As some of the highest paid nurses in the country, the 233,200 registered nurses in California nursing jobs in May 2007 made an average annual wage of $78,550, which is $37.76 per hour. The annual average wage for Californian workers in any industry within the state is $45,990, which is $22.11 per hour. As you can see, this 2007 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics report shows that registered nurses in California nursing careers are paid significantly higher when compared to the average wages earned by California workers, as well as higher than average when compared to nurses practicing in other states.
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses will experience one of the highest growth rates of any industry in the country in the coming years. Nursing jobs are projected to increase by 23 percent, for a total of 587,000 additional jobs across the U.S. by the year 2016. With a growing population and aging residents who are living longer lives than ever before, California nurses will continue to be in high demand far into the future; therefore, future nurses currently studying in California nursing programs can expect to see a similar rate of growth in California nursing careers.
Current nursing students and those considering California nursing programs would do well to remember that registered nurses with at least a bachelor-level degree are expected to have significantly better employment opportunities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Registered nurses that complete graduate programs that confer masters or doctorate degrees in nursing will, naturally, enjoy the most opportunities for career growth.