5 Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best State To Work As A Nurse


Congratulations! Your well-deserved nurse diploma is in your hands. After sweating through many years in nursing school, here you are and ready to take your NCLEX.  After the dust has settled and real-life begins, you'll need to determine which state you'll want to practice as a registered nurse. There are numerous options available, and the following are some criteria to consider when selecting the ideal state in which to take the exam and practice nursing.


The amount you get paid as a nurse depends on your hospital, additional licenses, years in the industry, and other factors. However, if you were seeking for a state that pays its nurses a greater annual wage on average, this information could be useful.

On average, nurses in coastal states like Oregon and Massachusetts) earn the highest median pay, but there are a few exceptions. Nurses in Alaska and Hawaii are paid more on average. If you don't want to leave the continental United States, Minnesota is a good option for average wages.

Cost Of Living

In comparison to other states, California is an expensive location to live in. The cost of living is high because states apply regulations that make it more expensive to operate businesses and also buy property. They maintain a certain level of life in such states. Because of factors such as lifestyle and family size, the cost of living expenses might differ from person to person.

A Diverse Workforce

A diverse nursing workforce ensures that all patients, regardless of color or ethnicity, receive high-quality care. Cultural competency is becoming increasingly important. In nursing education, graduates are prepared to work effectively with people from many walks of life. A workforce that represents the demographics of their patient group improves communication and services for healthcare companies.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for registered nurses is predicted to expand by 9% between 2020 and 2030. This is significantly higher than the national average for all professions. Similarly, the demand for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and nursing assistants is expected to increase by 9% and 8% respectively.  

California is at the top of the list, with a registered nurse shortage of about 44,500, roughly three times the deficit in the next shortest state. More than 10,000 RNs will be needed in Texas, New Jersey, and South Carolina; Alaska, Georgia, and South Dakota will each be short several thousand in the coming years.

Healthy Work Environment

You want to work somewhere that will make you happy. Furthermore, you want to enjoy coming to work every day (or at least, most days). A healthy work atmosphere encourages nurses to put their expertise, skills, and clinical knowledge to good use. Nurses working in such a setting are also expected to provide excellent nursing care to their patients.

Finally, registered nurses who are having trouble breaking into already crowded markets can look to states where retirees are flocking in greater numbers for future career openings. Nurses and health care workers will be in higher demand than ever as people live longer, and living where retirees want to be could pay off handsomely.

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