Registered Nurses play an essential role in our healthcare system, helping diagnose health conditions, providing treatment, and offering emotional support to their patients. As Registered Nurses are vital medical team members, they often have very competitive salaries, especially in high-demand cities around the country.
At Arizona College of Nursing, we want to help you make a well-informed decision about becoming a Registered Nurse in Salt Lake City. Here, we’ll explore current trends related to RN salaries in this location, backed by data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What is an RN?
RN is an abbreviation for Registered Nurse. An RN may have an associate degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). An ADN can be completed in 2 years; a BSN takes 3-4 years and is more comprehensive. A BSN degree provides more career opportunities and often a higher starting salary. Both require a National Council Licensure Exam (also known as the NCLEX) to become licensed and able to practice as a nurse, however hospitals and clinical settings often prefer applicants with BSN degrees rather than ADN degrees.
What do RNs do?
Nurses are at the forefront of patient care. While they follow doctors’ instructions, nurses have autonomy and respect in working alongside the many medical professionals they practice with. A simplified way to distinguish between doctors and nurses is that doctors treat diseases while nurses treat patients. To accomplish this, nurses must have a solid education in conditions and disease processes.
How an RN executes their job largely depends on the setting in which they work. All nurses apply the Nursing Process in their practice. The Nursing Process can be broken into five stages:
These skills are developed in nursing school where nurses obtain their foundation in assessment skills. This encompasses data collection from the patient and their family, a review of medical history, and a physical assessment.
More specifically, a Nursing Diagnosis. A nursing diagnosis focuses on subsequent concerns identified from a health condition or life process. For example, impaired mobility after sustaining a broken bone.
This plan is made to treat the patient utilizing nursing interventions. In the example provided above, a nurse would utilize resources to improve the mobility of their patient.
Nurses carry out the plan to address the nursing diagnosis in a holistic fashion.
Nurses then assess and decide how effective the plan was, and may need to alter their approach or modify their plan.
If it sounds scientific, that is because it is. Nurses are intentional in their work with the ultimate goal of providing the best quality care to their patients. This could be in the form of administering the correct medications on time and completing thorough assessments or holding space for someone to grieve.
Overall, nurses have versatile career opportunities. A nurse’s role and the foundational nursing process remain consistent throughout each clinical setting while professional and in the career have no limit.
Nursing Salary in Utah
When considering a career in nursing, it is important to know expectations for nursing salary as well as job prospects.
How much do RNs make in Utah?
In the state of Utah, the average hourly rate for RNs is $37.14 (updated 2022) with an average yearly salary of $77,240 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
How much do RNs make in Salt Lake City Utah?
In Salt Lake City Utah, the average RN hourly wage is $38.50 per hour with an average yearly salary of $80,080. Being that Salt Lake City is a densely populated area, the higher wages follow the trend, (similar to many professions) that higher-paid jobs are located in urban areas. It is also important to note that the average hourly wage of all occupations in the Salt Lake City area is significantly less than the RN wage at a median hourly wage of $22.72 per hour ($61,970 annually).
How does the salary in Utah compare nationally?
Nationally, nurses on average make $39.05 per hour (updated 2022) according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics with an average yearly salary of $81,220. Both Salt Lake City and the state of Utah are below the national average. However, the cost of living in Utah is below the national average, thus the slightly lower wages correlate with a lower cost of living.
Where do RNs work?
A Registered Nurse can be found in many clinical settings including:
- Outpatient centers
- Community Centers
- Long-term care facilities
- Working from home
- Many more
One of the greatest gifts in the nursing profession is the constant evolution of the practice, according to updated research. The practice is shifting and growing; in recent years more unique positions have become available as the needs of patients change. Across the US, but specifically in the State of Utah, the opportunities continue to grow.
Nursing Careers in Salt Lake City
What kinds of job growth is there for RNs in Salt Lake City, Utah?
In Salt Lake City and nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projection indicates there will be a 6% increase in the workforce between 2022 and 2032 which will add 177,400 new nurses to the workforce nationally. In Salt Lake City and many other cities nationwide, the aftermath of COVID-19 resulted in nurse burnout and fatigue. As a result, many RNs switched their role or exited healthcare and a new healthcare workforce is needed to replace them. Additionally, more work-from-home opportunities have surfaced with advancements in healthcare technology allowing for more remote or partially remote positions.
Do you need a ‘Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing to be a nurse in Salt Lake City?
It is not a requirement to have a BSN to be a nurse in Salt Lake City. However, a nurse’s job prospects are smaller with an ADN (‘Associate’s Degree in Nursing) and starting salaries are lower. Most job opportunities require a BSN or will hire an ADN with the requirement they will complete their BSN while employed within a specific time frame. Overall, nurses have a higher chance of finding work with a BSN and also receive higher pay for a BSN. For these reasons, we strongly encourage pursuing a full BSN degree as a more complete and beneficial alternative to an ADN degree.
Nursing is a rewarding profession that requires compassion, empathy, and emotional intelligence to succeed. If you want to get started with your nursing career journey? Arizona College of Nursing in Salt Lake City can help.
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Bureau of Labor Statistics, USS Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Registered Nurses, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm
Bureau of Labor Statistics, USS Department of Labor, May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Utah, at Utah – May 2021 OEWS State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates (bls.gov)
Bureau of Labor Statistics, USS Department of Labor, May 2021 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Salt Lake City, UT at Salt Lake City, UT – May 2021 OEWS Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates (bls.gov)
Information in this blog post is accurate as of February 22, 2023.