The State Where Nurses Make the Most Money

Being a nurse has become among the most difficult jobs in America. Much of this was due to the strain of the pandemic. A recent study by Zippia shows 95% of nurses have felt burned out in the past three years. (Here are the 23 deadliest jobs in America.)

Research by Health Affairs shows the effects of the work of nurses. The data reveal that between 2020 and 2021, the number of registered nurses fell by 100,000. This bodes poorly for the future. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that America will need 275,000 new nurses within eight years.

Pay for registered nurses may play a role. Beckers reports the average pay of nurses across America is $82,750. That is a relatively low $39.78 per hour.

Nursing pay varies substantially from state to state. It also varies compared to the median household income. For example, in Alabama, where nurse compensation is low compared to most states, annual nurse pay is $61,9329. That compares to the state average of all workers at $53,915. That is only a 13% premium.

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The state where nurses make the most money is California at $124,000, over double the Alabama figure. The median household income in California is $84,907, so the nurse pay premium is $41,000.

A major complaint about nursing compensation is that not all states have this California premium.

The problem with the absence of nurses hits large cities and small cities alike. In a very small city, a scarcity of nurses may mean there are none at all. In large cities, where many hospitals admit patients through the emergency room, there is inadequate coverage for the most seriously ill patients.

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