Yes, most registered nurses are considered part of the middle class, with the possible exception of some working/non working part-time registered nurses.
To further answer this question we’ll take a look at the average U.S. income and compare that to the average income of a registered nurse.
The average household income for U.S. citizens in 2011 is equal to $50,054 (via: Huffington Post) with an average household size between 2 1/2 – 3 family members (Via: U.S. Census Bureau Reports).
If you assume that the average household contains 2 adults and they both make roughly the same income than 1 household adult would make an average income of $25,027 per year.
The average income for a registered nurse in the U.S. in 2012 is equal to $66,340 (via: Salary.com), which equals $41,313 more per year than the average single adult if you follow the formula described above.
As you can see from these estimates 1 working registered nurse in 2012 would make $16,286 more than the average household income made in 2011, which would include all 2 1/2 – 3 family members.
If you assume that the average household income contains 2 adults and both adults are registered nurses than the average income for that household would be $132,680, which is easily more than double the average household income in the United States.
Given these numbers it quickly becomes clear that registered nurses make a very good income when compared to most professions within the United States.
While most registered nurses do make a good annual income most will agree that their work is often challenging and demanding, and in some cases registered nurses may be required to work lot’s of overtime due to nursing shortages at their hospital or health care facility.
Nurses are also required to consistently take continuing education courses and training in order to stay up to date with their profession and provide patients with the best health care possible.
For most registered nurses it isn’t just about the pay, the ability to help others in need and save lives is what drives their motivation for working in this field and those who have been doing this for years know that in order to last in the field of nursing you must have a real passion for what you do, otherwise it isn’t worth going into this profession just for the money and those who feel that money is the only reason to become an RN will quickly become disappointed in their work and realize this type of work isn’t for them.