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Best States For Nurses

Best States For Nurses
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Nursing is among the most dynamic and rewarding professions in the United States, employing close to three million registered nurses (RNs) nationwide, with average annual salaries exceeding $80,000. While job prospects for healthcare workers are promising throughout the country, certain states stand out for their superior employment opportunities, more favorable work environments, and enhanced quality of life for nurses.

This dataset hinges on a 'Nursing Index Score,' a specialized ranking system derived from eight unique metrics, including but not limited to salaries, employment opportunities, cost of living, and workforce diversity. The score acts as a barometer of the professional and personal opportunities each state offers to nursing professionals. 

  • In terms of the Nursing Index Score, Washington emerged as the nation's leading state, with an index score of 100, closely followed by other Western states like Colorado and New Mexico. The top five states suggest the West as the most promising region for nursing professionals.
  • Eastern states like Maryland (82) and New Jersey (69) also engraved their positions in the top tiers, hinting at potential growth opportunities for RNs in those areas.
  • Despite being a major state, New York holds the 21st position with a Nursing Index Score of 57, which is attributed to the high cost of living, among other factors.
  • Southern states, such as Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi, found themselves in the bottom part of the list.
  • Hawaii, despite being known for its high quality of life, ranks 49th with a Nursing Index Score of only 11, suggesting that salaries, employment opportunities and cost of living is not be as favorable for nurses.

10 Best States for Nurses

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