Registered Nurse Salary in Pennsylvania

  • Last Updated: November 8, 2023
rn salary in pennsylvania

On this page, you will find our report on Registered Nurse salary in Pennsylvania, which includes rankings of the state on various parameters, the highest paying cities for RNs in Pennsylvania, how cost of living impacts earnings and other relevant details. If you are looking for nursing job opportunities in the state, you can go straight to our Remote Nursing Jobs in Pennsylvania page to find the latest open positions for RNs.

In Pennsylvania, Registered Nurses earn an average of $80,630  per year, ranking the state #26 nationwide, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In comparison, the national average RN salary is $89,010 annually. This means the Pennsylvania average is -9% lower when compared to the national average.

Pennsylvania, blending Revolutionary War history, Amish country, industry, and chocolate, is home to  137,970  Registered Nurses. In terms of RN employment levels, Pennsylvania has an employment per thousand jobs count of 24 thereby ranking it #12 among all the states.

Pennsylvania Rankings

  • With an average hourly wage for RNs of $38.8/hour, it ranks at #26 nationwide.
  • Pennsylvania ranks #25 for the annual average median salary for Registered Nurses.
  • Pennsylvania ranks #5 for the total number of Registered Nurses employed in the US.
  • Pennsylvania ranks #27 for the projected demand for new Registered Nurses by 2030.
  • With a population of 12,972,008, the state ranks #5 among all states in the country.

Pennsylvania RN Salary Adjusted for Cost of Living

According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center’s (MERIC) 2023 Second Quarter data, Pennsylvania has a cost of living index of 97.0 – which places it #27 in the nation. The key drivers of Pennsylvania’s steep cost of living are housing, healthcare, and transportation expenses.

After factoring in the cost of living, the real adjusted annual salary for RNs is $83,124 according to our estimates, ranking it #35 nationwide. This adjusted wage gives a more accurate representation of the real salary, or purchasing power, and standard of living RNs can expect in Pennsylvania versus other states.

In addition to that, here are the different cost of living indexes (COL) for Pennsylvania:

  • Grocery index – 101.2
  • Housing index – 85.7
  • Utility index – 106.1
  • Transportation index – 105.0
  • Health index – 97.7

It is important to remember that the cost of living index can vary significantly depending on the specific location within Pennsylvania, with metro locations typically having a higher index than rural areas.

RN Salaries vs Other Nursing Roles in Pennsylvania

Education, certifications and experience play an important role in impacting a nurse’s salary as does job demand. Another factor could be multi-state licensure as that can open up more opportunities for higher paying jobs and career advancement. Here’s a comparison of RN Salary vs other main nursing roles in Pennsylvania:

OccupationAnnual Salary
Registered Nurses$80,630
Physician Assistants$110,140
Nurse Anesthetists$203,620
Nurse Midwives$113,580
Nurse Practitioners$120,550
Dental Hygienists$75,550
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses$54,520

Top Paying Cities For RNs in Pennsylvania

The major metropolitan areas in Pennsylvania tend to offer the highest salaries for Registered Nurses in the state. According to the BLS, the top paying metro regions for RNs in Pennsylvania are the following:

AreaAnnual SalaryHourly Wage
Chambersburg-Waynesboro, PA$82,660$39.7
Lebanon, PA$80,660$38.8
Reading, PA$80,360$38.6
Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA$79,850$38.4
Williamsport, PA$78,560$37.8
Lancaster, PA$77,290$37.2
York-Hanover, PA$76,540$36.8
Pittsburgh, PA$76,230$36.7
Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA$75,230$36.2
State College, PA$74,770$36.0
Gettysburg, PA$74,310$35.7
Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, PA$73,530$35.4
East Stroudsburg, PA$73,480$35.3
Altoona, PA73,430$35.3
Erie, PA$72,790$35.0
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA$71,930$34.6
Johnstown, PA$71,430$34.3

RN Median Salary Range in Pennsylvania

The annual median salary for an RN in Pennsylvania is $78,740 compared to the annual median salary in the US of $81,220. California’s annual median RN wage is -3% lower than the national median. The median salary provides a standardized midpoint snapshot of RN wages in California versus nationally.

Annual Median SalaryHourly Median Wage
90th Percentile$154,160$49
75th Percentile$129,610$45
25th Percentile$80,010$32

Job Outlook for RNs in Pennsylvania

Registered nursing is a promising and rapidly growing career path in Pennsylvania. According to projections from the latest data from BLS, there were 147,280 RN jobs in Pennsylvania in 2020.

By 2030, total RN employment across the state is expected to reach 45,980 reflecting projected growth of 9% over the decade. This translates to 9,280 expected annual job openings for RNs through 2030 in California.

Companies Hirings RNs in Pennsylvania

Many companies in Pennsylvania are recruiting RNs to cater to the state’s diverse population of nearly 12,972,008. Specialized skills such as telehealth are highly sought after, reflecting the changing healthcare landscape.

Per the nationwide findings of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), 41% of employers require nurses to have a bachelor’s degree (BSN), and 77% strongly prefer it. In general, registered nurses are more in demand in private practices, public health agencies, primary care clinics and nursing homes, according to AACN.

According to our data, the companies hiring RNs in Pennsylvania include:

  • Highmark Health
  • Elevance Health
  • Vesta Healthcare
  • Sentara
  • Humana
  • Optum
  • PM Pediatric Care
  • DaVita
  • Northern Light Health
  • Blackbird Health
  • CareBridge


To summarize, Registered Nurses (RNs) in Pennsylvania earn an average annual salary of $ 80,630 , which is -9% lower when compared with the national average. The job outlook for RNs in the state is promising, with a projected growth rate of 9% over the coming years. And, it is important to consider the cost of living index in the state, which stands at 97.0, and ranks #27 among all states in the US. This can impact the overall financial wellbeing of an RN.


How much does an RN make in Pennsylvania?

According to the BLS, the average annual salary for Pennsylvania RNs in 2022 was $ 80,630 , which is -9.41% lower than the national average income for Registered Nurses.

What is the hourly wage of an RN in Pennsylvania?

According to the BLS, the average hourly wage for Pennsylvania RNs in 2022 was $38.8, which is #26 nationwide for Registered Nurses.

What is the job outlook for a Registered Nurse in Pennsylvania?

According to the latest data, the projected growth over 2020-2030 is 9% and the projected annual job openings in the same period are 9,280.

What is the nursing job outlook in the US?

Registered Nurse jobs are projected to grow by 6% annually from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all other occupations. Approximately 193,100 openings for Registered Nurses are projected each year, on average, over this decade.

Please note that the average salary in Pennsylvania doesn’t include tax data, which can vary by and within metropolitan areas.