2016's Best & Worst States for Nurses - WalletHub study

With National Nurses Week kicking off May 6 and the nursing industry expected to grow faster than any other occupation through 2024, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s Best & Worst States for Nurses.

In order to help newly minted nurses find the best markets for their profession, WalletHub’s analysts compared the attractiveness of the 50 states and the District of Columbia to nurses. WalletHub did so using 14 key metrics such as “monthly median starting salary for nurses,” “number of health-care facilities per capita” and “nursing job openings per capita.”

Best States for Nurses

Worst States for Nurses

1 Washington 42 New Jersey
2 Illinois 43 North Carolina
3 Texas 44 Georgia
4 Oregon 45 Kentucky
5 Iowa 46 New York
6 California 47 South Carolina
7 Minnesota 48 Alabama
8 Connecticut 49 Hawaii
9 New Hampshire 50 Louisiana
10 Pennsylvania 51 District of Columbia


Comparing the Best & Worst:

  • Nevada has the highest annual mean wage for registered nurses (adjusted for cost of living), $76,488, which is about 1.44 times as high as in Vermont, the state with the lowest, $53,183.

  • Nevada has the lowest current competition (number of nurses per 1,000 residents), 8.11, which is nearly three times lower than in the District of Columbia, which has the highest, 20.15.

  • Alaska has the lowest future competition (projected number of nurses per 1,000 residents by year 2022), 7.88, which is nearly three times lower than in the District of Columbia, which has the highest, 22.54.

  • Florida has the highest future elderly population (projected percentage of the population aged 65 and older by year 2030), 27.08 percent, which is two times higher than in Utah, the state with the lowest, 13.21 percent.

  • Oregon has the highest number of health-care facilities per 100,000 residents, 67.71, which is more than four times higher than in Delaware, the state with the lowest, 15.48.

  • South Dakota has the shortest average commute time, 16.9 minutes, which is nearly two times shorter than in Maryland, the state with the longest, 32.2 minutes.

For the full report and to see where your state ranks, visit wallethub.com/edu/best-states-for-nurses/4041/