Nurse Salaries By State + the Highest Paying States For RNs

9 Min Read Published September 27, 2023
Average Registered Nurse Salary by State

Wondering where you can make the most money as a nurse in 2024? Turns out, the average registered nurse salary varies widely from state to state. The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the difference between the highest and lowest RN salaries is nearly $100,000 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Read on to find out the highest paying states for registered nurses and check out the average RN salary by state.

In This Article

  1. Average Registered Nurse Salary in the United States
  2. Average RN Salary by State Table
  3. Factors That Impact Registered Nurse Salary
  4. Other Considerations
  5. RN Salary FAQs
  6. Conclusion

Average Registered Nurse Salary in the United States

Many factors impact how much registered nurses make in each state. But how do they stack up against one another? We pulled the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data to rank all 50 states, Wahington D.C., and Puerto Rico registered nurse salaries to see where you can make the most as an RN.

52.  Puerto Rico

Average RN Salary: $37,360

Average Hourly: $17.96

Number of RNs in Puerto Rico: 21,270

51.  South Dakota

Average RN Salary: $64,500

Average Hourly: $31.01

Number of RNs in South Dakota: 14,360

Mount Rushmore in South Dakota

50.  Arkansas

Average RN Salary: $66,530

Average Hourly: $31.98

Number of RNs in Arkansas: 28,490

Forest in Arkansas with town

49.  Alabama

Average RN Salary: $66,910

Average Hourly: $32.17

Number of RNs in Alabama: 49,370

48.  Mississippi

Average RN Salary: $67,930

Average Hourly: $32.66

Number of RNs in Mississippi:  29,370

Mississippi River in Mississippi

47.  Iowa

Average RN Salary: $69,370

Average Hourly: $33.35

Number of RNs in Iowa: 34,050

Iowa City from the river at dusk

46.  Missouri

Average RN Salary: $71,860

Average Hourly: $34.55

Number of RNs in Missouri: 70,440

Busy public buildings and downtown in Kansas City

45.  Kansas 

Average RN Salary: $71,990

Average Hourly: $34.61

Number of RNs in Kansas: 30,520

Downtown city in Kansas from the river

44.  West Virginia

Average RN Salary: $72,230

Average Hourly: $34.73

Number of RNs in West Virginia: 21,110

Trail and bridge going through a forest

43.  Tennessee

Average RN Salary: $72,480

Average Hourly: $34.85

Number of RNs in Tennessee: 60,840

Festival in downtown Nashville Tennessee with fireworks

42.  Nebraska

Average RN Salary: $73,510

Average Hourly: $35.34

Number of RNs in Nebraska: 19,870

Small pond and park in Nebraska city

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41.  South Carolina

Average RN Salary: $74,330

Average Hourly: $35.74

Number of RNs in South Carolina: 44,030

Park view with waterfalls in river in South Carolina

40.  North Dakota

Average RN Salary: $75,000

Average Hourly: $36.06

Number of RNs in North Dakota: 11,300

Famous badlands and mountains in North Dakota

39.  Indiana

Average RN Salary: $75,580

Average Hourly: $36.34

Number of RNs in Indiana: 67,350

Downtown city park in Indianapolis Indiana

38.  Louisiana

Average RN Salary: $75,920

Average Hourly: $36.50

Number of RNs in Louisiana: 43,790

Famous state building in downtown New Orleans Louisiana

37.  Utah

Average RN Salary: $76,400

Average Hourly: $36.73

Number of RNs in Utah: 22,830

Famous buttes and valleys in Utah state parks

36.  Oklahoma

Average RN Salary: $76,920

Average Hourly: $36.98

Number of RNs in Oklahoma: 30,320

 

Monument at daytime in Oklahoma

35.  Maine

Average RN Salary: $77,410

Average Hourly: $37.22

Number of RNs in Maine: 14,610

Atlantic Ocean coast in Maine

34.  North Carolina

Average RN Salary: $77,420

Average Hourly: $37.22

Number of RNs in North Carolina: 104,300

Sweeping view of multiple North Carolina cities from the mountains

33.  Kentucky

Average RN Salary: $77,620

Average Hourly: $37.32

Number of RNs in Kentucky: 44,970

Louisville and river at night time

32.  Montana

Average RN Salary: $78,350

Average Hourly: $37.67

Number of RNs in Montana: 10,020

Beautiful mountain view with valley and lake in Montana

31.  Ohio

Average RN Salary: $78,450

Average Hourly: $37.72

Number of RNs in Ohio: 130,370

Ohio River running through downtown Ohio city

30.  Idaho

Average RN Salary: $78,610

Average Hourly: $37.79

Number of RNs in Idaho: 13,680

State legislature building in Boise Idaho

29.  Florida

Average RN Salary: $79,910

Average Hourly: $38.42

Number of RNs in Florida: 197,630

Downtown city skyline in Florida on cloudy day

28.  Vermont

Average RN Salary: $79,990

Average Hourly: $38.46

Number of RNs in Vermont: 6,930

Beautiful campus view in Vermont during the day

27.  Pennsylvania

Average RN Salary: $80,630

Average Hourly: $38.76

Number of RNs in Pennsylvania: 137,970

Landmark in Pennsylvania with road going through it

26.  Michigan

Average RN Salary: $80,660

Average Hourly: $38.78

Number of RNs in Michigan: 101,470

Downtown Detroit from across the Great Lakes

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25.  Wisconsin

Average RN Salary: $81,000

Average Hourly: $38.94

Number of RNs in Wisconsin: 61,100

Ariel shot of the state capitol building in Wisconsin

24.  Wyoming

Average RN Salary: $81,010

Average Hourly: $38.95

Number of RNs in Wyoming: 5,070

River going through valley at dusk in Wyoming

23.  Virginia

Average RN Salary: $81,860

Average Hourly: $39.36

Number of RNs in Virginia: 69,510

Trees overlooking lake in Virginia

22.  Illinois

Average RN Salary: $82,220

Average Hourly: $39.53

Number of RNs in Illinois: 129,390

Chicago vista from the water in Illinois

21.  New Hampshire

Average RN Salary: $83,420

Average Hourly: $40.11

Number of RNs in New Hampshire: 13,510

Small building in part of settlement in New Hampshire

20.  Texas

Average RN Salary: $84,320

Average Hourly: $40.54

Number of RNs in Texas: 231,060

Downtown Houston Texas city skyline at night

>> Related: Registered Nurse Salary in Texas

19.  Delaware

Average RN Salary: $85,020

Average Hourly: $40.88

Number of RNs in Delaware: 11,490

Overlooking water in Delaware with tree by the water

18.  Georgia

Average RN Salary: $85,180

Average Hourly: $40.95

Number of RNs in Georgia: 82,970

Busy Atlanta Georgia with traffic at night time

17.  New Mexico

Average RN Salary: $85,580

Average Hourly: $41.15

Number of RNs in New Mexico: 15,910

New Mexico butte with wildlife and plants at base

16.  Colorado

Average RN Salary: $86,590

Average Hourly: $41.63

Number of RNs in Colorado: 52,390

Downtown Denver on a hazy Colorado day

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15.  Arizona

Average RN Salary: $86,740

Average Hourly: $41.70

Number of RNs in Arizona: 56,040

Fun night life in Phoenix Arizona

14.  Maryland

Average RN Salary: $87,990

Average Hourly: $42.30

Number of RNs in Maryland: 49,790

An east coast dock in Maryland for pedestrians

13.  Rhode Island

Average RN Salary: $88,250

Average Hourly: $42.43

Number of RNs in Rhode Island: 11,190

Old building facade in Rhode Island

12.  Minnesota

Average RN Salary: $88,860

Average Hourly: $42.72

Number of RNs in Minnesota: 63,800

Busy traffic going in and out of downtown Minneapolis

11.  Connecticut

Average RN Salary: $94,260

Average Hourly: $45.32

Number of RNs in Connecticut: 34,290

Snowy state legislature building in Connecticut

10.  Nevada

Average RN Salary: $96,310

Average Hourly: $46.30

Number of RNs in Nevada: 23,970

Ariel view of the Las Vegas strip in Nevada

9.  New Jersey

Average RN Salary: $96,670

Average Hourly: $46.48

Number of RNs in New Jersey: 78,340

Street between ocean and businesses in New Jersey

8.  District of Columbia

Average RN Salary: $98,230

Average Hourly: $47.23

Number of RNs in DC: 11,820

Lincoln Memorial from over the water in DC

7.  New York

Average RN Salary: $100,130

Average Hourly: $48.14

Number of RNs in New York: 190,470

New York from far off in the water

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6.  Washington

Average RN Salary: $101,670

Average Hourly: $48.88

Number of RNs in Washington: 64,920

Space needle and downtown Seattle skyline

5.  Alaska

Average RN Salary: $103,310

Average Hourly: $49.67

Number of RNs in Alaska: 6,730

Two people sitting on frozen lake enjoying aurora borealis in Alaska

4.  Massachusetts

Average RN Salary: $104,150

Average Hourly: $50.07

Number of RNs in Massachusetts: 94,100

Downtown Boston during the spring

3.  Oregon

Average RN Salary: $106,610

Average Hourly: $51.26

Number of RNs in Oregon: 37,400

Waterfall splashing into forest lake in Oregon

2.  Hawaii 

Average RN Salary: $113,220

Average Hourly: $54.43

Number of RNs in Hawaii: 11,800

Sunset in Hawaii with city skyline of Honolulu

1.  California

Average RN Salary: $133,340

Average Hourly: $64.10

Number of RNs in California: 325,620

Vast Los Angeles skyline at dusk with traffic flowing

*Extracted From BLS July 13, 2023

How Much Do Registered Nurses Make in Each State?

Here is a table of the average registered nurse salary in all 50 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico:

State Annual Salary Hourly Wage
Alabama $66,910 $32.17
Alaska $103,310 $49.67
Arizona $86,740 $41.70
Arkansas $66,530 $31.98
California $133,340 $64.10
Colorado $86,590 $41.63
Connecticut $94,260 $45.32
Delaware $85,020 $40.88
District of Columbia $98,230 $47.23
Florida $79,910 $38.42
Georgia $85,180 $40.95
Hawaii $113,220 $54.43
Idaho $78,610 $37.79
Illinois $82,220 $39.53
Indiana $75,580 $36.34
Iowa $69,370 $33.35
Kansas $71,990 $34.61
Kentucky $77,620 $37.32
Louisiana $75,920 $36.50
Maine $77,410 $37.22
Maryland $87,990 $42.30
Massachusetts $104,150 $50.07
Michigan $80,660 $38.78
Minnesota $88,860 $42.72
Mississippi $67,930 $32.66
Missouri $71,860 $34.55
Montana $78,350 $37.67
Nebraska $73,510 $35.34
Nevada $96,310 $46.30
New Hampshire $83,420 $40.11
New Jersey $96,670 $46.48
New Mexico $85,580 $41.15
New York $100,130 $48.14
North Carolina $77,420 $37.22
North Dakota $75,000 $36.06
Ohio $78,450 $37.72
Oklahoma $76,920 $36.98
Oregon $106,610 $51.26
Pennsylvania $80,630 $38.76
Puerto Rico $37,360 $17.96
Rhode Island $88,250 $42.43
South Carolina $74,330 $35.74
South Dakota $64,500 $31.01
Tennessee $72,480 $34.85
Texas $84,320 $40.54
Utah $76,400 $36.73
Vermont $79,990 $38.46
Virginia $81,860 $39.36
Washington $101,670 $48.88
West Virginia $72,230 $34.73
Wisconsin $81,000 $38.94
Wyoming $81,010 $38.95

*Extracted From BLS July 13, 2023

Registered Nurse Salary Factors

The salaries by state listed above represent an average across all types of nurses. So, depending on your specialty, place of work, level of experience, degree, and many other factors, you'll see some variances in how much you can expect to earn. Here are some of the things you should keep in mind that can impact how much you make:

1. Types of Nurses

Salaries will vary widely depending on your specialty and the nursing job you work in. 

Advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) like nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives can all expect to earn higher salaries than a nurse without a graduate degree. 

How you work also plays a big role in the annual salary you can expect to earn. Travel nurses and per diem nurses, for example, tend to earn far more than their traditional nurse counterparts.

2. Years of Experience

Registered nurses, at the start of their careers, will usually make less than nurses with more years of experience under their belts. As you improve your skills and progress in your career, you can expect to see your wages improve as well.

3. Degree Type

Nurses will typically see salary increases when they further their education. Nurses who have earned their Bachelor's degree (BSN) tend to earn more than nurses who have only earned their Associate's degree in Nursing (ADN). While a master's in nursing or a doctorate degree will usually earn nurses even higher salaries.

Other RN Salary Considerations 

As a nurse, your salary shouldn't be the only thing you consider when deciding what field to go into or what job to take. 

How far that salary will go will greatly depend on the cost of living in the area. Some of the highest-paying states also cost a lot to live in, meaning that 6 figure salary isn't going to go nearly as far as it would in a less expensive area. Your registered nurse salary in California might get you a comparable standard of living to a lower salary in Iowa.

You'll also want to look at things like the job benefits, the hours, what the work-life balance will be, and what their training and education policies are like. Don't overlook your quality of life!

Registered Nurse Salary FAQs

  • What are the highest-paying jobs in the medical field? 

    • Some of the highest-paying jobs in healthcare, other than physicians, are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), which include Certified Nurse Midwives, Nurse Practitioners (NPs), and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). 
  • What is the happiest career in the medical field?

    • U.S. News ranked Nurse Practitioners (NPs) as the best job in healthcare in 2022.
  • What is the easiest medical field job?

    • It really depends on what you define as “easy.” If you’re looking for a job that doesn’t require hands-on care and pays well, informatics, technology, or biomedical engineering may all be good choices.
  • What is the least stressful job in the medical field?

    • Audiologists—who diagnose problems with the ears—have a reputation for having the lowest amount of stress in the medical field.

The Takeaway

There are a lot of things at play in the nursing salaries you can expect to earn. And even if you practice in a state with a lower RN salary average, there are always ways to increase your salary and reach your career goals. As you're planning out your career path, don't forget to keep all these factors in mind to set yourself up for success!

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