The Shortage
The United States is in the midst of a nursing shortage that is expected to intensify over the next two decades with 44 states.  The US will experience a 20% shortage in the number of nurses needed by the year 2020.  This translates into a shortage of more than 400,000 RNs nationwide.

The Hospital
The total number of all US registered hospitals is 5,801 with a total staffed beds of 987,440.  Total annual admissions in these hospital are about 35,644,440.

The Compensation
Base salary for a RN ranges from $40,000 to $60,000 per year with an average bonus of 4%.  The average hourly rate is about $25 to $30.  If you hold higher qualification and/or with acute experience, the base salary rises to $60,000 to $80,000 per year.

The Work Days and Hours
Most US hospitals schedule their nurse for either eight-hour shift per week (7am to 3pm, 3pm to 11pm, or 11pm to 7pm) or twelve-hour shift per week (7am to 7pm or 7pm to 7am).  The vacation leave per year is in general three weeks.

The Benefits
Some hospitals offer profit disbursement plan which is about $1,947 - $2,506 in addition to base salary and bonus.  Pension and retirement scheme are normally a standard benefit.  401k with employer matching is not uncommon in the industry.  More than half of healthcare institutions offer 529 college saving plan.  Medical, dental, vision and life insurance are also standard.  Social security benefits are offered to all working people in the US.