Nurses are some of the most important and sought after workers in the U.S. labor force. There are nearly 3 million registered nurses in the United States, accounting for 2.0% of total employment.
Despite their abundance, nurses are projected to be even more in demand in the near future. As the large baby boomer generation ages, many will likely require medical care and treatment. The impact of this increased demand can already be felt, as nursing ranks among the college majors with the lowest unemployment rates.
Though this phenomenon is happening all across the country, nurses in certain cities stand to benefit more than others from this demographic shift. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics program for 2018 on relative employment opportunities, salary, job growth, and several other factors to determine the best and worst cities for nurses.
Like any other job, income plays an important role in whether a city is a desirable place to work for a nurse. The median annual wage for a nurse in America is $71,730. In all of the 20 worst cities for nurses the median income that is over $6,000 below that figure.
Conversely, in each of the 20 best cities for nurses, the median annual wage is at least $10,000 higher than the U.S. median for nurses. In 11 of America’s best cities to be a nurse, the median salary is more than $100,000. If this pay were the norm across the country, nursing would rank among the 25 highest paying jobs in America.