Best And Worst States For Nurses 2024


                                                            By Dave Pearson

There must be something good in coastal air at the Northern extremes of the contiguous 48, because Washington State landed at No. 1 for the third consecutive year, and Maine is close behind at No. 2—also for the third straight year.

The ever popular “Best & Worst” lists are more serious exercises in comparison “shopping” than they might sound, as reflected in a report posted April 30.

For example, this year’s metrics included such objective criteria as job openings for nurses per capita, average salaries, mandatory overtime restrictions and the quality of nursing homes. The 20 metrics were roughly grouped into two categories, “opportunity & competition” and “work environment.”

Also buttressing the project’s authoritativeness is the consistency of its results from year to year. This year’s top 10 has nine returnees from last year. The newcomer is Connecticut, which nudged Texas.

Here are the best states for nurses in 2024 going by the sturdy parameters of the study's methodology:

1. Washington

2. Maine

3. New Hampshire

4. Montana

5. New Mexico

6. Oregon

7. Minnesota

8. Wyoming

9. Connecticut

10. Arizona

Led by John Kiernan, managing editor, the report’s authors noted Washington’s high-median earnings for nurses across various work settings and levels of educational attainment. Washington is also home to some of the highest-ranked nursing schools, they added.


"Around 46% of Washington residents live in a primary care HPSA (Health Professional Shortage Area), which means that new nurses are needed and it’s easier to find a nursing job. Nurses also enjoy good working conditions. They can avoid burnout because the state restricts mandatory overtime, and nurses who work in nursing homes benefit from the fact that the state has a very high percentage of nursing homes rated five stars.""

As for the worst states for nurses, the bottom was populated by Mississippi, Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas and—at dead last—Hawaii.


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