INDUSTRY
May 27, 2022

Nurse Salaries By State 2022 & the Highest Paying States For RNs in 2022

Nurse salary by state

Wondering where nurses make the most money in 2022? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) latest Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Report tells all! Not surprisingly, healthcare workers report some of the highest average salaries in the United States, and nursing was named the best college major by Universities.com. Read on to find out the highest paying states for nurses as well as the average RN salary in every state. 

Here are all 50 states (plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico), ranked by average (mean) nurse salary:

 >> Click to See the Highest Paying Jobs for Nurses in 2022

 

52.  Puerto Rico

Average RN Salary: $35,690

Average Hourly: $17.16

Number of RNs in Puerto Rico: 21,120

51.  South DakotaMount Rushmore in South Dakota

Average RN Salary: $60,540

Average Hourly: $29.11

Number of RNs in South Dakota: 14,140

 

50.  Alabama

Average RN Salary: $61,920

Average Hourly: $29.77

Number of RNs in Alabama: 49,780

 

49.  MississippiMississippi River in Mississippi

Average RN Salary: $63,130

Average Hourly: $30.35

Number of RNs in Mississippi:  29,140

 

48.  IowaIowa City from the river at dusk

Average RN Salary: $64,990

Average Hourly: $31.25

Number of RNs in Iowa: 32,650

 

47.  ArkansasForest in Arkansas with town

Average RN Salary: $65,810

Average Hourly: $31.64

Number of RNs in Arkansas: 26,320

 

46.  KansasDowntown city in Kansas from the river 

Average RN Salary: $66,560

Average Hourly: $32.00

Number of RNs in Kansas: 28,980

 

45.  TennesseeFestival in downtown Nashville Tennessee with fireworks

Average RN Salary: $66,680

Average Hourly: $32.06

Number of RNs in Tennessee: 62,250

 

44.  KentuckyLouisville and river at night time

Average RN Salary: $67,260

Average Hourly: $32.34

Number of RNs in Kentucky: 43,540

 

43.  West VirginiaTrail and bridge going through a forest

Average RN Salary: $67,640

Average Hourly: $32.52

Number of RNs in West Virginia: 19,800

 

42.  MissouriBusy public buildings and downtown in Kansas City

Average RN Salary: $67,790

Average Hourly: $32.59

Number of RNs in Missouri: 69,240

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41.  OklahomaMonument at daytime in Oklahoma

Average RN Salary: $68,180

Average Hourly: $32.78

Number of RNs in Oklahoma: 31,510

 

40.  Indiana

Downtown city park in Indianapolis Indiana

Average RN Salary: $68,890

Average Hourly: $33.12

Number of RNs in Indiana: 66,800

39.  South Carolina

Park view with waterfalls in river in South Carolina

Average RN Salary: $69,580

Average Hourly: $33.45

Number of RNs in South Carolina: 46,160

 

38.  NebraskaSmall pond and park in Nebraska city

Average RN Salary: $69,850

Average Hourly: $33.58

Number of RNs in Nebraska: 20,660

 

37.  Louisiana

Famous state building in downtown New Orleans Louisiana

Average RN Salary: $70,380

Average Hourly: $33.84

Number of RNs in Louisiana: 42,870

 

36.  North CarolinaSweeping view of multiple North Carolina cities from the mountains

Average RN Salary: $71,200

Average Hourly: $34.23

Number of RNs in North Carolina: 104,810

35.  North DakotaFamous badlands and mountains in North Dakota

Average RN Salary: $71,200

Average Hourly: $34.23

Number of RNs in North Dakota: 11,810

 

34.  OhioOhio River running through downtown Ohio city

Average RN Salary: $71,640

Average Hourly: $34.44

Number of RNs in Ohio: 129,270

33.  Florida

Downtown city skyline in Florida on cloudy day

Average RN Salary: $72,000

Average Hourly: $34.62

Number of RNs in Florida: 187,920

 

32.  Utah

Famous buttes and valleys in Utah state parks

Average RN Salary: $72,790

Average Hourly: $34.99

Number of RNs in Utah: 23,760

 

 

31.  Wyoming

River going through valley at dusk in Wyoming

Average RN Salary: $73,130

Average Hourly: $35.16

Number of RNs in Wyoming: 4,890

 

 

30.  MontanaBeautiful mountain view with valley and lake in Montana

Average RN Salary: $73,610

Average Hourly: $35.39

Number of RNs in Montana: 9,640

 

29.  Maine

Atlantic Ocean coast in Maine

Average RN Salary: $73,630

Average Hourly: $35.40

Number of RNs in Maine: 14,380

 

 

28.  IdahoState legislature building in Boise Idaho

Average RN Salary: $73,640

Average Hourly: $35.41

Number of RNs in Idaho: 14,400

 

27.  VermontBeautiful campus view in Vermont during the day

Average RN Salary: $75,160

Average Hourly: $36.13

Number of RNs in Vermont: 7,210

 

26.  GeorgiaBusy Atlanta Georgia with traffic at night time

Average RN Salary: $75,380

Average Hourly: $36.24

Number of RNs in Georgia: 78,290

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25.  MichiganDowntown Detroit from across the Great Lakes

Average RN Salary: $75,930

Average Hourly: $36.51

Number of RNs in Michigan: 102,480

24.  Pennsylvania

Landmark in Pennsylvania with road going through it

Average RN Salary: $76,000

Average Hourly: $36.54

Number of RNs in Pennsylvania: 149,270

 

 

23.  VirginiaTrees overlooking lake in Virginia

Average RN Salary: $76,680

Average Hourly: $36.87

Number of RNs in Virginia: 66,980

 

22.  WisconsinAriel shot of the state capitol building in Wisconsin

Average RN Salary: $76,850

Average Hourly: $36.95

Number of RNs in Wisconsin: 62,860

 

21.  New MexicoNew Mexico butte with wildlife and plants at base

Average RN Salary: $77,590

Average Hourly: $37.31

Number of RNs in New Mexico: 17,030

 

20.  DelawareOverlooking water in Delaware with tree by the water

Average RN Salary: $77,760

Average Hourly: $37.39

Number of RNs in Delaware: 11,760

 

19.  IllinoisChicago vista from the water in Illinois

Average RN Salary: $78,260

Average Hourly: $37.63

Number of RNs in Illinois: 129,260

 

18.  New HampshireSmall building in part of settlement in New Hampshire

Average RN Salary: $78,270

Average Hourly: $37.63

Number of RNs in New Hampshire: 12,890

 

17.  TexasDowntown Houston Texas city skyline at night

Average RN Salary: $79,120

Average Hourly: $38.04

Number of RNs in Texas: 217,630

 

16.  ColoradoDowntown Denver on a hazy Colorado day

Average RN Salary: $80,670

Average Hourly: $38.78

Number of RNs in Colorado: 51,680

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15.  ArizonaFun night life in Phoenix Arizona

Average RN Salary: $81,600

Average Hourly: $39.23

Number of RNs in Arizona: 57,260

 

14.  MarylandAn east coast dock in Maryland for pedestrians

Average RN Salary: $82,660

Average Hourly: $39.74

Number of RNs in Maryland: 51,550

 

13.  MinnesotaBusy traffic going in and out of downtown Minneapolis

Average RN Salary: $84,030

Average Hourly: $40.40

Number of RNs in Minnesota: 69,000

 

12.  Rhode IslandOld building facade in Rhode Island

Average RN Salary: $85,270

Average Hourly: $40.99

Number of RNs in Rhode Island: 10,860

 

11.  ConnecticutSnowy state legislature building in Connecticut

Average RN Salary: $88,530

Average Hourly: $42.56

Number of RNs in Connecticut: 34,320

 

10.  NevadaAriel view of the Las Vegas strip in Nevada

Average RN Salary: $88,800

Average Hourly: $42.69

Number of RNs in Nevada: 24,590

 

9.  New JerseyStreet between ocean and businesses in New Jersey

Average RN Salary: $89,690

Average Hourly: $43.12

Number of RNs in New Jersey: 77,980

 

8.  New York

New York from far off in the water

Average RN Salary: $93,320

Average Hourly: $44.86

Number of RNs in New York: 188,300

 

 

7.  WashingtonSpace needle and downtown Seattle skyline

Average RN Salary: $95,350

Average Hourly: $45.84

Number of RNs in Washington: 62,470

 

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6.  MassachusettsDowntown Boston during the spring

Average RN Salary: $96,630

Average Hourly: $46.46

Number of RNs in Massachusetts: 88,270

5.  AlaskaTwo people sitting on frozen lake enjoying aurora borealis in Alaska

Average RN Salary: $97,230

Average Hourly: $46.74

Number of RNs in Alaska: 6,060

 

4.  District of ColumbiaLincoln Memorial from over the water in DC

Average RN Salary: $98,540

Average Hourly: $47.38

Number of RNs in DC: 11,540

 

3.  OregonWaterfall splashing into forest lake in Oregon

Average RN Salary: $98,630

Average Hourly: $47.42

Number of RNs in Oregon: 37,780

 

2.  Hawaii Sunset in Hawaii with city skyline of Honolulu

Average RN Salary: $106,530

Average Hourly: $51.22

Number of RNs in Hawaii: 11,110

 

1.  CaliforniaVast Los Angeles skyline at dusk with traffic flowing

Average RN Salary: $124,000

Average Hourly: $59.62

Number of RNs in California: 324,400

 

Nurse Salary Factors

The salaries by state listed above represent an average across all types of nurses. So, depending on your specialty, place of work, level of experience, degree, and many other factors, you'll see some variances in how much you can expect to earn. Here are some of the things you should keep in mind that can impact how much you make:

1. Types of Nurses

Salaries will vary widely depending on your specialty and the nursing job you work in. 

Advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) like nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives can all expect to earn higher salaries than a nurse without a graduate degree. 

How you work also plays a big role in the annual salary you can expect to earn. Travel nurses and per diem nurses, for example, tend to earn far more than their traditional nurse counterparts.

2. Years of Experience

Registered nurses at the start of their careers will usually make less than nurses with more years of experience under their belts. As you improve your skills and progress in your career, you can expect to see your wages improve as well.

3. Degree Type

Nurses will typically see salary increases when they further their education. Nurses who have earned their Bachelor's degree (BSN) tend to earn more than nurses who have only earned their Associate's degree in Nursing (ADN). While a master's in nursing or a doctorate degree will usually earn nurses even higher salaries.

Other RN Salary Considerations 

As a nurse, your salary shouldn't be the only thing you consider when deciding what field to go into or what job to take. 

How far that salary will go will greatly depend on the cost of living in the area. Some of the highest paying states also cost a lot to live in, meaning that 6 figure salary isn't going to go nearly as far as it would in a less expensive area. 

You'll also want to look at things like the job benefits, the hours, what the work-life balance will be like, and what their training and education policies are like. Don't overlook your quality of life!

FAQs

  • What are the highest paying jobs in the medical field? 

    • Some of the highest paying jobs in healthcare, other than physicians, are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), which include Certified Nurse Midwives, Nurse Practitioners (NPs), and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). 
  • What is the happiest career in the medical field?

    • U.S. News ranked Nurse Practitioners (NPs) as the best job in healthcare in 2022.
  • What is the easiest medical field job?

    • It really depends on what you define as “easy.” If you’re looking for a job that doesn’t require hands-on care and pays well, informatics, technology, or biomedical engineering may all be good choices.
  • What is the least stressful job in the medical field?

    • Audiologists—who diagnose problems with the ears—have a reputation for having the lowest amount of stress in the medical field.

The Takeaway

There are a lot of things at play in the nursing salaries you can expect to earn. As you're planning out your career path, don't forget to keep them all in mind!

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