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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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    nursebuttercup

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I think when speaking of worst vs best or quality of where you work it is insulting to base it only on salary or job availability. To look @ where you want to work you need to look @ the quality of care, who has ratios and where or how are pts best cared for. You can be paid a nice salary, but if your patient care is poor or your working conditions are poor (i.e. no breaks, poor benefits), than who cares about salary. When rating best to worst places to work these should be the things that are considered not how many jobs are available or how much money are you going to make.

  • Angie_001_max50

    eponinemonet

    about 5 years ago

    4 comments

    I think it is important to look at the cost of living in whatever state you are looking at. California is one of the highest paying, but the cost of living is so much higher than other places. The information about Oklahoma is incorrect. I make over $20 an hour, that's without shift diff($23nightd/$25 nights-weekends)/non agency. I do not know of any hospital in the Okc metro that pays under $18. Average rent/morgage here is $400-900 month. California is $1300+ a month. Gas in Okc is cheaper, utilities are cheaper, groceries are cheaper ect..My paycheck stretches a lot further here than in California. Why don't you calculate the cost of living and then tell us whose making better money?

  • Jose_max50

    JDQ13

    about 5 years ago

    4 comments

    The information for Nevada is wrong here. In northern Nevada, at least, a new ADN grad will make about $30 per hour, not 22.

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    RNinTX

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Texas - DFW area. I have a friend doing pedi-home health (RN) making about 78-80K a year. I just started a Hospice Job - making about 58K a year. But when I was job hunting one big FTW hospital said they were starting RN's without recent experience at $21.50. The best wages go to nurses who specialize or work agency positions. When I posted my resume my phone rang off the hook with agencies just dying to hire nurses. I wanted a local low key M-F job though.
    Best advice I have to young nurses: get in the hospital - do the time, pay your dues and then take that experience you earned with little pay and go make some bucks. They will send you anywhere you want to go, pay your expenses, etc. The sky's the limit!

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    rny2k

    about 5 years ago

    8 comments

    I have heard new grads in my state of California are making around $38 and hour. I wonder if the information was taken from union hospitals or not and if union hospitals are paying higher than non-union?

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    mleafrn

    about 5 years ago

    12 comments

    I knew Oklahoma would rate low but the cost of living is also very low. I have lived and worked in alot of the higher paying staes and the cost of living ate up alot more of my salary. I recently reached the $20.25 /hr after 5 years as a Case Manager who supervised. I went to salary and lost money but negotiated more paid vacation---3 weeks. I have free medical, dental and vision, they pay the 1st $1000, then I pay the next $1000, then its all paid by them. Really a pretty good deal with matching 401K. My daughter is BSN MSN in OR Management in VA and makes $95,000/yr.

  • 042_max50

    terrylpowell

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I agree with the majority of you guys that this salary scale is way off. I, for example, was making almost $40.00 per hour working nights at a LTAC facility three years ago in San Diego. Here in Tucson, I was recently offered $32.00 per hour working nights on an Ortho unit. Currently, I am doing a 20 Week seasonal RN stint at a LTAC facility for $40.00 bucks per hour. It does vary though. For example, I understand that a local large hospital here is offering new grads around $25.00 per hour. Maybe this scale is based on new grad salaries.

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    NewGrad09

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I agree that these figures are skewed. I am a new grad of a BSN program and I just accepted a job in KS and the starting pay of new grads there is $21.50hr. I have many other friends accepting nursing positions in KS as well and the lowest pay I have heard is $20.25hr. So it would be interesting to know how these figures were compiled.

  • Assepoester2_max50

    spiritually

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I work in new york and the starting salary at my hospital in manhatten is $70000 or 35.00/hr.I thimk one should specify what part of newyork for newyork is a very large place with many different areas

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    tammygarner

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Well....Let me tell you one of the 10 lowest paid states. Oklahoma....Thats where I am. 21.35/hr. And, thats at a big hospital. In the smaller, more rual hospitals, it gets really low. However, Springfield Missouri is worse than Oklahoma. They only offered me 19.00/hourly. Bet you can guess what I told them!

  • Cna_max50

    Business2CNA2RN

    about 5 years ago

    40 comments

    The LPN and RN salary is only a Few Bucks $ an hour difference!

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    cxg174

    about 5 years ago

    50 comments

    These numbers sound right to me. I work in PA and make $20.62, but just got a 3% raise after 4 years of no raises so it will go up a little. I have 24 years experience. Staring wages run from $16- $25/ hr. in my area, but there is not much difference with experience. The sad thing is back in 1997 I was making $19/hr, so wages have really decreased compared to the cost of living.

    Oh, and I have a BSN. There is no pay increase for being a manager, and without overtime, call pay and other liitle perks the managers make less than the staff at my hospital. That is unless you get to be a department head. colesakick I would love to know what dream world you live in, because it sure isn't around here.

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    MaggyC

    about 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

    about 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

    about 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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