INDUSTRY
May 22, 2017

The Highest Paying States for RNs (Adjusted for Cost of Living)

By Nurse.org Staff Writer

By popular demand, we've adjusted our rankings for RN salaries to factor in the cost of living. To calculate the highest paying states and adjust for this, we took the average annual cost of living for a single adult in the United States ($28,4581), multiplied it by the Cost of Living Index2, and then subtracted that amount from the average nurse's salary for that state. States were then re-ranked by salaries adjusted for cost of living.

We've also included the effective tax rate3 in each state so you have a clearer picture of how far your salary will go.

As expected, many of the highest paying states also had high costs for food, housing, and transportation. Conversely, many of the lowest salaries were found in states with much lower costs for those same basic necessities.

While many of the rankings remained the same, there were also a few surprises.  See how your state ranked.

51. South Dakota

Average RN Salary: $55,100

Average Hourly: $26.14

Number of RNs in South Dakota:  12,130

Cost of Living Index: 102.8

Effective Tax Rate: 9.77%

 

50.  Iowa

Average RN Salary: $55,040

Average Hourly: $26.59

Number of RNs in Iowa:  32,370

Cost of Living Index: 91.7

Effective Tax Rate: 12.84%

 

49. North Dakota

Average RN Salary: $58,890

Average Hourly: $28.77

Number of RNs in North Dakota: 8,710

Cost of Living Index: 98.8

Effective Tax Rate: 10.03%

 

48. West Virginia

Average RN Salary: $58,010

Average Hourly: $27.98

Number of RNs in West Virginia:  20,880

Cost of Living Index: 95.7

Effective Tax Rate: 10.38%

 

47. Alabama

Average RN Salary: $56,890

Average Hourly: $26.68

Number of RNs in Alabama:  47,440

Cost of Living Index: 91.2

Effective Tax Rate: 9.43%

 

46. Vermont

Average RN Salary: $65,840

Average Hourly: $31.36

Number of RNs in Vermont: 5,850

Cost of Living Index: 122.4

Effective Tax Rate: 10.89%

 

45. Kansas 

Average RN Salary: $57,410

Average Hourly: $27.50

Number of RNs in Kansas:  27,130

Cost of Living Index: 90.4

Effective Tax Rate: 12.28%

 

44. Arkansas

Average RN Salary: $56,870

Average Hourly: $27.26

Number of RNs in Arkansas:  23,380

Cost of Living Index: 88.5

Effective Tax Rate: 12.28%

 

43. Tennessee

Average RN Salary: $57,560

Average Hourly: $27.69

Number of RNs in Tennessee:  47,440

Cost of Living Index: 89.8

Effective Tax Rate: 7.97%

 

42. Maine

Average RN Salary: $64,310

Average Hourly: $29.76

Number of RNs in Maine: 14,190

Cost of Living Index: 112

Effective Tax Rate: 11.63%

 

41. Mississippi

Average RN Salary: $56,980

Average Hourly: $26.86

Number of RNs in Mississippi:  28,590

Cost of Living Index: 86

Effective Tax Rate: 12.14%

 

40. South Carolina

Average RN Salary: $$61,110

Average Hourly: $29.32

Number of RNs in South Carolina: 41,800

Cost of Living Index: 100.5

Effective Tax Rate: 8.84%

 

39. Kentucky

Average RN Salary: $58,770.00

Average Hourly: $28.33

Number of RNs in Kentucky:  45,500

Cost of Living Index: 90.8

Effective Tax Rate: 12.01%

 

38. Nebraska

Average RN Salary: $58,970

Average Hourly: $28.45

Number of RNs in Nebraska:  21,240

Cost of Living Index: 91.3

Effective Tax Rate: 13.80%

 

37. New Hampshire

Average RN Salary: $67,190

Average Hourly: $32.07

Number of RNs in New Hampshire: 13,260

Cost of Living Index: 119.2

Effective Tax Rate: 10.09%

 

36. Missouri

Average RN Salary: $59,150

Average Hourly: $28.28

Number of RNs in Missouri:  67,920

Cost of Living Index: 90.8

Effective Tax Rate: 11.02%

 

35. North Carolina

Average RN Salary: $60,460

Average Hourly: $28.65

Number of RNs in North Carolina:  99,050

Cost of Living Index: 94.2

Effective Tax Rate: 10.63%

 

34. Oklahoma

Average RN Salary: $59,040

Average Hourly: $28.49

Number of RNs in Oklahoma:  27,660

Cost of Living Index: 88.6

Effective Tax Rate: 10.70%

 

33. Indiana

Average RN Salary: $58,910

Average Hourly: $28.27

Number of RNs in Indiana:  63,870

Cost of Living Index: 87.9

Effective Tax Rate: 11.87%

 

32. Montana

Average RN Salary: $62,650

Average Hourly: $29.98

Number of RNs in Montana: 9,800

Cost of Living Index: 100.8

Effective Tax Rate: 6.89%

 

31. Utah

Average RN Salary: $61,000

Average Hourly: $29.23

Number of RNs in Utah: 21,470

Cost of Living Index: 92.8

Effective Tax Rate: 9.25%

 

30. Louisiana

Average RN Salary: $62,450

Average Hourly: $29.24

Number of RNs in Louisiana: 44,780

Cost of Living Index: 94.4

Effective Tax Rate: 10.33%

 

29. Idaho

Average RN Salary: $61,280

Average Hourly: $29.90

Number of RNs in Idaho: 12,330

Cost of Living Index: 89.6

Effective Tax Rate: 8.48%

 

28. Florida

Average RN Salary: $63,960

Average Hourly: $30.15

Number of RNs in Florida: 174,710

Cost of Living Index: 99

Effective Tax Rate: 8.94%

27. Wyoming

Average RN Salary: $62,080

Average Hourly: $29.54

Number of RNs in Wyoming: 4,970

Cost of Living Index: 91.7

Effective Tax Rate: 7.43%

 

26. Ohio

Average RN Salary: $62,800

Average Hourly: $29.95

Number of RNs in Ohio: 128,030

Cost of Living Index: 93

Effective Tax Rate: 13.06%

 

25. Virginia

Average RN Salary: $65,340

Average Hourly: $31.00

Number of RNs in Virginia: 63,820

Cost of Living Index: 100.2

Effective Tax Rate: 10.89%

 

24. District of Columbia

Average RN Salary: $79,560

Average Hourly: $38.47

Number of RNs in DC: 10,320

Cost of Living Index: 149.2

Effective Tax Rate: 10.00%

 

23. Georgia

Average RN Salary: $63,190

Average Hourly: $30.93

Number of RNs in Georgia: 73,330

Cost of Living Index: 91.4

Effective Tax Rate: 10.57%

 

22. Maryland

Average RN Salary: $73,200

Average Hourly: $35.31

Number of RNs in Maryland: 53,330

Cost of Living Index: 125

Effective Tax Rate: 11.92%

 

21. Pennsylvania

Average RN Salary: $67,550

Average Hourly: $32.05

Number of RNs in Pennsylvania: 139,480

Cost of Living Index: 102.8

Effective Tax Rate: 12.33%

 

20. New Mexico

Average RN Salary: $66,030

Average Hourly: $32.49

Number of RNs in New Mexico: 16,200

Cost of Living Index: 95.7

Effective Tax Rate: 10.73%

 

19. Wisconsin

Average RN Salary: $66,400

Average Hourly: $31.94

Number of RNs in Wisconsin: 55,410

Cost of Living Index: 96.9

Effective Tax Rate: 13.60%

 

18. Connecticut

Average RN Salary: $77,330

Average Hourly: $35.33

Number of RNs in Connecticut: 61,830

Cost of Living Index: 130.7

Effective Tax Rate: 13.56%

 

17. New York

Average RN Salary: $78,950

Average Hourly: $38.65

Number of RNs in New York: 180,730

Cost of Living Index: 135.2

Effective Tax Rate: 13.58%

 

16. Colorado

Average RN Salary: $69,990

Average Hourly: $33.05

Number of RNs in Colorado: 47,590

Cost of Living Index: 102.1

Effective Tax Rate: 9.34%

 

15. Rhode Island

Average RN Salary: $76,410

Average Hourly: $35.73

Number of RNs in Rhode Island: 12,150

Cost of Living Index: 122.1

Effective Tax Rate: 13.57%

 

14. Delaware

Average RN Salary: $71,410

Average Hourly: $33.32

Number of RNs in Delaware: 11,320

Cost of Living Index: 102.6

Effective Tax Rate: 6.07%

 

13. Hawaii 

Average RN Salary: $90,130

Average Hourly: $43.76

Number of RNs in Hawaii: 11,300

Cost of Living Index: 167.4

Effective Tax Rate: 10.33%

12. Illinois

Average RN Salary: $69,760

Average Hourly: $33.03

Number of RNs in Illinois: 121,670

Cost of Living Index: 95.5

Effective Tax Rate: 14.76%

 

11. Michigan

Average RN Salary: $67,690

Average Hourly: $32.43

Number of RNs in Michigan: 92,670

Cost of Living Index: 88.2

Effective Tax Rate: 13.00%

 

10. Minnesota

Average RN Salary: $72,310

Average Hourly: $35.80

Number of RNs in Minnesota: 61,830

Cost of Living Index: 101.1

Effective Tax Rate: 11.59%

  

 

9. Arizona

Average RN Salary: $71,790

Average Hourly: $34.94

Number of RNs in Arizona: 52,610

Cost of Living Index: 98.1

Effective Tax Rate: 9.60%

 

8. Texas

Average RN Salary: $68,890

Average Hourly: $33.02

Number of RNs in Texas: 207,810

Cost of Living Index: 90.7

Effective Tax Rate: 11.12%

 

7. New Jersey

Average RN Salary: $79,840

Average Hourly: $38.36

Number of RNs in New Jersey: 79,400

Cost of Living Index: 121

Effective Tax Rate: 12.63%

 

6. Washington

Average RN Salary: $78,130

Average Hourly: $37.71

Number of RNs in Washington: 55,350

Cost of Living Index: 107.1

Effective Tax Rate: 11.72%

 

5. Massachusetts

Average RN Salary:$88,650

Average Hourly: $40.58

Number of RNs in Massachusetts: 20,250

Cost of Living Index: 134.7

Effective Tax Rate: 11.52%

 

4. Oregon

Average RN Salary: $83,800

Average Hourly: $42.32

Number of RNs in Oregon: 35,220

Cost of Living Index: 115.4

Effective Tax Rate: 9.22%

 

3. Alaska

Average RN Salary: $88,510

Average Hourly: $40.01

Number of RNs in Alaska: 5,570

Cost of Living Index: 131.6

Effective Tax Rate: 5.64%

 

2. Nevada

Average RN Salary: $81,460

Average Hourly: $40.36

Number of RNs in Nevada: 20,250

Cost of Living Index: 104.5

Effective Tax Rate: 7.66%

 

1. California

Average RN Salary: $101,260

Average Hourly: $48.30

Number of RNs in California: 274,650

Cost of Living Index: 134.8

Effective Tax Rate: 8.79%

Next Up:  15 Highest Paying Nursing Careers

Sources:
1. U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Registered Nurses. May 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics.
2. The Council for Community and Economic Research. Cost of Living Index. Cost of Living Data Series, 2016 Annual Average.
3. WalletHub.com. 2017’s Tax Rates by State. March 2017.

 

 

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