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.

Showing schools in your area

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Fortis offers nursing programs including ADN, PN, BSN degrees, and more
  • 40+ schools in 15 states including Florida, Arizona, Ohio, and Virginia
  • All colleges are accredited by ABHES, ACCSC, ACICS, or other accrediting bodies
  • Fortis Online serves benefits to US military service members
  • Grants & scholarship aid may be available for qualifying students
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • Online bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
  • We're now Non-Profit.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • eLearners.com Helps You Find the Right College within Minutes.
  • Get Matched to the Perfect Medical Degree Programs From Top Colleges Here.
  • Learn at Your Own Pace and Get Qualified to Pursue a Career You Will Love.
  • Answer a Few Questions and You Are One Step Closer to Enroll in a Top College!

Showing schools in your area

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Online bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
  • We're now Non-Profit.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • eLearners.com Helps You Find the Right College within Minutes.
  • Get Matched to the Perfect Medical Degree Programs From Top Colleges Here.
  • Learn at Your Own Pace and Get Qualified to Pursue a Career You Will Love.
  • Answer a Few Questions and You Are One Step Closer to Enroll in a Top College!
  • Online Courses

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!