington Employment Security Department found that nurse anesthetists working statewide were earning an average annual salary of $167,429 and an average hourly wage of $80.49.
Nurse Practitioner Salaries in Washington
A nurse practitioner’s pay may be affected by their location, with those in the Puget Sound area generally enjoying the highest salaries. In 2013, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics published salary and wage data for many metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas of Washington:
Nurse Midwife Salaries in Washington
In 2013, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics released salary and wage information for nurse midwives working in three of Washington’s most prominent regions, which include the cities of Seattle, Bellevue, Everett and Tacoma:
Nurse Anesthetist Salaries in Washington
Salary-motivated nurse anesthetists should look for jobs in regions that offer the highest pay averages in their field. In 2013, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported salary and wage data for nurse anesthetists in several areas in Washington:
*Earnings are at or above $187,199 per year and $90 per hour. The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report salaries in Washington higher than the values shown here.