Journal of Nursing
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The 5 Highest Paying States for Nurses

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Nurses are in high demand across the country. Since they can work anywhere, salary is often a top consideration when nurses decide where they’d like to live. According to the BLS, the following five states offer the highest pay for RNs; if you are thinking about relocation, perhaps a move to one of these states is in your future.

1. California

California’s approximately 233,030 registered nurses earn salaries that are much higher than the national average. According to the BLS, California registered nurses earned an average hourly wage of $40.90 in May 2009. This equals $85,080 in annual pay. In certain metropolitan areas, the average salary is even higher:

Metropolitan Area Average Annual Salary
Visalia-Porterville $111,030
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara $110,080
San Francisco $98,900
Oakland-Fremont $97,280
Sacramento-Arden $89,770

2. Massachusetts

The BLS also reported that in May 2009, registered nurses in Massachusetts earned an average hourly wage of $39.32, or $81,890 annually. At that time, there were approximately 83,000 nurses employed in Massachusetts. Nurses in the Boston-Cambridge metropolitan area received above average annual salaries, at $88,730.

3. Hawaii

Hawaii offers nurses beautiful beaches, great surfing and high pay. In fact, according to the BLS, Hawaii’s nearly 9,000 registered nurses earned an average hourly wage of $38.47 in May 2009. Their annual average salary was $80,020. In the Honolulu metropolitan area, the average annual salary for registered nurses was even higher, at $82,150.

4. Maryland

In Maryland, a registered nurse can expect to earn an average hourly wage of $36.70, or $76,330 annually, based on May 2009 BLS reports. There are about 51,600 nurses employed in the state. In the following metropolitan areas, the average annual salary for RNs is even higher than the statewide average:

Metropolitan Area Average Annual Salary
Baltimore-Towson $79,150
Bethesda-Frederick-Gaithersburg $76,950

5. New Jersey

New Jersey’s approximately 74,730 registered nurses also earn salaries above the national average. According to the BLS, New Jersey’s average hourly wage for nurses was $36.05, or $74,990 annually, in May 2009. In the Newark metropolitan area, a nurse’s average annual salary is even higher, at $77,970.



 
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Editor-in Chief:
Kirsten Nicole

Editorial Staff:
Kirsten Nicole
Stan Kenyon
Robyn Bowman
Kimberly McNabb
Lisa Gordon
Stephanie Robinson

Contributors:
Kirsten Nicole
Stan Kenyon
Liz Di Bernardo
Cris Lobato
Elisa Howard
Susan Cramer