Nurse Salaries By State + the Highest Paying States For RNs

13 Min Read Published July 10, 2024
Average Registered Nurse Salary by State

Wondering where you can make the most money as a nurse in 2024? As it 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

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Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

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CCNE
Location
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Prerequisite
RN Required

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Georgetown University
Nursing@Georgetown delivers Georgetown University’s MS in Nursing program online, preparing RNs with a BSN to pursue certification in an APRN specialty. Students can earn their degree in as few as 19 months.
Accreditation
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Location
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Prerequisite
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Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY and WA.

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
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Prerequisite
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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: $36,420

Average Hourly: $17.51

Number of RNs in Puerto Rico: 22,860

51.  Alabama

Average RN Salary: $65,900

Average Hourly: $31.68

Number of RNs in Alabama: 50,450

50.  South Dakota

Average RN Salary: $67,030

Average Hourly: $32.23

Number of RNs in South Dakota: 14,600

Mount Rushmore in South Dakota

49.  Mississippi

Average RN Salary: $69,370

Average Hourly: $33.35

Number of RNs in Mississippi:  28,910

Mississippi River in Mississippi

48.  Iowa

Average RN Salary: $71,570

Average Hourly: $34.41

Number of RNs in Iowa: 33,300

Iowa City from the river at dusk

47.  Arkansas

Average RN Salary: $72,920

Average Hourly: $35.06

Number of RNs in Arkansas: 29,690

Forest in Arkansas with town

46.  North Dakota

Average RN Salary: $74,930

Average Hourly: $36.03

Number of RNs in North Dakota: 10,350

Famous badlands and mountains in North Dakota

45.  Kansas 

Average RN Salary: $75,780

Average Hourly: $36.43

Number of RNs in Kansas: 31,120

Downtown city in Kansas from the river

44.  Tennessee

Average RN Salary: $76,200

Average Hourly: $36.64

Number of RNs in Tennessee: 63,460

Festival in downtown Nashville Tennessee with fireworks

43.  Louisiana

Average RN Salary: $76,650

Average Hourly: $36.85

Number of RNs in Louisiana: 36,840

Famous state building in downtown New Orleans Louisiana

42.  Missouri

Average RN Salary: $77,190

Average Hourly: $37.11

Number of RNs in Missouri: 73,190

Busy public buildings and downtown in Kansas City

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41.  Kentucky

Average RN Salary: $77,830

Average Hourly: $37.42

Number of RNs in Kentucky: 48,710

Louisville and river at night time

40.  Nebraska

Average RN Salary: $78,100

Average Hourly: $37.55

Number of RNs in Nebraska: 22,870

Small pond and park in Nebraska city

39.  South Carolina

Average RN Salary: $78,380

Average Hourly: $37.68

Number of RNs in South Carolina: 48,790

Park view with waterfalls in river in South Carolina

38.  Indiana

Average RN Salary: $78,530

Average Hourly: $37.76

Number of RNs in Indiana: 68,850

Downtown city park in Indianapolis Indiana

37.  West Virginia

Average RN Salary: $78,730

Average Hourly: $37.85

Number of RNs in West Virginia: 20,860

Trail and bridge going through a forest

36.  Oklahoma

Average RN Salary: $78,760

Average Hourly: $37.87

Number of RNs in Oklahoma: 32,610

 

Monument at daytime in Oklahoma

35.  Montana

Average RN Salary: $79,170

Average Hourly: $38.06

Number of RNs in Montana: 9,740

Beautiful mountain view with valley and lake in Montana

34.  North Carolina

Average RN Salary: $79,580

Average Hourly: $38.26

Number of RNs in North Carolina: 104,380

Sweeping view of multiple North Carolina cities from the mountains

33.  Utah

Average RN Salary: $79,790

Average Hourly: $38.36

Number of RNs in Utah: 24,730

Famous buttes and valleys in Utah state parks

32.  Ohio

Average RN Salary: $79,940

Average Hourly: $38.44

Number of RNs in Ohio: 133,300

Ohio River running through downtown Ohio city

31.  Wyoming

Average RN Salary: $79,970

Average Hourly: $38.45

Number of RNs in Wyoming: 5,350

River going through valley at dusk in Wyoming

30.  Idaho

Average RN Salary: $80,130

Average Hourly: $38.53

Number of RNs in Idaho: 14,060

State legislature building in Boise Idaho

29.  Florida

Average RN Salary: $80,960

Average Hourly: $38.92

Number of RNs in Florida: 207,910

Downtown city skyline in Florida on cloudy day

28.  Maine

Average RN Salary: $81,610

Average Hourly: $39.24

Number of RNs in Maine: 14,770

Atlantic Ocean coast in Maine

27.  Michigan

Average RN Salary: $81,710

Average Hourly: $39.28

Number of RNs in Michigan: 102,240

Downtown Detroit from across the Great Lakes

26.  Vermont

Average RN Salary: $81,900

Average Hourly: $39.37

Number of RNs in Vermont: 7,260

Beautiful campus view in Vermont during the day

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25.  Illinois

Average RN Salary: $82,470

Average Hourly: $39.65

Number of RNs in Illinois: 139,910

Chicago vista from the water in Illinois

24.  Pennsylvania

Average RN Salary: $82,780

Average Hourly: $39.80

Number of RNs in Pennsylvania: 144,100

Landmark in Pennsylvania with road going through it

23.  Wisconsin

Average RN Salary: $83,300

Average Hourly: $40.05

Number of RNs in Wisconsin: 61,870

Ariel shot of the state capitol building in Wisconsin

22.  Georgia

Average RN Salary: $83,620

Average Hourly: $40.20

Number of RNs in Georgia: 93,730

Busy Atlanta Georgia with traffic at night time

21.  New Mexico

Average RN Salary: $83,970

Average Hourly: $40.37

Number of RNs in New Mexico: 18,030

New Mexico butte with wildlife and plants at base

20.  Virginia

Average RN Salary: $84,100

Average Hourly: $40.43

Number of RNs in Virginia: 70,650

Trees overlooking lake in Virginia

19.  Texas

Average RN Salary: $85,110

Average Hourly: $40.92

Number of RNs in Texas: 251,840

Downtown Houston Texas city skyline at night

>> Related: Registered Nurse Salary in Texas

18.  New Hampshire

Average RN Salary: $86,620

Average Hourly: $41.65

Number of RNs in New Hampshire: 14,380

Small building in part of settlement in New Hampshire

Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs

Sponsored
The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington’s online programs are designed to help you achieve more in your nursing practice with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. They offer convenient, flexible options for completing your RN to BSN or BSN online, both designed to fit into your busy schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Grand Canyon University
GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Walden University
Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

17.  Colorado

Average RN Salary: $86,900

Average Hourly: $41.78

Number of RNs in Colorado: 53,480

Downtown Denver on a hazy Colorado day

16.  Arizona

Average RN Salary: $88,310

Average Hourly: $42.46

Number of RNs in Arizona: 63,150

Fun night life in Phoenix Arizona

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15.  Maryland

Average RN Salary: $89,340

Average Hourly: $42.95

Number of RNs in Maryland: 49,770

An east coast dock in Maryland for pedestrians

14.  Delaware

Average RN Salary: $93,200

Average Hourly: $44.81

Number of RNs in Delaware: 11,810

Overlooking water in Delaware with tree by the water

13.  Rhode Island

Average RN Salary: $94,840

Average Hourly: $45.60

Number of RNs in Rhode Island: 11,350

Old building facade in Rhode Island

12.  Nevada

Average RN Salary: $96,210

Average Hourly: $46.25

Number of RNs in Nevada: 25,890

Ariel view of the Las Vegas strip in Nevada

11.  Minnesota

Average RN Salary: $97,300

Average Hourly: $46.78

Number of RNs in Minnesota: 66,700

Busy traffic going in and out of downtown Minneapolis

10.  Massachusetts

Average RN Salary: $99,730

Average Hourly: $47.95

Number of RNs in Massachusetts: 87,320

Downtown Boston during the spring

9.  New Jersey

Average RN Salary: $100,160

Average Hourly: $48.15

Number of RNs in New Jersey: 82,950

Street between ocean and businesses in New Jersey

8.  Connecticut

Average RN Salary: $100,620

Average Hourly: $48.37

Number of RNs in Connecticut: 36,430

Snowy state legislature building in Connecticut

7.  New York

Average RN Salary: $104,570

Average Hourly: $50.28

Number of RNs in New York: 188,060

New York from far off in the water

 >> Show Me Online Nursing Programs

6.  District of Columbia

Average RN Salary: $105,220

Average Hourly: $50.59

Number of RNs in DC: 10,810

Lincoln Memorial from over the water in DC

5.  Alaska

Average RN Salary: $106,410

Average Hourly: $51.16

Number of RNs in Alaska: 6,590

Two people sitting on frozen lake enjoying aurora borealis in Alaska

4.  Washington

Average RN Salary: $107,720

Average Hourly: $51.79

Number of RNs in Washington: 65,030

Space needle and downtown Seattle skyline

3.  Oregon

Average RN Salary: $110,940

Average Hourly: $53.34

Number of RNs in Oregon: 38,770

Waterfall splashing into forest lake in Oregon

2.  Hawaii 

Average RN Salary: $129,210

Average Hourly: $62.12

Number of RNs in Hawaii: 11,920

Sunset in Hawaii with city skyline of Honolulu

1.  California

Average RN Salary: $133,990

Average Hourly: $64.42

Number of RNs in California: 332,560

Vast Los Angeles skyline at dusk with traffic flowing

*Extracted From BLS July 10, 2024

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  $65,900   $31.68 
Alaska  $106,410   $51.16 
Arizona  $88,310   $42.46 
Arkansas  $72,920   $35.06 
California  $133,990   $64.42 
Colorado  $86,900   $41.78 
Connecticut  $100,620   $48.37 
Delaware  $93,200   $44.81 
District of Columbia  $105,220   $50.59 
Florida  $80,960   $38.92 
Georgia  $83,620   $40.20 
Hawaii  $129,210   $62.12 
Idaho  $80,130   $38.53 
Illinois  $82,470   $39.65 
Indiana  $78,530   $37.76 
Iowa  $71,570   $34.41 
Kansas  $75,780   $36.43 
Kentucky  $77,830   $37.42 
Louisiana  $76,650   $36.85 
Maine  $81,610   $39.24 
Maryland  $89,340   $42.95 
Massachusetts  $99,730   $47.95 
Michigan  $81,710   $39.28 
Minnesota  $97,300   $46.78 
Mississippi  $69,370   $33.35 
Missouri  $77,190   $37.11 
Montana  $79,170   $38.06 
Nebraska  $78,100   $37.55 
Nevada  $96,210   $46.25 
New Hampshire  $86,620   $41.65 
New Jersey  $100,160   $48.15 
New Mexico  $83,970   $40.37 
New York  $104,570   $50.28 
North Carolina  $79,580   $38.26 
North Dakota  $74,930   $36.03 
Ohio  $79,940   $38.44 
Oklahoma  $78,760   $37.87 
Oregon  $110,940   $53.34 
Pennsylvania  $82,780   $39.80 
Puerto Rico  $36,420   $17.51 
Rhode Island  $94,840   $45.60 
South Carolina  $78,380   $37.68 
South Dakota  $67,030   $32.23 
Tennessee  $76,200   $36.64 
Texas  $85,110   $40.92 
Utah  $79,790   $38.36 
Vermont  $81,900   $39.37 
Virginia  $84,100   $40.43 
Washington  $107,720   $51.79 
West Virginia  $78,730   $37.85 
Wisconsin  $83,300   $40.05 
Wyoming  $79,970   $38.45 

*Extracted From BLS July 13, 2023

Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs

Sponsored
The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington’s online programs are designed to help you achieve more in your nursing practice with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. They offer convenient, flexible options for completing your RN to BSN or BSN online, both designed to fit into your busy schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Grand Canyon University
GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Walden University
Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

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 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 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, the work-life balance, 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 several 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 plan your career path, don't forget to keep all these factors in mind to set yourself up for success!

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