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This week is National Nurses Week — honoring the people who serve on the front lines of health care in the United States. Nurses are 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 tough, but fairly well-compensated, and the industry is growing rapidly.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there 2.9 million registered nurses across the country, pulling down an average 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.