There is great news for anyone who is an RN or contemplating becoming one. One of the fastest growing professions in the United States is that of a registered nurse, and this trend is not supposed to change in the next few years.
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), The number of registered nurses that are employed will increase by 19 percent between 2015 and 2022. Compared to a national average of 11 percent between all other occupations.
Salaries vary quite widely from state to state, and you must also factor in the cost of living. Although a nurse in California may make a higher salary than a nurse living in Kentucky, the cost of living in California is much higher.
Here is some data that reveals the salaries of registered nurses in various states around the U. S. This includes the areas with the highest and lowest salaries and cost of living in each area.
Top Five RN Mean Hourly Wage by State
California has the highest RN salary of any state. The mean annual salary is $98,400, according to the BLS. With 253,310 RNs currently working, California has the highest number of registered nurses of any state.
States with the highest cost of living
According to an article in the USA Today, these are the states with the highest costs of living:
Washington, D.C.: 139.6
New York: 132.2
New Jersey: 127.6
I'm sure it's no surprise that two of these states are among the highest nursing salaries. California was right up there too. At number six on the list of the highest cost of living states.
How many nurses work in each state?
Well when you consider how many nurses are working in each state, it must be noted that this number is affected by the total population in each state. Here are the states with the highest number of registered nurses. This number is measured in number of employed RNs per 1,000 jobs.
South Dakota: 28.41
West Virginia: 27.01
Rhode Island: 25.43
The states with the lowest salary for RNs are:
South Dakota: $25.95
West Virginia: $27.11
But keep in mind that although these are the lowest salaries, the cost of living is lower in these states. Here are the most economical places to live based on cost of living.