2014′s Best & Worst States for Nurses
The nursing industry – like most segments of the economy – 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. It’s therefore understandable if recent nursing school grads aren’t sure where to turn once they receive their diploma.
That concern is not unique among recent graduates, regardless of industry, but both the magnitude of the issue – the nursing industry is expected to grow far faster than the average occupation through 2022 – and the various day-to-day demands placed on nursing professionals – from overstaffing and mandatory overtime to unionization and allegations of systematic disrespect – are indeed profession-specific. With that in mind, WalletHub decided to take stock of the nursing industry in order to help nurses, particularly the newly minted of the bunch, lay down roots in areas that are conducive to both personal and professional success.
We compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of 15 key metrics that collectively speak to the job opportunities that exist for nurses in each market, how much competition there is for each position, differences in the workplace environment, and projections for the future. You can check out our findings as well as the methodology we used to conduct this report and expert commentary on the state of the nursing industry below.
Work Environment Rank
|42||District of Columbia||39||39||14|
WalletHub took 15 key metrics into account in assessing the relative activeness of the 50 states and the District of Columbia to nurses. In doing so, we considered trends both short- and long-term related to the employment opportunities that exist in each state, the quality of the jobs that are available, the amount of competition that does and will exist in the local job market, and the nature of the workplace environment in which nurses operate.
You can check out the metrics as well as the corresponding weights we used to construct our overall rankings below. The three categories under which the metrics are listed were used for organizational purposes only and did not factor in to our overall rankings.
- Monthly Median Starting Salary for Nurses, Adjusted for Cost of Living: 0.5
- Average Annual Salary for Nurses, Adjusted for Cost of Living: 1
- Number of Health Care Facilities per Capita: 1
- Medically Underserved Areas: 1
- Projected Percentage of the Population Over 65 (2030): 0.5
- Nursing Schools Rank: 1
- Nursing Job Openings per Capita: 1
- Number of Nurses per Capita: 0.5
- Projected Number of Nurses per Capita (2020): 1
- Unemployment Rate: 0.5
- Mandatory Overtime Restrictions: 1
- States with the Largest Share of the Best Nursing Homes: 0.5
- Best States for Working Moms Rank: 0.5
- Average Number of Hours Worked: 0.5
- Average Commute Time: 0.5
Source: Data used to create these rankings is courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Missouri Economic Research & Information Center, Indeed.com, the US Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. News & World Report, the American Nurses Association and WalletHub research.