These Are The 10 Best/Worst States For Nurses

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Best States For Professions, Rankings - 8 months 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. Delaware
  3. Minnesota
  4. Illinois
  5. Oregon
  6. Arizona
  7. Texas
  8. New Mexico
  9. Washington
  10. Nevada

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:

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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 2016:

  • 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 $101,750 and the average salary in Illinois is $70,890, 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: 92,670
Average Annual Salary: $69,100
Average Entry Level Salary: $51,590
Average Experienced Salary: $90,900
Location Quotient: 1.08

2. Delaware

Best States For Registered Nurses

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 11,320
Average Annual Salary: $70,820
Average Entry Level Salary: $53,850
Average Experienced Salary: $94,490
Location Quotient: 1.26

3. Minnesota

Best States For Registered Nurses

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 61,830
Average Annual Salary: $73,940
Average Entry Level Salary: $50,260
Average Experienced Salary: $99,910
Location Quotient: 1.08

4. Illinois

Best States For Registered Nurses

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 121,670
Average Annual Salary: $70,890
Average Entry Level Salary: $47,100
Average Experienced Salary: $99,590
Location Quotient: 1.01

5. Oregon

Best States For Registered Nurses

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 35,220
Average Annual Salary: $87,000
Average Entry Level Salary: $64,270
Average Experienced Salary: $113,610
Location Quotient: 0.97

6. Arizona

Best States For Registered Nurses

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 52,610
Average Annual Salary: $73,430
Average Entry Level Salary: $52,660
Average Experienced Salary: $98,790
Location Quotient: 0.97

7. Texas

Best States For Registered Nurses

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 207,810
Average Annual Salary: $70,390
Average Entry Level Salary: $50,360
Average Experienced Salary: $96,690
Location Quotient: 0.87

8. New Mexico

Best States For Registered Nurses

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 16,200
Average Annual Salary: $68,670
Average Entry Level Salary: $51,910
Average Experienced Salary: $92,090
Location Quotient: 0.99

9. Washington

Best States For Registered Nurses

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 55,350
Average Annual Salary: $80,120
Average Entry Level Salary: $54,050
Average Experienced Salary: $113,600
Location Quotient: 0.89

10. Nevada

Best States For Registered Nurses

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 20,250
Average Annual Salary: $83,790
Average Entry Level Salary: $61,860
Average Experienced Salary: $105,880
Location Quotient: 0.78

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. Vermont
  3. Connecticut

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 $69,100 $51,590 92,670
2 Delaware $70,820 $53,850 11,320
3 Minnesota $73,940 $50,260 61,830
4 Illinois $70,890 $47,100 121,670
5 Oregon $87,000 $64,270 35,220
6 Arizona $73,430 $52,660 52,610
7 Texas $70,390 $50,360 207,810
8 New Mexico $68,670 $51,910 16,200
9 Washington $80,120 $54,050 55,350
10 Nevada $83,790 $61,860 20,250
11 Ohio $63,960 $47,560 128,030
12 Wisconsin $67,930 $51,740 55,410
13 Pennsylvania $68,770 $48,050 139,480
14 Mississippi $57,010 $40,790 28,590
15 Missouri $60,830 $41,810 67,920
16 Colorado $70,550 $52,330 47,590
17 Indiana $60,050 $42,460 63,870
18 Georgia $64,750 $45,160 73,330
19 Massachusetts $89,060 $55,400 85,140
20 California $101,750 $63,450 274,650
21 Kentucky $59,810 $42,990 45,500
22 Wyoming $62,980 $44,290 4,970
23 Louisiana $63,370 $43,310 44,780
24 Oklahoma $60,630 $43,450 27,660
25 Nebraska $60,370 $43,790 21,240
26 Idaho $62,470 $44,680 12,330
27 Arkansas $57,630 $41,370 23,380
28 North Carolina $61,330 $43,910 99,050
29 Tennessee $58,410 $42,180 60,080
30 Montana $64,300 $49,060 9,800
31 West Virginia $59,380 $41,330 20,880
32 Florida $64,630 $46,550 174,710
33 Rhode Island $75,200 $55,250 12,150
34 Utah $62,360 $45,130 21,470
35 New Jersey $80,580 $57,540 79,400
36 Alabama $56,900 $41,520 47,440
37 Alaska $86,450 $62,000 5,570
38 Kansas $58,260 $42,130 27,130
39 Virginia $66,670 $44,190 63,820
40 Iowa $56,290 $41,450 32,370
41 South Carolina $63,470 $43,760 41,800
42 South Dakota $55,920 $41,440 12,130
43 New York $80,830 $53,060 180,730
44 North Dakota $60,840 $45,020 8,710
45 Maine $63,800 $46,420 14,190
46 New Hampshire $68,680 $50,030 13,260
47 Maryland $74,710 $54,460 53,330
48 Connecticut $78,270 $55,530 32,930
49 Vermont $67,780 $51,060 5,850
50 Hawaii $88,910 $59,570 11,300
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