Here’s How Much Nurses Make in Every State

Deliris / Shutterstock.com

Nurses serve on the front lines of health care. Their work is tough, but fortunately it’s well-compensated. If you are considering a career as a nurse, the good news is that the industry is growing and the pay tends to be good.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates there are more than 2.9 million registered nurses across the country, pulling down an average annual wage of $80,010. Additionally, there are some 200,000 nurse practitioners, earning an average of $114,510, and around 676,000 licensed practical and vocational nurses, earning an average of $50,090.

But the pay varies greatly depending on where the nurse practices.

Following are the average annual wages for three types of nurses in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to the latest BLS data, which is for 2020. The states are ranked based on pay for registered nurses.

51. Alabama

Prattville Baptist Hospital
JNix / Shutterstock.com

In Alabama and nationally, nurse practitioners earn more money than multiple other types of nurses, on average. To become a nurse practitioner, you must first be a registered nurse and also have specialized graduate education, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $60,230

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $99,790

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $40,680

50. South Dakota

Sanford USD Medical Center
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

South Dakota is one of several states predicted to have a shortage of registered nurses (RNs) by 2030, according to a pre-pandemic report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The federal agency forecast that the state will be short 1,900 RNs by 2030.

South Dakota is also among the majority of states forecast to have a shortage of licensed practical nurses by 2030, the report found.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $60,960

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $103,080

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $39,420

49. Mississippi

Nurse
insta_photos / Shutterstock.com

Nurses aren’t the only front-line workers with relatively low average wages in Mississippi. The state ranks low for its average annual wages for elementary-school teachers and for police officers and sheriff’s deputies, as we have reported.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $61,250

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $109,550

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $40,340

48. Iowa

Hospital nurse in mask and gloves
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

Different types of nurses are most likely to work in different types of health care settings, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. RNs most commonly work in hospitals and NPs in physicians’ offices.

Licensed practical and vocational nurses most often work in nursing care facilities, also referred to as skilled nursing facilities.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $62,570

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $107,910

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $45,860

47. Arkansas

Nurse with elderly patient
Alexander Raths / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $63,640

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $106,210

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $41,760

46. Tennessee

Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital
Travel_with_me / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $64,120

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $99,370

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $42,330

45. Kansas

University of Kansas Hospital
APN Photography / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $64,200

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $104,530

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $45,050

44. Kentucky

Nurse with patient
michaeljung / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $64,730

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $102,460

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $44,160

43. West Virginia

nurse
Syda Productions / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $65,130

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $105,220

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $38,940

42. Missouri

Jon Rehg / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $65,900

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $106,870

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $44,490

41. Oklahoma

Man in the hospital coughing
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $66,600

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $112,750

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $43,250

40. South Carolina

home health nurse taking a senior's blood pressure
Dmytro Zinkevych / Shutterstock.com

South Carolina is one of several states projected to have a shortage of registered nurses by 2030, according to the report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The federal agency forecasted the Palmetto State will be short 10,400 RNs by that year.

South Carolina is also among the majority of states forecast to have a shortage of licensed practical nurses by 2030, the report found.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $67,140

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $101,190

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $43,630

39. Indiana

Floyd Memorial Hospital in Albany, Indiana.
Thomas Kelley / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $67,490

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $109,940

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $47,890

38. Louisiana

Home health aide
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Louisiana is home to more than 19,000 licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consequently, Louisiana has a higher concentration of this type of nursing job than any other state in the nation.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $68,010

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $111,880

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $41,920

37. North Carolina

Thank you sign for health and essential workers
Darwin Brandis / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $68,950

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $108,370

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $47,120

36. Nebraska

Essential worker
G-Stock Studio / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $69,480

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $107,330

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $45,710

35. Florida

Boca Raton Regional Hospital
Mike Kuhlman / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $69,510

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $101,060

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $46,710

34. North Dakota

Hospital staff
Spotmatik Ltd / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $69,630

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $111,070

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $48,060

33. Ohio

Cleveland Clinic
Duttagupta M K / Shutterstock.com

Ohio is home to the Cleveland Clinic — which U.S. News & World Report ranks as the nation’s No. 2 hospital overall and the No. 1 specialty hospital for cardiology and heart surgery, as we’ve reported.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $69,750

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $105,630

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $46,590

32. Utah

nurse
Cryptographer / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $70,370

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $113,550

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $47,550

31. Montana

Young female medical student working at a hospital
Stokkete / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $70,530

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $114,370

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $46,010

30. Maine

nurse
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $71,040

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $111,580

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $48,390

29. Georgia

Mark Winfrey / Shutterstock.com

Georgia is one of several states predicted to have a shortage of registered nurses by 2030, according to the analysis from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The federal agency forecast that the Peach State will be short 2,200 RNs by that time.

Georgia is also among the majority of states forecast to have a shortage of licensed practical nurses by 2030, the analysis found. The state is projected to be short 10,500 LPNs by that year.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $71,510

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $106,220

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $44,690

28. Idaho

Idaho state capital building
Charles Knowles / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $71,640

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $113,890

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $48,640

27. Vermont

University of Vermont Medical Center
Bob LoCicero / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $72,140

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $108,280

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $51,240

26. Wyoming

senior receiving long-term care
Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $72,600

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $118,810

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $48,980

25. Michigan

University of Michigan Hospitals
Susan Montgomery / Shutterstock.com

University of Michigan Hospitals-Michigan Medicine ranks among the top 20 hospitals in the United States. Like the University of Michigan itself, the hospital is located in the city of Ann Arbor.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $73,980

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $109,150

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $52,220

24. Pennsylvania

hospital
Ilze_Lucero / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $74,170

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $111,560

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $50,250

23. Delaware

nurse
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $74,330

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $112,230

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $53,920

22. Virginia

UVA health care heroes banner
Kim Kelley-Wagner / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $74,380

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $109,660

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $47,410

21. Illinois

wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

Chicago is home to two of the top 20 hospitals in the United States, Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Rush University Medical Center, according to rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $74,560

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $112,060

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $54,580

20. Wisconsin

Senior man with nurse
Nejron Photo / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $74,760

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $113,030

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $48,070

19. New Mexico

Home health care worker
Rob Marmion / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $75,700

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $117,050

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $50,480

18. New Hampshire

Manchester, New Hampshire
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $75,970

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $112,460

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $56,400

17. Texas

MD Anderson Cancer Center
JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com

Texas is one of several states facing a serious shortage of registered nurses by 2030, according to the analysis by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It’s also among the majority of states forecast to have a shortage of licensed practical nurses by 2030.

Texas has a larger share of uninsured residents than any other state, as we detail in “16 States With the Worst Rates of Health Insurance.”

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $76,800

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $116,700

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $48,380

16. Colorado

Denver, Colorado
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $77,860

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $109,760

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $54,310

15. Arizona

hospital
vewfinder / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $80,380

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $117,480

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $55,820

14. Minnesota

Mayo Clinic Hospital
Leigh Trail / Shutterstock.com

The city of Rochester, Minnesota, is home to the Mayo Clinic — which U.S. News & World Report ranks as the No. 1 hospital in the nation, as we’ve reported.

The Mayo Clinic also is ranked the nation’s No. 1 hospital for multiple types of specialty care, from diabetes and endocrinology to pulmonology and lung surgery.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $80,960

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $118,900

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $49,840

13. Maryland

Johns Hopkins Hospital
Richard Thornton / Shutterstock.com

Baltimore is home to Johns Hopkins Hospital, which U.S. News & World Report ranks as the top hospital in the country for rheumatology and psychiatry, as we’ve reported.

U.S. News also ranks Johns Hopkins Hospital fourth-best in the country overall.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $81,590

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $115,240

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $56,220

12. Rhode Island

nurses
Spotmatik Ltd / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $82,790

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $117,300

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $59,090

11. Connecticut

Remote nurse
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $84,850

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $116,780

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $58,430

10. New Jersey

Amy Lutz / Shutterstock.com

New Jersey is one of several states expected to have a shortage of registered nurses by 2030, according to an analysis by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The federal agency predicts that the state will be short 11,400 RNs in about a decade.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $85,720

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $130,890

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $57,590

9. Nevada

Nurse
GagliardiImages / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $89,750

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $119,890

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $59,700

8. New York

lev radin / Shutterstock.com

Nurses aren’t the only front-line workers with relatively high average wages in New York. The state ranks No. 3 for grade-school teachers’ pay, as we report in “Here’s How Much Teachers Are Paid in Every State.”

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $89,760

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $126,440

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $51,300

7. District of Columbia

Washington D.C.
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Nurses aren’t the only front-line workers with relatively high average wages in Washington, D.C.

For workers behind cash registers, the nation’s capital ranks No. 1 — beating out all 50 states — with its average $14.99 hourly pay for those employees, as we report in “How Much Cashiers Earn in Every State.”

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $90,050

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $116,150

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $57,810

6. Washington

Bellevue, Washington
mandritoiu / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $91,310

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $126,480

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $59,780

5. Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska
Rex Lisman / Shutterstock.com

Alaska is one of several states facing a shortage of registered nurses in the near future, according to the report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The federal agency forecasted that by 2030, the state will be short 5,400 registered nurses.

Alaska is also among the majority of states forecast to have a shortage of licensed practical nurses by 2030, the report found.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $95,270

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $110,270

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $67,620

4. Oregon

nurse pushing a patient in a wheelchair
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $96,230

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $118,600

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $57,320

3. Massachusetts

Worcester, Massachusetts
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Massachusetts has a larger share of insured residents than any other state in the country, as we detail in “15 States Where the Most People Have Health Insurance.” A mere 3% of Massachusetts’ population was without health insurance in 2019.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $96,250

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $126,050

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $60,400

2. Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii
MNStudio / Shutterstock.com

U.S. News & World Report named Hawaii the No. 1 state for health care, based in part on top scores for health care access and quality.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $104,830

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $118,780

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $54,160

1. California

Keck Hospital of USC
Kit Leong / Shutterstock.com

California may pay its nurses well, but it is one of several states forecast to have a shortage of registered nurses by 2030, according to the analysis by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The federal agency predicts that the state will be short 44,500 full-time RN jobs — far more than any other state — by that year.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $120,560

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $145,970

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $64,090

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.