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Oregon and Minnesota topped the list of best states for nurses, according to a recent report released by WalletHub. The 50 states and District of Columbia were ranked for opportunity and competition, and work environment, among 21 key metrics. Washington, New Mexico, and Maine followed in third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

WalletHub also shared shortlists for their key metrics, for best states and worst states. The most nursing job openings per capita were found in District of Columbia, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts, while the fewest openings were found in Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah, and Hawaii. The states with the highest annual nursing salary (with adjustments for cost of living) are Nevada, Michigan, Minnesota, Arizona and Ohio; states with the lowest salary are Maryland, Vermont, Maine, New York, and the District of Columbia.

Naturally, these metrics will fluctuate in response to state demographics, student loan debt, and more specific nursing issues like overtime, overstaffing, unionization, and bad patient behavior. These factors are all strengthened by the looming nursing shortage in the United States. WalletHub reports that the nursing industry is expected to grow twice as quickly as any other occupation for the next seven years, making this an ideal time to pursue nursing as a career.

“I see an excellent long term outlook since the need for care is only going to exponentially increase,” Janet Rico, Assistant Dean of Nursing Graduate Programs at Northeastern University’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences, shared with WalletHub. “Many of the issues facing healthcare are issues best addressed by my profession; improving access, assessing and managing acute and chronic illness, patient education, and coordination of care.”

The overall top ten states for nurses are listed below:

  1. Oregon
  2. Minnesota
  3. Washington
  4. New Mexico
  5. Maine
  6. Montana
  7. Arizona
  8. Nevada
  9. New Hampshire
  10. Iowa

Click here for more details about WalletHub’s nursing report.

Lily Miller
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