Highest Paying States for Nurses

Dec 2, 2020 | Travel Nursing

Whether you’re just starting your career or already a veteran nurse, it can be in your best interest to look at the outlook for your profession and where you can potentially earn the most money. Across the board in healthcare, hospital heroes have the opportunity to improve their pay just by moving a state or two over, and there is no difference for nurses.


Even before COVID, the current job market for nurses was stable with growth expectedin the upcoming years. There is an anticipated nurse shortage occurring due to the Baby Boomer generation shortly leaving the work force. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth in this profession is expected to be about 7% between 2019-2029, which is considered faster than most healthcare professions. Due to COVID-19, this rate can be assumed larger than 7% due to the need for nurses across the country.


Nurses are in high demand across the nation but certain states are projected to  have more ongoing opportunities than other states. According to the BLS, here are the states with the highest nurse employment levels:

  • California
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania


A state with a higher employment level does not necessarily mean that nurses in these states have a higher median salary. The median salary for nurses in 2019 was $73,300 with salaries estimated to grow in 2020. With states paying above and below this median salary for nurses, it is important to take into consideration the cost of living in each state and more specifically, your desired city. According to the BLS, here are the states with the highest average salary for nurses:

  • California – $113,240
  • Hawaii – $104,060
  • Washington D.C. – $94,820
  • Massachusetts – $93,160
  • Oregon – $92,960


Starting a career as a travel nurse is a great way to gain access to more job opportunities without needing to move your entire life to a new city or state. Staffing agencies like LRS Healthcare help connect qualified and reliable nurses with hospitals across the nation that are in need. Because demand is high due to the pandemic, there are many options for job opportunities. With competitive rates in all 50 states and a housing stipend to find you a safe and secure living situation, why not start? Reach out to learn more about our travel nurse positions with LRS Healthcare today!