Registered nurse real salaries, which factor in inflation, rose 14% between 2000 and 2004 to an annual average of $57,785, the first significant increase in more than a decade, federal figures show.
Released by HHS Bureau of Health Professions, the data found the number of licensed registered nurses increased 8% to 2.9 million during the same period. Of those, 83% were employed as nurses in 2004, the highest percentage since comparable records were first collected in 1980. The number of nurses with masters degrees or doctorates climbed 37% between 2000 and 2004. Nurses' average age rose to 46.7 years; it is the oldest average age since 1980. -- by Melanie Evans