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Registered Nurse Salary by State

The following sortable table provides several useful data points about registered nurse salary, outlook, and cost of living in each state. The best states for nurses are ranked according to the percentage of a median home that the average annual salary buys (average annual salary/median home price) and the 10-year projected growth rate. You can sort any column in descending order by clicking on the header. Click on your state name to learn more about schools with nursing programs in your state.

Rank State 2012 Average Registered Nurse Salary 2013 Zillow Median Property List Price % of Median Home Average Salary Buys (Higher = Better) 2010 Total Registered Nurses Employed Projected Registered Nurse Employment in 2020 10-year Growth Rate (2010-2020) Best States for Registered Nurses (Avg=1)
Indiana $57,520 $125,000 46% 61050 77650 27% 1.28
Michigan $64,430 $119,000 54% 87170 104000 19% 1.28
Idaho $59,100 $182,000 32% 11530 16190 40% 1.27
Ohio $60,970 $120,000 51% 126130 152380 21% 1.27
Oklahoma $55,980 $140,900 40% 29480 38140 29% 1.21
Kansas $56,040 $130,000 43% 29480 36960 25% 1.20
Texas $66,350 $189,900 35% 184700 245870 33% 1.20
Wisconsin $64,000 $150,000 43% 57760 71540 24% 1.18
Colorado $67,920 $232,200 29% 42910 58840 37% 1.16
Georgia $60,770 $169,900 36% 69190 90020 30% 1.16
Kentucky $57,510 $139,900 41% 47450 59370 25% 1.16
Arizona $71,390 $214,900 33% 45080 59020 31% 1.13
Iowa $52,540 $129,900 40% 32460 40110 24% 1.13
Alabama $55,270 $160,000 35% 42890 55050 28% 1.11
West Virginia $54,490 $135,000 40% 19260 23720 23% 1.11
Alaska $80,970 $240,000 34% 4862 6208 28% 1.09
Minnesota $70,780 $179,000 40% 57080 69660 22% 1.09
Montana $59,920 $264,900 23% 8700 12060 39% 1.09
Louisiana $61,260 $164,900 37% 42440 52020 23% 1.06
Missouri $56,990 $134,900 42% 67850 80040 18% 1.06
New Mexico $66,710 $199,000 34% 15150 19070 26% 1.06
South Carolina $58,940 $176,056 33% 42330 53180 26% 1.04
Utah $59,810 $233,900 26% 19850 26380 33% 1.04
Nevada $77,870 $189,900 41% 17410 20370 17% 1.02
Tennessee $55,800 $159,900 35% 56290 69010 23% 1.02
Oregon $78,530 $250,000 31% 31300 39400 26% 1.00
Mississippi $57,740 $149,500 39% 20090 23600 17% 0.99
Pennsylvania $65,000 $168,500 39% 136470 159610 17% 0.99
Illinois $66,260 $159,000 42% 124100 140750 13% 0.97
Nebraska $56,350 $129,900 43% 22000 24690 12% 0.97
South Dakota $52,800 $167,900 31% 6400 7920 24% 0.97
Maryland $71,090 $259,000 27% 49340 62420 27% 0.95
Wyoming $60,690 $215,900 28% 5130 6460 26% 0.95
Delaware $70,820 $242,000 29% 10430 12930 24% 0.93
Florida $61,780 $199,900 31% 165400 202190 22% 0.93
Maine $60,700 $192,500 32% 15340 18360 20% 0.92
Washington $75,350 $255,000 30% 55400 67520 22% 0.92
Massachusetts $83,370 $337,000 25% 87520 110100 26% 0.90
Arkansas $55,360 $139,900 40% 24160 26490 10% 0.88
New Hampshire $63,920 $229,000 28% 13960 17060 22% 0.88
North Carolina $58,760 $189,000 31% 92540 109790 19% 0.88
Virginia $63,050 $236,000 27% 63120 77860 23% 0.88
North Dakota $53,520 $199,900 27% 7140 8700 22% 0.86
Connecticut $75,660 $259,900 29% 37370 44510 19% 0.84
California $94,120 $398,100 24% 251800 306100 22% 0.81
Rhode Island $73,070 $249,900 29% 12960 15000 16% 0.79
Vermont $63,350 $229,000 28% 6470 7360 14% 0.74
New Jersey $75,820 $275,000 28% 81590 90640 11% 0.69
Hawaii $84,750 $499,000 17% 10450 12640 21% 0.67
New York $74,100 $320,000 23% 178470 203360 14% 0.65
Washington DC $75,790 $477,750 16% 10080 12150 21% 0.65

Nursing Salary Factors

While the average salary for a state can be a helpful metric, the salary you earn depends on several factors.

  • Location.
  • Experience level.
  • Education level (associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s in nursing).
  • Nursing certifications.
  • Shift differentials (night shift nurses may receive extra compensation).
  • Type of employer (hospital or nursing agency).
  • Negotiation skills.
  • Role on the team (staff nurse or head nurse).

You can also find data on average salary in a specific metropolitan area at https://www.bls.gov/OES/current/oessrcma.htm.

References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcst.htm
2. Zillow.com: https://www.zillow.com/home-values/
3. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm