Nursing Pay by State 2023

Best States for Nursing Pay

Nurses have provided the front-line necessary to deal with most healthcare scares, including the most recent emergence of the COVID pandemic. As such, many states have taken a look at their compensation structure to determine if it needs to be evaluated, modified, or improved. Currently, California, Hawaii, and Oregon have the best paid registered nurses (RN) in the country. What is interesting to note is that California has remained in the number one position for a long time, with the highest average wage, but also the highest number of RNs. The data may be skewed, however, since most metrics that are conducted utilize an average (mean) instead of the preferred method: median.

The median method eliminates most of the extreme numbers of a range and takes a look at the middle-of-the-way data. Of the three methods to determine an average (mean, median, mode), the media is often used for prices and salaries as it gives a real determinant of the country's prosperity. To put this in perspective, the average household income is near 90k, but the median income is closer to 60k, as the very rich and very vulnerable members of society cannot skew the data.

Worst States for Nursing Pay

Being a registered nurse in Puerto Rico is listed as the worst past an RN can receive. It is paramount to take more factors into consideration, however, as PR is not currently a state but still retains its territory status, regardless of its application. The cost of living in Puerto Rico is much lower than in states or the continental US, which should be considered prior to obtaining a job there as an RN.

the top 3 worst states for nursing pay are South Dakota, Alabama, and Mississippi. Again, these are also states with the lowest cost of living in the country, especially in the case of Mississippi. The difference between these three states is only a couple of thousand but they are all nearly double the amount that a Puerto Rican RN can receive. Generally, there are three factors that affect the pay of an RN: extra licensing, scope of work, and experience. Registered nurses often have the option to work overtime as well, as healthcare is one of the few industries that need ongoing support, especially in a post-pandemic environment.

The Current State of Affairs for Nursing

After the events in 2020, nursing quickly became a hotly debated topic. While most of the public believes that the issue stems from compensation, it is mainly their structure that needs to be revised. Nurses undergo a lot of stress, usually needing to work overtime and forfeiting their vacation. While cases can be made for increasing their base compensation, their benefits and health need to be given a lot of attention, as the industry should be attractive to new entrants.

Fortunately, many staffing professionals are now taking on nurses to consult, advise, and partner with for work purposes. Because of this, travel nursing has become quite lucrative, both in compensation and choosing work location/hours.

Nursing Pay by State 2023