Understanding the Earnings of an EN (Enrolled Nurse): A Comprehensive Guide


Enrolled nurses are healthcare professionals who have completed a two-year college program and passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). They play a crucial role in providing patient care, administering medications, and assisting with medical procedures. In this article, we will explore the earnings of an EN, including factors that influence salary, job outlook, and career progression opportunities.

Factors That Influence Salary:

There are several factors that can affect the earning potential of an EN. These include location, experience, education level, specialization, and certifications.

  1. Location: The demand for healthcare services varies depending on the region. Enrolled nurses working in urban areas or states with high population density tend to earn more than those in rural areas. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for ENs in Texas is $71,920, while in California, it is $84,650.
  2. Experience: The longer an EN has worked in their field, the more they are likely to earn. According to the BLS, ENs with 1-4 years of experience earn a median annual wage of $71,630, while those with 5-9 years of experience earn $78,210.
  3. Education Level: Enrolled nurses who have completed a four-year bachelor’s degree program tend to earn more than those who only have an associate’s degree. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for ENs with a bachelor’s degree is $84,650, while those with an associate’s degree earn $72,390.
  4. Specialization: Some specialties within nursing, such as emergency care or surgery, may offer higher salaries than others. According to the BLS, ENs working in office and outpatient settings earn a median annual wage of $68,550, while those working in hospitals earn $72,190.
  5. Certifications: Obtaining additional certifications, such as the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) or the Certified Perianesthesia Nurse (CPN), can lead to higher salaries and career advancement opportunities.

Job Outlook and Career Progression:
The demand for healthcare services is expected to grow in the coming years, which will create more job opportunities for enrolled nurses. According to the BLS, employment of ENs is projected to grow 10% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

In terms of career progression, enrolled nurses can pursue several paths to advance their careers. These include obtaining additional education or certifications, specializing in a particular area of nursing, or transitioning into a related field such as physician assistant or medical laboratory technologist.

Case Studies:

One example of an enrolled nurse who has advanced her career is Sarah, who started working as an EN after completing her associate’s degree. She worked for several years in various healthcare settings, gaining experience and building a strong patient care record. Eventually, she decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing and obtained the CEN certification. Today, Sarah works as a nurse educator, teaching students about emergency care and disaster preparedness.

Another example is John, who started working as an EN after completing his two-year college program. He worked for several years in hospitals, gaining experience in surgical care and patient monitoring. Eventually, he decided to pursue a master’s degree in nursing and specialize in orthopedic surgery. Today, John works as a nurse practitioner, providing specialized care to patients with orthopedic injuries and conditions.


Enrolled nurses play an essential role in the healthcare industry, providing high-quality patient care and contributing to the overall health of the population. While salaries can vary depending on several factors, enrolled nurses have the potential to earn competitive wages with career advancement opportunities. By pursuing additional education or certifications and specializing in a particular area of nursing, enrolled nurses can take their careers to the next level.

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