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Average RN Salary in Nebraska: See How Much NE Nurses Make

Maura Deering, J.D.
Updated June 16, 2023
Nebraska offers nationally recognized hospitals and a low-than-average cost of living. Continue reading to learn about registered nurse salaries in Nebraska.
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If you are considering a nursing career in Nebraska, the benefits of working as a registered nurse (RN) in the state include higher earnings than in neighboring South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas. Nebraska’s cost of living is lower than the national average, as well, which adds value to an RN’s paycheck.

This guide explores registered nurse salaries in Nebraska. We’ve compiled data on average pay, wages adjusted for cost of living, and the top-paying Nebraska cities.

  • Average Nebraska RN Salary: $69,850 (Ranks 38th among all states)
  • Hourly Nebraska RN Salary: $33.58
  • Projected Nebraska RN Employment Growth (2018-2028): 11.1%

Source:BLS, Projections Central

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Average RN Salaries in Nebraska

Average RN salaries correlate with a state’s cost of living and supply and demand. The average annual RN salary in Nebraska of $69,850 ranks 38th among U.S. states, consistent with its ranking of 30th for cost of living. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the state’s range of RN earnings averages $55,040 for the lowest 10% to $84,910 for the top 10%. In addition, Nebraska has a great need for RNs.

Nebraska’s projected employment growth rate for RNs totals 11.1% for 2018-2028, which reflects an expected shortage of 5,345 nurses by 2025, according to a Nebraska Hospital Association Nursing Shortage Workgroup Report. The report specifies that nine Nebraska counties are currently lacking RNs, and four counties employ only one RN.

Infographic of registered nursing salary data in Nebraska. The average annual RN salary is $69,850. The average hourly RN salary is $33.58. Average RN salaries range from $55,040 among the bottom 10th percentile of earners to $84,910 among the top 90th percentile of earners.
Nebraska RN Salary Range
PercentileAverage Annual RN SalaryAverage Hourly RN Salary
50% (Median)$64,000$30.77


Nebraska RN Salary, Adjusted for Cost of Living

Cost-of-living salary adjustments take into account metrics, such as regional costs of clothing, education, healthcare, housing, and transportation. Nebraska’s 92.9 cost-of-living index is 7.1% lower than the U.S. average of 100. Therefore, the average RN salary in Nebraska, adjusted for cost of living, increases from $69,850 to $74,809.

According to Forbes’ 2022 list of best places to retire, Lincoln, Nebraska, a college town and the state capital, boasts median home prices of $259,000, which fall 31% below the national median. Attracted by the affordability, an influx of retirees can mean job opportunities for RNs interested in caring for older adults. Lincoln ranks second among the highest-paying Nebraska cities for RNs, as detailed below.

  • Average RN Salary Adjusted for Cost of Living: $74,809 (Ranks 39th among all states)
  • Cost of Living Index (RPP): 92.9 (7.1% less than the U.S. average)

Highest-Paying Cities for RNs in Nebraska

The table below highlights the three highest-paying cities for RNs in Nebraska, with average salaries ranging from $68,880 to $71,580 (not adjusted for cost of living).

The Omaha metropolitan area takes the top spot and includes Council Bluffs, Iowa, located on the Missouri River and state line. Home to nearly 1 million people, Omaha offers amenities like museums, restaurants, and a zoo and aquarium. Three of Omaha’s hospitals — Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, Nebraska Medical Center, and Nebraska Methodist — hold designation as Magnet hospitals recognized for nursing excellence.

Lincoln, as the second highest-paying city, is located just an hour southwest of Omaha. Lincoln hosts the University of Nebraska and Magnet-designated CHI Health St. Elizabeth hospital. Third place, Grand Island, also has a Magnet hospital, CHI Health St. Francis. Located near the Platte River, Grand Island features a water park and riverside nature trails.

Nebraska belongs to the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), which allows RNs to practice in other NLC states under a multistate license.

Highest-Paying Cities for RNs in Nebraska
CityAverage RN Salary
Omaha — Council Bluffs, NE — IA$71,580
Lincoln, NE$69,460
Grand Island, NE$68,880


Average Salaries for Other Nursing Roles in Nebraska

In addition to RNs, Nebraska offers opportunities for other types of nurses. Nursing assistants in Nebraska can average more than $32,000, and licensed practical nurses/licensed vocational nurses (LPNs/LVNs) make $48,000. Nebraska RNs who pursue master’s or doctoral nursing degrees can earn significantly higher salaries as nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists. Nursing schools, including Omaha’s Creighton University and Lincoln’s Bryan College of Health Sciences, offer graduate nursing programs.

  • Nursing Assistants: $32,380
  • LPN/LVNs: $48,040
  • Nurse Practitioners: $112,670
  • Nurse Anesthetists: $232,230

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