Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Nurses

highest paying cities for nurses

As a nurse who worked so hard to finish your degree, pass your examinations, and earn your license, it’s critical that you look for the best opportunities that can help you get the most out of your career. This starts with finding the right place to work as a nurse.

Different cities have different salary rates for nurses. Cost of living, complexity of the job, experience in the field, and other factors can affect the salary you get. So, if you have been thinking of moving cities or if you’re just looking for fresh challenges and experiences in a new place, make sure you’re aware which city to settle in.

To help you out, here’s a really handy list of the highest paying cities for nurses.

1San Francisco, CA

San Francisco easily tops the list. Being the financial center of Northern California, it’s home to some really huge companies like Uber, Dropbox, Yelp, Gap, Levis Strauss & Co., and Mozilla.

In addition to having a great economy, one good reason why you should choose to live in San Francisco is its reasonable cost of living. It also has a good transportation system which you’ll find convenient when going to work.

Median Hourly Rate: $65.68/hr

Annual Mean Wage: $136, 610

Highest Paid Specialties: Acute care, oncology, telemetry, critical care, and cardiology

2San Jose Sunnyvale, Santa Clara CA

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Known as the “Capital of Silicon Valley”, San Jose has a really booming high technological industry. And because the cost of living there is high, you can expect to get paid a higher salary rate and allowances. There are also some healthcare facilities that offer great dental and medical benefits.

Median Hourly Rate: $58.02/hour

Annual Mean Wage: $120, 680

Highest Paid Specialties: Intensive care, telemetry, critical care, oncology, and cardiology

Also Read: Top 10 Nursing Schools in the US

3Boston, MA

Boston, MA has a plethora of really renowned hospitals. In fact, Massachusetts is included in the top 20 states with 78 hospitals. In addition to opportunities, MA also has about 15, 595 staffed hospital beds.

So, if you are looking for great experience that you can use in your career, this is one the highest paying cities for nurses you need to consider.

Median Hourly Rate: $47.13/hour

Annual Mean Wage: $98,040

Highest Paid Specialties: Cardiology, intensive care, labor and delivery, PACU, oncology

4Honolulu, HI

Like most states, there’s little to no nursing shortage in Honolulu. This high retention rate is making job opportunities a little more difficult.

The good news is that more nursing positions are expected with millions being invested in new healthcare facilities in the next years.

Median Hourly Rate: $42.93/hour

Annual Mean Wage: $89,290

Highest Paid Specialties: Trauma, geriatrics, hospice

5New York, NY

New York is booming in terms of finances, technology, and opportunity for nurses. With an increasing population, it’s expected that the city will have growing demands for healthcare services in the future. That includes nurses.

While the city has a high cost of living, don’t let that discourage you. It actually has a great and affordable transportation system which can easily attract you to settle down there.

Median Hourly Rate: $42.36/hour

Annual Mean Wage: $88,100

Highest Paid Specialties: Telemetry, critical care, and oncology

6Anchorage, AK

If you have the experience, then you may want to consider furthering your career in the far north. The place has high turnover rates which means you’ll have a lot of opportunities there.

Now, if you lack the experience, don’t find that discouraging. There are a lot of nurse residency programs you’ll find in most major hospital systems there.

Median Hour Rate: $41.75/hour

Annual Mean Wage: $86,850

Highest Paid Specialties: Cardiology, intensive care, labor and delivery

7Philadelphia, PA

If you are seriously considering getting into pediatric nursing, this city is a great choice. It has one of the largest and most recognized children’s hospitals in the country. It also has dozens of big health systems which makes it even more ideal for relocation.

Median Hourly Rate: $39.04

Annual Mean Wage: $81,210

Highest Paid Specialties: Pediatrice, intensive care, NICU, and trauma

8Phoenix, AZ

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If you like living in an area where you can enjoy sunny weather and a reasonable cost of living, Phoenix should definitely be on your list. It has this huge retirement community which means you get more opportunities to work in hospice and geriatrics and earn a lot.

Median Hourly Rate: $36.03

Annual Mean Wage: $74,930

Highest Paid Specialties: Case management, hospice, geriatrics

9Baltimore, MD

Considered the largest city in Maryland, Baltimore has a growing industry of tourism and international trade which boosted its economic growth in the past years.

In addition to the manufacturing industries in the area, you can also find a lot of healthcare institutions there. On top of the list is John Hopkins Hospital.

As for cost of living, it’s quite reasonable if you consider its median salary rate for nurses.

Median Hourly Rate: $29.71/hour

Annual Mean Wage: $65,280

Highest Paid Specialties: NICU, hospice, oncology, PACU

10Indianapolis, IN

This city is highly known for insurance and finance. It has several Fortune 500 companies and it also has some of Indiana’s top nursing schools. In addition, it also has several excellent hospitals, leading to an exceptional job market for nurses.

Median Hourly Rate: $25.63/hour

Annual Mean Wage: $60,334

Highest Paid Specialties: Case management, telemetry, emergency room

If you’re a new nursing graduate or a veteran nurse who wants to go someplace new, start planning your next career steps with this list of highest paying cities for nurses. When choosing a city where you would want to practice your profession, consider other factors that may affect your salary. Cost of living, housing/rental prices and transportation system are just some of the factors that should be checked.

Whenever you are having problems, don’t hesitate to seek for the advice of your older colleagues in the field as they know the best career options based on their experience.