Here’s the average salary for registered nurses in every U.S. state

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Here’s the average salary for registered nurses in every U.S. state
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Nurses on the front line of health care. They’re often the first people you see during a visit to a doctor’s office and the people you have the most contact with in a hospital. Their work is fairly well-compensated, and the industry is growing rapidly.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there 2.86 million registered nurses across the country, pulling down a mean annual salary of $72,180 per year. But the number varies greatly depending on where the nurse practices — and so does the cost of living in those places.

Here’s what nurses earn in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, ranked from lowest to highest.

Average salary for nurses in every U.S. state

51. South Dakota

Average salary for a registered nurse: $55,920 per year

Although it ranks lowest in average pay for nurses, South Dakota — pretty much smack dab in the middle of the country — is also in the middle for cost of living among the U.S. states.

50. Iowa

Average salary for a registered nurse: $56,290 per year

49. Alabama

Average salary for a registered nurse: $56,900 per year

That doesn’t sound like huge income, but it will stretch farther in Alabama than in many places. According to a report by MSN, Alabama is the second-cheapest state in which to buy a house, with the average listing price at $203,000 in 2016.

48. Mississippi

Average salary for a registered nurse: $57,010 per year

Not too bad if you consider that the “Magnolia State” has the lowest cost of living among the 50 U.S. states according to the MSN report’s ranking, citing data from Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. The average house is listed for about $183,000.

47. Arkansas

Average salary for a registered nurse: $57,630 per year

46. Kansas

Average salary for a registered nurse: $58,260 per year

45. Tennessee

Average salary for a registered nurse: $58,410 per year

44. West Virginia

Average salary for a registered nurse: $59,380 per year

43. Kentucky

Average salary for a registered nurse: $59,810 per year

42. Indiana

Average salary for a registered nurse: $60,050 per year

41. Nebraska

Average salary for a registered nurse: $60,370 per year

40. Oklahoma

Average salary for a registered nurse: $60,370 per year

39. Missouri

Average salary for a registered nurse: $60,830 per year

38. North Dakota

Average salary for a registered nurse: $60,840 per year

North Dakota may seem a far-flung place to work, but it had the fastest-growing population among the 50 states in 2016, following the District of Columbia, with an increase of 12.69 percent.

37. North Carolina

Average salary for a registered nurse: $61,330 per year

North Carolina has enjoyed rapid growth in recent years, in part because of rapid tech-sector expansion, but the cost of livingremains on the more reasonable end of the spectrum. The health care industry makes up 12 percent of the state’s employment, according to the Charlotte Business Journal.

36. Utah

Average salary for a registered nurse: $62,360 per year

35. Idaho

Average salary for a registered nurse: $62,470 per year

34. Wyoming

Average salary for a registered nurse: $62,980 per year

33. Louisiana

Average salary for a registered nurse: $63,370 a year

The Pelican State has an average home listing price of $224,895, though buying a house in vibrant New Orleans would likely cost well above that average.

32. South Carolina

Average salary for a registered nurse: $63,470 per year

31. Maine

Average salary for a registered nurse: $63,800 per year

30. Ohio

Average salary for a registered nurse: $63,960 per year

29.  Montana

Average salary for a registered nurse: $64,300 per year

28. Florida

Average salary for a registered nurse: $64,630 per year

27. Georgia

Average salary for a registered nurse: $64,750 per year

26. Virginia

Average salary for a registered nurse: $66,670 per year

25. Vermont

Average salary for a registered nurse: $67,780 per year

24. Wisconsin

Average salary for a registered nurse: $67,930 per year

Wisconsin nurses are ranked in the top half, nationally, in terms of pay with an average salary of $67,930 per year. Meanwhile, the Badger State ranks several rungs below the center in terms of cost of living.

23. New Mexico

Average salary for a registered nurse: $68,670 per year

22. New Hampshire

Average salary for a registered nurse: $68,680 per year

21. Pennsylvania

Average salary for a registered nurse: $68,770 per year

20. Michigan

Average salary for a registered nurse: $69,100 per year

19. Texas

Average salary for a registered nurse: $70,390 per year

18. Colorado

Average salary for a registered nurse: $70,550 per year

17. Delaware

Average salary for a registered nurse: $70,820 per year

16. Illinois

Average salary for a registered nurse: $70,890 per year

15. Arizona

Average salary for a registered nurse: $73,430 per year

14. Minnesota

Average salary for a registered nurse: $73,940 per year

13. Maryland

Average salary for a registered nurse: $74,710 per year

12. Rhode Island

Average salary for a registered nurse: $75,200 per year

11. Connecticut

Average salary for a registered nurse: $78,270 per year

10. Washington

Average salary for a registered nurse: $80,120 per year

9. Washington D.C.

Average salary for a registered nurse: $80,500 per year

8. New Jersey

Average salary for a registered nurse: $80,580 per year

7. New York

Average salary for a registered nurse: $80,830 per year

6. Nevada

Average salary for a registered nurse: $83,790 per year

5. Alaska

Average salary for a registered nurse: $86,450 per year

4. Oregon

Average salary for a registered nurse: $87,000 per year

3. Hawaii

Average salary for a registered nurse: $88,910 per year

2. Massachusetts

Average salary for a registered nurse: $89,060 per year

1. California

Average salary for a registered nurse: $101,750 per year

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