The nursing industry is expected to grow faster than most other occupations over the next decade, thanks in part to an aging population and the Affordable Care Act. Yet that does not mean that your career opportunities are guaranteed to improve. The outlook for nurses can vary greatly from state to state, and your preference in field or specialty can also be a determining factor in deciding where your nursing skills will be most appreciated in the country.
What Defines a “Best” State for Nursing?
There are a number of factors that can make nursing in one state more attractive than in another, with a lot having to do with what matters most to you. Your major concern may be the salary compared to the cost of living, while another nurse may want to be able to choose from a work environment that improves upon their total quality of life. So, let’s dive in:
States With Highest Hourly Salaries for Nurses
The top five states for highest hourly pay for nurses are:
- New Jersey
Now before you go packing your bikini and heading to the Pacific, you should also consider the average cost of living for each state. With the exception of Massachusetts, each state on that list is also on the top list for most expensive states to live in. Hawaii, for example (the most expensive of the lot) will cost you with monthly rents averaging $2,000 and utilities close to $300. In fact, when you make the adjustment for cost of living, Alaska becomes the worst states for nurses in terms of hourly pay.
The top five states that have the highest annual salaries for nurses, taking into account the cost of living include:
- New Mexico
Click on the next page to see what states have the highest availability of jobs!
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