The Best Small Cities For Nurses Paying Off Student Loans


By Megan Knowles

Santa Barbara, Calif., is the best small U.S. city for nurses paying off student loan debt, with median RN earnings of $99,040, an analysis from a student loan adviser found.

Student Loan Planner found their average nurse client has about $163,909 of student loan debt.

For the analysis, the student loan adviser pulled data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics OES Report published in May 2017, which shows average wages and employment data for registered nurses in different states.

The analysts then sorted the chart so only the least saturated half of states qualified since less competition in the labor force means more leverage with potential employers.

They also adjusted nurse wages for cost of living by using data from the Tax Foundation, which shows the value of $100 in every state based on reporting from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Using the list of the 50 percent least-saturated states, Student Loan Planner ranked each state by this real nursing income number.

The 11 best small cities for nurses with student loan debt are:

1. Santa Barbara, Calif.

2. Medford, Ore.

3. Reno, Nev.

4. Anchorage, Alaska

5. Richland, Wash.

6. Tyler, Texas

7. Santa Fe, N.M.

8. Benton Harbor, Mich.

9. Athens, Ga.

10. Binghamton, N.Y.

11. Fort Collins, Colo.


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