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Career site Nurse.org released a new report featuring "real-world" salary rankings by state for registered nurses.
The list considers base pay along with cost of living -- a more meaningful salary comparison for nurses looking to advance their careers by relocating.
"We realized that nurses could benefit more from salary data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics if it contained a cost-of-living dimension. The combined data would offer a more accurate view of how far their salaries might go," said Phillip Lee, Product Manager for Nurse.org.
"A nurse making $80,000 in New York technically earns more than a nurse making $70,000 in Texas," explains Lee, "but when you factor in New York's 40% increased cost-of-living, it's a completely different story."
To address this gap, data analysts at Nurse.org compared salaries to regional cost-of-living data. The result is a real-world look at earning power. Nurses can now use the data to compare their current salary to their true earning potential in another state.
The report contains some surprises. California, despite its relatively high cost of living, pays its nurses more than any state on a cost-of-living-adjusted basis. Nevada took the second-highest spot on the list, thanks in part to its lower living costs.
On a non-adjusted basis, California is still number one, but Hawaii takes the second spot. Factor in cost of living, and Hawaii drops well down the list to 13th.
Rounding out the top ten after California and Nevada on the list of top "real-world" nurse salaries is Alaska (No. 3), Oregon (No. 4), Massachusetts (No. 5), Washington State (No. 6), New Jersey (No. 7), Texas (No. 8), Arizona (No. 9), and Minnesota (No. 10).
In addition to adjusted salary data, the rankings report includes effective income tax rates, hourly and annual salary, and number of RNs employed in each state.
With this report, Nurse.org wishes to help the estimated 2.7 million working nurses in the U.S. work where they want to without sacrificing quality of life.
View the full report
Nurse.org is a Bellevue, Wash.-based website that helps nurses take the next step in their careers. Offering a robust job board, frequent articles, and hospital reviews, Nurse.org is in the business of empowering nursing professionals.
About Matt Krumrie
In addition to writing resumes, Krumrie has published over 2,000 career and job search articles for CollegeRecruiter,