These U.S. Cities Pay Registered Nurses the Highest Salaries Based on Cost of Living
Nursing is one of the most in-demand jobs in the healthcare industry. As a career, it offers stability, great pay, and personal fulfillment. In fact, many nurses consider their profession to be a calling rather than a job. Those who enter the nursing field are passionate and caring individuals who strive to improve the health of others in their communities. It truly is a noble profession.
As a Registered Nurse (RN), however, serving others should not prevent you from planning ahead by researching the benefits and average nursing salaries across the country.
Not only will RNs likely see a surge in employment growth in the coming years, but they can receive considerable salaries without having to spend too many years in school. This comprehensive RN salary guide will attempt to cover the following questions:
- Do nurses get paid well?
- How much does a nurse earn per year?
- Where do nurses get paid the most?
- What are the highest paying states for Registered Nurses?
- And what are the top paying cities for nurses?
Before we delve into RN salaries by city, let’s start with the top paying states and industries for nurses as well as the average nurse’s salary nationwide.
How Much Do Nurses Make?
According to theU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Registered Nurses earn an average salary of about $77,000 per year, and an average hourly wage of about $37.00 per hour.
These rates can greatly vary depending on your employer, experience, and specialization. For instance, nurses working in the pharmaceutical industry make an average salary of $86,400, while those working in doctor’s offices earn an average salary of $69,570.
Here’s a closer look at the top paying industries and average salaries for nurses, by employment type:
Highest Paying Industries for Nurses
|Industry||Average Hourly Pay||Average Salary|
|Outpatient Care Centers||$40.73||$84,720|
|Psychiatric & Substance Abuse Hospitals||$35.87||$74,610|
|Home Health Care Services||$35.41||$73,660|
|Nursing Care Facilities||$33.53||$69,740|
Highest Paying States for Nurses
A nurse’s pay can also vary by location. For instance, here are the top 5 paying states for nurses as well as the average nurse salary per hour:
- Average Hourly Wage: $54.44
- Average Annual Salary: $113,240
- Average Hourly Wage: $50.03
- Average Annual Salary: $104,060
- Washington, D.C.:
- Average Hourly Wage: $45.59
- Average Annual Salary: $94,820
- Average Hourly Wage: $44.79
- Average Annual Salary: $93,160
- Average Hourly Wage: $44.69
- Average Annual Salary: $92,960
More to a Nurse’s Salary than a Paycheck
When it comes to quality of life, there are a lot of factors to consider, and where you chose to work plays a major role.
It can feel a little overwhelming, but a little bit of research can go a long way.
For example, we wanted to take a granular look at the highest paying US cities, by evaluating their average nursing salaries as compared to their cost-of-living.
We pulled the cost-of-living index (COLI) values for each city in our study from Expatistan.
Average RN salaries and other statistics were taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The average cost-of-living index (COLI) for all of the U.S. cities we compared was about 162. If a city like Modesto, California, had a COLI of 140, then it would be 14% less expensive to live there than the average city in our list.
Based on the COLI for each city, we adjusted their annual wage to account for the difference in cost of living. In the example above, the average salary of $112,790 in Modesto was increased to $130,593, making it the highest paying city for Registered Nurses.
Based on each city’s cost-of-living index, average salaries were increased or reduced proportionately to better measure overall RN compensation and quality-of-life in each respective city.
The Highest Paying Cities for Nurses
Here are the 25 best paying cities for nurses in 2022 based on their cost-of-living index, starting with the highest paying city of them all!
1. Modesto, California
First up on our list of highest paying cities is Modesto, a vibrant and populous city in the state of California. You might already be familiar with Modesto: Not only does it have the largest wine factory in the world, but George Lucas—the acclaimed creator of Star Wars—was born there.
Located in the Central Valley, 68 miles south of Sacramento and 92 miles east of San Francisco, Modesto provides residents with a bustling downtown, numerous restaurants, theaters, and festivals. The area is also surrounded by rich farmland. Consequently, agricultural production contributes a great deal to its economy as well as the farm-to-table movement.
Modesto is also a major hub for education and healthcare. Some of the top employers include Memorial Medical Center, Modesto City Schools, Doctors Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, and Sutter Gould Medical Foundation. In terms of cost-of-living, Forbeshas recognized Modesto as one of their “Best Bang-for-the-Buck Cities”. Modesto ranked eighth in housing affordability and travel time, and has been noted for its forecasted job growth.
There are several reasons to choose Modesto for your nursing career. Nurses in this city earn an average salary of about $113,000 per year, while the top-earning nurses can make as much as $175,000, or more. When its cheaper cost of living is factored into the equation, their adjusted nurse’s salary in Modesto grows even higher. Given the thriving location, top employers, and high wages, it’s no wonder Modesto, California is at the top of our list.
How much do nurses make in Modesto, CA?
- Nurses in Modesto make an average salary of$112,790.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$175,490 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):140
- The cost of living in Modesto is14% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its cost of living raises a nurse’s pay to$130,593.
2. San Jose, California
San Jose is the economic, cultural, and political center of the world-renowned Silicon Valley. Its estimated population was 1,021,795 in 2019, making it thethird-most populous city in California. San Jose is often referred to as a “global city” for its innovation and wealth.
The city might be known for its high-tech industry and coastal weather, but it’s also home to large healthcare organizations like the Regional Medical Center of San Jose, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and El Camino Hospital. Each of these facilities has received prestigious awards, and El Camino Hospital has repeatedly been designated as a nursing magnet hospital. Even though San Jose has a higher cost of living than some of our other cities, it can be an attractive destination for nurses thanks to its coveted location and average nursing salary.
How much do nurses make in San Jose, CA?
- Nurses in San Jose make an average salary of$140,740.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$197,650 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):195
- The cost of living in San Jose is20% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability lowers a nurse’s pay to$116,993.
3. Sacramento, California
Sacramento is the capital of California and one of the fastest-growing cities in the state. This growth can partially be attributed to its status as a prominent financial center on the West Coast. It’s also a major educational hub, not to mention a key area for California’s healthcare industry (i.e. Sutter Health, world-renowned UC Davis Medical Center, etc.)
Sacramento is a tourist destination. For instance, it’s home to The California Museum, theCrocker Art Museum, theCalifornia Hall of Fame, theCalifornia State Capitol Museum, and theOld Sacramento State Historic Park. And don’t forget about Sacramento’s budding contemporary culture, giving it the nickname of “the most hipstercity” in California.
There are several reasons to choose Sacramento for your nursing career. In addition to its notable healthcare organizations, nurses in this city earn over $126,000 per year, on average. Even with its higher cost of living factored into the equation, the adjust nursing salary in Sacrament remains well over $100,000 per year.
How much do nurses make in Sacramento, CA?
- Nurses in Sacramento make an average salary of$126,560.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$179,060 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):178
- The cost of living in Sacramento is10% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its cost of living lowers a nurse’s pay to$115,253.
4. Riverside, California
Riverside is the most populous city in the Inland Empire metropolitan area. It’s named for its location beside the Santa Ana River, and residents there can reach downtown Los Angeles in just under an hour. Riverside is also the birthplace of California’s citrus industry; home of the largest Mission Revival Style building in the U.S.; and home to the University of California, Riverside. Furthermore, the UC Riverside School of Medicine is the first new research-based public medical school in decades.
Many have relocated to Riverside for its warm, dry climate. Numerous colleges, universities, and vocational schools can also be found in the city. Since the cost-of-living is 7% cheaper than the average city in our study, the adjusted average nursing salary in Riverside is raised to well over $114,000 per year.
How much do nurses make in Riverside, CA?
- Nurses in Riverside make an average salary of$105,570.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$149,280 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):150
- The cost of living in Riverside is7% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to$114,084.
5. Las Vegas, Nevada
The “Entertainment Capital of the World” is well known for the dazzling Las Vegas Strip. A city of lights, resort hotels, restaurants, and residential high-rises, Las Vegas is a world-renowned destination. However, there’s much more to it than meets the eye.
For instance, Las Vegas maintains lower taxes and cost of living. When it comes to homeowners, their utilities cost 10% less than the national average. Las Vegas residents can further benefit from their city’s increasing incomes and zero state income tax. Not only is Las Vegas a great destination for seeking employment, most residents are able to lay down roots for a reasonable price. Nurses in Las Vegas can make an average salary of about $90,000, with some earning well over $120,000 a year. As Southern Nevada continues to grow, so does the demand for more healthcare providers.
How much do nurses make in Las Vegas, NV?
- Nurses in Las Vegas make an average salary of$91,330.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$122,110 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):153
- The cost of living in Las Vegas is6% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to$96,760.
6. Albuquerque, New Mexico
Visit ABQ said it best: “At the heart of New Mexico beats the pulse of a vibrant city.” In fact, Albuquerque is New Mexico’s largest city. It maintains a modern downtown area that nicely contrasts with Old Town Albuquerque. Filled with historic adobe buildings, Old Town houses San Felipe de Neri Church, five museums, and many shops. The neighboring Indian Pueblo Cultural Center also recounts the area’s tribal history.
Albuquerque is also a hub for nurses. The city contains various state-of-the-art medical centers. Some of the top hospitals include the VA Medical Center, Presbyterian Hospital, Presbyterian Medical Services, Heart Hospital of New Mexico, and Lovelace Women’s Hospital. TheUniversity of New Mexico Hospitalprovides a children’s hospital, burn center, and level I pediatric and adult trauma centers. It’s also the home of an advanced primary stroke center, not to mention the biggest group of adult and pediatric specialty programs in the state.
How much do nurses make in Albuquerque, NM?
- Nurses in Albuquerque make an average salary of$75,050.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$97,050.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):128
- The cost of living in Albuquerque is21% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to$95,042.
7. San Francisco, California
San Francisco has been called the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. Covering an area of about 47 square miles, this city welcomes all who pass through its Golden Gates. San Francisco is perhaps most famous for its Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Coit Tower, and Fisherman’s Wharf. Of course, don’t forget about the cable cars!
The city also maintains a diversifiedservice economy. In 2016, approximately 12% of workers found employment in education and healthcare. Other high-ranking sectors included professional business services at 27%, leisure and hospitality at 14%, and government services at 13%. Plus, as of 2017, San Francisco County was named the 7th highest-income county in the United States, thanks to a per capita personal income of $119,868. The cost of living is expensive in this city, but San Francisco is also one of the highest paying cities for registered nurses.
How much do nurses make in San Francisco, CA?
- Nurses in San Francisco make an average salary of$138,000.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$196,450 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):240
- The cost of living in San Francisco is48% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability lowers a nurse’s pay to$93,206.
8. Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara is a beautiful city on the coast of California. The Santa Ynez Mountains rise in the background, while oceanic views and pleasant weather create an ideal atmosphere for living, playing, and working. Often called the American Riviera, Santa Barbara is also known for its sense of community, rich agricultural land, plentiful wineries, and many tourism hotspots. Don’t miss its upscale boutiques and restaurants, not to mention the Mediterranean-style buildings in downtown!
In addition to serving as a popular tourist and resort destination, Santa Barbara has established a diverse economy, including large sectors in education, technology, healthcare, finance, agriculture, and manufacturing. The Cottage Health Organization is one of its top employers, and the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital maintains a Level I Trauma Center training institution with resident physicians in internal medicine, surgery, and radiology. Medical students also complete rotations at Cottage Hospital.
How much do nurses make in Santa Barbara, CA?
- Nurses in Santa Barbara make an average salary of$108,940.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$148,470 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):190
- The cost of living in Santa Barbara is17% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability lowers a nurse’s pay to$92,941.
9. Houston, Texas
A grand metropolis in Texas, Houston extends to Galveston Bay and is often linked to the Space Center Houston (one of NASA’s visitor centers). The downtown area features several highlights, such as the Theater District, the Houston Grand Opera, and the upscale Historic District, which offers 19th-century architecture amid ritzy restaurants.
Without a doubt, Houston is a popular choice for healthcare professionals. The city is home to the Texas Medical Center (TMC), which contains the world’s largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions. They provide patient and preventive care while employing more than 73,600 people. The Texas Medical Center houses the outstandingM.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and (reportedly) more heart surgeries are performed at the TMC than anywhere else in the world.
How much do nurses make in Houston, TX?
- Nurses in Houston make an average salary of$81,350.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$103,740 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):144
- The cost of living in Houston is11% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to$91,574.
10. Greensboro, North Carolina
Greensboro is the third-most populous city in North Carolina. The cost of living is cheaper than the average of the other cities in our study by a whopping25%. Not only are prices more affordable, Greensboro also has room for plenty of family fun. The Greensboro Science Center allows visitors to marvel at red pandas, sharks, and a hands-on museum. Plus, the nearby Bog Garden is a wetlands area filled with flowers, birds, and an elevated boardwalk.
In the city’s 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, two health systems ranked as some of the largest employers in Greensboro. Cone Health ranked second with about 7,218 employees, and High Point Regional Health System ranked seventh with about 2,320 employees. The BLS has also indicated that education and health service ranks fourth in the top ten industries of Greensboro, creating about 48,400 jobs overall.
How much do nurses make in Greensboro, NC?
- Nurses in Greensboro make an average salary of$68,300.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$93,370 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):121
- The cost of living in Greensboro is25% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to$91,498.
11. San Diego, California
San Diego is a coastal city that’s known for its many beaches, extensive parks, and pleasant climate. It’s also famous for its many attractions like the San Diego Zoo, numerous art galleries, museums, and gardens. A deep-water harbor contains a large naval fleet within San Diego. Plus, the USS Midway—an aircraft carrier turned into a museum—is open to the public.
In addition to the city’s long association with theUnited States Navy, San Diego recently emerged as a healthcare and biotechnology development center. According to a 2016 comprehensive financial report, Sharp HealthCare ranks third among the city’s top employers. Scripps Health and Kaiser Permanente also ranked in this top-ten list.
While the city’s cost of living may be more expensive, the average nurse in San Diego earns more over than $100,000 a year. With its ideal location and budding health sector, San Diego is a city to watch.
How much do nurses make in San Diego, CA?
- Nurses in San Diego make an average salary of$104,860.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$147,930 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):187
- The cost of living in San Diego is15% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability lowers a nurse’s pay to$90,896.
12. Spokane, Washington
Spokane, the “Lilac City,” is situated within Washington state. It’s located near Spokane River, west of the Rocky Mountain foothills, and 92 miles south of the Canada-U.S. border. Visitors are often attracted to Riverfront Park, where cable cars offer mesmerizing views of Spokane Falls.
This city also houses the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture. It explores the area’s history using exhibits on art, culture, and Native American heritage. Spokane’s economy has seen success in the medical and health science fields as well. In 2013, the top employers in Spokane were theState of Washington,Spokane Public Schools,and the Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital.
How much do nurses make in Spokane, WA?
- Nurses in Spokane make an average salary of$80,070.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$107,950 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):143
- The cost of living in Spokane is12% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to$90,763.
13. Tucson, Arizona
If you like sunny cities, Tucson has roughly 350 days of sunshine per year! The area is said to inspire a sense of freedom among those who visit. Given the mountainous views and desert blooms, it makes sense that some might see the city as an oasis.
Tucson is the one of the most populous cities in Arizona. Along with Phoenix, it anchors the Arizona Sun Corridor (i.e. a mega region of five metropolitan areas). Banner Health is the state’s biggest private employer, accounting for more than 39,000 employees in 2016. Education and health services is also one of the highest-ranking sectors for employment within the state of Arizona. The low cost of living and average nursing salary makes Tucson an attractive prospect for nurses.
How much do nurses make in Tucson, AZ?
- Nurses in Tucson make an average salary of$74,570.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$95,490 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):136
- The cost of living in Tucson is16% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to$88,879.
14. Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu, the capital and largest city of the state of Hawaii, is a major hub for international business and military defense. It’s also known for hosting a number of east-west and Pacific cultures, cuisine, and traditions. Located on the south shore of Oahu, Honolulu offers a center for dining and nightlife, not to mention various high-rise hotels, the iconic crescent beach, and Diamond Head crater cresting the horizon.
Some companies based in Honolulu include Hawaii Pacific Health and The Queen’s Health Systems. Even though cost of living is more expensive in this city, experienced nurses can make over $132,000 per year.
How much do nurses make in Honolulu, HI?
- Nurses in Honolulu make an average salary of$106,550.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$132,160 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):200
- The cost of living in Honolulu is23% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability lowers a nurse’s pay to$86,357.
15. Detroit, Michigan
Detroit is the largest city in Michigan as well as the largest American city on the United States-Canada border. Regarded as a notable cultural center, Detroit is known for its contributions to art, architecture, and design. It’s also known as the “Motor City” for its connection to the auto industry. Plus, music lovers can rejoice: Detroit is the birthplace of Motown Records!
When it comes to healthcare, there are more than a dozen major hospitals in the city. Some of these include theDetroit Medical Center(DMC),Henry Ford Health System,St. John Health System, and the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center. The DMC is the biggest private employer in the City of Detroit. Like Tucson, Detroit’s cost of living is significantly cheaper than the average of the cities in our study. This affordability raises a nurse’s average salary by more than 10%.
How much do nurses make in Detroit, MI?
- Nurses in Detroit make an average salary of$75,810.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$98,810 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):143
- The cost of living in Detroit is12% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to$85,934.
16. Boise, Idaho
Niche said it best: “Boise is one of the best places to live in Idaho. Living in Boise offers residents a dense suburban feel, and most residents own their homes. InBoise,there are a lot of bars, coffee shops, and parks. Many families and young professionalsliveinthe city.”
Boise is both the capital and most populous city within the state of Idaho. The Boise River Greenbelt offers a series of tree-lined trails and parks that hug the water’s edge. In downtown, you’ll find contemporary works and a sculpture garden in the Boise Art Museum. If you’re a history junkie, you’ll also find 19th-century prison cells, gallows, and historic weaponry in the Old Idaho Penitentiary.
Some of the biggest employers in Idaho include St. Luke’s Health Systems and the Saint Alphonsus Health System. Not only can nurses enjoy this regional hotspot for jazz, theater, and indie music, with enough experience they can also earn over $93,000 per year.
How much do nurses make in Boise, ID?
- Nurses in Boise make an average salary of$71,530.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$93,900 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):135
- The cost of living in Boise is17% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to$85,888.
17. Charlottesville, Virginia
Charlottesville serves as a gateway to the Shenandoah National Park. It’s the heart of the Charlottesville metropolitan area, which combines the counties of Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, and Nelson. This city is known for being the home of two U.S. presidents: Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. It is also home to the University of Virginia and a section of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Due to several historical sites, Charlottesville attracts thousands of tourists every year. The economy is also rooted in healthcare, as its largest employers include the University of Virginia Medical Center and the UVA Health Services Foundation. This unique city boasts a cheaper cost of living and an average nursing salary of about $75,000 per year.
How much do nurses make in Charlottesville, VA?
- Nurses in Charlottesville make an average salary of$74,560.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$104,040 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):141
- The cost of living in Charlottesville is13% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to$85,716.
18. Providence, Rhode Island
Providence, the capital city of Rhode Island, has roots in American art and silver. It’s home to renowned Brown University as well as the Rhode Island School of Design. Visitors will come across 18th- and 19th-century homes on the streets of College Hill. Waterplace Park serves as the backdrop for the WaterFire art installation, which lights up the nearby tidal basin during summer and special events.
Today, Providence houses eight hospitals and seven institutions of higher learning, which have redirected the city’s economy toward service industries. One of their primary hospitals isRhode Island Hospital, the largest generalacute carehospital in the state, not to mention theLevel I Trauma Centerfor Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts, and parts of Connecticut.
Nurses in Providence make an average salary of about $82,000 a year, while the highest paid RNs can earn salaries reaching $105,000 (or more) each year.
How much do nurses make in Providence, RI?
- Nurses in Providence make an average salary of$82,170.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$105,450 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):156
- The cost of living in Providence is4% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to$85,382.
19. Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in Tennessee that can be found along the Mississippi River. It’s the second most populous city in the state, and acts as the anchor of West Tennesseeand the greaterMid-South region. The heart and soul of Memphis truly belongs to music.
In fact, the area has become quite famous for its strains of blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll. Major stars like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash recorded albums at the famous Sun Studio. Some popular attractions include Presley’s Graceland mansion, the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, the Blues Hall of Fame, and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.
The Memphis region also supports various hospitals, including the Methodist and Baptist Memorial health systems, two major private hospitals in the country. Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is the biggest healthcare provider in the Memphis region and the fourth-largest employer as of 2018.Modern Healthcaremagazine also ranked Methodist Healthcarein their list of “Best Places to Work.” In addition, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital resides in Memphis.
How much do nurses make in Memphis, TN?
- Nurses in Memphis make an average salary of$66,730.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$87,550 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):127
- The cost of living in Memphis is22% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to$85,171.
20. Los Angeles, California
With an estimated population of nearly four million people, Los Angeles is the most populous city in California. It’s also the second most populous city in the United States (New York City takes the number one spot). Los Angeles can be called the cultural and commercial center of Southern California. Known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, and entertainment industry, the city is nothing short of a sprawling metropolis.
Los Angeles is located beside the Pacific Ocean and sits within a basin. Mountains crest the horizon, as do tall, impressive buildings. Some of its best-known attractions include the iconic Hollywood sign, Hollywood Boulevard, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the TCL Chinese Theatre.
In a 2018 financial report, the largest non-government employers in LA were ranked. Kaiser Permanente reached the number one spot with about 37,468 employees. Providence Health and Services Southern California ranked fourth with about 15,952 employees. In addition, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center ranked seventh with about 14,903 employees. Given the size of LA’s healthcare industry, it’s no wonder some nurses can earn as much as $149,690.
How much do nurses make in Los Angeles, CA?
- Nurses in Los Angeles make an average salary of$106,190.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$149,690 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):203
- The cost of living in Los Angeles is25% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability lowers a nurse’s pay to$84,794.
21. Cincinnati, Ohio
As the economic and cultural center of Ohio, Cincinnati is also the fastest-growing economic power in the Midwestern United States.
Cincinnati currently houses three major sports teams: TheCincinnati RedsofMajor League Baseball; theCincinnati Bengalsof theNational Football League; andFC CincinnatiofMajor League Soccer.
The city also features historic architecture. In fact, some structures have stayed intact for about 200 years. You can also visit the Over-the-Rhine district, which is well known for its 19th-century architecture. Additionally, you can plan a day trip to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. History lovers might enjoy the Cincinnati Museum, while art fans could tour the Cincinnati Art Museum (works are displayed that span 6,000 years).
Regarding healthcare, theUniversity of Cincinnati Medical Centeris one of Ohio’s leading institutes for community health. The relatively low cost of living, historical aspects of the city, and economic-powerhouse status makes Cincinnatione of the best cities for nurses.
How much do nurses make in Cincinnati, OH?
- Nurses in Cincinnati make an average salary of$70,370.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$95,470 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):135
- The cost of living in Cincinnati is17% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to$84,495.
22. Minneapolis – St. Paul, Minnesota
Known as the “Twin Cities,” Minneapolis – St. Paul is a major metropolitan area built around the Mississippi, Minnesota, and St. Croix rivers in east-central Minnesota. Minneapolis is the most populous city in Minnesota, and Saint Paul is the state capital. Their unique urban cultures caused an observer to state that “St. Paul is the last city of the East; Minneapolis the first city of the West.”
Thanks to a thriving economy and diverse population, the Twin Cities has a lot to offer healthcare workers. Although cost of living is the same as the average of our other cities, Registered Nurses in Minneapolis – St. Paul still enjoy an average salary of $84,400.
How much do nurses make in Minneapolis – St. Paul, MN?
- Nurses in Minneapolis – St. Paul make an average salary of$84,400.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$110,230 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):162
- The cost of living in Minneapolis – St. Paul isequal to the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability slightly raises a nurse’s pay to$84,451.
23. San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is a city in south-central Texas that’s blanketed by a rich colonial heritage. Visitors and residents alike can visit The Alamo, a Spanish mission that has been preserved as a museum. Along the San Antonio River, you can also enjoy the miles-long River Walk, which is a famous promenade dotted with cafes and shops. There’s also the Tower of the Americas, a 750-foot structure that offers a remarkable view of the city.
San Antonio’s economy focuses mainly onsectors like military,healthcare, government-civil service, and tourism. Several companies are also headquartered in the city, including Carenet Health. Forbes magazine recently included San Antonio on their list of “Best Places for Business and Careers.”
How much do nurses make in San Antonio, TX?
- Nurses in San Antonio make an average salary of$72,410.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$96,330 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):139
- The cost of living in San Antonio is14% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to$84,442.
24. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin and one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in the Midwest. It sits on Lake Michigan’s western shore and is known for its breweries, Harley-Davidson Museum, and Milwaukee Public Museum, which includes a large-scale European Village and a re-creation of old Milwaukee.
In this city, the healthcare industry alone makes up 27% of the jobs. The Milwaukee Regional Medical Complex houses health organizations like theChildren’s Hospital of Wisconsin,Froedtert Hospital, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, theRonald McDonald House, Curative Rehabilitation, and theMedical College of Wisconsin.Of course, there are various other health organizations and systems in Milwaukee.
Our study has found that the cost of living in Milwaukee is cheaper than the average of all the other cities. The average Milwaukee nurse can also enjoy a salary of $73k or higher.
How much do nurses make in Milwaukee, WI?
- Nurses in Milwaukee make an average salary of$73,970.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$97,210 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):142
- The cost of living in Milwaukee is12% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to$84,439.
25. Portland, Oregon
The final destination on our list, Portland is the largest and most populous city in tree-dotted Oregon. It lies on the Columbia and Willamette rivers, sitting in the shadow of snowy Mount Hood. Many are familiar with the parks, bridges, and bicycle paths in the “City of Roses.” Portland is also famous for its eco-friendliness and coffeehouses. Affectionately dubbed a hipster city, Portland offers diverse art, theater, and music scenes.
Residents and visitors alike enjoy warm, dry summers and cool winters. Their relatively mild weather should persist for years to come, as this green city has enacted a comprehensive plan to reduce CO2 emissions. Various hospitals and healthcare systems also operate in Portland.
Although cost of living tends to be higher, the average RN will still earn around $100k each year.
How much do nurses make in Portland, OR?
- Nurses in Cincinnati make an average salary of$95,420.
- For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$124,390 or more.
- Cost of Living Index (COLI):185
- The cost of living in Cincinnati is14% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study.
- The adjusted average income based on its affordability lowers a nurse’s pay to$83,607.
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What city do nurses get paid the most? ›
The San Jose — Sunnyvale — Santa Clara, California, metro area pays RNs the highest-average salary in the United States. According to BLS data, RNs in San Jose — Sunnyvale — Santa Clara metro area make $155,230 annually, which is $72,480 higher than the national average.What state do RN make the most money? ›
For example, at 119.3, Hawaii sits at the top of the list, while Mississippi is at the bottom with 87.8. This is what makes Hawaii a higher paying state for nurses.Where is the best place for an RN to live? ›
- Atlanta, Georgia. ...
- Boston, Massachusetts. ...
- San Diego, California. ...
- Los Angeles, California. ...
- New York City, New York. ...
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ...
- San Antonio, Texas. ...
- El Paso, Texas.
|Rank||State Name||Cost of Living Index|
- 1 Earn an Advanced Degree.
- 2 Get Certified.
- 3 Consider Management or Leadership Positions.
- 4 Look into Per Diem Shifts.
- 5 Network.
- 6 Start a Blog or Do Freelance Healthcare Writing.
- 7 Become a CPR Instructor.
- 8 Become an Immunization Nurse.
- New Zealand. The New Zealand healthcare system is split between state funded and private care, with nursing opportunities available in both. ...
- Australia. ...
- Denmark. ...
- United States of America.
BSN-prepared nurses are the most sought-after RNs in the job market and can advance to leadership and management roles more quickly than the ASN nurse.Where do the happiest nurses work? ›
But Nurse.org found that nurse educators, home health nurses, nurse managers, OR-perioperative nurses, and pediatric nurses reported the highest levels of job satisfaction.What is the lowest paying state for nurses? ›
- South Dakota ($60,540)
- Alabama ($61,920)
- Mississippi ($63,130)
- Iowa ($64,990)
- Arkansas ($65,810)
- Minnesota (Quality of life ranking #2, Hospital rating by nurses 86%)
- Wisconsin (Quality of life ranking #3, Hospital rating by nurses 88%)
- Oregon (Quality of life ranking #18, Hospital rating by nurses inconclusive)
What is the most difficult part of nursing school? ›
Pharmacology. Pharmacology, or the study of medication, can seem scary because of the sheer scope of the course. "It becomes one of the hardest classes for nursing students due to the depth and amount of knowledge needed," says Megan Lynch, instructor at Pima Community College.Which state is the hardest to become a nurse? ›
5 States that Take Longest to Get an RN License In
- Ohio (4-6 months) ...
- 2. California (3-6 months) ...
- Maryland (10 weeks) ...
- Maine (8-10 weeks) ...
- Alaska (8 weeks)
New York. New York has come in as #1 among the best states for nurses. With a projected increase of almost 17,000 new jobs each year, the ten-year job outlook is 24.63%. Registered nurses in New York earn between $57,990 and $126,660 yearly, with an average salary of $89,760.What is the number 1 nursing school in America? ›
#1: Duke University
The National League for Nursing has designated the Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) a Center of Excellence on six separate occasions. The school consistently ranks among the best in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's top MSN and DNP programs.
- Maine: 1-2 weeks.
- Maryland: 2-3 days.
- Missouri: 2 weeks.
- Nevada: 1-2 weeks.
- North Carolina: 1-2 weeks.
- North Dakota: 1-2 weeks.
- Texas: 2 weeks.
- Vermont: 3-5 business days.
- Overtime, Double-Time, and Increased Base Rate. Overtime and double-time allow nurses to earn 1.5x to 2x their standard hourly wage. ...
- Take On Special Assignments. ...
- Work In A High Paying Profession.
Median hourly wage rates for contract nurses increased slightly during the pandemic's first year from $64 in 2019 to $71 in 2020 but shifted further upward to $103 in 2021 and $132 in the beginning of 2022, according to a report from Kaufman Hall.Can nurses live comfortably? ›
Nurses can live comfortably in California because it's one of the states with the highest demand for registered nurses. If you want to live comfortably in Cali, you need to know which cities have the highest cost of living and which types of nurses make the most money.Where is the easiest place to work as a nurse? ›
New Zealand, 1st Easiest Country to Work as a Nurse
The public system makes up about 83% of all of the healthcare provision in the country, the rest is provided by private GPs and Hospitals.
- Canada. Average Annual Nursing Salary: $71,590. ...
- Switzerland. Average Annual Nursing Salary: $85,927. ...
- Australia. Average Annual Nursing Salary: $75,000. ...
- Ireland. Average Annual Nursing Salary: $42,000. ...
- United States. Average Annual Nursing Salary: $75,300. ...
- Chile. ...
- New Zealand. ...
Which country pay high salary for nurses? ›
USA. In the US, a registered nurse's salary is well above the average income. An RN will earn around $67,490 per year. The lowest nurse's income is around $45,000, while the top 10% of nurses pull in over $94,000 per year.Can a nurse become a doctor? ›
Can a nurse become a doctor? An RN can absolutely become a doctor. They can become an MD or DO by earning a Bachelor's and applying to medical school just like any other student. Or, an RN could become a doctor of nursing (DNP), which is an educational degree and does not grant any clinical authority.What are the 4 fields of nursing? ›
There are four fields of nursing: adult nursing • children's nursing • learning disabilities nursing • mental health nursing.What's the hardest nursing specialty? ›
- Intensive Care Unit nurses (ICU) ICU is an extremely high-pressure environment and these nurses work with patients who have significant injuries and disease with added morbidity risks. ...
- Emergency Department nurses. ...
- Neonatal ICU. ...
- OR nursing. ...
- Oncology Nursing. ...
- Psychiatric Nursing.
1. Certified registered nurse anesthetist. Nurse anesthetists are in one of the most well-respected fields in nursing, and it requires years of education, training, and experience to become one. These nurses provide anesthesia to patients, typically in a surgical, dental, or ER/OR scenario.What is the most stressful nursing job? ›
The most stressful nursing jobs include ICU nurse, ER nurse, and NICU nurse. In these roles, nurses work in an intense environment with high stakes. They manage emergency situations and care for critically ill patients. Other stressful nursing jobs include OR nursing, oncology nursing, and psychiatric nursing.What states are in need of nurses? ›
California will be adding the most new positions by 2030 – more than 110,000 – but is still estimated to be more than 40,000 nurses short. Likewise, Texas, New Jersey, South Carolina, Alaska, Georgia and South Dakota are all projected to experience shortages in registered nurses.How much is a nurse paid per hour in USA? ›
This is the 2021 ranking. Click here to see the 2022 edition. The average hourly pay for nurses in the U.S. is $38.74 for registered nurses and $55.05 for nurse practitioners, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' occupational employment statistics survey released March 31.How much is US nurse salary? ›
|Nursing Career||2019 Mean Salary|
|Nursing Assistant (CNA)||$30,720|
|Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN)||$48,500|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||$77,460|
|Nurse Practitioners (NP)||$111,840|
Massachusetts topped 2022's list, touting a score of 62.65 out of 100. New Jersey came in second, dropping from the top spot last year. New York, Idaho and Virginia fill out the rest of the top five states to live in, in that order.
What is the best state to live in? ›
The top state is Massachusetts, which ranked first in the nation for education and health, fourth for safety, sixth for quality of life, and 10th for its economy. It did rank a low 44th out of 50 states for affordability, but its overall score was enough to eke out a win over the closely-second next state.What is the most important class in nursing school? ›
Health Assessment and Promotion is one of the most important classes you take in nursing school. Having a firm grasp on the fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology will prove helpful as you navigate your way through Health Assessment and Promotion.How many hours a week should I study in nursing school? ›
Everyone is different, but in general, it is recommended that nursing school students study anywhere from 2-4 hours a day. Committing class material to memory is essential to becoming a registered nurse, so the more time studying, the better! What should I know before starting nursing school?How hard is the nursing exam? ›
NCLEX Pass Rates
The second-attempt pass rate for domestically-educated students taking the test was 45.56%. These results demonstrate that it is a pretty difficult test. The questions are designed to test your critical thinking, knowledge of the nursing process, and assessment skills.
How hard is the nursing entrance exam? Nursing entrance exams can be challenging for many test-takers. They're timed, which can increase the intensity of the test. Most tests have practice tests available that you can take beforehand to prepare.How many questions do I need to get right to pass the NCLEX? ›
The NCLEX is scored using dichotomous scoring, so you can either pass or fail the exam. Currently, to pass the NCLEX-RN, the standard is 0.00 logits–or answer questions correctly at least 50% of the time. The NCLEX-PN standard is -0.18 logits.Which state has the easiest Nclex RN exam? ›
- #1 Connecticut. ...
- #2 Montana. ...
- #3 New York. ...
- #4 Northern Mariana Islands. ...
- #5 South Dakota.
California has the worst nursing shortage in the United States. It's predicted that by 2030, California will be in need of over 44,000 nurses. Other states with major hospital staff shortages include New Mexico, Vermont, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Arizona.Is nursing in California better? ›
Becoming a Registered Nurse is a solid career choice when it comes to job security, salary potential, and fulfillment. For nurses who plan to work in California, the rewards and opportunities are even more promising. The average registered nurse salary in California is often higher than any other state!Which college has the best nursing program? ›
- Johns Hopkins University.
- Duke University.
- Emory University.
- University of Pennsylvania.
- University of Washington.
- Columbia University.
- Ohio State University.
- University of Michigan--Ann Arbor.
Where is the best place to study nursing? ›
|Top 10 Nursing Schools in 2019 Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019|
|1||University of Pennsylvania||United States|
|2||King's College London (KCL)||United Kingdom|
|3||The University of Manchester||UK|
|4||Johns Hopkins University||US|
And which is better? Nursing in the University is better and cheaper in terms of tuition fee. Uyi168: University nursing is a five year course and u would be awarded a Bachelor in Nursing Science (BNSc) degree, while school of nursing is a 3 year course and u get a Registered Nurse RN/RNM kind of like a diploma.Which state produces the best nurses? ›
The Level III Registered Nurse is accountable for the provision of expert patient care including service to patients with complex needs. The level III nurse has increased responsibilities that may include staff orientation, patient care coordination, or other unit/service activities.Why is nursing so hard to get into? ›
The main reason many programs are not easy to get into is because they lack the capacity to teach the number of applicants they receive. There is a shortage of nurses with master's degrees or doctorates that are willing to teach. There is also a shortage of clinical sites and classroom space.How much are nurses paid in Atlanta? ›
Average Registered Nurse Salary in Atlanta
Registered nurses in Atlanta earn an average of $80,760 per year (or $38.83 per hour).
Yes, you can live very comfortably, you are able to travel often, if you can get away. You can have a nice car and nice home, but again this depends on where youlive. If you live in NYC, your salary won't pay for an apartment in a very luxurious neighborhood, but in many other areas it will.Why do nurses make so much in California? ›
High demand, the high cost of living and union power underlie the higher salaries of California's registered nurses. Burger said the nurse's union has also played a role in assuring that nurses have access to pension plans and that they retire with health benefits.Who are the highest paid nurses in the world? ›
The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist consistently ranks as the highest-paid nursing career. That is because Nurse Anesthetists are highly skilled Registered Nurses who work closely with medical staff during medical procedures that require anesthesia.What hospital pays nurses the most in Georgia? ›
- AYA. 3.7 $70.77per hour. 17 reviews210 salaries reported.
- Adventist Health. 3.7 $70.64per hour. 1,307 reviews11 salaries reported.
- St. David's HealthCare. 3.6 $66.44per hour. ...
- GHR Travel Nursing. 3.4 $65.86per hour. ...
- Parallon. 3.2 $65.10per hour. ...
- Show more companies.
How much do nurses make an hour starting out? ›
How much does a New Graduate Registered Nurse make hourly in the United States? The average hourly wage for a New Graduate Registered Nurse in the United States is $32 as of September 26, 2022, but the salary range typically falls between $29 and $37.What hospital in Atlanta pays the most? ›
The simple answer is that mortgages for nurses are not difficult to obtain. Nursing enhancements and shift work are well understood by mortgage lenders, who will take these factors into account when offering a mortgage.Do nurses live longer? ›
In general, researchers have found that nurses are 39% more likely to live longer than the general population. We also carry a lower risk for heart disease, stroke and many forms of cancer in general.Do nurses make more than doctors? ›
In most cases, nurses do not earn more than doctors. However, specialized nurses and CRNAs can earn more than doctors in specific fields and circumstances.Which hospital pays nurses the most in California? ›
- Gento. 4.4 $90.03per hour. 33 reviews483 salaries reported.
- Stanford Health Care. 3.9 $84.81per hour. 836 reviews126 salaries reported.
- John Muir Health. 4.0 $78.95per hour. ...
- Aya Healthcare. 4.2 $74.12per hour. ...
- UCSF Medical Center. 4.1 $72.86per hour. ...
- Show more companies.
Registered nurses usually work five shifts per week—usually 8 hours each—or another combination that totals the same number of hours. For example, some nurses work four 10-hour shifts, and others work three 12-hour shifts. All these varieties add up to a workweek that's roughly 40 hours.Can a nurse afford to live in California? ›
However, due to California's high-paying nursing salaries and various cities with affordable living costs, it's very possible to live comfortably in this state on your own.What type of nurse is most in demand? ›
BSN-prepared nurses are the most sought-after RNs in the job market and can advance to leadership and management roles more quickly than the ASN nurse.Which country pay high salary for nurses? ›
USA. In the US, a registered nurse's salary is well above the average income. An RN will earn around $67,490 per year. The lowest nurse's income is around $45,000, while the top 10% of nurses pull in over $94,000 per year.