Purchasing Power of Nurses Across the U.S. - 2018 Salary Survey Part 5

  1. Whether you are looking for your first job, considering switching positions, or even wanting to see how your current salary stacks up against others in your area or even a different location, what are the main things you take into consideration? Most people would say that salary is the most significant factor that influences their thoughts and decisions about job comparison, but a published or reported salary does not tell the whole story.

    Purchasing Power of Nurses Across the U.S. - 2018 Salary Survey Part 5

    This article is featured in the July 2018 edition of our allnurses Magazine... Download allnurses Magazine Now!

    The Fluctuating Value of the Dollar

    The value of money does not stay the same. You can look back and see what you paid for your current home or first car and are shocked to look at today's sticker prices. We don't even have to consider time as a factor for value changes. You can travel across the country and see that your current dollar does not go as far in another state as it does at home. Or maybe just the opposite is true, and you find that the best bargains are not at home. This is all about your purchasing power and how the cost of living and location can affect it.

    How can you factor in variations in the cost of living in different locations to see what your purchasing power really is? As someone looking at various job offers across the country or even in different sections of the state, how can you get a more realistic and accurate comparison of how far your salary will go?

    Raw Salary vs. Adjusted Salaries

    Below is a list of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia with the highest (Hawaii $105,750), lowest (South Dakota $57,400) and everything in between average reported (raw) RN salaries (Diploma, ADN/ASN, BSN) based on the results from almost 17,000 respondents to the 2018 allnurses Nursing Salary Survey that was conducted over 4 weeks in February 2018. This is just the beginning of where to start when making job comparisons. But be careful... Don't stop here thinking you know the rest of the story.

    You need to look at more than just the raw or reported salaries. The purchasing power of a raw salary will vary in different parts of the country depending on the cost of living. For example, $75,000 can probably buy a lot more in Minnesota than it can in New York or Hawaii. As you look at results from salary surveys or articles about salaries, you tend to look at the states with the top salaries and dream of working there. Most likely, what you are seeing is a list of raw salaries. As you think about where to apply for jobs, your decision will be based partly on salary comparison. However, instead of using raw salaries as your yardstick, you should look closely at the salaries that have been adjusted factoring in the cost of living, tax burdens, and location. We have figured all of those into the equation in calculating the adjusted salaries you will see at the bottom of this article.

    What are Regional Price Parities (RPP) and Why are They Important?

    Regional Price Parities (RPPs) are used to give a more accurate comparison of salaries and purchasing power across states. RPPs measure the differences in price levels of goods and services across states for a given year and are shown as a percentage of the national overall price. Regional Price Parities are calculated using price quotes for a wide variety of items (rent, food, transportation, housing, recreation, education, apparel, and medical) from the Consumer Price Index (CPI). When analyzing the salary data from the 2018 allnurses salary survey, we used information from the Bureau of Economic Analysis which provides Regional Price Parities (RPPs) for each of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

    The RPP Index uses 100 as the national average cost of living. These numbers can be used to see how the cost of living of one states compares to the National Average. RPPs exceeding 100 represent prices higher than the national average while RPPs less than 100 indicate prices lower than the national average.

    Hawaii, with the highest RPP of 118.4, has a cost of living 18.4% higher than the National average cost of living, while Mississippi, with an RPP of 86.4, is 13.6% lower than the national average and has a cost of living 32% lower than Hawaii. Keep that in mind when comparing just the raw salaries. Hawaii not only has the highest RPP but also has the highest reported raw RN salary ($105,750) from the 2018 allnurses salary survey. Mississippi, with the lowest RPP has the 4th lowest reported raw salary ($58,281). As you look at the list of Regional Price Parities, you will see that in general, RPPs are lower in the middle sections of the country and are higher on the east and west coast.

    What about Taxes?

    No one likes taxes. State and local taxes combine with federal income taxes to take a huge chunk out of your income. Sales tax, state income tax, property tax... All of these vary from state to state, so they must be included in the purchasing power comparison. We will refer to this as the Tax Burden.

    Many free online federal income tax calculators can be used to calculate the estimated tax burden based on location and reported income. The smartasset Federal Income Tax Calculator was used to arrive at the figures in the adjusted salaries below. Taxes were based on the capital city of each state.

    Location Quotient

    Location Quotients (LQs) are ratios that allow an area's distribution of employment by industry (nursing) to be compared to a reference, in this case, the U.S. If an LQ is equal to 1, then that location has the same share of employment than the average U.S. If the LQ is greater than 1, it indicates there is a greater share of (nursing) employment that the reference area (U.S. average). When seeking a nursing job, a state with a higher Location Quotient is more desirable since there are more employment opportunities in that area as compared to the average concentration. According to the latest May 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics, states with the highest concentration of nursing jobs and location quotients are South Dakota, West Virginia, Delaware, Missouri, and Mississippi.

    What Is YOUR Purchasing Power?

    Are you ready to see an estimate of what you really make after all the adjustments are made? Below, you will see a comparison of all the reported and adjusted average RN salaries which incorporate the cost of goods, services, and taxes in an area. The adjusted salaries, although surprising, more accurately represent the real value of your earnings for cross-area comparisons. When you see what the adjusted salaries are, it might change your ideas of where you might want to look for jobs. The salary that you thought was so low before might now look more attractive.

    Reported salary alone does not tell the entire story, and decisions to relocate for a job should not be based solely on salary numbers. Even if the salary for a potential job is higher, the purchasing power will decrease if the cost of living is also higher. When actual salaries are adjusted for regional prices, this will give the job-seeker a more accurate representation of purchasing power for realistic comparisons between locations.

    AVERAGE RN SALARIES & ADJUSTED SALARIES PER STATE

    Alabama(Nursing Jobs in Alabama)


    Reported Income = $57,586
    Estimated Tax Burden = $17,045
    Income After Taxes = $40,541
    RPP = 86.6
    Adjusted Income = $46,814
    Number of Active RNs 82,513
    Location LQ 1.26


    Alaska (Nursing Jobs in Alaska)


    Reported Income = $82,037
    Estimated Tax Burden = $23,377
    Income After Taxes = $58,660
    RPP = 105.4
    Adjusted Income = $58,659
    Number of Active RNs = 14,817
    Location Quotient = 9.86


    Arizona (Nursing Jobs in Arizona)


    Reported Income = $69,290
    Estimated Tax Burden = $21,150
    Income After Taxes = $48,140
    RPP = 95.9
    Adjusted Income = $50,198
    Number of Active RNs = 90,048
    Location Quotient = 0.99 = 0.99


    Arkansas (Nursing Jobs in Arkansas)


    Reported Income = $60,736
    Estimated Tax Burden = $19,364
    Income After Taxes = $41,372
    RPP = $41,372
    Adjusted Income = $41,372
    Number of Active RNs = 41,372
    Location Quotient = 1

    California (Nursing Jobs in California)


    Reported Income = $98,938
    Estimated Tax Burden = $36,127
    Income After Taxes = $62,811
    RPP = 114.4
    Adjusted Income = $54,905
    Number of Active RNs = 429,981
    Location Quotient = 0.83


    Colorado (Nursing Jobs in Colorado)


    Reported Income = $68,613
    Estimated Tax Burden = $21,882
    Income After Taxes = $46,731
    RPP = 103
    Adjusted Income = $45,380
    Number of Active RNs = 77,302
    Location Quotient = 0.95

    Connecticut (Nursing Jobs in Connecticut)


    Reported Income = $74,811
    Estimated Tax Burden = $27,985
    Income After Taxes = $46,826
    RPP = 108.7
    Adjusted Income = $43,078
    Number of Active RNs = 63,938
    Location Quotient = 1.02

    Delaware (Nursing Jobs in Delaware)


    Reported Income = $72,674
    Estimated Tax Burden = $21,828
    Income After Taxes = $50,846
    RPP = 100.2
    Adjusted Income = $50,745
    Number of Active RNs = 18,484
    Location Quotient = 1.29

    District of Columbia (Nursing Jobs in District of Columbia)


    Reported Income = $70,893
    Estimated Tax Burden = $22,620
    Income After Taxes = $48,273
    RPP = 115.9
    Adjusted Income = $41,650
    Number of Active RNs = 28,033
    Location Quotient = 0.72

    Florida (Nursing Jobs in Florida)

    Reported Income = $64,498
    Estimated Tax Burden = $18,291
    Income After Taxes = $46,207
    RPP = 99.7
    Adjusted Income = $46,346
    Number of Active RNs = 319,262
    Location Quotient = 1.04

    Georgia (Nursing Jobs in Georgia)


    Reported Income = $70,177
    Estimated Tax Burden = $24,040
    Income After Taxes = $46,137
    RPP = 92.1
    Adjusted Income = $50,095
    Number of Active RNs = 128,169
    Location Quotient = 0.85

    Hawaii (Nursing Jobs in Hawaii)




    Reported Income = $105,750
    Estimated Tax Burden = $37,103
    Income After Taxes = $68,647
    RPP = 118.4
    Adjusted Income = $57,980
    Number of Active RNs = NA
    Location Quotient = 0.84

    Idaho (Nursing Jobs in Idaho)


    Reported Income = $61,482
    Estimated Tax Burden = $19,852
    Income After Taxes = $41,630
    RPP = 93
    Adjusted Income = $44,763
    Number of Active RNs = 22,288
    Location Quotient = 0.95

    Illinois (Nursing Jobs in Illinois)


    Reported Income = $66,246
    Estimated Tax Burden = $24,558
    Income After Taxes = $41,688
    RPP = 98.9
    Adjusted Income = $42,152
    Number of Active RNs = 198,104
    Location Quotient = 1.02


    Indiana (Nursing Jobs in Indiana)

    Reported Income = $64,383
    Estimated Tax Burden = $21,308
    Income After Taxes = $43,075
    RPP = 90.3
    Adjusted Income = $47,702
    Number of Active RNs = 114,338
    Location Quotient = 1.11

    Iowa (Nursing Jobs in Iowa)


    Reported Income = $57,446
    Estimated Tax Burden = $20,125
    Income After Taxes = $37,321
    RPP = 90.2
    Adjusted Income = $41,356
    Number of Active RNs = 54,620
    Location Quotient = 1.06

    Kansas (Nursing Jobs in Kansas)


    Reported Income = $61,408
    Estimated Tax Burden = $21,208
    Income After Taxes = $40,200
    RPP = 90.5
    Adjusted Income = $44,420
    Number of Active RNs = 58,405
    Location Quotient = 1.04


    Kentucky (Nursing Jobs in Kentucky)


    Reported Income = $63,250
    Estimated Tax Burden = $22,414
    Income After Taxes = $40,836
    RPP = 87.8
    Adjusted Income = $46,510
    Number of Active RNs = 71,600
    Location Quotient = 1.16


    Louisiana (Nursing Jobs in Louisiana)


    Reported Income = $67,582
    Estimated Tax Burden = $20,271
    Income After Taxes = $47,311
    RPP = 90.4
    Adjusted Income = $52,335
    Number of Active RNs = 67,866
    Location Quotient = 1.19


    Maine (Nursing Jobs in Maine)


    Reported Income = $64,357
    Estimated Tax Burden = $21,563
    Income After Taxes = $42,794
    RPP = 98.4
    Adjusted Income = $43,490
    Number of Active RNs = 25,199
    Location Quotient = 1.16

    Maryland (Nursing Jobs in Maryland)


    Reported Income = $70,796
    Estimated Tax Burden = $24,404
    Income After Taxes = $46,392
    RPP = 109.5
    Adjusted Income = $42,367
    Number of Active RNs = 81,217
    Location Quotient = 0.99

    Massachusetts (Nursing Jobs in Massachusetts)

    Reported Income = $88,440
    Estimated Tax Burden = $29,856
    Income After Taxes = $58,584
    RPP = 107.8
    Adjusted Income = $54,345
    Number of Active RNs = 130,875
    Location Quotient = 1.15


    Michigan (Nursing Jobs in Michigan)


    Reported Income = $66,797
    Estimated Tax Burden = $25,222
    Income After Taxes = $41,575
    RPP = 93
    Adjusted Income = $44,704
    Number of Active RNs = NA
    Location Quotient = 1.08


    Minnesota (Nursing Jobs in Minnesota)


    Reported Income = $68,922
    Estimated Tax Burden = $24,189
    Income After Taxes = $44,733
    RPP = 97.5
    Adjusted Income = $45,880
    Number of Active RNs = 110,093
    Location Quotient = 1.12

    Mississippi (Nursing Jobs in Mississippi)

    Reported Income = $58,281
    Estimated Tax Burden = $18,487
    Income After Taxes = $39,794
    RPP = 86.4
    Adjusted Income = $46,058
    Number of Active RNs = 49,979
    Location Quotient = 1.26

    Missouri (Nursing Jobs in Missouri)

    Reported Income = $62,866
    Estimated Tax Burden = $20,044
    Income After Taxes = $42,822
    RPP = 89.5
    Adjusted Income = $47,846
    Number of Active RNs = 110,642
    Location Quotient = 1.27

    Montana (Nursing Jobs in Montana)


    Reported Income = $63,776
    Estimated Tax Burden = $19,662
    Income After Taxes = $44,114
    RPP = 94.1
    Adjusted Income = $46,880
    Number of Active RNs = 16,912
    Location Quotient = 1.08

    Nebraska (Nursing Jobs in Nebraska)


    Reported Income = $63,667
    Estimated Tax Burden = $20,542
    Income After Taxes = $43,125
    RPP = 90.5
    Adjusted Income = $47,652
    Number of Active RNs = 30,606
    Location Quotient = 1.16

    Nevada (Nursing Jobs in Nevada)


    Reported Income = $78,707
    Estimated Tax Burden = $22,378
    Income After Taxes = $56,329
    RPP = 97.4
    Adjusted Income = $67,073
    Number of Active RNs = 39,464
    Location Quotient = 0.79

    New Hampshire (Nursing Jobs in New Hampshire)


    Reported Income = $66,212
    Estimated Tax Burden = $20,798
    Income After Taxes = $45,414
    RPP = 105.9
    Adjusted Income = $42,884
    Number of Active RNs = 22,792
    Location Quotient = 1

    New Jersey (Nursing Jobs in New Jersey)


    Reported Income = $78,938
    Estimated Tax Burden = $29,839
    Income After Taxes = $49,099
    RPP = 113.2
    Adjusted Income = $43,374
    Number of Active RNs = 127,564
    Location Quotient = 0.99

    New Mexico (Nursing Jobs in New Mexico)


    Reported Income = $69,348
    Estimated Tax Burden = $21,363
    Income After Taxes = $47,985
    RPP = 93.6
    Adjusted Income = $51,266
    Number of Active RNs = 28,865
    Location Quotient = 1

    New York (Nursing Jobs in New York)


    Reported Income = $78,178
    Estimated Tax Burden = $27,224
    Income After Taxes = $50,954
    RPP = 115.6
    Adjusted Income = $44,943
    Number of Active RNs = 328,761
    Location Quotient = 0.96

    North Carolina (Nursing Jobs in North Carolina)


    Reported Income = $64,125
    Estimated Tax Burden = $20,703
    Income After Taxes = $43,422
    RPP = 90.9
    Adjusted Income = $47,770
    Number of Active RNs = 135,157
    Location Quotient = 1.13

    North Dakota (Nursing Jobs in North Dakota)

    Reported Income = $59,342
    Estimated Tax Burden = $16,916
    Income After Taxes = $42,426
    RPP = 91.5
    Adjusted Income = $46,367
    Number of Active RNs = 14,821
    Location Quotient = 1.06

    Ohio (Nursing Jobs in Ohio)

    Reported Income = $63,637
    Estimated Tax Burden = $23,807
    Income After Taxes = $39,830
    RPP = 89.3
    Adjusted Income = $44,602
    Number of Active RNs = 208,895
    Location Quotient = 1.14

    Oklahoma (Nursing Jobs in Oklahoma)


    Reported Income = $64,400
    Estimated Tax Burden = $21,034
    Income After Taxes = $43,366
    RPP = 89
    Adjusted Income = $48,726
    Number of Active RNs = 53,184
    Location Quotient = 0.87

    Oregon (Nursing Jobs in Oregon)


    Reported Income = $84,375
    Estimated Tax Burden = $30,471
    Income After Taxes = $53,904
    RPP = 99.8
    Adjusted Income = $54,012
    Number of Active RNs = 60,846
    Location Quotient = 0.94

    Pennsylvania (Nursing Jobs in Pennsylvania)

    Reported Income = $67,875
    Estimated Tax Burden = $24,103
    Income After Taxes = $43,772
    RPP = 98.4
    Adjusted Income = $44,484
    Number of Active RNs = 220,174
    Location Quotient = 1.21

    Rhode Island (Nursing Jobs in Rhode Island)

    Reported Income = $75,119
    Estimated Tax Burden = $26,074
    Income After Taxes = $49,045
    RPP = 99.6
    Adjusted Income = $49,143
    Number of Active RNs = 20,572
    Location Quotient = 1.22

    South Carolina (Nursing Jobs in South Carolina)


    Reported Income = $65,547
    Estimated Tax Burden = $21,405
    Income After Taxes = $44,142
    RPP = 90.3
    Adjusted Income = $48,884
    Number of Active RNs = 70,656
    Location Quotient = 1.05

    South Dakota (Nursing Jobs in South Dakota)


    Reported Income = $57,400
    Estimated Tax Burden = $16,250
    Income After Taxes = $41,150
    RPP = 88.3
    Adjusted Income = $46,602
    Number of Active RNs = 18,353
    Location Quotient = 1.47

    Tennessee (Nursing Jobs in Tennessee)


    Reported Income = $58,627
    Estimated Tax Burden = $16,422
    Income After Taxes = $42,205
    RPP = 90.2
    Adjusted Income = $46,790
    Number of Active RNs = 101,797
    Location Quotient = 1

    Texas (Nursing Jobs in Texas)

    Reported Income = 101,797
    Estimated Tax Burden = $22,753
    Income After Taxes = $48,283
    RPP = 96.9
    Adjusted Income = $49,828
    Number of Active RNs = 318,505
    Location Quotient = 0.88

    Utah (Nursing Jobs in Utah)


    Reported Income = $61,455
    Estimated Tax Burden = $19,258
    Income After Taxes = $42,197
    RPP = 97.3
    Adjusted Income = $43,265
    Number of Active RNs = 34,479
    Location Quotient = 0.74

    Vermont (Nursing Jobs in Vermont)


    Reported Income = $65,556
    Estimated Tax Burden = $23,096
    Income After Taxes = $42,460
    RPP = 101.6
    Adjusted Income = $41,791
    Number of Active RNs = 15,092
    Location Quotient = 1.01

    Virginia (Nursing Jobs in Virginia)


    Reported Income = $69,533
    Estimated Tax Burden = $22,997
    Income After Taxes = $46,536
    RPP = 102.3
    Adjusted Income = $45,490
    Number of Active RNs = 105,034
    Location Quotient = 0.83

    Washington (Nursing Jobs in Washington)


    Reported Income = 79,181
    Estimated Tax Burden = $23,873
    Income After Taxes = 55,308
    RPP = 105.5
    Adjusted Income = $54,253
    Number of Active RNs = 97,859
    Location Quotient = 0.88

    West Virginia (Nursing Jobs in West Virginia)


    Reported Income = $63,393
    Estimated Tax Burden = $19,684
    Income After Taxes = $43,709
    RPP = 87.6
    Adjusted Income = $50,414
    Number of Active RNs = 33,838
    Location Quotient = 1.45

    Wisconsin (Nursing Jobs in Wisconsin)


    Reported Income = $66,156
    Estimated Tax Burden = $24,471
    Income After Taxes = $41,685
    RPP = 92.8
    Adjusted Income = $44,920
    Number of Active RNs = 94,836
    Location Quotient = 0.97

    Wyoming (Nursing Jobs in Wyoming


    Reported Income = $68,226
    Estimated Tax Burden = $18,369
    Income After Taxes = $49,857
    RPP = 96.7
    Adjusted Income = $51,558
    Number of Active RNs = 14,534
    Location Quotient = 0.9

    To see more results from the allnurses 2018 Salary Survey go to:

    2018 Nursing Salary Survey Results Part 1 - Demographics

    Safe Staffing: How Does Your Workplace Stack Up? 2018 Salary Survey Results Part 2

    When and Why Nurses are Leaving the Workforce - 2018
    allnurses Salary Survey Results Part 3

    How Much Do Nurses Make? - 2018 allnurses Salary Survey Results Part 4



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