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Top 10 Best and Worst States to Be a Nurse

Top 10 Best and Worst States to Be a Nurse

NursingLink.com and CareerVoyages.gov

There is a projected need for 1,001,000 nurses needed in the United States by 2016. Nurses are one of the most in demand professions in America, but with so many job openings, it begs the question: Where should you work? NursingLink is committed to providing its members with the most most pertinent career research available. Below is the 10 best and worst places to be a Nurse based on salary and job openings.


Top 10 Lowest Nurse Paying States

State Salary (hourly)
1. North Dakota $17.60
2. Louisiana $17.50
3. Wyoming $16.88
4. Oklahoma $16.76
5. Kansas $16.74
6. West Virginia $16.52
7. Arkansas $16.44
8. Mississippi $16.42
9. Iowa $16.36
10. South Dakota    $16.35

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    MaggyC

    over 5 years ago

    28 comments

    I have been an RN for almost 40 years. My most recent positions have been in Occupational Health. I have worked in the medical departments of numerous large companies. In January 2009 my position at one of these was eliminated due to the economic turn-down. At the time, I was making 33.00 per hour. This is in Arizona. My advice to any of you who want to go off in other nursing directions, i.e. medical sales/marketing, research, occupational health is to work at least a couple of shifts a month in a clinical setting to keep yourself clinically current. I am having difficulty right now finding anything because Occupational positions are nor plentiful with companies laying off and most hospitals want you to have recent clinical experience. Back in "my day", any hospital was glad to have an RN/LPN apply and any specific training was done on the floor you were assigned to. Not so any more it seems. As far as AZ salaries for RN's, I think it's around the $25-40/ hour range depending on specialty.

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    debmesh

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Nah, something's wrong here. The data has either been "clumped" or the sample sizes too small for accuracy. I am in Idaho and make $34. PRN. + 15% add on for no beneifts.
    Having been in administration, I cringe when I see this kind of data because some manager, CFO or CNO will like to use it as a "marekt analysis" to set wages. Be careful using data. It can harm us.

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    LatinaNurse1

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    For all of you who posted that those wages in California are low~your're right!! Im also in CA~southern. That rate listed is very low~medical assistants (not licensed) make an average of $18-24 and that only takes a few months of simple training to do basic BP and injections. My sister works as a receptionist checking in patients and makes $22/hr. So reading those rates can be interpeted very wrong~they are much higher where I am. I agree~must be new grad rates.

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    carolyrn

    over 5 years ago

    24 comments

    I'm in CA & that is a low salary - maybe new grad or LVN rate? Also, rate of pay does not always equal a quality work environment, and you also have to figure in cost of living for the area.

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    rebelrose

    over 5 years ago

    14 comments

    Hawaii sure pays better than South Carolina but don't get too excited, they don't need many LPN's. It has taken 28 yrs to reach the grand salary of $20.25 in LTC. But, you can't get a job in a hospital and CMA's are replacing us in physician offices. It's LTC for LPN's.

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    Esq2bRN

    over 5 years ago

    10 comments

    Notice as you read the article that it only makes reference to "nurse" and it does not make a distinction for LPN or RN. That said, these are more than likely (and realistically) LPN hourly rates. Of course, these type of articles need to make distinctions between the two types of nurses so that they make more sense.

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    colesakick

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    Farmgirl, yes you will have a preceptor for about six weeks in most cases. They will hire you as a new grad, ignoring your prior experience except to note that you know what you're getting into. You may surprise yourself at how ready you are to go solo though, maybe a few weeks. A BSN program is very challenging for a reason. My preceptor read books while I worked after three weeks and got paid extra to do it for three more weeks.
    I went back into the hospital after four years out working in real estate without the benefit of more education and was shocked at how much I'd forgotten. I knew so much that my preceptor didn't know where or when to guide me but not enough to be safe and secure in what I was doing so I quit and went into clinical management. My knowledge base was sound, it was my skills that suffered. That was true as a new grad BSN as well. They put us through a lot of medical paces without much clinical skills training. They kept saying "don't worry, you'll get your skills on the job in short order," and they were right. I'd have to get my MSN in order to go back into a hospital now but why would I? The pay would not be better than what I earn as an Administrator and I'd have more debt, though I would like not to have a desk job anymore. Oh well, life's full of little trade offs (now off to the gym to deal with this widening behind of mine)

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    colesakick

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    They need to break this down by cities, not states and by education. A BSN with a some years experience should expect $82 to 85K/yr either as charge or clinical manager. Five years ago Kaiser was paying $37/hr to me as a staff II RN on Med/Surge in the Sacramento/Roseville area. I can't imagine any nurse working for twenty something an hour unless it were a new grad LVN without upper division education. In any case, these low numbers explain why few people bother to pay High $$ for an education to become a nurse, the pay isn't worth the investment in most regions.

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    gibubke

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I live in Iowa and work in a nursing home getting paid $21.14/hour

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    Jdonnell

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I don't think your payscales are accurate. Are these rates for new grads?

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    naoltuis

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    the ten worst states are what they are calling the ten states that pay the least.

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    jreid601

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    So where are the 10 worst states??? YOu implied that both would be shared.

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    hisnusr

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    The best thing you can do for yourself, as a nurse, is to expand your horizons. There are so many other areas that a nurse is needed. Medical Device companies, for example, pay very high wages and Regulatory agencies (ie: FDA) require that medical professionals provide the clinical expertise. Nurse Education, Sales and Marketing and Legal Nurse Consultants are other areas my RN friends have succeeded. Make sure your resume is up to date. I keep mine on my desktop and update it frequently.

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    angienwgeorgia

    over 5 years ago

    252 comments

    Well...............I'm in Georgia. I'm seeing that I'm not in the lowest paid states! Go us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I agree with somebody who posted earlier with these wages and the accuracy, not that I have anything to go by. To those who are in the 'bottom 10'................I'll bet your cost of living is lower though. I feel things do balance out in the end. I've worked in Atlanta and made more, but the anxiety of being on the interstated I75 in rush hour so much of my time, I averaged out I do better in the smaller town, because I look at the fact that my time is valuable for the travel time driving. I would pay tons more living in the big city, but my mortage would break me! I'll stay in my redneck little community, thankyouverymuch! I hope everybody takes heart because, when new stats come out, I'll bet Georgia is in the bottom 10 then.

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    JulesRN530

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I work in Northern California and make $37.92 working nights. I'm not in a large city and I know if I traveled to somewhere like Sacramento nurses there make somewhere around $10 more an hour.
    My question to the off estimates for pay is..... what nurses are they referring to? My mother an LVN for 15+ years makes about $25.00.

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