Study: Washington is 10th best state for nurses

Washington ranked No. 10 best state for nurses – the highest rank of any Northwest state – in a recent study.

Personal-finance website WalletHub analyzed the nursing job market of all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 18 metrics. The data looks at a range of metrics, such as average starting salary and job openings per capita.

The 2017 Best & Worst States for Nurses ranked Wisconsin as No. 1, followed by New Mexico, Iowa, Texas and Colorado. District of Columbia ranked worst.

Washington came in at No. 10 and Oregon ranked 13th, according to the report.

Here are some of the state rankings for various metrics:

  • Monthly average starting salary (adjusted for cost of living): 17th
  • Health care facilities per capita: 28th
  • Nurses per capita: Eighth
  • Average annual salary for nurses (adjusted for cost of living): 14th
  • Share of best nursing homes: 12th
  • Projected job competition by 2024: Fifth

New York has the fewest nursing job openings per capita; Washington has next fewest. The District of Columbia has the most openings.

Wyoming has the highest annual nursing salary, followed by Nevada. Hawaii has the lowest.

Florida has the highest percentage of population that will be 65 or older by 2030. Utah has the lowest.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at or 360-735-4546.

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