The 25 Highest Paying Cities for Nurses in 2019

These U.S. Cities Pay Registered Nurses the Highest Salaries based on Cost of Living

Nursing is one of the most in-demand jobs in the healthcare industry. It’s a career that often comes with stability, great pay, and personal fulfillment. In fact, many consider it to be a calling rather than a job. Many people who enter this field are passionate and caring individuals who strive to improve the health of others in their communities. Nursing truly is a noble profession.

As a registered nurse (RN), however, serving others should not prevent you from planning ahead by researching the benefits and average pay of registered nurses across the country.

Not only will RNs likely see a surge in employment growth in the coming years, but they can receive considerable salaries without having to spend too many years in school. Today, our inclusive RN salary guide will cover questions like these:

  1. What state has highest RN salary?
  2. How much does a nurse earn a year?
  3. Do nurses get paid well?
  4. Where do nurses get paid the most?

Before we delve into RN salaries by city, let’s start with the top paying states for nurses as well as the overall average registered nurse’s salary nationwide.

Nurses Salary

How Much Do Nurses Make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), registered nurses earn an average salary of $71,730, and an average hourly wage of $34.48.

These rates can greatly vary depending on your employer, experience, and specialization. For instance, nurses working in government positions make an average salary of $78,390, while those working in education services earn an average salary of $61,850.

Here’s a closer look at employment and wages for RNs:

IndustryAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Specialty Hospitals$37.16$77,290
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals$36.45$75,820
Outpatient Care Centers$36.39$75,680
Psychiatric & Substance Abuse Hospitals$34.27$71,290
Home Health Care Services$33.77$70,230
Physicians’ Offices$32.16$66,890
Nursing Care Facilities$31.59$65,710

 

Highest Paying States for Nurses

A nurse’s pay can also vary by location. For instance, here are the top 5 paying states for nurses as well as the average nurse salary per hour:

  1. California:
    • Average Hourly Wage: $49.37
    • Average Annual Wage: $102,700
  1. Hawaii:
    • Average Hourly Wage: $46.63
    • Average Annual Wage: $96,990
  1. District of Columbia:
    • Average Hourly Wage: $43.32
    • Average Annual Wage: $90,110
  1. Massachusetts:
    • Average Hourly Wage: $42.95
    • Average Annual Wage: $89,330
  1. Oregon:
    • Average Hourly Wage: $42.68
    • Average Annual Wage: $88,770

 

Taking Cost of Living into Account

When it comes to quality of life, there are a lot of variables to consider, and where you chose to work plays a major part in it.

It can feel a little overwhelming, to a little bit of research can go a long way.

For example, we wanted to take a granular look at the highest paying US cities, by evaluating their average nursing salaries as compared to their cost-of-living.

About Our Method

We pulled the cost-of-living index (COLI) values for each city in our study from Expatistan.

Average RN salaries and other statistics were taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The average cost-of-living index (COLI) for all of the U.S. cities we compared was about 160. So, if a city had a COLI of 184, then it was 24% more expensive to live there than the average city. Based on the COLI for each city, we adjusted their annual wage to account for the difference in cost of living.

Essentially, based on each city’s cost-of-living index, average salaries were increased or reduced proportionately to better measure overall RN compensation and quality-of-life in each respective city.

The Highest Paying Cities for Nurses

Here you’ll find the 25 best cities for nurses in 2019 based on their cost-of-living index, starting with the highest paying city of them all!

1. Sacramento, California

First up on our list of highest paying cities is Sacramento, the capital of California and one of the fastest-growing cities in the state. This growth can partially be attributed to its status as a prominent financial center on the West Coast. It’s also a major educational hub, not to mention a key area for California’s healthcare industry (i.e. Sutter Health, world-renowned UC Davis Medical Center, etc.)

Sacramento is also a tourist destination. For instance, it’s home to The California Museum, the Crocker Art Museum, the California Hall of Fame, the California State Capitol Museum, and the Old Sacramento State Historic Park. And don’t forget about Sacramento’s budding contemporary culture, giving it the nickname of “the most hipster city” in California.

There are several reasons to choose Sacramento for your nursing career. In addition to its notable healthcare organizations, nurses in this city earn over $100k on average. Even with the cost of living factored into the equation, your typical nurse still makes over $100,000 per year. The top-earning nurses can even receive salaries as great as $167,570. Given the thriving location, growing health systems, and high wages, it’s no wonder that Sacramento, CA is number one on our list.

How much do nurses make in Sacramento, CA?

  • Nurses in Sacramento make an average salary of $120,530.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $167,570.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 184
  • The cost of living in Sacramento is 15.3% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its cost of living lowers a nurse’s pay to $104,558.

 

2. San Jose, California

San Jose is the economic, cultural, and political center of the world-renowned Silicon Valley. Its estimated population was 1,035,317 in 2017, making it the third-most populous city in California. San Jose is often referred to as a “global city” for its innovation and wealth.

The city might be known for its high-tech industry and coastal weather, but it’s also home to large healthcare organizations like the Regional Medical Center of San Jose, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and El Camino Hospital. Each of these facilities has received prestigious awards, and El Camino Hospital has repeatedly been designated as a nursing magnet hospital. Even though San Jose has a higher cost of living than some of our other cities, it can be an attractive destination for nurses thanks to its coveted location and average nursing salary.

How much do nurses make in San Jose, CA?

  • Nurses in San Jose make an average salary of $128,610.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $184,670.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 215
  • The cost of living in San Jose is 34.7% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability lowers a nurse’s pay to $95,480.

 

3. Las Vegas, Nevada

The “Entertainment Capital of the World” is well known for the dazzling Las Vegas Strip. A city of lights, resort hotels, restaurants, and residential high-rises, Las Vegas is a world-renowned destination. However, there’s much more to it than meets the eye.

For instance, Las Vegas generally maintains low taxes and cost of living. When it comes to homeowners, their utilities cost 10% less than the national average. This reasonable cost of living is also boosted by increasing income as well as zero income tax. Not only can you seek work in booming Las Vegas, but you can often put down roots for a reasonable price. Nurses can make an average salary just under $90k, with some earning well over $100k a year. As Southern Nevada continues to grow, so does the demand for more healthcare providers.

How much do nurses make in Las Vegas, NV?

  • Nurses in Las Vegas make an average salary of $87,920.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $115,760.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 151
  • The cost of living in Las Vegas is 5.4% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to $92,937.

 

4. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Visit ABQ said it best: “At the heart of New Mexico beats the pulse of a vibrant city.” In fact, Albuquerque is New Mexico’s largest city. It maintains a modern downtown area that nicely contrasts with Old Town Albuquerque. Filled with historic adobe buildings, Old Town houses San Felipe de Neri Church, five museums, and many shops. The neighboring Indian Pueblo Cultural Center also recounts the area’s tribal history.

As if that wasn’t enough, Albuquerque is also a hub for nurses. The city contains various state-of-the-art medical centers. Some of the top hospitals include the VA Medical Center, Presbyterian Hospital, Presbyterian Medical Services, Heart Hospital of New Mexico, and Lovelace Women’s Hospital. The University of New Mexico Hospital provides a children’s hospital, burn center, and level I pediatric and adult trauma centers. It’s also the home of an advanced primary stroke center, not to mention the biggest group of adult and pediatric specialty programs in the state.

How much do nurses make in Albuquerque, NM?

  • Nurses in Albuquerque make an average salary of $75,010.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $98,260.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 131
  • The cost of living in Albuquerque is 17.9% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to $91,396.

 

5. Tucson, Arizona

Speaking of sunny cities, Tucson has roughly 350 days of sunshine per year! The area is said to inspire a sense of freedom among those who visit. Given the mountainous views and desert blooms, it makes sense that some might see the city as an oasis.

Tucson is the one of the most populous cities in Arizona. Along with Phoenix, it anchors the Arizona Sun Corridor (i.e. a megaregion of five metropolitan areas). Banner Health is the state’s biggest private employer, accounting for more than 39,000 employees in 2016. Education and health services is also the third highest-ranking sector for employment within the state of Arizona. The low cost of living and average nursing salary makes Tucson an attractive prospect for nurses.

How much do nurses make in Tucson, AZ?

  • Nurses in Tucson make an average salary of $74,450.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $95,690.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 135
  • The cost of living in Tucson is 15.4% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to $88,026.

 

6. Detroit, Michigan

Detroit is the largest city in Michigan as well as the largest American city on the United States-Canada border. Regarded as a notable cultural center, Detroit is known for its contributions to art, architecture, and design. It’s also known as the “Motor City” for its connection to the auto industry. Plus, music lovers can rejoice: Detroit is the birthplace of Motown Records!

When it comes to healthcare, there are more than a dozen major hospitals in the city. Some of these include the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), Henry Ford Health System, St. John Health System, and the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center. The DMC is the biggest private employer in the City of Detroit. Like Tucson, Detroit’s cost of living is significantly cheaper than the average of the cities in our study. This affordability raises a nurse’s average salary.

How much do nurses make in Detroit, MI?

  • Nurses in Detroit make an average salary of $74,390.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $96,950.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 137
  • The cost of living in Detroit is 14.2% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to $86,671.

 

7. Houston, Texas

A grand metropolis in Texas, Houston extends to Galveston Bay and is often linked to the Space Center Houston (one of NASA’s visitor centers). The downtown area features several highlights, such as the Theater District—don’t forget about the Houston Grand Opera—and the upscale Historic District, which offers 19th-century architecture amid ritzy restaurants.

Without a doubt, Houston is a popular choice for healthcare professionals. The city is home to the Texas Medical Center (TMC), which contains the world’s largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions. They provide patient and preventive care while employing more than 73,600 people. The Texas Medical Center houses the outstanding M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and (reportedly) more heart surgeries are performed at the TMC than anywhere else in the world.

How much do nurses make in Houston, TX?

  • Nurses in Houston make an average salary of $80,160.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $102,180.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 149
  • The cost of living in Houston is 6.7% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to $85,872.

 

8. San Diego, California

San Diego is a coastal city that’s known for its many beaches, extensive parks, and pleasant climate. It’s also famous due to attractions like the San Diego Zoo, not to mention various art galleries, museums, and gardens. A deep-water harbor contains a large naval fleet within San Diego. Plus, the USS Midway—an aircraft carrier turned into a museum—is open to the general public.

In addition to the city’s long association with the United States Navy, San Diego has recently emerged as a healthcare and biotechnology development center. According to a 2016 comprehensive financial report, Sharp HealthCare ranks third among the city’s top employers. Scripps Health and Kaiser Permanente also ranked in this top-ten list.

While cost of living might be more expensive, the average nurse in San Diego earns almost $100k a year. With its ideal location and budding health sector, San Diego is a city to watch.

How much do nurses make in San Diego, CA?

  • Nurses in San Diego make an average salary of $98,440.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $133,790.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 183
  • The cost of living in San Diego is 14.6% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability lowers a nurse’s pay to $85,862.

 

9. San Francisco, California

San Francisco has been called the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. Covering an area of about 46.89 square miles, this city welcomes all who pass through its Golden Gates. San Francisco is perhaps most famous for its Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Coit Tower, and Fisherman’s Wharf. Of course, don’t forget about the cable cars!

The city also maintains a diversified service economy. In 2016, approximately 12% of workers found employment in education and health care. Other high-ranking sectors included professional business services at 27%, leisure and hospitality at 14%, and government services at 13%. Plus, as of 2017, San Francisco County was named the 7th highest-income county in the United States, thanks to a per capita personal income of $119,868. The cost of living is expensive in this city, but San Francisco is also one of the highest paying cities for registered nurses.

How much do nurses make in San Francisco, CA?

  • Nurses in San Francisco make an average salary of $128,990.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $182,810.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 243
  • The cost of living in San Francisco is 52.2% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability lowers a nurse’s pay to $84,728.

 

10. Madison, Wisconsin

If you like food tours, festivals, hiking trails, and sports, then this is the city for you! Madison is the capital city of Wisconsin and represents the core of the Madison Metropolitan Area. The city is known for its domed Wisconsin State Capitol, which sits between lakes Mendota and Monona. In addition, Monona Terrace—a lakefront convention center—was designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

In recent years, Madison has experienced growth in its biotech and health industries, and their economy seems to be progressing toward a consumer services and high-tech base.

Regarding crime and safety, Madison was ranked by Men’s Health magazine as the “Least Armed and Dangerous” city in the United States. As if that wasn’t enough, Forbes magazine ranked Madison second in the nation for “Where to Educate Your Children.”

And did we mention the cost of living is cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study? Not bad for a city where nurses can earn as much as $103,070 per year.

How much do nurses make in Madison, WI?

  • Nurses in Madison make an average salary of $79,810.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $103,070.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 151
  • The cost of living in Madison is 5.4% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to $84,364.

 

11. Greensboro, North Carolina

Greensboro is the third-most populous city in North Carolina. The cost of living is cheaper than the average of the other cities in our study by a whopping 24.4%. Not only are prices generally affordable, but Greensboro also has room for plenty of family fun. The Greensboro Science Center allows visitors to marvel at red pandas, sharks, and a hands-on museum. Plus, the nearby Bog Garden is a wetlands area filled with flowers, birds, and an elevated boardwalk.

In the city’s 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, two health systems ranked as some of the largest employers in Greensboro. Cone Health ranked second with about 7,218 employees, and High Point Regional Health System ranked seventh with about 2,320 employees. The BLS has also indicated that education and health service ranks fourth in the top ten industries of Greensboro, creating about 48,400 jobs overall.

How much do nurses make in Greensboro, NC?

  • Nurses in Greensboro make an average salary of $66,710.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $93,770.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 127
  • The cost of living in Greensboro is 24.4% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to $83,843.

 

12. Eugene, Oregon

Eugene is a city in Oregon that lies on the Willamette River. Depending on who you ask, it might be referred to as “A Great City for the Arts and Outdoors,” the “Emerald City,” and “Track Town, USA.” That last one might be because the Nike Corporation has roots in Eugene.

Some draws include the University of Oregon, which is home to the Northwest-focused Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Coffee lovers will probably want to check out the cafes and locally owned stores on Fifth Street Public Market, and those who crave the outdoors will find hiking trails and lush green spaces at Alton Baker Park (don’t miss the rhododendron garden at Hendricks Park).

Eugene is also a mecca for nurses and healthcare workers. The PeaceHealth Medical Group is the city’s largest employer. According to Eugene’s 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, PeaceHealth Medical Group employed about 5,808 people in recent years. Plus, McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center also ranked among the top ten employers.

The cost of living might be a little more expensive in Eugene, but thanks to the city’s largest employer, the average nurse typically earns over $80k or higher.

How much do nurses make in Eugene, OR?

  • Nurses in Eugene make an average salary of $90,850.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $122,090.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 174
  • The cost of living in Eugene is 9% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability lowers a nurse’s pay to $83,340.

 

13. San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is a city in south-central Texas that’s blanketed by a rich colonial heritage. Visitors and residents alike can visit The Alamo, a Spanish mission that has been preserved as a museum. Along the San Antonio River, you can also enjoy the miles-long River Walk, which is a famous promenade dotted with cafes and shops. There’s also the Tower of the Americas, a 750-foot structure that offers a remarkable view of the city.

San Antonio’s economy focuses mainly on sectors like military, healthcare, government-civil service, and tourism. Several companies are also headquartered in the city, including Carenet Health. Forbes magazine recently included San Antonio on their list of “Best Places for Business and Careers.”

How much do nurses make in San Antonio, TX?

  • Nurses in San Antonio make an average salary of $72,270.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $95,110.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 139
  • The cost of living in San Antonio is 12.9% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to $82,989.

 

14. Buffalo, New York

Buffalo is the second-largest city in New York. It sits on the shores of Lake Erie and features art-deco architecture, which “speaks to its history as an industrial capital in the early 20th century.” Some well-known landmarks include Buffalo City Hall, the Darwin D. Martin House, and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (featuring work by Picasso and Warhol). Buffalo is also a major gateway for commerce and travel between Canada and the United States.

Major employers in Buffalo include the U.S. government and Kaleida Health. The city is home to two private healthcare systems, which together maintain eight hospitals and various clinics in the greater metropolitan area. Plus, there are three public hospitals operated by Erie County and the State of New York. Roswell Park in Buffalo is known as “one of the United States’ leading cancer treatment and research centers, and it recruits physicians and researchers from across the world to come live and work in the Buffalo area.”

When you look at the cost of living—not to mention the average nursing salary—it’s no wonder why so many nurses choose Buffalo.

How much do nurses make in Buffalo, NY?

  • Nurses in Buffalo make an average salary of $74,790.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $99,490.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 146
  • The cost of living in Buffalo is 8.5% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to $81,765.

 

15. Reno, Nevada

Reno lies in the northwest area of Nevada, about 22 miles from Lake Tahoe. It rests in a high-desert river valley at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Often referred to as “The Biggest Little City in the World,” Reno had an estimated population of 250,998 in 2018, making it the third-most populous city in Nevada.

Throughout the year, Reno hosts various events that draw people to the area. These include, but are not limited to: Hot August Nights, a classic car convention; The Great Reno Balloon Race; a Cinco de Mayo celebration; bowling tournaments, held in the National Bowling Stadium; and the Reno Air Races.

This fun, sunny city boasts a cheaper cost of living, but nurses here can earn as much as $99,630 a year. Like many of the places on our list, Reno is a thriving city to watch.

How much do nurses make in Reno, NV?

  • Nurses in Reno make an average salary of $78,190.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $99,630.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 153
  • The cost of living in Reno is 4.1% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to $81,571.

 

16. Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis is a city in Tennessee that can be found along the Mississippi River. It’s the second most populous city in the state, and acts as the anchor of West Tennessee and the greater Mid-South region. The heart and soul of Memphis truly belongs to music.

In fact, the area has become quite famous for its strains of blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll. Major stars like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash recorded albums at the famous Sun Studio. Some popular attractions include Presley’s Graceland mansion, the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, the Blues Hall of Fame, and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.

The Memphis region also supports various hospitals, including the Methodist and Baptist Memorial health systems, two major private hospitals in the country. Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is the biggest healthcare provider in the Memphis region and the fourth-largest employer as of 2018Modern Healthcare magazine also ranked Methodist Healthcare in their list of “Best Places to Work.” In addition, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital resides in Memphis.

How much do nurses make in Memphis, TN?

  • Nurses in Memphis make an average salary of $66,350.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $85,750.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 131
  • The cost of living in Memphis is 17.9% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to $80,844.

 

17. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin and one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in the Midwest. It sits on Lake Michigan’s western shore and is known for its breweries, Harley-Davidson Museum, and Milwaukee Public Museum, which includes a large-scale European Village and a re-creation of old Milwaukee.

In this city, the healthcare industry alone makes up 27% of the jobs. The Milwaukee Regional Medical Complex houses health organizations like the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Froedtert Hospital, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, the Ronald McDonald House, Curative Rehabilitation, and the Medical College of Wisconsin. Of course, there are various other health organizations and systems in Milwaukee.

Our study has found that the cost of living in Milwaukee is significantly cheaper than the average of all the other cities. The average Milwaukee nurse can also enjoy a salary of $72k or higher.

How much do nurses make in Milwaukee, WI?

  • Nurses in Milwaukee make an average salary of $72,640.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $95,460.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 144
  • The cost of living in Milwaukee is 9.8% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to $80,518.

 

18. Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, or “Indy,” is the state capital and most populous city of Indiana. Two of the city’s other nicknames echo its historical roots in transportation: the “Crossroads of America” and the “Railroad City.” Despite hosting many international sports events, the city is best known for annually hosting the Indianapolis 500. This is the world’s biggest single-day sporting event.

In present day, the economy of Indianapolis is primarily based on finance and insurance, manufacturing, business services, education and healthcare!

As of 2016, Eli Lilly and Company was the largest private employer in Indianapolis. Plus, the regional healthcare providers of Community Health Network—Eskenazi Health, Franciscan Health, Indiana University Health, and St. Vincent Health—create quite an extensive workforce.

How much do nurses make in Indianapolis, IN?

  • Nurses in Indianapolis make an average salary of $69,290.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $94,580.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 139
  • The cost of living in Indianapolis is 12.9% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to $79,567.

 

19. Anchorage, Alaska

Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage, houses more than 40% of the state’s population. It’s recognized for cultural sites like the Alaska Native Heritage Center, which highlights traditional crafts, dances, and dwelling replicas from indigenous groups. Anchorage also acts as a gateway to neighboring mountains and wilderness.

The city is also centrally located. For instance, it’s almost equal distance from New York City, Frankfurt, and Tokyo. This means that Anchorage “lies within ​9 12 hours by air of nearly 90% of the industrialized world.” The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is a critical refueling stop.

When it comes to healthcare, Anchorage is also home to the Providence Alaska Medical Center. It’s the largest hospital in the state, and it’s a part of Providence Health & Services in Washington, Oregon, and California. This medical center features the state’s most comprehensive range of services.

The cost of living is a little more expensive in Anchorage, but some nurses can earn as much as $123,070.

How much do nurses make in Anchorage, AK?

  • Nurses in Anchorage make an average salary of $88,170.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $123,070.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 177
  • The cost of living in Anchorage is 10.9% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability lowers a nurse’s pay to $79,511.

 

20. Los Angeles, California

With an estimated population of nearly four million people, Los Angeles is the most populous city in California. It’s also the second most populous city in the United States (New York City takes the number one spot). Los Angeles can be called the cultural and commercial center of Southern California. Known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, and entertainment industry, the city is nothing short of a sprawling metropolis.

Los Angeles is located beside the Pacific Ocean and sits within a basin. Mountains crest the horizon, as do tall, impressive buildings. Some of its best-known attractions include the iconic Hollywood sign, Hollywood Boulevard, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the TCL Chinese Theatre.

In a 2018 financial report, the largest non-government employers in LA were ranked. Kaiser Permanente reached the number one spot with about 37,468 employees. Providence Health and Services Southern California ranked fourth with about 15,952 employees. In addition, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center ranked seventh with about 14,903 employees. Given the size of LA’s healthcare industry, it’s no wonder some nurses can earn as much as $143,030.

How much do nurses make in Los Angeles, CA?

  • Nurses in Los Angeles make an average salary of $99,930.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $143,030.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 203
  • The cost of living in Los Angeles is 27.2% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability lowers a nurse’s pay to $78,574.

 

21. Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford is the capital of Connecticut and has been nicknamed the “Insurance Capital of the World.” Founded in 1635, Hartford is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It’s home to the famous Mark Twain House & Museum, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, which features Renaissance and impressionist collections.

One popular provider is the Hartford HealthCare Medical Group. They are one of the largest practices in Connecticut and maintain more than 50 locations throughout the state. They offer primary care, urgent care, and over 30 different specialties. Plus, the average nursing salary in Hartford is around $80,240, which certainly doesn’t hurt!

How much do nurses make in Hartford, CT?

  • Nurses in Hartford make an average salary of $80,240.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $102,350.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 164
  • The cost of living in Hartford is 2.7% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability lowers a nurse’s pay to $78,095.

 

22. Baltimore, Maryland

As the birthplace of the U.S. national anthem, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor area offers a slew of shops, upscale crab shacks, and historic attractions. The latter includes the “Civil War–era warship the USS Constellation and the National Aquarium,” which showcases “thousands of marine creatures.”

Baltimore is also the most populous city in Maryland. Once a key manufacturing center, Baltimore has become more of a service-oriented economy. For instance, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins University are the top two employers in the city.

Baltimore is only 0.2% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study, and the average nurse there earns well over $77k a year.

How much do nurses make in Baltimore, MD?

  • Nurses in Baltimore make an average salary of $77,920.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $102,530.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 160
  • The cost of living in Baltimore is 0.2% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability lowers a nurse’s pay to $77,733.

 

23. Cincinnati, Ohio

As the economic and cultural center of Ohio, Cincinnati is also the fastest-growing economic power in the Midwestern United States. Cincinnati currently houses three major sports teams: the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball; the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League; and FC Cincinnati of Major League Soccer.

The city also features historic architecture. In fact, some structures have stayed intact for about 200 years. You can also visit the Over-the-Rhine district, which is well known for its 19th-century architecture. Additionally, you can plan a day trip to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. History lovers might enjoy the Cincinnati Museum, while art fans could tour the Cincinnati Art Museum (works are displayed that span 6,000 years).

Regarding healthcare, the University of Cincinnati Medical Center is one of Ohio’s leading institutes for community health. The relatively low cost of living, historical aspects of the city, and economic-powerhouse status makes Cincinnati one of the best cities for nurses.

How much do nurses make in Cincinnati, OH?

  • Nurses in Cincinnati make an average salary of $68,450.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $94,060.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 141
  • The cost of living in Cincinnati is 11.7% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to $77,488.

 

24. Richmond, Virginia

The capital of Virginia, Richmond, is one of America’s oldest major cities. It is also the center of the Greater Richmond Region. At St. John’s Church in 1775, Patrick Henry famously said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” The Revolutionary War soon followed. In present day, Richmond’s economy is mostly driven by law, finance, and government.

The city maintains numerous parks and spots for outdoor recreation. Several of these parks can be found along the James River, not to mention bike, hiking, and nature trails. Visitors and residents can enjoy picturesque overlooks along the river’s path through the city. If you like water sports, the James River is also well renowned for white-water rafting, canoeing, and kayaking.

If you’re an aspiring nurse who likes beautiful weather, outdoor recreation, and a low cost of living, be sure to check out the city of Richmond!

How much do nurses make in Richmond, VA?

  • Nurses in Richmond make an average salary of $71,210.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $96,640.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 147
  • The cost of living in Richmond is 7.9% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to $77,322.

 

25. Colorado Springs, Colorado

At an elevation of 6,035 foot, Colorado Springs lies about one mile above sea level. This Colorado city is located at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains. Pikes Peak is a nearby landmark in Pike National Forest that offers hiking trails and a cog railway.

Colorado Springs is home to the “Garden of the Gods” as well. In this park, you’ll find massive sandstone formations and mountainous views. Like most of the city, it’s a true feast for the eyes.

Colorado Springs houses 24 national governing bodies of sport (i.e., the United States Olympic Committee). The city’s economy is mainly driven by the military, the high-tech industry, and tourism. However, some high-ranking hospitals include UCHealth Memorial Hospital, Cedar Springs Hospital, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Colorado Springs, and Peak View Behavioral Health-Colorado Springs.

The cost of living is also cheaper in Colorado Springs than some of the other cities in our study. Despite its affordability, nurses can earn as much as $99,110.

How much do nurses make in Colorado Springs, CO?

  • Nurses in Colorado Springs make an average salary of $73,510.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $99,110.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 153
  • The cost of living in Colorado Springs is 4.1% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a nurse’s pay to $76,689.

 

Unitek College offers several healthcare programs for aspiring nurses. Some of these options include an RN degree or Vocational Nursing school.

Contact us today to learn more about our programs and tuition assistance options.

Take the first step towards a rewarding future in healthcare!