Average RN Salary in Delaware: See How Much DE Nurses Make

Maura Deering, J.D.
Updated June 16, 2023
Delaware offers affordability, tax advantages, and medical facilities recognized for nursing excellence. Find out about registered nurse salaries and the highest-paying cities in Delaware.
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The average registered nurse (RN) salary in Delaware ranks in the top half of U.S. states, and a lower-than-average cost of living can stretch an RN’s paycheck.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists average RN wages in Wilmington (combined with Philadelphia and Camden) as having the fourth highest employment level among metro areas. Even so, Delaware faces a nursing shortage, fueling a projected 20% employment growth for RNs during 2020-2030.

  • Average Delaware RN Salary: $77,760 (Ranks 20th among all states)
  • Hourly Delaware RN Salary: $37.39
  • Projected Delaware RN Employment Growth (2018-2028): 20%
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Average RN Salaries in Delaware

Ranking 20th among U.S. states for RN earnings, the average RN salary in Delaware totals $77,760 per year, or $37.39 an hour. These wages fall below the national average of $82,750. As the table below illustrates, the range of average RN salaries in Delaware spans $59,000 for the lowest 10% of earners and $99,780 for the highest 10%.

Factors influencing average wages include Delaware’s cost of living, which is 2% lower than the national average, Delaware’s supply-and-demand issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and RN specializations and industries.

Infographic of registered nursing salary data in Delaware. The average annual RN salary is $77,760. The average hourly RN salary is $37.39. Average RN salaries range from $59,900 among the bottom 10th percentile of earners to $99,780 among the top 90th percentile of earners.
Delaware RN Salary Range
PercentileAverage Annual RN SalaryAverage Hourly RN Salary
50% (Median)$75,380$36.24


Delaware RN Salary, Adjusted for Cost of Living

Government statisticians adjust states’ cost of living (also called regional price parity) indexes based on the prices of things like clothing, food, education, housing, and medical services. Delaware ranks 22nd among U.S. states for cost of living.

The average RN salary in Delaware adjusted for cost of living, which falls 2.1% below the average for all U.S. states, increases to $79,393. These wages rank Delaware 21st among U.S. states, indicating consistency between the affordability metrics.

  • Average RN Salary Adjusted for Cost of Living: $79,393 (Ranks 21st among all states)
  • Cost of Living Index (RPP): 97.9 (2.1% lower than the U.S. average)

Highest-Paying Cities for RNs in Delaware

With tax benefits, shoreline access, and proximity to quality medical facilities, Delaware is an attractive option for RNs. The top-paying cities in Delaware and in the adjacent states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland include the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metro area, Dover, and Salisbury, Maryland. Wilmington and Dover are home to three Magnet hospitals, honored for nursing excellence.

Salisbury, Maryland, located just eight miles from the Delaware border, may also offer opportunities for employment, such as TidalHealth Peninsula Regional Hospital, ranked eighth among Maryland hospitals. As both states belong to the Nurse Licensure Compact, Delaware RNs can practice in Maryland with a Multistate Delaware license.

Highest-Paying Cities for RNs in Delaware
CityAverage RN Salary
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD$81,860
Salisbury, MD-DE$77,400
Dover, DE$71,130


Average Salaries for Other Nursing Roles in Delaware

Other nursing opportunities in Delaware include certified nursing assistants with salaries of $34,240. Licensed practical nurses earn $53,040 in Delaware and can practice under a Multistate license. The Bureau of Health Workforce projects a 7% shortage of LPNs by 2030. RNs interested in pursuing a graduate nursing degree can find employment as nurse practitioners and nurse midwives with average salaries in the six-figure range.

  • Nursing Assistants: $34,240
  • LPN/LVNs: $53,040
  • Nurse Midwives: $106,730
  • Nurse Practitioners: $116,230

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