CareerNursing Blogs

Getting Paid: The States Where Nurses Make the Most Money in 2021


As much as you love taking care of patients, you also need to get paid for all the hard work you do. From student loan debt to taking care of yourself and your loved ones to saving for your first house, even a small pay increase can make a world of difference.

Nursing salaries tend to vary widely across the country. Some areas will pay you more than others, but the high cost of living can put a dent in your earnings. So, which states will help you earn the most? Use this guide to plan the next chapter of your career.

Licensed Practical Nurse

According to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest paying states on average for LPNs are:

  1. Alaska: Yearly salary of $67,620 ($32.51/hr)
  2. California: Yearly salary of $64,090 ($30.81/hr)
  3. Massachusetts: Yearly salary of $60,400 ($29.04/hr)
  4. Washington: Yearly salary of $59,780 ($28.74/hr)
  5. Nevada: Yearly salary of $59,700 ($28.70/hr)

However, Alaska only employs around 330 LPNs. California, New York, Texas, Ohio, and Florida employ the most LPNs, so these tend to also be some of the best places to look for work.

Registered Nurse Salary

If you’re a registered nurse, these states will pay you the most for your services on average, according to the BLS:

  1. California: $120,560 annually ($57.96/hr)
  2. Hawaii: $104,830 annually ($50.40/hr)
  3. Massachusetts: $96,250 annually ($46.27/hr)
  4. Oregon: $96.230 annually ($46.27/hr)
  5. Alaska: $95,270 annually ($45.81/hr)

California is by far the country’s largest employer of RNs, with 307,060 working across the state. Texas comes in second with 219,330; Florida with 183,130; New York with 178,550 and Pennsylvania rounds out the top 5 with 146,640 providers.

Looking at the data by state doesn’t tell the full story, though. If you’re considering moving to a new city, these areas pay the highest averages:

  1. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $149,200 a year ($71.73/hr)
  2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $146,870 a year ($70.61/hr)
  3. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA: $142,140 a year ($68.34/hr)
  4. Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA: $134,350 a year ($64.59/hr)
  5. Salinas, CA: $132,160 a year ($63.54/hr)

Clearly, California is the place to be if you’re looking to earn the most money for your time. However, many cities in this state and several others also tend to be some of the most competitive.

If you’re looking to land your first job, these areas have the highest concentrations of RNs:

  • New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
  • Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
  • Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH
  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL
  • Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

Let’s say you’re not a city person. If you’d rather live in the country without taking a massive pay cut, these are the highest paying nonmetropolitan areas on average:

  1. North Valley-Northern Mountains Region of California: $103,890/year ($49.95/hr)
  2. Alaska nonmetropolitan area: $102,390/year ($49.23/hr)
  3. Eastern Sierra-Mother Lode Region of California: $101,000/year ($48.56/hr)
  4. Hawaii / Kauai nonmetropolitan area: $97,950/year ($47.09/hr)
  5. North Coast Region of California: $92,760/year ($44.60/hr)

RN Salaries – Adjusted for Cost of Living

Let’s face it: living in New York, L.A., or Chicago isn’t for everyone. You’re probably spending most of your time at the hospital, so living in a big city might not be worth it. Cities like these are also among the most expensive to live in the world. Yes, we’re looking at you, San Francisco. If you’re looking to squeeze as much money out of your time as a nurse, these states pay the most when we adjust for the cost of living:

  1. New Mexico: $84,770
  2. California: $84,663
  3. Texas: $83,478
  4. Nevada: $82,491
  5. Michigan: $81,656
  6. Washington: $80,805
  7. Minnesota: $80,397
  8. Georgia: $79,721
  9. Arizona: $79,348
  10. Illinois: $78,484

Clearly, there’s a lot to consider when taking a job in another state. You might be able to maximize your paycheck by living cheaply in a major city or high-paying state like California. For example, you could get a roommate or live outside of the downtown area and take a train to work. 

Keep this information in mind as you look towards your post-pandemic future. And remember, you’re worth every penny. 


Fake Doctor, Real Botox, and Lots of Booze: Jacksonville Man Arrested in FL

Previous article

Careismatic Brands Donates 2,000 Pairs of Shoes to School in Haiti

Next article

You may also like


  1. hey there and thank you for your information – I have certainly picked up anything new from right here.
    I did however expertise a few technical issues using this site, as I experienced to reload the website a lot of times previous to I could get it to load correctly.

    I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining,
    but sluggish loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and could damage your quality score if
    ads and marketing with Adwords. Well I am adding
    this RSS to my email and can look out for much more of your respective fascinating content.
    Make sure you update this again very soon.

  2. This design is spectacular! You definitely know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved
    to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job.

    I really loved what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too cool!

  3. hey there and thank you for your information – I have certainly picked up anything new
    from right here. I did however expertise some technical issues
    using this site, since I experienced to reload the web site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load correctly.
    I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK?
    Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and could damage your high-quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords.
    Well I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out
    for much more of your respective intriguing content.

    Ensure that you update this again very soon.

  4. Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your
    weblog. You have some really good articles and I think I would be a good
    asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some articles for your
    blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an e-mail if interested.

  5. These are actually fantastic ideas in regarding blogging.
    You have touched some good factors here. Any
    way keep up wrinting.

  6. Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam
    remarks? If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything
    you can advise? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any help is very much appreciated.

  7. Why users still make use of to read news papers when in this technological globe the whole thing is available on web?

  8. Hi there, after reading this awesome paragraph i
    am too cheerful to share my experience here with mates.

  9. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the. Regards

  10. Hello Dear, are you truly visiting this site on a regular basis, if so then you will absolutely take good experience.
    asmr asmr

  11. Hey! Quick question that’s completely off topic.

    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My weblog looks weird when browsing from my iphone4.
    I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to correct this issue.
    If you have any suggestions, please share. With thanks!
    quest bars quest bars

  12. Hello, I enjoy reading all of your post. I like to write a little comment to support
    you. scoliosis surgery scoliosis surgery

  13. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about off. Regards cheap flights cheap flights

  14. I used to be recommended this web site by means of my cousin. I’m no longer certain whether this put up is written by means of him as nobody else recognize such designated
    approximately my trouble. You are wonderful! Thank you!

    scoliosis surgery scoliosis surgery

  15. Paragraph writing is also a fun, if you be familiar with then you can write or else it is complicated
    to write. quest bars quest bars

  16. Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad
    and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has
    83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!
    ps4 games ps4

  17. Nice prize,hope to win

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Career