Nursing salary map: Coastal cities versus the Midwest

Ever wonder what your fellow nurses are making a few states over? Coastal cities consistently rank higher for mean nursing wages, but cost of living in these cities also takes more out of your pocket.

Do you think you work in the nation’s “sweet spot”? Tell us! Where do you live and what is your specialty?

Annual Mean Wage of Registered Nurses By State, May 2010


Images via:



The Scrubs Staff would love to hear your ideas for stories! Please submit your articles or story ideas to us here.

Post a Comment

You must or register to post a comment.

18 Responses to Nursing salary map: Coastal cities versus the Midwest

  1. GA


  2. Monica

    Iowa–long term care

  3. Jenny

    I live in Michigan and wish I made the mean wage reported here, not even close; although I do love what I do – Pediatrics RN!

    • sstankula

      Jenny. I’m at MOTT and we have amazing pay and benefits.

  4. Pam

    I work in the nursery in Arizona. I make great money working for Banner Health. Since the housing market crash, houses are cheap! In a little rural town called Queen Creek, you can get a 5 bedroom 3800+sqft home for 105K. Really…I’m not kidding! Some new foreclosures with a pool and granite are 40K. Queen Creek is a little town East of downtown Phoenix and about 30 minutes from Chandler, AZ. I have worked many places in the north west and the salary map isn’t even close. So far…I always come back to AZ because I make such good money!

  5. Renee

    I am from Minnesota and work long term care and i dont even make half of the median mentioned!

  6. Stacy

    Mississippi – OR nurse. I wish I made the “mean” wage. Where do these numbers come from?

  7. k hill

    OK is fairly accurate- rural areas make low median : (

  8. jalynnro13

    ER- I moved from Alaska to South Dakota. What a reality shock!! I expected to make less…but not 50% less!! I work in the busiest ER in South Dakota, see over 50, 000/year, Level 2 trauma center and see some of the sickest patients I’ve ever seen (and I’ve worked in 8 different ER’s over my 14 years of experience–husband was military)!

  9. DianeP

    SoCal hospital…$45/hr

  10. OR-BSN

    I work in Southern Oregon and I am an RN with a BSN ( more pay here for that) with 17 years exp. I work in a Hospital as a Case Manager/Utilization Review nurse. My background is ER and Short Stay Surgery. I make 35.10 an hour but took a pay cut to work only weekdays and 8-4:30. The benefits are good as well. My fellow nurses who work on the units average between 35-to 40 an hour plus differentials and benefits. The cost of living is fairly high here but not as high as many of the western states and the lifestyle is pretty good, especially if you like outdoor activities. We still have nursing shortage here so recruitment is driving salary at this time and many nurses with specialties ( ICU, ED, etc.. ) can ask for higher wages as hire.

  11. Jan Renfroe

    Only career where years of experience, longevity with employer, and getting higher degree means nothing, esp in regards to salary !! Employers tell us to be a super nurse and be glad we have a job ,their reason for no raise this yr !! Nurses may be misguided but we r not stupid !!

  12. Jeannette Schmit

    I’m a mom-baby nurse in SC. The salary may be right with a bit of OT :).

  13. MaryFish09

    Pediatric Home Health in Nebraska. Got the job as a new grad and with full time hours I make right in the middle of that range.

  14. Holly Miller

    It looks like all of the states in the top ranges either have a very high cost of living or contain one or more major metropolitan area where the cost of living is high. I know in IL, Chicago and its suburbs account for the majority of the nursing population in the state, and there is a huge discrepancy between what RNs in the Chicago area make compared to those downstate. The difference in salary, however, correlates very closely with the difference in cost of living. A lot of RNs in the Chicago area make at or above the mean reported here, but RNs in the central and southern part of the state make nowhere near that!

  15. Debora Ewertz

    I went from hospital nursing to home health nursing. Big eye opener. Salary is 60% less than at hospital with an extra $0.25 per hour for over 28 years of experience. Because the majority of the clients are on public assistance the salary is so low and the positions are all parttime or prn so no benefits. I love my client or I would definitely think about changing carriers again. Salary is half of the mean.

  16. Carylynn

    Nephrolgy in Cleveland OH area. Our ave wage is about $30,000 over the ohio mean in ohio with 40 hr work week. The problem is that 40 hr is a short work week for us and 12 hr or less shift is rare. Great for the bank account but quick on the burn out scale. This causes a high turn over of new hires and the long term RNs are spread thin.

    • Carylynn

      So sorry on my last pist I had a typo our ave pay is about $20,000 above Ohio mean. Credit small buttons to type on.