Registered nurses are one of the least happy careers in the United States.

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, registered nurses rate their career happiness 2.7 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 13% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy registered nurses are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:

Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers

Career Satisfaction Avg Salary
Clinical nurse specialist
2.8
$73k
Healthcare social worker
2.8
$57k
Speech language pathologist
2.7
$82k
Registered nurse
2.7
$66k
Nuclear medicine technologist
2.7
$78k
Pharmacist
2.7
$128k

So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:

  • Salary: Are registered nurses happy with their salary?
  • Meaning: Do registered nurses find their jobs meaningful?
  • Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as registered nurses?
  • Work environment: How enjoyable are registered nurse’s work environments?
  • Skills utilization: Are registered nurses making the best use of their abilities?

Are registered nurses happy with their salary?