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Are you considering working as a registered nurse (RN) in Tennessee, or already practicing there and hoping to negotiate a raise? Whatever your goal, this guide to RN salaries in Tennessee provides valuable data on the cost of living.
We also cover where registered nurse salaries in Tennessee are highest, and typical salary ranges. Keep reading for the information that can help you meet your financial goals.
- Average Tennessee RN Salary: $66,680 (Ranks NUMBER among all states)
- Hourly Tennessee RN Salary: $32.06
- Projected Tennessee RN Employment Growth (2018-2028): 12.3%
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Average RN Salaries in Tennessee
Most registered nurse salaries in Tennessee fall between $59,470 and $77,290. The median RN salary in Tennessee is $62,390, lower than the national median annual RN salary of $77,600, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, Tennessee's lower cost of living affects the earning power of RN salaries in Tennessee.
|Percentile||Average Annual RN Salary||Average Hourly RN Salary|
Tennessee RN Salary, Adjusted for Cost of Living
The cost of living index compares the cost of specific goods and services, including housing, transportation, food, and clothing, across the United States as a whole and in specific regions. The national average cost is set as 100 for easy comparisons.
In Tennessee, the cost of living index is 92.2, which makes it the 37th highest state for overall cost of living. In other words, living in Tennessee is 7.8% cheaper than living in the United States overall.
With this adjustment, the average registered nurse salary in Tennessee has the purchasing power of $71,881. This places the average RN salary in Tennessee 45th among all states in the country.
- Average RN Salary Adjusted for Cost of Living: $71,881 (Ranks 45th among all states)
- Cost of Living Index (RPP): 92.2 (7.8% less than the U.S. average)
Highest-Paying Cities for RNs in Tennessee
The Nashville metro area, famous for country music, has the highest RN salaries in Tennessee, at an average $70,900. Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which includes several magnet hospitals, is based in Nashville. Private healthcare system Ascension also has several hospitals in the Nashville area.
In the Memphis region, Methodist Le Bonheur is one of the largest and highest-ranked hospital networks. Memphis is also home to the world-renown St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Erlanger Health System is based in Chattanooga and is the largest hospital in the area. In the Clarksville region, which has the fifth-highest registered nurse salaries in Tennessee, Gateway Medical Center and Tennova Healthcare are the main providers.
|City||Average RN Salary|
|Nashville — Davidson — Murfreesboro — Franklin, TN||$70,900|
|Memphis, TN — MS — AR||$68,510|
|Chattanooga, TN — GA||$65,590|
|Clarksville, TN — KY||$65,190|
|Johnson City, TN||$65,090|
Average Salaries for Other Nursing Roles in Tennessee
While RN salaries in Tennessee are significantly higher than the state average salary for all jobs, $49,330, you may want to increase your earnings even more. Earning a graduate degree and becoming an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) is one of the most promising ways to do this.
If you earn a master of science in nursing (MSN) degree, you can become a nurse midwife or nurse practitioner. The highest-paid nursing job in Tennessee, nurse anesthetist, earns 90% more than the average RN salary in Tennessee. Becoming a nurse anesthetist requires earning a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree.
- Nursing Assistants: $28,900
- LPN/LVNs: $43,620
- Nurse Midwives: $99,250
- Nurse Practitioners: $176,020
- Nurse Anesthetists: $95,120
Methodology and Sources
We collect registered nursing salary data by state from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, released on March 31, 2022.
Data reflects registered nursing salaries as of May 2021. The highest-paying cities and states for registered nurses are ranked by average annual salary.
Cost-of-living data is collected from the U.S Bureau of Economic Analysis real personal income for states and metropolitan areas, released on December 14, 2021.
We calculate registered nursing salaries adjusted for cost of living by multiplying each state's RN salary by its regional price parity (RPP). RPP measures differences in the cost of goods and services in a region compared to national prices.
We get projected employment growth data by state from Projections Central.
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