2017 Nursing Salaries by State, Degree, and License - Highest & Lowest

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    Whether you are a new grad searching for that first job or an experienced nurse thinking of relocating, everyone is interested in finding out how their salary stacks up. Can they make more somewhere else? Based on data provided by more than 18,000 nurse respondents in the 2017 allnurses Salary Survey, below you will find some general figures to help guide you. Remember, the grass is not always as green as it may first appear.

    2017 Nursing Salaries by State, Degree, and License - Highest & Lowest

    Perhaps one of the most direct, straightforward, “is-what-it-is”, "want-to-know" topics asked in the 2017 allnurses Salary Survey is the range of average salaries by state. Which states pay the highest and which pay the lowest? The are a few variables to consider when looking at these types of statistics. Cost of living, urban areas versus suburban, desirability of location to live in, number of medical facilities in surrounding area etc. Cost of living is one of the biggest factors influencing salary variations from state to state and city to city.

    Cost of living index is the most inclusive factor in the variation of salary from state to state. The cost of living is cost of maintaining a certain standard quality of living. “Cost of living indexes are meant to compare the expenses an average person expect to incur to acquire food, shelter, transportation, energy, clothing, education, healthcare, childcare and entertainment in a given region.”


    The Top 10 Highest Cost of Living Indices in the US are:

    1. New York City, NY
    2. San Francisco, Ca
    3. Washington DC
    4. Honolulu, HI
    5. San Jose, Ca
    6. Boston, MA
    7. Los Angeles, Ca
    8. Oakland, Ca
    9. Seattle, WA
    10. San Diego, Ca

    The Top 10 Lowest Cost of Living Indices in the US are:

    1. Memphis, TN
    2. Indianapolis, IN
    3. Omaha, NE
    4. Columbus, OH
    5. Las Vegas, NV
    6. Salt Lake City, UT
    7. San Antonio, TX
    8. Birmingham, AL
    9. Des Moines, IA
    10. Buffalo, NY


    Taking all of this into account, nursing salaries will vary greatly based on degree/license, cost of living, type of facility, urban or suburban, teaching versus nonteaching hospitals, education, years of experience, and even benefits offered. The average salaries based on data provided by more than 18,000 nurses in the allnurses 2017 Salary Survey represent nurses of all levels of experience, degree of education, overtime pay, gender, position, and work setting. Cost of living was not incorporated in these figures. There is another article providing another list of all 50 states plus the District of Columbia with adjusted average state salaries for RNs that do incorporate cost of living factors. We will also give you some tools to customize your comparison. When the complete 2017 allnurses Interactive Salary Survey results are released, you will be able to see a more customized view of salaries.

    Below is the breakdown of the states with the highest and lowest salaries grouped by degree and license. How did your state do? Any surprises?


    HIGHEST & LOWEST STATE SALARIES BY DEGREE

















    HIGHEST & LOWEST STATE SALARIES BY LICENSE













    Be sure to read Registered Nurse Salary Purchasing Power Across States

    For the complete survey results go to:

    2017 allnurses Salary Survey Results Part 1: Demographics and Compensation

    30% of Nurses Leaving the Workforce - 2017 Salary Survey Results Part 2


    Sources

    Expatistan Cost of Living Index
    Cost of Living Wizard - Salary.com
    CNN Money - Cost of living: How far will my salary go in another city?
    Investopedia - How is the Cost of Living Calculated
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Jul 1
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    15 Comments

  3. by   james_lankford
    I'm confused

    an Associates in Hawaii pays more than a Bachelors in Hawaii ?
  4. by   DallasRN
    I saw that, too, and wondered the same thing.
  5. by   ThePrincessBride
    I question this list's accuracy in regards to some of these cities.
  6. by   azhiker96
    Quote from james_lankford
    I'm confused

    an Associates in Hawaii pays more than a Bachelors in Hawaii ?
    That could be related to experience level of ADN versus BSN nurses in that state. When the full data set is released it may become apparent.
  7. by   tnbutterfly
    Quote from james_lankford
    I'm confused

    an Associates in Hawaii pays more than a Bachelors in Hawaii ?
    These figures are based on the data provided by the survey participants. However, there were only 7 ADN nurses who responded compared to 17 BSN nurses. With those low numbers, one high or one low salary can tip the scales one way or the other.
  8. by   tnbutterfly
    Quote from azhiker96
    That could be related to experience level of ADN versus BSN nurses in that state. When the full data set is released it may become apparent.
    You are correct. The full results will have interactive charts where you can compare experience, age, specialty, etc.
  9. by   tigkaskit
    I'm assuming these are based on 40hrs/wk? I seem to remember taking this survey and being unsure how to answer as a part-time employee. If you ask me my annual salary, I'd say one thing but it's a far cry from what I could potentially make.
  10. by   tnbutterfly
    Quote from tigkaskit
    I'm assuming these are based on 40hrs/wk? I seem to remember taking this survey and being unsure how to answer as a part-time employee. If you ask me my annual salary, I'd say one thing but it's a far cry from what I could potentially make.
    Only full time employees were asked for their annual pay as reported to the IRS. The figures shown above combine full time hourly and salary employees. Data from all hourly employees including part time was used for other calculations.
  11. by   stephb2
    "I'm confused

    an Associates in Hawaii pays more than a Bachelors in Hawaii ?"



    Some nurses with ASN who worked in a hospital for up to 20 years will make more than new nurses with a BSN. This is especially true for hospitals with a nursing union. Maybe hospitals in Hawaii have a lot more nurses with ASN degrees. At my hospital (PA state) most nurses with BSN and who are board certified and work full time make six figure salaries. Those with ASN who worked 20-30 years at the hospital have very good salaries with their hourly pay capped at around $60 per hour or so.

    I did not see PA state on this board however.
  12. by   tnbutterfly
    Quote from stephb2
    "I'm confused

    an Associates in Hawaii pays more than a Bachelors in Hawaii ?"



    Some nurses with ASN who worked in a hospital for up to 20 years will make more than new nurses with a BSN. This is especially true for hospitals with a nursing union. Maybe hospitals in Hawaii have a lot more nurses with ASN degrees. At my hospital (PA state) most nurses with BSN and who are board certified and work full time make six figure salaries. Those with ASN who worked 20-30 years at the hospital have very good salaries with their hourly pay capped at around $60 per hour or so.

    I did not see PA state on this board however.
    Only the top 8 or bottom 8 in each category made these lists. Salaries for RNs in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia are included in another article Registered Nurse Salary Purchasing Power Across States. When the complete survey results are posted you will be able to customize your search for salaries by age, experience, specialty, state, degree, license, gender, etc.
  13. by   Maerzie
    I have been retired for awhile,(2006), but still, it seems insane that ADN's make more than Diploma RN's, who have had so much more practical experience, if they were hospital trained. ADN's get such a minimum of practical experience in this area (Michigan/Wisconsin). I recall some new ADN's that I was orienting, who didn't know a Foley catheter from an N/G tube, and had actually PASSED their state boards. I remember, after sacrificing, working full time as 3-11 Charge Nurse (Diploma RN)of a 32 bed hospital (E.D.. ICU. CCU, Med-Surg, Medical Records, etc.), while also having the expense and stress of going to college 100 miles away, every weekend, to attain my BSN, I got an enormous 10 cent an hour raise after I got my BSN in 1993. Have nursing incomes really gone up that much?
  14. by   Baviary
    I am a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Massachusetts. I make quite a bit more than what it says here. Oh well!!! LOL!

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