Best States for Nurses in America and Their Cost of Living 2023

Best States for Nurses in America and Their Cost of Living

Are you a nurse or interested in pursuing a career in nursing? If so, this post is for you.

Nursing has been rated as one of the most respected careers for years! The opportunities in the nursing industry are endless. Being a registered nurse, you can work as permanent staff, full-time nurse, travel nurse, or even on a contract-to-contract basis. Hence, if you are yet to get your nursing license you shouldn’t hesitate.

Nursing In America

America has had a higher demand for nursing professionals for several decades because of its severe shortage of skilled nurses. As a fact, the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis recorded that California is predicted to have three times higher nursing shortage than any other state in America. Which is a huge shortage. Following California is Texas. Texas is the 2nd highest predicted state for nursing shortage by 2030.  This high predicted shortage of nurses justifies the current increasing demand for nurses in America.

Now, there are over 2.8 million nurses in the United States, making them the largest group of health care professionals in the country. Although, this number isn’t still enough to meet the increasing demands of the growing population in America, especially for those over the age of 65. 

You can now observe that job opportunities for nurses vary greatly throughout the United States. For this interest, we have compiled information on the best states for nurses in America and their cost of living. The information we’ve gathered may help you figure out which location will be best for your nursing career.

Best States for Nurses in America and Their Cost of Living 2023

According to expatistan,  the United States ranks 9th on the cost-of-living ranking by country. However, the minimum average annual salary for nurses in America which is over $80,000 seems to be enough to meet up to this cost of living.

1. California

California offers a desirable place to live and work. Not only does it rank first among all 50 states in America for registered nurse salaries, but California’s rich tapestry of racial and ethnic groups forms one of the most diverse nursing workforces in the nation.

Average Annual RN Salary: $120,560

Cost of Living Index: 142.4

2. Washington

Washington, like every other state in America, is experiencing a shortage of qualified nurses. Nurses earn higher average annual salaries than most other states including a high cost of living.

Average Annual Salary: $91,310

Cost of Living Index: 113

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3. New York

New York has also come in as one of the best states for nurses. With a continuous increase of almost 17,000 new jobs each year. Registered nurses in New York have an average salary of $89,760. Also, nurses seeking to work in New York can expect one of the highest rates of job growth through 2030 and higher salaries. The state of New York offers an exciting environment and beautiful landscapes. However, it ranks as one of the states in America with a high cost of living.

Average Annual Salary: $89,760

Cost of Living Index: 146.6

4. New Jersey

New Jersey is considered a great place to earn a nursing degree and enjoy a career in the industry. Registered nurses in New Jersey earn an average of $85,720 each year, The state also has an estimated increase in employment opportunities of over 6,000 annual job openings for registered nurses, including new positions and replacement positions.

Average Annual Salary: $85,720

Cost of Living Index: 122.4

5. Maryland

Registered nurses in Maryland earn up to $81,590 annually, making it one of the highest paying states for nurses. There are currently over 50,000 registered nurses in Maryland. Also, Maryland is ranked as one of the best states for nurses.

Average Annual Salary: $81,590

Cost of Living Index: 127.2

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6. Arizona

Arizona’s growing population has contributed to expanding employment opportunities. Nursing salaries and cost of living, rank among the top 10 of all 50 states. Nurses in Arizona earn an average of $80,380 annually. The state provides a welcoming environment for nurses.

Average Annual Salary: $80,380

Cost of Living Index: 101.3

7. Colorado

Colorado was the fourth state in America to join the Nurse Licensure Compact. The state’s aging population has increased the demand for nurses continuously. Registered nurses in Colorado earn an average salary of $77,860 yearly, making it another of the top states for nurses. If you seek employment in this state, you can expect a projected registered nurse employment rate of nearly 30% by the next decade.

Average Annual Salary: $77,860

Cost of Living Index: 104.2

8. Texas

Texas, also known as the Lone Star state, has the highest employment level of registered nurses in the U.S., with over 250,000 nurses actively practicing. The state has been a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact since 2000. Texas registered nurses currently earn an average annual salary of $76,800. The state has a promising job outlook, diverse workforce, and reasonable living expenses.

Average Annual Salary: $76,800

Cost of Living Index: 92

9. Pennsylvania

There are currently many registered nurses in Pennsylvania and with still a high demand for nurses. Registered nurses in the state earn salaries ranging from $53,000 to over $99,000, with average annual earnings of $74,170. Aside from being a state with high-ranking healthcare institutions, Pennsylvania offers some of the best nursing schools in America, with excellent learning and career opportunities.

Average Annual Salary: $74,170

Cost of Living Index: 103.2

10. Georgia

Registered nurses in Georgia earn moderate salaries compared to other states. Their salaries range from $51,000 to over $98,000, with an average of $71,510 annually. However, the cost of living in the state is among the lowest in the United States, which seems to create a balance where an extremely high salary may be lacking. The balance between living costs, income, and warm hospitality makes Georgia one of the top states for nurses.

Average Annual Salary: $71,510

Cost of Living Index: 90

Conclusion: Best States for Nurses in America and Their Cost of Living

The United States is one of the highest-paying countries for nurses, making it an ideal landing spot for recent nursing graduates. New nurses will likely find work in many of the above-listed states in America and get to enjoy a developed lifestyle. Also, there are many great nursing schools in America preparing students for a high-paying career as a nurse.

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