Best States for Nurses

 

Like most segments of the economy, the nursing industry is in a state of significant transition under the weight of major overarching socioeconomic dynamics — from the aging U.S. population and the Affordable Care Act to the student-loan crisis and concerns about the future of key entitlement programs. But such concerns are not unique among recent graduates, regardless of industry.

More specific to nursing professionals are the various day-to-day demands placed on them, such as mandatory overtime, overstaffing, unionization and allegations of systemic disrespect. Despite those challenges, however, aspiring nurses have much to look forward to upon certification. Nursing occupations are some of the most lucrative careers with the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S. In fact, the industry is expected to grow at more than double the rate of the average occupation through 2024.

With such bright projections, WalletHub’s analysts took stock of the nursing industry to help registered nurses, particularly the newly minted of the bunch, lay down roots in areas that are conducive to both personal and professional success. We did so by comparing the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 14 key metrics that collectively speak to the nursing-job opportunities in each market. Below, you can check out our findings, expert commentary on the state of the nursing industry as well as the methodology we used to conduct this report.

 

Main Findings

 

Overall Rank State Total Score ‘Opportunity & Competition’ Rank ‘Work Environment’ Rank
1 Washington 59.18 7 7
2 Illinois 57.13 20 5
3 Texas 56.99 3 19
4 Oregon 56.96 17 8
5 Iowa 56.80 4 17
6 California 54.80 5 18
7 Minnesota 54.34 37 2
8 Connecticut 54.14 45 1
9 New Hampshire 53.03 39 4
10 Pennsylvania 52.51 21 16
11 Kansas 52.34 15 22
12 Wyoming 52.00 2 41
13 Wisconsin 51.93 24 12
14 Maine 51.49 22 21
15 Montana 51.46 11 27
16 Colorado 51.25 23 14
17 Rhode Island 51.10 42 6
18 Massachusetts 51.08 47 3
19 Idaho 50.71 14 30
20 North Dakota 50.69 28 11
21 New Mexico 50.56 1 47
22 Alaska 50.01 40 9
23 Virginia 49.11 8 38
24 Indiana 47.97 19 35
25 Maryland 47.83 43 10
26 Michigan 47.64 12 39
27 Arizona 47.54 10 42
28 Delaware 47.31 36 15
29 Florida 47.05 6 46
30 Nebraska 46.68 30 25
31 Vermont 46.54 44 13
32 Arkansas 46.29 25 32
33 Nevada 46.26 9 45
34 Missouri 45.20 34 28
35 Ohio 44.79 27 36
36 West Virginia 44.77 35 26
37 Oklahoma 44.76 18 44
38 Mississippi 44.58 16 48
39 South Dakota 44.51 38 29
40 Tennessee 44.44 33 34
41 Utah 43.98 41 31
42 New Jersey 43.81 46 24
43 North Carolina 43.74 26 40
44 Georgia 43.61 13 50
45 Kentucky 43.26 31 37
46 New York 43.18 48 23
47 South Carolina 40.32 32 43
48 Alabama 39.94 29 49
49 Hawaii 39.54 50 20
50 Louisiana 33.27 49 51
51 District of Columbia 27.41 51 33

 

Methodology

In order to identify the best and worst states for nurses, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key dimensions, namely “Opportunity & Competition” and “Work Environment.”

First, we identified 14 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was given a value between 0 and 100, wherein 100 represents the most favorable conditions for nurses and 0 the least.

Finally, we calculated the overall score for each state using the weighted average across all metrics and ranked the states accordingly.

Opportunity & Competition – Total Points: 70

  • Monthly Median Starting Salary for Nurses: Full Weight (~7.37 Points)
    Note: This metric was adjusted for the cost of living.
  • Average Annual Salary for Nurses: Double Weight (~14.74 Points)
    Note: This metric was adjusted for the cost of living.
  • Number of Health-Care Facilities per 100.000 Residents: Full Weight (~7.37 Points)
  • Medically Underserved Areas: Full Weight (~7.37 Points)
  • Projected Elderly Population: Full Weight (~7.37 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the projected percentage of the population aged 65 and older by year 2030.
  • Educational Opportunities Based on Quality of Nursing Schools: Half Weight (~3.68 Points)
  • Nursing-Job Openings per 100,000 Residents: Full Weight (~7.37 Points)
  • Number of Nurses per 1,000 Residents: Full Weight (~7.37 Points)
  • Projected Competition: Full Weight (~7.37 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the projected number of nurses per 1,000 Residents by year 2022.

Work Environment – Total Points: 30

  • Mandatory Overtime Restrictions: Full Weight (~7.50 Points)
  • Share of Best Nursing Homes: Full Weight (~7.50 Points)
  • WalletHub’s “Best & Worst States for Working Moms” Rank: Full Weight (~7.50 Points)
    Note: In 2011 there were 3.5 million employed nurses, about 3.2 million of whom were female.
  • Average Number of Work Hour: Half Weight (~3.75 Points)
  • Average Commute Time: Half Weight (~3.75 Points)

 

 

Original Source: https://wallethub.com/edu/best-states-for-nurses/4041/

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