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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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    sidecarbum

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I'm not sure where they found those nursing salaries, but here in the Bay area an experienced nurse working the night shift can make $70.00 or more depending on the level, my daughter as a new LVN working in a SNF makes $28/hr on the dayshift. Those wages are like really inaccurate, although the bayarea has a very high cost of living. Still we seem to be compensated well including medical dental and vision. So come travel to the bay area in California i guess. I believe that we are still with a nursing shortage here although not at my hospital.

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    BHKSLPN

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    Speaking as a nurse in Kansas, I have to say that the figure for our state is pretty accurate AS AN AVERAGE for LPNs. I work for a staffing agency in the metropolitan area I recently moved into and every facility/job pays on their own scale. I haven't worked in a hospital setting, so I cannot speak from personal first-hand knowledge on those rates, however, the LTC facilities seem to pay comparable standard rates across the board...and yes, they are definately higher pay than Dr offices, clinics, etc. Through this agency, my pay has varied from $18-$32/hr but taking into consideration that insurance is only available to RNs with this agency, I know my take home pay would be less by one-third to half of what I have received. I can say that I went through the interviewing process with a womens health center, but when it came to discussion of pay, I was surprised to be offered only $11.25/hr for the first ninety days, at which time it would possibly increase to $11.75/hr. Now putting the insurance issue aside, there was not a chance I could afford daycare for two kids and pay my regular bills on that wage (and I am not an extravagant person with numerous 'luxury' bills.. I mean just the BASICS.)

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    dlr6p

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    Hello, I have been a nurse for one year at UVA Medical Ctr. in Virginia. I earn 42.00 an hour but I am a wage nurse and go w/o benefits. As a full-time nurse with benefits I earned20.85 an hour as a new graduate nurse and with shift diffs I earned 26.85 an hour.

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    legalnurseprn

    almost 6 years ago

    6 comments

    AGREE! Where did those wages come from? I worked in Maryland in 1993 and was making 23.00/hr (phone triage). Then worked in DC/Maryland for Agency and never made less than 32.00 per hour. This was 14yrs ago!! I cannot imagine that the wages are averaging 22+ per hour STILL!?!?!? I was a BSN with less than 10yrs experience at the time. My thoughts are that since hospitals ALL band together to determine the 'market' wages, that they STILL control the area wages so that us 'uppity' nurses don't all get pissed and walk out when we hear that another hospital in the area is paying 5.00 more per hour. It is and always been a 'gentlemens agreement' that all hospitals stand firm with the same wage base to 'control' the female majority profession. How's that for a 'male-hating' comment???

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    dseymour

    almost 6 years ago

    28 comments

    I work in North Carolina. MA's make 10 -13 an hour. LPN's around 15 and RN's around 20. What I have noticed is, the RN's coming out of school are Associate Degrees and know less than an experienced MA yet the MA's are the lowest paid and do the same duties as a lot of the Associate RN's and LPN's. The bottom line is, unless people live in a marketable area, the pay is very low.

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    mrsjohnnie

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    in ny a graduate nurse starts out anywhere between $11.75 to 15 /hr.sad considering that ny nursing schools are some of the hardest to get through(besides california).not to mention the county i live in,has one of the highrst tax rates in the us and we are pretty much working for nothing.to get medical insurance you need to get a state job to afford it.if you choose insurance through your job its half of you pay check.

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    perrisjordan

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    Ok u lvn's out there. Let me give u the real deal on this california hourly wage varience. I have 7 years experience. If I choose to work home health in southern california they would offer me between 16hr to 22.83 per hour caring for peds pt paid for by medical. Different pay at each agency, and don't think that is going to get u any benifits or overtime! I don't want to bash agency's but I garentee u if they have recrutiers u r going to be paid way less! They earn 50 to 60 a year and it's gotta come from somewhere! Now if I choose to work in a hosp, snf, then pay is anywhere from 17.66 (county hospital with all the benifits) to 25hr snf that most people never want to work at! Now your best bet is to work as a travel nurse or registry that staffs hospitals. That pays anywhere from 24hr to 31hr with ot after 8 hrs. Most r 12hr shifts. We have such a shortage that u will always find work, and if your are half way decent, you will stand out like a queen or king because due to the shortage, more and more non quilified nurses are being hired just to fill a spot! Oh ya I've seen it all! And the crazy thing is they never get fired just reassigned! Oh ya there is always intermin home visits. That is also anywhere from 28 to 35 a visit. But its not a good thing to base your sole income on. So that is the skinny. Now the nurses who are claiming to make more than that (lvn) in southern california, let me know if there is an additional position available! Because I am working over 84hr a week and want to increase my pay and cut down my hours! Love u all!

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    soniamorrison

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    As an Acute Care Registered Nurse Case Manager BSN in California I earn more than $60 an hour. These figures must be an average of LVN and RN, maybe even CNA.
    California has the lowest RN to 100,000 population in the nation. What is unfortunate is that we really need more nurse educators and cultural diversity. Only 4% of RNs are HIspanic and in just a few more years high school graduates will represent more than half Hispanic. Nurse educators are not paid even half of this wage, especially if you add in preparation time. I appreciate travelers, come on over!

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    jill1b

    almost 6 years ago

    8 comments

    i agree that it depends on where you live and the cost of living! but we are under paid for what we do! i have probably topped out at 18$ an hr in home care. LTC pays more but not by more than a couple dollars from that. But LTC is so terrible to work and I felt I was putting myself at risk everytime i went to work in one of those places.. What do we do to demand higher pay? especially in this economy?

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    sailing9734

    almost 6 years ago

    12 comments

    I live in California and make $43.00 an hour so I know these rates are in accurate!

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    imatripletmom

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I think these numbers are irrelevant. The cost per hour needs to be compared to the cost of living and the number of job openings needs to be related to the population. Of course there is going to be more jobs in California because it has a large population! Of course the hourly wage is higher in California because they have a high cost of living!

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    babyhefer

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I work in a LTC facility in central Pa and as an LPN I only make 15.36 and this is good for this area .. I feel sick after seeing what others make. Contract is coming up and they want to screw us.. United we stand.

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    jea98rn

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I live in NC and my hourly rate is 39.75! These rates are very inaccurate! I used to travel, and I know the staff nurses in CA have better wages than you are reporting. We as nurses are underpaid as it is. This is very insulting.

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    Account Removed

    almost 6 years ago

    The wages are pitiful in any of the states reported including the highest paid.

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    autumnfae23

    almost 6 years ago

    20 comments

    I second that the California nursing wage is wrong. LVN's make $25.00 an hour and RNs make $40 an hour in San Diego.

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