Salaries for California’s MSN-Educated Nurses

Nurses in professions that typically require at least an MSN enjoyed a high average salary in California in 2014 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Nurse educators—highest salary in the country: $97,750
  • Nurse midwives—2nd highest salary in the country: $127,940
  • Nurse practitioners—3rd highest salary in the country: $115,460

California Metropolitan Areas with the Highest Average Salaries for MSN-Educated Nurses

The salaries for MSN-educated nurses in a number of California’s metropolitan areas ranked among the top-ten highest in the country during 2014:

Nurse Midwives

  • Number 1 San Jose metropolitan area – $139,290
  • Number 2 San Diego metropolitan area – $132,750
  • Number 3 Los Angeles metropolitan area – $128,210
  • Number 4 San Francisco metropolitan area – $125,900

Nurse Practitioners

  • Number 2 San Jose metropolitan area – $139,570
  • Number 3 Vallejo-Fairfield – $127,860
  • Number 4 San Francisco metropolitan area – $127,790
  • Number 8 Visalia-Porterville – $123,580

Nurse Educators

  • Number 4 Salinas – $99,210
  • Number 5 Los Angeles metropolitan area – $98,090
  • Number 6 Santa Ana metropolitan area – $94,580
  • Number 8 San Diego metropolitan area – $92,810
  • Number 10 Visalia-Porterville – $91,980

Nurse Anesthetists

  • Number 4 San Jose metropolitan area – $232,970

The Financial Benefits of Obtaining a Master of Science in Nursing

A comparison of the median salary among MSN-educated nurse practitioners and the median salary among RNs demonstrates the increased earning power of nurses who have obtained an MSN:

California Area
Salary Differential
RN Salary
Visalia-Porterville
$47830
$74380
Chico
$44810
$72480
El Centro
$39300
$73200
Yuba City
$36920
$78210
San Diego area
$30430
$83500
Bakersfield-Delano
$28140
$80850
Fresno
$27980
$78380
Oxnard area
$26890
$86760
Santa Ana area
$24400
$88310
Riverside area
$20870
$88480
Los Angeles area
$20390
$93590
Los Angeles metropolitan area
$19920
$95040
San Jose area
$13400
$130030
Salinas
$13310
$101630
Vallejo-Fairfield
$12850
$114340
Merced
$12290
$92260
Santa Rosa-Petaluma
$12170
$101740
Napa
$10920
$101160

The California Employment Development Department provided the average salary at three levels for three different classifications of APRNs employed in California during 2015:

Nurse Career
75th Percentile
25th Percentile
Nurse Anesthetists
>$187199
$140019
Nurse Midwives
$154170
$109262
Nurse Practitioners
$138174
$97011

In addition, the Department reported that nurse educators in California earned an average salary of $99,115.

Job Growth Rates and Number of MSN-Educated Nurses in California

California had a tremendous number of APRNs in 2013 according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). This organization reported that 40,636 of these MSN-educated nurses practiced in California that year. The vast majority (39,923) were nurse practitioners. Clinical nurse specialists were the next most common APRN with 3,407 individuals practicing in this role in 2013. California was also home to 2,206 nurse anesthetists and 2,100 certified nurse midwives that year.

The California Employment Development Department predicted a particularly high rate of increase in the number of jobs for nurse educators between 2012 and 2022. Their projections indicate that the number of nurse educators in the state will increase by 35.9% during this ten-year period. Jobs for nurse practitioners are projected to increase by 28%, while nurse anesthetist jobs should increase by 20%.

Salaries for Nurse Practitioners Throughout California

Shown below is a highly detailed analysis of nurse practitioner salaries throughout California as of 2014. NPs in the San Jose area who were in the 90th percentile had an average salary so high that it exceeded the maximum value reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Bakersfield-Delano CA
150
108420
Chico CA
60
113240
El Centro CA
Estimate not released
114410
Fresno CA
240
108850
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale CA Metropolitan Division
2300
115300
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana CA
3420
114450
Merced CA
30
98440
Modesto CA
110
104890
Napa CA
40
109750
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward CA Metropolitan Division
850
113260
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura CA
170
117860
Redding CA
50
92050
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario CA
960
112850
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville CA
580
110070
Salinas CA
50
108150
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos CA
980
116650
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont CA
1440
119220
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City CA Metropolitan Division
590
127790
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara CA
570
139570
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles CA
70
103380
Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine CA Metropolitan Division
1130
112700
Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta CA
140
98220
Santa Cruz-Watsonville CA
60
109030
Santa Rosa-Petaluma CA
80
113340
Stockton CA
80
93190
Vallejo-Fairfield CA
130
127860
Visalia-Porterville CA
140
123580
Yuba City CA
Estimate not released
113960
North Coast Region of California nonmetropolitan area
120
97310
Northern Mountains Region of California nonmetropolitan area
Estimate not released
94240

*This value is equal to or greater than $90 per hour or $187,199 per year. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish salaries higher than these values.

Nurse Anesthetist Salary Breakdown for California

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurse anesthetists in California’s major metropolitan areas earning in the 90th percentile earned an average salary so high it exceeded the value reported by the BLS (2014). This was also the case for the median salary among nurse anesthetists in the San Jose area:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale CA Metropolitan Division
230
174240
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana CA
270
168680
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward CA Metropolitan Division
Estimate not released
149590
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario CA
90
141380
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos CA
30
177990
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont CA
190
141870
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City CA Metropolitan Division
100
134840
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara CA
Estimate not released
232970

*This value is equal to or greater than $90 per hour or $187,199 per year. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish salaries higher than these values.

Salaries for Nurse Midwives in the Major Metropolitan Areas of California

The average salary for nurse midwives in the San Diego and San Jose areas earning in the 90th percentile as of 2014 exceeded the maximum value reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale CA Metropolitan Division
70
128210
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana CA
120
127790
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos CA
40
132750
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City CA Metropolitan Divi
Estimate not released
125900
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara CA
30
139290

*This value is equal to or greater than $90 per hour or $187,199 per year. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish salaries higher than these values.

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