The 10 Best States For Registered Nurses In 2019

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Best States For Professions, Rankings - 1 month ago

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Registered Nurses are one of the most common jobs in America. Additionally, a significant number of people work as registered nurses in every state in the union — it’s not like they are all just concentrated in California or the South.

Since registered nurses are such a prominent occupation, we at Zippia wanted to look at where registered nurses have it the best: where there are plenty of jobs to go around and people get paid what they deserve during every phase of their career.

To that end, we dove into the numbers from the BLS to figure out which states have the best opportunities for registered nurses.

After all the numbers had been crunched, we were left with this list of the best of best for America’s registered nurses:

  1. Michigan
  2. Minnesota
  3. Delaware
  4. Illinois
  5. Oregon
  6. Texas
  7. Nevada
  8. Arizona
  9. Wisconsin
  10. New Mexico

So there you have it — Registered Nurses is the best of the best when it comes to being a registered nurse.

How did Registered Nurses end up here and does it really deserve this ranking? Read on to see how we completed our research on the best states for registered nurses and for more on the top ten states.

If you’re interested, you can read more about the job scene here:

How we determined the best states to be a registered nurse

Here at Zippia, we talk to a lot of people of all different backgrounds looking for jobs. Our research has concluded that there are two common things people want in a job:

  • Availability of jobs
  • Higher Pay

So in order to find out the best states for registered nurses in America we needed to figure out where the jobs are and how well registered nurses get paid. This led to the following criteria taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Occupational Employment Statistics for 2018:

  • Location quotient. A measure of how common a job is a given state.
  • Average annual salary.
  • Average annual salary for entry level work.
  • Average annual salary for experienced professionals.

To make all the salary numbers more apples to apples across states, we compared the salary data relative to the state’s cost of living.

Applying this standardization allows us to account for that fact that it costs more to live in certain in states. For example, the average salary for registered nurses in California is $106,950 and the average salary in Illinois is $73,890, but the Illinois salary actually goes further in paying for life’s essentials.

In order to develop and overall ranking, we ranked each state for each criteria from 1 to 50 where 1 was the best.

We then averaged all the rankings for a state into a Job Score with the state having the lowest overall Job Score earning the distinction of being the best state for registered nurses in America.

So without further ado, let’s get into just what made each state so great for registered nurses.

1. Michigan

Best States For Registered Nurses

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 96,680
Average Annual Salary: $71,330
Average Entry Level Salary: $53,750
Average Experienced Salary: $93,590
Location Quotient: 1.1

2. Minnesota

Best States For Registered Nurses

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 69,000
Average Annual Salary: $78,920
Average Entry Level Salary: $56,150
Average Experienced Salary: $102,680
Location Quotient: 1.18

3. Delaware

Best States For Registered Nurses

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 11,840
Average Annual Salary: $74,800
Average Entry Level Salary: $55,280
Average Experienced Salary: $100,060
Location Quotient: 1.29

4. Illinois

Best States For Registered Nurses

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 129,400
Average Annual Salary: $73,890
Average Entry Level Salary: $51,190
Average Experienced Salary: $101,650
Location Quotient: 1.06

5. Oregon

Best States For Registered Nurses

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 36,020
Average Annual Salary: $91,080
Average Entry Level Salary: $66,830
Average Experienced Salary: $121,120
Location Quotient: 0.94

6. Texas

Best States For Registered Nurses

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 210,350
Average Annual Salary: $72,890
Average Entry Level Salary: $52,590
Average Experienced Salary: $98,170
Location Quotient: 0.85

7. Nevada

Best States For Registered Nurses

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 22,560
Average Annual Salary: $85,620
Average Entry Level Salary: $64,720
Average Experienced Salary: $111,690
Location Quotient: 0.82

8. Arizona

Best States For Registered Nurses

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 54,690
Average Annual Salary: $77,000
Average Entry Level Salary: $55,580
Average Experienced Salary: $100,720
Location Quotient: 0.96

9. Wisconsin

Best States For Registered Nurses

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 59,030
Average Annual Salary: $71,470
Average Entry Level Salary: $54,290
Average Experienced Salary: $94,290
Location Quotient: 1.02

10. New Mexico

Best States For Registered Nurses

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 16,730
Average Annual Salary: $71,730
Average Entry Level Salary: $53,620
Average Experienced Salary: $95,320
Location Quotient: 1.01

There You Have It – The Best States To Be A Registered Nurse

If you’re looking to start out your career as a registered nurse these are the states that should be at the top of your list. You’ll find high pay, available jobs, and chances for career advancement.

If you’re curious, here are the worst states to be a registered nurse in America:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Connecticut
  3. Maryland

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best States For registered nurses

Rank State Average Salary Entry Level Salary # Of People
1 Michigan $71,330 $53,750 96,680
2 Minnesota $78,920 $56,150 69,000
3 Delaware $74,800 $55,280 11,840
4 Illinois $73,890 $51,190 129,400
5 Oregon $91,080 $66,830 36,020
6 Texas $72,890 $52,590 210,350
7 Nevada $85,620 $64,720 22,560
8 Arizona $77,000 $55,580 54,690
9 Wisconsin $71,470 $54,290 59,030
10 New Mexico $71,730 $53,620 16,730
11 Ohio $66,820 $51,160 125,380
12 Missouri $65,130 $44,060 71,770
13 Washington $82,670 $55,760 56,290
14 Indiana $64,860 $45,920 67,870
15 Pennsylvania $70,390 $51,950 148,520
16 Georgia $68,950 $49,250 76,640
17 Idaho $67,110 $49,980 13,790
18 California $106,950 $66,440 294,510
19 Nebraska $64,470 $48,090 22,970
20 Wyoming $67,360 $49,330 5,010
21 Colorado $74,240 $54,110 51,760
22 Kentucky $63,100 $44,410 46,130
23 North Carolina $64,850 $46,130 102,500
24 Mississippi $58,490 $41,690 29,860
25 Massachusetts $92,140 $58,620 80,630
26 Arkansas $60,780 $42,770 25,380
27 Oklahoma $63,080 $44,970 29,330
28 Montana $67,450 $51,930 10,100
29 Utah $65,670 $49,110 21,700
30 West Virginia $61,780 $43,040 19,930
31 North Dakota $65,740 $52,110 8,770
32 Tennessee $61,320 $43,340 60,360
33 Alabama $59,470 $42,540 49,490
34 Louisiana $63,970 $43,840 43,110
35 Kansas $61,030 $43,880 27,810
36 Rhode Island $78,420 $56,870 12,630
37 New Jersey $82,750 $59,930 79,530
38 Virginia $69,790 $47,890 64,750
39 Florida $66,210 $47,070 177,600
40 Alaska $89,310 $62,310 5,730
41 Iowa $59,130 $43,610 33,770
42 South Carolina $64,940 $45,510 44,350
43 Maine $67,610 $50,070 14,460
44 South Dakota $58,340 $42,530 12,760
45 New York $85,610 $55,450 182,490
46 New Hampshire $72,760 $53,090 13,630
47 Vermont $69,160 $52,020 6,460
48 Maryland $76,820 $54,840 54,080
49 Connecticut $81,220 $57,980 31,400
50 Hawaii $98,080 $63,300 11,310
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