How Much Do Rns Make in Tennessee

Are you curious about how much money you could make as a Registered Nurse (RN) in Tennessee? Well, look no further! In this article, we will explore the average salaries for RNs in the state, as well as the factors that can affect your earning potential.

We'll also dive into the highest paying cities for RNs in Tennessee and compare RN salaries to other healthcare professionals.

Plus, we'll provide some valuable tips on how to maximize your RN salary.

Let's get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Entry-level RN salaries in Tennessee average around $58,000 per year.
  • RNs in Tennessee experience a salary growth of approximately 15% over their career.
  • Nursing shortage in Tennessee leads to higher salaries and benefits for RNs.
  • Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Johnson City are some of the highest paying cities for RNs in Tennessee.

Average RN Salaries in Tennessee

You will frequently find that RNs in Tennessee make competitive salaries. When it comes to entry-level RN salaries in Tennessee, the average is around $58,000 per year. This is a great starting point for those entering the healthcare field.

As you gain more experience and advance in your career, you can expect to see significant salary growth. On average, RNs in Tennessee experience a salary growth of approximately 15% over the course of their career. This means that with time, dedication, and continued professional development, you can expect to earn a higher income as an RN in Tennessee.

The state offers a favorable environment for nurses, with a growing demand for healthcare professionals and ample opportunities for career advancement.

Factors Affecting RN Salaries in Tennessee

Nurses in Tennessee can greatly benefit from considering various factors that directly impact their salaries.

One significant factor is the nursing shortage, which has a direct impact on RN salaries. With a shortage of qualified nurses, healthcare facilities in Tennessee often offer higher salaries and benefits to attract and retain talented individuals. This increased demand for nurses has led to a competitive job market, allowing RNs to negotiate higher salaries and better compensation packages.

Another factor to consider is the cost of living adjustment. Tennessee has a relatively low cost of living compared to other states, which can affect RN salaries. Although the average RN salary in Tennessee may be lower than in other states, the lower cost of living can offset this difference and provide a higher standard of living for nurses.

Highest Paying Cities for RNs in Tennessee

When it comes to earning potential, there are several cities in Tennessee where RNs can find the highest pay. These cities offer competitive salaries and a range of employment opportunities in the healthcare field.

Here are the top five highest paying cities for RNs in Tennessee:

  • Nashville: With renowned hospitals like Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Saint Thomas West Hospital, Nashville offers some of the highest paying nursing jobs in the state.
  • Memphis: Home to prestigious facilities such as Baptist Memorial Hospital and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Memphis provides excellent earning potential for RNs.
  • Knoxville: The city boasts top-rated hospitals like the University of Tennessee Medical Center and Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, making it a lucrative destination for RNs.
  • Chattanooga: With hospitals like Erlanger Medical Center and Parkridge Medical Center, Chattanooga offers attractive salaries and a strong job outlook for RNs.
  • Johnson City: Home to Johnson City Medical Center and Franklin Woods Community Hospital, Johnson City provides rewarding career opportunities and competitive salaries for RNs.

Salary Comparison: RNs Vs Other Healthcare Professionals in Tennessee

When comparing salaries, RNs in Tennessee earn more than other healthcare professionals in the state. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for registered nurses in Tennessee is $63,360 as of May 2020.

In comparison, the median annual wage for physicians and surgeons in Tennessee is $256,130. This significant difference in salaries can be attributed to the level of education and training required for these professions. While physicians undergo extensive education and residency programs, registered nurses typically complete a bachelor's degree or an associate degree in nursing.

Additionally, the job outlook for registered nurses in Tennessee is promising, with a projected growth rate of 14% from 2018 to 2028. This growth is driven by the increasing demand for healthcare services and the aging population in the state.

Tips for Maximizing Your RN Salary in Tennessee

To increase your RN salary in Tennessee, consider implementing these tips:

  • Negotiating Strategies: When starting a new job or during performance reviews, negotiate for higher pay based on your experience, skills, and qualifications. Research the average RN salary in Tennessee and use that as a benchmark for your negotiation.
  • Additional Certifications: Acquiring additional certifications can make you more valuable and eligible for higher-paying positions. Consider pursuing certifications in specialized areas such as critical care, oncology, or pediatrics.
  • Continuing Education: Stay updated with the latest advancements in nursing by pursuing continuing education courses. This can help you stand out among your peers and potentially lead to salary increases.
  • Networking: Build connections with other healthcare professionals and attend industry events to expand your professional network. This can open doors to new job opportunities with higher salaries.
  • Performance Reviews: Prove your worth during performance reviews by consistently exceeding expectations, taking on additional responsibilities, and showcasing your skills and accomplishments.


To conclude, the average RN salaries in Tennessee are commendable, with factors such as location and experience influencing earnings. Knoxville and Nashville emerge as the highest paying cities for RNs in the state.

When comparing RN salaries with other healthcare professionals in Tennessee, RNs hold a competitive edge.

To maximize your RN salary in Tennessee, consider pursuing advanced certifications and gaining experience in high-demand specialties. By making strategic choices, you can bolster your earning potential as an RN in the state.

Graham Thurgood
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