How much do nurses make? That question is often top of mind for those considering nursing careers, and there’s not one simple answer. Part of a nurse’s salary depends on what region of the United States you’re in, and an even bigger part depends on how you become a registered nurse. For instance, nurses with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) make less on average than nurses who complete an RN to BSN program. If you go through Eastern Michigan University’s online RN to BSN program, you’re more likely to earn a higher salary based on your skills and experience.

In 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a mean hourly wage of $39,05, or $81,220 a year, for full-time nurses. Those numbers vary slightly depending on the facility and capacity a nurse works in, of course. The mean hourly wage at nursing care (skilled nursing) facilities or physicians’ offices is lower than that at a general medical and surgical hospital or outpatient care center. When choosing where you work, the region of the country and the facility are factors that will directly affect your wage. The best way to secure a higher salary consistently is to earn a higher degree, like an RN to BSN.

How Michigan Compares to the National Average

Michigan has a growing and competitive job market when it comes to nursing positions. In Michigan, BLS numbers from 2022 show wages near the national average, with a mean hourly wage of $42.80 and a mean annual wage of $89,010. More recent figures from Indeed show an annual average slightly higher, at $93,126 with a range from $64,000 to $135,000.

What accounts for that range? Education has a good deal to do with it. reports that nurses with an ADN will earn an average of $30.64, or $63,734 annually, in Michigan. This means there is a nearly $12-an-hour difference between nurses who earned a BSN degree along with RN certification and those who didn’t. According to ZipRecruiter, BSN-prepared RNs in Michigan earn an average hourly range of $35.68, and an average annual salary of $74,212.

The BSN Advantage: More Than Just Pay

The premium placed on RNs with a BSN is clear from the salary difference. The BSN salary average indicates that Michigan is in sync with a nationwide trend to hire RNs with BSNs. Pursuing a BSN is a sound strategy if you want to be competitive in the Michigan nursing job market and qualify for the same pay as your nursing colleagues.

After all, BSN degrees aren’t just about the salaries available to current nursing job seekers. For nursing students looking to enter the profession, an RN with a BSN is more the norm than the exception — an opportune development for a rapidly changing healthcare industry.

For RNs looking to keep pace with colleagues who have already earned a BSN, Eastern Michigan University’s RN to BSN online program provides a way. The program consists of a series of seven nursing courses, two electives and a capstone course — all 7.5 weeks in length and worth three credits apiece. It’s possible for a student to move through the entire program in as few as 12 months while continuing to work as an RN.

In the long term, the BSN provides the education necessary to meet the needs of the future, and in the short term, it can increase an RN’s salary.

Learn more about Eastern Michigan University’s online RN to BSN program.