Pennsylvania has proportionately more nurses in its work force than the country as a whole, but the state's registered nurses make less than the national average, according to a report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The report, based on May 2006 data, found that licensed practical nurses in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and R.N.s in New Jersey made more than the national average.

Nationally, R.N.s account for 1.8 percent of employees. They're 2.2 percent of the work force in Pennsylvania and 2 percent in New Jersey. The average hourly wage is $28.71 nationally, $32.02 in New Jersey and $27.42 in Pennsylvania.

Average hourly pay for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses is $18.05. That compares to $22.87 in New Jersey and $18.56 in Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia registered nurses are paid well above the state and national averages. In a region that encompasses Philadelphia, Camden and Wilmington, nurses made an average of $30.24 per hour.