Have you ever considered how your salary compares to other nurses in different states? The reality is your experience, the cost of living, and demand for healthcare professionals will greatly affect your earning potential. Some registered nurses in California are earning well over $120,000 a year while other nurses in South Dakota are making $60,000 a year. In this article we will share a full-breakdown of the highest paying states for nurses as well as a better "cost of living" adjustment to help you plan your next career move.
Whether you are a new nurse looking to start your career or even a more experienced nurse looking to make a change, we hope you find this information useful!
The Highest and Best Paying States for Registered Nurses
California is currently the top-paying state for nurses. On average, registered nurses working in California earn an annual salary of $124,000, with many experienced nurses earning even more at $130,000 per year.
Coming in second place is Hawaii, where nurses can expect to earn an average annual salary of $106,530. This is an impressive 37% above the national average for nurses.
Another great state for nurses looking for high pay is Oregon. Registered nurses in Oregon earn an average annual salary of $98,630, making it a close third behind Hawaii.
Top Ten Highest Paying States for Registered Nurses
Cost of Living for Nurses In Each State
It's important to note that salary is not the only factor to consider when choosing where to work as a nurse. When considering where to take a job or make a move, it is extremely import you first research the overall cost of living in the place you are looking to live. Depending on your location, you may find yourself able to save less money each month despite taking home a larger salary.
Take Hawaii as an example. Even though their hospitals pay nurses the 2nd highest out of all the states, Hawaii is also the 4th most expensive state to live in the US. This means at the end of the month when rent, food, utilities, and other bills are paid for you are actually going to have less money in the bank compared to a nurse working in Oregon, Alaska, and even Nevada.
In order to make this decision a bit easier, we've put together a top 10 list of best paying states for nurses with the cost of living adjustment included. This means the top states listed here are the ones which pay the best while letting you keep the most of you hard-earned money.
Nurse Salaries In All 50 States
Even if you are not making a move into one of the top 10 paying states, it's still a good idea to know the average salary where you live to make sure you are getting paid what you are worth. Use this table and map as a resource to find the average salary in your state.
Nurse Salary FAQs
What city pays the most for nurses?
San Jose, California and its surrounding area pays nurses the highest in country with a yearly salary of $155,230.
What state pays the highest for nurses?
As of 2023, California currently pays their nurses the highest average salary of $124,000 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What state has the lowest RN salary?
South Dakota has the lowest average salary for nurses at $60,540 per year.
What kind of nurses get paid the most?
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) currently are the highest paid nurses across the United States. These nurses earn an average of $195,610according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What is the average salary for nurses in the U.S?
The average salary for registered nurses in the United States is currently $82,750 as of 2023 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.