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The Top 10 Best States for Nurses to Work In

  • Feeling adventurous? Or needing a change of scenery?
  • When on the hunt for a new job, it’s important to consider the state you’re moving to, the cost of living compared to the offered salary you would receive, and the availability of activities to do on your days off.
  • Check out our guide to the best states for nurses to work in below!
Morgan Curry, RN/BSN

Morgan Curry, BSN / RN

Intensive Care, Outpatient Surgery, Aesthetics, Education, and Nursing Leadership

September 03, 2021
Simmons University

Looking to make a change? 

Are you more of a city person who likes the bustling, restless environment? Or are you looking for something slower-paced and out in nature?  

Whatever your preferences may be, there is something out there for everyone, and we’re going to break it down for you!  

As we’ve covered previously, there are several top cities for nurses to work in but, what are the best states for nurses? 

Of course, life cannot and is not all about work – consider what you like to do on your days off, and factor this into your decision.  

The Top 10 Best States for Nurses

After compiling data from The Nurse Journal, All Nursing Schools, and career expert firm, Zippia, the best states for nurses are as follows:  

10. Colorado

The demand for nurses continues to grow as many of Colorado’s nurses begin to age out of the profession! Plus, who wouldn’t want to live in that beauty? Hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter! best states for nurses 

9. Arizona

From the Grand Canyon to the Red Rocks of Sedona, Arizona has so much to offer! If you love adventure, this is one of the best states for nurses to work in! 

8. Oregon

For nature lovers, Oregon is a place for endless adventures and their average nursing salary isn’t too bad either!  

7. New York

New York is the dream for urban, restless living, city lover! There is so much to offer, and there is a little bit of something for everyone here.

6. Washington

Although the salaries in this state are one of the highest paying in the country, its cost of living is not typically factored in, so keep this in mind.

5. Massachusetts

Massachusetts has a relatively high cost of living, but the nursing salaries offset the high price tag as they rank 4th among the highest salaries in the U.S.!

4. Delaware

This one may be one of the smaller states, but its perfectly located near several major metropolitan cities. If you like the hustle and bustle of city living, this may be one of the best states for nurses to work in!

3. Texas

As you have most likely heard, everything is BIG in Texas – this is no different for their nursing job opportunities! They have a diverse workforce and rank in the 90th percentile for nursing salaries even when the cost of living is factored in!  

2. California

Not only does California rank first among all 50 states for the highest-paying nursing salaries, but it has the most diverse work culture in the nation!  

1. Nevada

Nevada is popular for nursing professionals due to the rapid employment growth, high salaries, and diversity! Falling second to California, Nevada offers the next highest-paying nursing salaries! 

Determining Factors and Why They Matter

There are many factors used to determine what the best states for nurses are. From the state’s demand for nursing jobs and the highest-paying salaries offered, these can play a huge role in a nurse’s job search. 

Almost all of this information can be found for each specific state with a simple Google search, and we recommend that you do this!  

The online community, Nurses PRN, outline some of the additional factors used to identify the best states for nurses and what you should look for, check them out!

Cost of Living

Of course, seeing a salary that is exponentially higher than what you have now is always enticing; but what if it really isn’t different? 

A state or city’s cost of living can place a huge financial burden on you, despite being paid a higher salary. 

It is vital that you do your research beforehand and ensure that you can afford to move somewhere with a higher cost of living.  

The 2021 Cost of Living Calculator is a great place to start!  

Satisfaction and Happiness

You want to work somewhere that you will feel fulfilled.  

On top of this, you want to be happy to come to work every day (or at least, most days). 

But, how can you know if you will like your new job even before you get there? This is a tough one. 

I recommend searching for reviews from current and former employees of the facility you are researching.  

Of course, life cannot and is not all about work – consider what you like to do on your days off, and factor this into your decision.  

I hope this guide to the best states for nurses to work in serves as beneficial and informative to you! 

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