is nurse a white collar job

is nurse a white collar job

Is Nurse a White Collar Job?

The terms “white collar” and “blue collar” were first used in the early 20th century to differentiate highly educated and highly paid jobs from those involving manual labor. White collar jobs often required professional qualifications, while blue collar jobs attracted more tradespersons with lower levels of formal education. But what about the nursing profession? Is nurse a white collar job?

Factors that Classify Nursing as a White Collar Job

Nurses are undoubtedly highly educated professionals who need to be licensed or certified to practice. In recent years, the medical field has pushed for higher requirements in terms of education and experience, in order to meet the changing needs of the industry. This has enabled the nursing profession to become a much sought after career and land it in the white collar category.

Here are a few factors that classify nursing as a white collar job:

  • Education Level: Nurses are required to earn a degree and/or certificate in order to practice, which essentially places them in the white collar realm. From associate and bachelor’s degrees to master’s and doctoral degrees, nurses can earn higher qualifications and even specialize in fields, like oncology, pediatrics, and geriatrics.
  • Salary Range: The average salary of nurses is typically above what blue collar workers can earn. In some states, nurses can even make six figures with overtime and specializations.
  • Environmental Conditions: The working conditions for nurses are much more hygienic and comfortable than that of manual labor. Most nurses work in air-conditioned environments and they are expected to maintain a certain level of personal hygiene and decorum while on the job.
  • Profession: Nursing is considered a highly respected and noble profession. Nurses are often called upon to serve in advance roles in mediator in times of crisis or to mentor students or newbies in their field.


Nursing is often deemed a white collar job due to the educational and salary requirements. While there are certainly blue collar aspects to the job such as manual labor, majority of the job’s profile is white-collar; from research and care developed from modern healthcare to the philosophy of patient-centered care.

As such, nursing rightly deserves to be placed among other white collar professions that require higher qualifications, such as teachers and engineers.


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