Top 10 Places For A Nurse To Live

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

Photo by Victoriano Izquierdo on Unsplash

Nurses’ salaries vary greatly depending on where they live in the United States due to several factors, including the cost of living. After finishing nursing school, a major decision for a nurse to make is whether to relocate. A nurse will need to ask questions, such as:

  • Is a state with a high average nursing salary important?
  • Is a state with a nurse-friendly hospital important?
  • Is a state with a lot of job availability important?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted the average salary for a registered nurse was $68,450 for the year 2016. The highest 10 percent earn over $102,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $47,000. Obviously, a nurse’s ideal salary should factor into the decision on where he or she wants to work.

Job Openings, Salaries, and Other Statistics

report by Wallet Hub revealed there are several factors used to determine what makes a location a good or bad place for a nurse to live. For starters, consider job availability. Moving to a state with the highest average nurse salary will not do a nurse any good if there are not any job openings.

Utah, Hawaii, Mississippi, New York, and Washington have the lowest job availability for a nurse, while the District of Columbia, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Vermont offer the highest number of job openings. Wyoming, Nevada, Michigan, Texas, and Arizona, on the other hand, offer the highest annual nursing salary, while Maryland, New York, Vermont, the District of Columbia, and Hawaii offer the lowest annual salary.

The issue is a state with the highest job availability offers the lowest salary and the state with the highest salary offers the lowest job availability a large portion of the time. So, a nurse needs to decide if job availability or salary is a more important factor.

The following are the best places for nurses to live in 2018.

1. San Francisco, California

According to, San Francisco always makes the top of the list as an ideal place for nurses to call home. The medical industry in the area offers a generous salary that more than covers the cost of living. As an added bonus, the convenient transportation options make it easy to save money on commuting.

2. Dallas or Houston, Texas

Top RN to BSN ranks three different hospitals in the state of Texas among the top 30 most nurse-friendly hospitals in the country. If a supportive work environment is at the top of a nurse’s must-have list, Dallas or Houston, Texas, are ideal places to call home.

3. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston offers nurses the highest pay scale anywhere along the East Coast of the United States. The city offers a lot of job opportunities for nurses interested in teaching or researching medication.

4. New York City, New York

For someone who does not mind the pace of a busy city, New York City, New York, is a dream location for nurses. Littered with high-quality nursing facilities, New York City has a lot to offer.

5. Baltimore, Maryland

Typically, a nurse moves to Baltimore with the dream of working at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The annual salary for nurses in this state is $65,280. This is nearly twice the average annual cost of living in the state for a single adult, which is $33,994.

6. Honolulu, Hawaii

The Hawaii Health Systems Corporation plans to invest millions of dollars into the health care industry over the next few years. This should open additional job availability. Ideally, a nurse should not move to Hawaii until after locking into a nursing job. While it is a wonderful place to live and work, there is a bit of a job shortage presently.

7. Anchorage, Alaska

The high turnover rate in the city of Anchorage results in a steady flow of nursing job opportunities. However, it isn’t an ideal choice for a nurse fresh out of medical school. The health facilities in this city only hire nurses with job experience.

8. Los Angeles, California

Like San Francisco, Los Angeles offers a desirable annual salary and convenient public transportation.

9. Seymour, Indiana

Seymour is home to the most nurse-friendly hospital in the United States. Schneck Medical Center was a recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award a few years ago for going above and beyond with quality standards.

10. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia is home to a wealth of job opportunities for nurses. As home to one of the biggest children’s hospitals in the United States, there is always a demand for pediatric nurses.

For additional information, check out our article on “What Are The Best States To Live In If You’re A Nurse?”

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.



  1. Believe me, I have lived in New Mexico all my life and worked here in different areas of nursing for the past 45 years and it has to be one of the lower paying areas in the country. The weather is beautiful and there are many things to do in your spare time, and as long as you are single you will do fine here. If you are the bread winner of the family, find somewhere else that has a higher salary.

  2. The Bay Area does not cover the cost of living unless you’re okay with having a roommate or 4 for the rest of your life. You will never be able to own your home unless you live in the hood.

  3. I can tell you from experience that Florida has the lowest pay rate, and the poorest job satisfaction rating of any state I have been too


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