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Average RN Salary in Pennsylvania: See How Much PA Nurses Make

NurseJournal Staff
Updated June 16, 2023
Learn what you need to know about RN salaries in Pennsylvania to earn the salary you deserve. Find out about typical salaries, cost of living, and where salaries are highest.
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Pennsylvania is home to some of America’s great cities, including historic Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, as well as rural areas like Lancaster County. Almost 150,000 registered nurses (RNs) work in Pennsylvania.

This guide to RN salaries in Pennsylvania has the information you need to negotiate the salary you deserve. Keep reading for more on registered nurse salaries in Pennsylvania, how to factor in the cost of living, and pay for other nursing roles.

  • Average Pennsylvania RN Salary: $76,000 (Ranks 24th among all states)
  • Hourly Pennsylvania RN Salary: $36.54
  • Projected Pennsylvania RN Employment Growth (2018-2028): 12.5%

Source:BLS, Projections Central

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Average RN Salaries in Pennsylvania

The average RN salary in Pennsylvania is $76,000, with an average hourly rate of $36.54. This figure compares closely to the national median RN salary of $77,600, according to the BLS.

Half of all registered nurse salaries in Pennsylvania are between $62,480 and $81,620. The top 10% of RN salaries in Pennsylvania are $98,680 or higher — while six-figure salaries are not common, they are feasible.

Infographic of registered nursing salary data in Pennsylvania. The average annual RN salary is $76,000. The average hourly RN salary is $36.54. Average RN salaries range from $59,640 among the bottom 10th percentile of earners to $98,680 among the top 90th percentile of earners.
Pennsylvania RN Salary Range
PercentileAverage Annual RN SalaryAverage Hourly RN Salary
50% (Median)$76,940$36.99


Pennsylvania RN Salary, Adjusted for Cost of Living

Especially if you work in another state, you need to understand the local cost of living to compare salaries. This index calculates how much standard goods and services like housing, transportation, and food cost across the country and in different states.

It sets the national cost of living index at 100 to make it easy to compare. Pennsylvania’s cost-of-living index is 97.6, the 23rd highest in the country. Living is 2.4% cheaper in Pennsylvania than in the rest of the country.

This cost of living adjustment means the average RN salary in Pennsylvania has the purchasing power of $77,824. Compared to all states, the average registered nurse salary in Pennsylvania is the 26th highest in the country, almost exactly in the middle.

  • Average RN Salary Adjusted for Cost of Living: $77,824 (Ranks 26th among all states)
  • Cost of Living Index (RPP): 97.6 (2.4% less than the U.S. average)

Highest-Paying Cities for RNs in Pennsylvania

Philadelphia is the biggest metropolitan area in Pennsylvania and offers the highest average registered nurse salaries in Pennsylvania. Along with Pittsburgh, these two cities are home to some of the top hospitals in the country. Magnet hospitals in Pittsburgh include the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and ten other UPMC facilities.

In Philadelphia, the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center is top-ranked in 12 adult specialties. In Reading, Reading Hospital and St. Joseph Medical Center are among the city’s largest employers. St. Joseph Medical Center is the area’s only academic medical center.

Harrisburg’s Penn State Hershey Medical Center is the largest hospital in the city, followed by UPMC Pinnacle. The Allentown area hosts Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network and Lehigh Valley Hospital, a magnet facility.

Highest-Paying Cities for RNs in Pennsylvania
CityAverage RN Salary
Philadelphia — Camden — Wilmington, PA — NJ — DE — MD$81,860
Chambersburg — Waynesboro, PA$77,240
Allentown — Bethlehem — Easton, PA — NJ$76,210
Reading, PA$75,260
Harrisburg — Carlisle, PA$75,110


Average Salaries for Other Nursing Roles in Pennsylvania

The average RN salary in Pennsylvania is almost one-third higher than the $55,490 average annual salary for all jobs in Pennsylvania. However, advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) like nurse midwives and nurse practitioners earn more than twice the average state salary. Nurse anesthetists, the highest-paid APRNs, earn almost four times as much.

Becoming a nurse anesthetist requires a doctor of nursing practice degree, while other APRN roles may require a master of science in nursing.

  • Nursing Assistants: $34,190
  • LPN/LVNs: $51,090
  • Nurse Midwives: $111,980
  • Nurse Practitioners: $117,260
  • Nurse Anesthetists: $203,150

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