Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

Nursing Salaries: What region has the highest wages?

Career News October 6, 2013

Some of the most rewarding, stable careers in the medical field are found in the nursing profession. From labor & delivery nurses to public health nurses to trauma nurses who work in emergency rooms across the country, any doctor or health care professional would testify that these specially-trained individuals make up a fundamental part of the health care system. Nurses provide a link between doctors and patients to provide essential patient care.

How much do nurses make?

Nursing salaries are among the most stable in the job field, as well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for nurses across all states was just under $65,000 per year in 2010. With a growing medical field and a promising job outlook for nurses in the next decade, nurses can look forward to a secure, promising career future.

Nursing Salaries by Region

Although the national salary average was $65,000 in 2010, that average reflects some significantly higher and some much lower salaries paid to nurses depending on their geographic location. Nurses in small-town Texas, for example, sometimes only earn about half as much as a similarly-qualified nurse in San Diego, California.

The following chart with information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics contains nursing salary statistics on the five states with the highest average annual salary for nurses:

State Total Employment Employment per thousand jobs Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
California 250,230 17.82 $43.68 $90,860
Texas 184,890 17.94 $32.49 $67,580
New York 176,180 20.91 $36.23 $75,370
Florida 164,800 23.04 $30.78 $64,020
Pennsylvania 130,740 23.56 $32.28 $67,140

Information on this chart is found on the Nursing Outlook page at the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website.

Interestingly, these are also the five states that employ the most nurses; most of them centered in areas with large research centers such as New York City, Houston, the Boston-Cambridge metropolitan area, and the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA area.

Region-by-region statistics show that the most highly-paid nurses live in typically uniform broad geographical areas, as well. In general, nurses working on the west coast–from Seattle, Washington down to Southern California–are typically paid significantly more than nurses in the sparsely-populated Midwestern states like Kansas, Missouri, the Dakotas and Iowa.

A high concentration of more highly-paid nurses can also be found in New England; there are more positions and positions with higher salaries along the coast between southern Maine and Maryland/Delaware. Wherever there are large concentrations of people, there are typically more high-paying jobs for qualified nurses.

Nurses are also in high-demand in these more sparsely-populated areas, as well. Because overall salaries are lower in areas farther from metropolitan areas, these populations often cannot afford to pay medical professionals as much as those who live in regions with higher paychecks (and higher costs-of-living).

Nurses are just as essential in farming communities, in Iowa, as they are in Cambridge, MA, but they are often more overlooked, with fewer perks to attract well-qualified candidates to those areas. However, these areas are well-worth considering; competition for jobs, while keen in high-population-density areas isn’t as cutthroat in smaller towns.

While small-town salaries tend to be significant lower than those of metropolitan areas, so is the cost of living. A nurse, who takes a lower-paying job, in a small town, might end up with more spending money than an RN taking home $85,000 a year, in upstate New York.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Nursing Degree Programs from Grand Canyon University's College of Nursing & Health Care Professions
  • Degree Variety: GCU offers a full-spectrum of nursing programs including bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, as well as post-master’s certificates.
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at Grand Canyon University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.aacn.nche.edu-accreditation).
  • GCU provides a Christian environment that provides an opportunity for you to embrace a holistic approach to caring for patients: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
  • Depending on the degree you choose, you could take online, evening, or on-campus classes. Speak with an enrollment counselor to discuss your options!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found
South University , Virginia Beach
  • Several nursing programs are available at the bachelor's, post-graduate, master's, and doctoral levels.
  • Graduate-level specialization options include Nurse Educator, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Administrator, and more.
  • Nursing programs are available at many of the 11 campus locations across the United States.
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
Fortis Institute , Grand Prairie
  • Apply At Fortis College Today! Explore the Career Programs.
  • Accredited
  • Financial Aid
3 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Program(s) Found
  • Average class size is 25, allowing for more one-on-one time with instructors.
  • Has a 97% employment rate among available graduates.
  • All  graduates receive Lifetime Employment  Assistance—free and forever.
  • Michigan's largest independent college.
  • Most instructors are working professionals in the fields they teach.
  • Programs are continuously updated to ensure classes are career-relevant and in sync with what's needed in the industry
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • Earn your Bachelor of Science of Healthcare Management degree online
  • South University brings over 115 years of achievement and tradition to a supportive, online classroom
  • Program focuses on the business, management, and healthcare skills necessary for healthcare organizations to run smoothly
  • Courses include Principles of Management, Healthcare Delivery and Organization, and Healthcare Finance
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
3 Program(s) Found
  • Summarize the roles, functions, and impacts of an effective healthcare manager.
  • Evaluate existing research using quantitative statistical tools to assist in healthcare management decision making.
  • Identify, evaluate, and respond to common types of healthcare ethical dilemmas.
  • Describe the value of personal and professional development, community service, and life-long learning in healthcare management.
  • Evaluate the impact of information systems and technology on healthcare processes and the securing of health information.
  • Analyze the strategic impact of human resource development and management on healthcare organizations.
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ranked 8th among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A private, co-ed college founded in 1821 and located in downtown Washington, D.C.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 13:1, and 55.1% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has distinguished alumni including Senator Harry Reid, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and actress Courtney Cox.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Education Connection is a 100% Free College Matching Service used by 50,000 People Daily.
  • Get Matched to Psychology, Counseling, Human Services, Organizational, and Clinical Psychology Degree Programs and MORE.
  • View Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate and Graduate Certificate Degree Programs in Psychology and Human Services Near YOU!
  • Accredited and Flexible Psychology Degree Programs to Fit Your Time and Budget. Use Our Matching Service - It's Easy and FREE!
  • Online Courses

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • There's still time to apply to Grand Canyon University and pursue your education. Learn more today!
  • Study on your schedule - GCU offers many programs 100% online to fit your busy lifestyle.
  • GCU offers a variety of opportunities to reduce the cost of furthering your education. Campus students may qualify for scholarships, while online students can take part in limited special offers.
  • A regionally accredited university, GCU also holds specialized accreditations and approvals for some of our core program offerings.
  • Degrees in business, education, nursing, humanities and social sciences, theology and more. Find the degree that fits you.
  • Talk to us today to learn more about financial aid and start dates!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Program(s) Found
  • Average class size is 25, allowing for more one-on-one time with instructors.
  • Has a 97% employment rate among available graduates.
  • All  graduates receive Lifetime Employment  Assistance—free and forever.
  • Michigan's largest independent college.
  • Most instructors are working professionals in the fields they teach.
  • Programs are continuously updated to ensure classes are career-relevant and in sync with what's needed in the industry
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
3 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Earn your Bachelor of Science of Healthcare Management degree online
  • South University brings over 115 years of achievement and tradition to a supportive, online classroom
  • Program focuses on the business, management, and healthcare skills necessary for healthcare organizations to run smoothly
  • Courses include Principles of Management, Healthcare Delivery and Organization, and Healthcare Finance
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!