Here’s How Much Nurses Make in Every State

Health care worker in a mask and face shield
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Nurses serve on the front lines of health care. Their work is tough, but fortunately it’s well-compensated. And 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 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 some 697,000 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 multiple types of nurses in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data, which is for 2020. The states are ranked based on pay for RNs.

51. 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 forecasted 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: $59,540

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $102,230

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $38,760

50. Mississippi

Nurse
insta_photos / Shutterstock.com

Nurses aren’t the only front-line workers with relatively low average wages in Mississippi. The state ranks terribly 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: $59,750

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $110,740

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $39,020

49. 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 an NP, you must first be a registered nurse and also pursue 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: $99,570

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $39,310

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. Meanwhile, 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: $60,590

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $109,910

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $44,220

47. Arkansas

Nurse with elderly patient
Alexander Raths / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $61,330

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $105,840

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $40,760

46. Kansas

University of Kansas Hospital
APN Photography / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $62,450

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $100,550

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $44,260

45. Tennessee

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

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

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $96,510

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $41,270

44. West Virginia

nurse
Syda Productions / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $63,220

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $103,170

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $37,500

43. Kentucky

Nurse with patient
michaeljung / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $63,750

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $99,560

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $42,740

42. Missouri

Jon Rehg / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $64,160

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $105,050

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $43,410

41. Oklahoma

Man in the hospital coughing
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $64,800

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $113,200

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $42,090

40. South Carolina

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

South Carolina is one of seven 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: $64,840

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $100,680

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $42,190

39. 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: $65,850

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $106,240

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $40,300

38. North Dakota

Hospital staff
Spotmatik Ltd / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $66,290

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $110,950

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $46,760

37. North Carolina

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

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $66,440

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $105,890

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $45,880

36. Indiana

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

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $66,560

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $106,380

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $46,050

35. Nebraska

Essential worker
G-Stock Studio / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $66,640

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $105,450

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $44,450

34. Florida

Boca Raton Regional Hospital
Mike Kuhlman / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $67,610

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $101,510

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $45,580

33. Utah

nurse
Cryptographer / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $67,970

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $105,240

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $49,660

32. 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: $68,220

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $103,780

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $45,020

31. Wyoming

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

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $68,690

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $118,110

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $46,980

30. Montana

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

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $69,340

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $109,120

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $44,730

29. Idaho

Idaho state capital building
Charles Knowles / Shutterstock.com

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

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $110,860

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $46,430

28. Georgia

Mark Winfrey / Shutterstock.com

Georgia is one of several states predicted to have a shortage of registered nurses by 2030, according to an analysis from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The federal agency forecasted 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: $69,590

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $105,670

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $42,570

27. Maine

nurse
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $69,760

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $106,960

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $46,930

26. Vermont

University of Vermont Medical Center
Bob LoCicero / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $70,240

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $105,840

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $50,210

25. Pennsylvania

hospital
Ilze_Lucero / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $71,410

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $101,950

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $49,200

24. Virginia

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

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $71,870

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $109,110

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $46,070

23. Wisconsin

Senior man with nurse
Nejron Photo / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $72,610

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $112,130

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $46,550

22. 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: $73,200

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $108,660

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $50,300

21. New Mexico

Home health care worker
Rob Marmion / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $73,300

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $111,930

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $48,330

20. 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 the rankings of U.S. News & World Report.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $73,510

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $107,860

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $53,290

19. New Hampshire

Manchester, New Hampshire
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $73,880

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $110,680

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $54,220

18. Delaware

nurse
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $74,100

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $112,430

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $53,520

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 an 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.

Additionally, 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: $74,540

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $115,440

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $47,370

16. Colorado

Denver, Colorado
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $76,230

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $106,760

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $53,180

15. Maryland

Johns Hopkins Hospital
Richard Thornton / Shutterstock.com

Baltimore is home to the Johns Hopkins Hospital, which U.S. News & World Report ranks as the top hospital in the country for multiple specialties — from ear, nose and throat care to psychiatry — as we’ve reported.” The publication also ranks Johns Hopkins Hospital the No. 3 hospital in the country overall.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $77,910

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $111,800

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $55,020

14. Arizona

hospital
vewfinder / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $78,330

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $111,480

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $54,290

13. 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 No. 1 for multiple types of specialty care, from diabetes and endocrinology to pulmonology and lung surgery.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $80,130

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $122,850

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $48,460

12. Rhode Island

nurses
Spotmatik Ltd / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $82,310

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $115,310

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $59,860

11. Connecticut

Candlewood Lake
By tmphoto98 / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $83,440

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $115,140

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $57,380

10. New Jersey

Amy Lutz / Shutterstock.com

New Jersey is one of seven 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 a whopping 11,400 RNs in about a decade.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $84,280

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $123,810

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $57,510

9. Washington

Bellevue, Washington
mandritoiu / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $86,170

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $126,920

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $57,940

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. 1 for its wages for grade-school teachers, as we report in “Here’s How Much Teachers Are Paid in Every State.”

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $87,840

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $122,550

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $49,860

7. Nevada

Nurse
GagliardiImages / Shutterstock.com

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $88,380

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $115,970

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $58,470

6. Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska
Rex Lisman / Shutterstock.com

Alaska is one of seven 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: $90,500

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $115,890

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $63,850

5. Oregon

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

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $92,960

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $113,430

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $54,740

4. 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 is without insurance.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $93,160

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $122,240

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $60,340

3. 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. The nation’s capital ranks No. 1 — beating out all 50 states — based on its pay for the heroes behind cash registers, as we report in “How Much Cashiers Earn in Every State.”

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $94,820

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $111,950

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $54,220

2. Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii
MNStudio / Shutterstock.com

U.S. News & World Report named Hawaii the No. 1 state for health care in general. In the analysis, Hawaii leads the nation in health care quality, is third for health care access and fourth for public health.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $104,060

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $124,000

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $51,010

1. California

Keck Hospital of USC
Kit Leong / Shutterstock.com

California may pay its nurses well, but it is one of seven states forecast 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 44,500 full-time RN jobs — far more than any other state — by that year.

Average annual wage for a registered nurse: $113,240

Average annual wage for a nurse practitioner: $138,660

Average annual wage for a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse: $60,240

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