Nurse Salary By State: An In-Depth Guide for 2021

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nurse salary per state

Like most nurses, one of the biggest factors that can influence your career decisions is your salary. Knowing how much you can make is critical in planning your education and furthering your nursing career. It’s also important in deciding which state you should practice or even move to, if you are a veteran nurse with years of experience under your belt.

To help you with that, we’ve created an in-depth list of the average nurse salary per state. If you want to see the highest paying states for nurses, just toggle the headings. If you have a particular state in mind, use the search field in the upper right hand corner of the table.

STATEANNUALMONTHLYHOURLYEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS
Alabama$59,470$4,955$27.8549,290
Alaska$89,310$7,442$42.145,570
Arizona$77,000$6,416$36.4354,630
Arkansas$60,780$5,065$28.6824,380
California$106,950$8,912$50.20282,290
Colorado$74,240$6,186$35.0349,340
Connecticut$81,220$6,768$38.4234,310
Delaware$74,800$6,233$35.1111,620
District of Columbia$92,350$7,695$42.6911,000
Florida$66,210$5,517$30.96178,330
Georgia$68,950$5,745$32.6375,000
Hawaii$98,080$8,173$50.6210,800
Idaho$67,110$5,592$32.1113,320
Illinois$73,890$6,157$34.74123,100
Indiana$64,860$5,405$29.9668,530
Iowa$59,130$4,927$27.9733,280
Kansas$61,030$5,085$28.6928,900
Kentucky$63,100$5,258$29.7044,410
Louisiana$63,970$5,330$30.0045,970
Maine$67,610$5,634$31.5514,200
Maryland$76,820$6,401$36.3853,700
Massachusetts$92,140$7,678$41.7682,870
Michigan$71,330$5,944$33.9494,090
Minnesota$78,920$6,576$37.4764,540
Mississippi$58,490$4,874$27.6228,760
Missouri$65,130$5,427$29.9472,090
Montana$67,450$5,620$31.7110,110
Nebraska$64,470$7,135$30.1622,870
Nevada$85,620$7,135$40.9721,060
New Hampshire$72,760$6,063$34.4413,190
New Jersey$82,750$6,895$39.3480,560
New Mexico$71,730$5,977$34.2916,290
New York$85,610$7,134$41.0180,170
North Carolina$64,850$5,404$30.2699,210
North Dakota$65,740$5,478$30.719,020
Ohio$66,820$5,568$30.87124,620
Oklahoma$63,080$5,256$29.6928,000
Oregon$91,080$7,590$43.8635,140
Pennsylvania$70,390$5,865$33.26143,130
Rhode Island$78,420$6,535$37.3311,820
South Carolina$64,940$5,411$30.2543,200
South Dakota$58,340$4,861$27.6512,530
Tennessee$61,320$5,110$28.9159,350
Texas$72,890$6,074$34.61212,230
Utah$65,670$5,472$30.5621,340
Vermont$69,160$5,763$31.616,270
Virginia$69,790$5,815$32.6964,260
Washington$82,670$6,889$38.4256,880
West Virginia$61,780$5,148$29.2720,410
Wisconsin$71,470$5,955$33.7355,940
Wyoming$67,360$5,613$31.304,910

The States with the Highest Paid Nurses

California$106,950
Hawaii$98,080
District of Columbia$92,350
Massachusetts$92,140
Oregon$91,080

California is the highest paying state for nurses. A registered nurse can earn as much as $106,950.

Take note that even though California has the highest salary for registered nurses, the cost of living in the area is very high. Compared with other states, it’s 30% more expensive.

Hawaii is also an excellent state to consider as nurses in this state earn around $98,080. However, just like in California, you’ll find yourself spending a lot in Hawaii. You’ll spend most of your salary on rent and utility bills.

On the other hand, considering salary alone, Massachusetts, Oregon, and the District of Columbia are great options for nurses who want to earn more, too.

The Lowest Paying US States for Nurses

nurse salary per state lowest

South Dakota is considered the lowest-paying state for registered nurses. They can only earn an average of $58,340 annually. Other states belonging to this category include Alabama, Arkansas, and Kentucky.

If you prefer to live in a cheap but comfortable community, you may want to check out Arkansas. Even though it’s one of the lowest-paying states for nurses, its cost of living is low.

On the same note, Nebraska is also a nice option for nurses as it’s an affordable state to live in. There, the annual income for nurses like you is around $64,470.

Factors that Affect a Nurse’s Salary

Like most jobs, there are different factors that affect the variations in pay among nurses.

Obviously, the first factor is the location. Nurses who work in dense metropolitan areas can expect to receive better pay than nurses who work in rural environments.

Next is career specialization. Nurses who are trained and skilled in a specialized field of nursing have a higher salary than those who don’t.

Experience is another factor that affects a nurse’s salary. Senior nurses make more than new nurses because of the valuable experience they’ve acquired through the years.

The Highest Paying States for Nursing Assistants

If you’re a nursing assistant who’s planning to move, here are the best states to consider in terms of salary.

STATEANNUAL
Alabama$24,110
Alaska $39,830
Arizona$31,450
Arkansas$25,080
California$35,220
Colorado$32,610
Connecticut$33,390
Delaware$30,780
District of Columbia$33,510
Florida$26,840
Georgia$25,870
Hawaii$35,770
Idaho$27,400
Illinois$28,810
Indiana$27,210
Iowa$29,120
Kansas$26,210
Kentucky$26,800
Louisiana$22,750
Maine$28,710
Maryland$31,310
Massachusetts$33,630
Michigan$30,130
Minnesota$33,710
Mississippi$23,100
Missouri$25,930
Montana$29,110
Nebraska$28,730
Nevada$35,130
New Hampshire$32,200
New Jersey$30,380
New Mexico$28,310
New York$37,010
North Carolina$25,570
North Dakota$33,990
Ohio$27,570
Oklahoma$25,690
Oregon$33,230
Pennsylvania$30,630
Rhode Island$31,340
South Carolina$25,390
South Dakota$26,820
Tennessee$26,400
Texas$27,030
Utah$27,880
Vermont$30,730
Virginia$28,770
Washington$32,130
West Virginia$26,410
Wisconsin$29,590
Wyoming$30,910

The Highest Paying States for Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

For LPNs and LVNs looking for better pay, consider these states:

STATEANNUAL
Alabama$38,230
Alaska$58,250
Arizona$54,090
Arkansas$39,570
California$56,200
Colorado$51,210
Connecticut$56,970
Delaware$52,860
District of Columbia$53,370
Florida$44,400
Georgia$41,690
Hawaii$50,930
Idaho$44,280
Illinois$51,080
Indiana$44,310
Iowa$42,820
Kansas$43,240
Kentucky$41,920
Louisiana$39,480
Maine$45,610
Maryland$53,650
Massachusetts$58,990
Michigan$49,040
Minnesota$47,020
Mississippi$37,930
Missouri$42,580
Montana$43,770
Nebraska$43,160
Nevada$57,140
New Hampshire$52,510
New Jersey$56,290
New Mexico$47,560
New York$48,770
North Carolina$44,610
North Dakota$46,410
Ohio$43,430
Oklahoma$41,260
Oregon$53,240
Pennsylvania$48,120
Rhode Island$59,130
South Carolina$40,890
South Dakota$38,630
Tennessee$40,120
Texas$46,990
Utah$48,130
Vermont$49,720
Virginia$44,850
Washington$55,420
West Virginia$36,770
Wisconsin$45,290
Wyoming$46,790

The Highest Paying States for Nurse Practitioners

Below are the information you need to know when considering which state to practice:

STATEANNUAL
Alabama$95,970
Alaska$122,880
Arizona$110,750
Arkansas$104,300
California$133,780
Colorado$111,210
Connecticut$118,020
Delaware$108,340
District of Columbia$109,800
Florida$101,100
Georgia$106,750
Hawaii$120,570
Idaho$102,600
Illinois$105,800
Indiana$103,200
Iowa$106,290
Kansas$99,430
Kentucky$99,790
Louisiana$105,340
Maine$103,220
Maryland$115,060
Massachusetts$122,740
Michigan$106,880
Minnesota$119,160
Mississippi$109,700
Missouri$102,470
Montana$103,510
Nebraska$103,800
Nevada$112,540
New Hampshire$109,460
New Jersey$122,100
New Mexico$109,810
New York$120,970
North Carolina$104,100
North Dakota$106,200
Ohio$101,970
Oklahoma$103,280
Oregon$110,010
Pennsylvania$98,250
Rhode Island$109,290
South Carolina$99,910
South Dakota$100,690
Tennessee$95,990
Texas$111,060
Utah$105,840
Vermont106,000
Virginia$105,170
Washington$117,650
West Virginia$100,690
Wisconsin$106,790
Wyoming$116,030

Final Thoughts

nurse salary factors

Registered nurses continue to be in high demand. In fact, the profession is expected to grow by as much as 16% by 2024.

Considering this, it’s important for you to create a career plan. You can start by finding the highest paying state for nurses and weighing your options against the cost of living in those areas. Use your experience, skills, and certifications as your leverage when negotiating your salary. Don’t forget to consider your needs, preferences, and budget in the process, too.

Source:

Occupational Employment Statistics

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