Nursing Salary by State

A day in the life of Veronica Pasha, a senior staff nurse at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, is long. She’s up by 5 a.m. and at the hospital by 7 a.m., serving as a float nurse who works across all units in the women and children’s health division. She is also on call for the hospital’s emergency department three times a month, according to a CNBC profile.

Her shifts are long — typically 12.5 hours, but sometimes stretching as long as 16 hours — but it’s rewarding work. She told CNBC that the most meaningful part of her job involves creating a “rapport” with her patients.

“Especially in this specific area of labor and delivery, you’re fostering a family and you’re bringing a child into the world and you’re creating a family,” she said. “There’s no better feeling.”

If you’re considering a career in nursing, it can be a rewarding and lucrative profession. Pay ranges differ depending on geographic location, work environment and a nurse’s discipline. 

Each of these pathways within nursing comes with different salary expectations:

Location matters. Nurse salary by state varies widely. But what state has the highest-paid nurses? For registered nurses, California currently stands at the top of the 10 best-paying states for RNs, followed by Hawaii, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Oregon, Alaska, New York, Nevada, New Jersey, and Washington, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Here’s a general look at nursing salaries throughout the United States, as reported by the BLS. 

Licensed Practical Nurse Salary

A licensed practical nurse provides patients with essential day-to-day care, such as preparing equipment, and administering medications and immunizations under a physician’s supervision. LPNs can also assist RNs and physicians with patients, maintaining medical records and coordinating contact between the whole medical care team, making sure that patients and families know what proper at-home care consists of outside the hospital or clinic.

You’ll find these nurses in doctor’s offices, clinics and hospitals. They also offer targeted care directly to patients, including at-home visits. 

The median annual wage for an LPN is $46,240, according to the BLS. In 2018, the bottom 10 percent of LPNs earned below $33,680 per year, while the highest 10 percent earned over $62,160.

Here’s an overview of the highest-paying states for licensed practical nurses, according to 2018 BLS data:

LPN Salary Rhode Island: $59,130

LPN Salary Massachusetts: $58,990

LPN Salary Alaska: $58,250

LPN Salary Nevada: $57,140

LPN Salary Connecticut: $56,970

As with other nursing disciplines, the salary for LPNs varies by geography, according to 2018 BLS data. The LPN salary in Florida, for instance, is $44,400 per year on average, while the LPN average annual salary in California is $56,200. In Missouri, it’s $42,580 and in Pennsylvania, it stands at $48,120. Salaries vary per state and work setting.

Interested to see where your state falls? Here are the numbers for LPN salaries from 2018 BLS data below.

Licensed Practical Nurse Salary by State

Annual mean salary (in U.S. dollars)

Alabama: $38,230

Alaska: $58,250

Arizona: $54,090

Arkansas: $39,570

California: $56,200

Colorado: $51,210

Connecticut: $56,970

Delaware: $52,860

District of Columbia: $53,370

Florida: $44,400

Georgia: $41,690

Guam: $34,700

Hawaii: $50,930

Idaho: $44,280

Illinois: $51,080

Indiana: $44,310

Iowa: $42,820

Kansas: $43,240

Kentucky: $41,920

Louisiana: $39,480

Maine: $45,610

Maryland: $53,650

Massachusetts: $58,990

Michigan: $49,040

Minnesota: $47,020

Mississippi: $37,930

Missouri: $42,580

Montana: $43,770

Nebraska: $43,160

Nevada: $57,140

New Hampshire: $52,510

New Jersey: $56,290

New Mexico: $47,560

New York: $48,770

North Carolina: $44,610

North Dakota: $46,410

Ohio: $43,430

Oklahoma: $41,260

Oregon: $53,240

Pennsylvania: $48,120

Puerto Rico: $23,530

Rhode Island: $59,130

South Carolina: $40,890

South Dakota: $38,630

Tennessee: $40,120

Texas: $46,990

Utah: $48,130

Vermont: $49,720

Virgin Islands: $46,970

Virginia: $44,850

Washington: $55,420

West Virginia: $36,770

Wisconsin: $45,290

Wyoming: $46,790

Registered Nurse Salary

A registered nurse is someone who earned a license to practice nursing in their state, providing patient care in a range of settings from major hospitals to clinics to nursing homes and schools. RNs include clinical nurse specialists, but not advanced practice registered nurses. RNs care for patients, diagnosing and treating conditions that fall under specific areas, such as oncology and geriatrics. Research online bachelor of nursing degrees.

Registered nurse salaries can vary but the average annual pay for registered nurses was $75,510, according to 2018 BLS data. The top 90th percentile earned an annual salary of $106,530.

According to the BLS, the top five states for RN salaries are:

RN Salary California: $106,950

RN Salary Hawaii: $98,080

RN Salary District of Columbia: $92,350

RN Salary Massachusetts: $92,140

RN Salary Oregon: $91,080

Registered Nurse Salary by State

Here’s registered nurse salary by state according to 2018 data from the BLS.

Annual mean salary (in U.S. dollars)

Alabama: $59,470

Alaska: $89,310

Arizona: $77,000

Arkansas: $60,780

California: $106,950

Colorado: $74,240

Connecticut: $81,220

Delaware: $74,800

District of Columbia: $92,350

Florida: $66,210

Georgia: $68,950

Guam: $59,030

Hawaii: $98,080

Idaho: $67,110

Illinois: $73,890

Indiana: $64,860

Iowa: $59,130

Kansas: $61,030

Kentucky: $63,100

Louisiana: $63,970

Maine: $67,610

Maryland: $76,820

Massachusetts: $92,140

Michigan: $71,330

Minnesota: $78,920

Mississippi: $58,490

Missouri: $65,130

Montana: $67,450

Nebraska: $64,470

Nevada: $85,620

New Hampshire: $72,760

New Jersey: $82,750

New Mexico: $71,730

New York: $85,610

North Carolina: $64,850

North Dakota: $65,740

Ohio: $66,820

Oklahoma: $63,080

Oregon: $91,080

Pennsylvania: $70,390

Puerto Rico: $34,940

Rhode Island: $78,420

South Carolina: $64,940

South Dakota: $58,340

Tennessee: $61,320

Texas: $72,890

Utah: $65,670

Vermont: $69,160

Virgin Islands: $61,550

Virginia: $69,790

Washington: $82,670

West Virginia: $61,780

Wisconsin: $71,470

Wyoming: $67,360

Advanced Practice Nurse Salary

Advanced practice nurses, or advanced practice registered nurses, have finished advanced clinical and educational certifications. They’re nurses who’ve chosen to further their education, specialize in a specific area, and obtain additional certification credentials. Research online master of nursing degrees.

Here are three types of nurses who fall in this category, according to the BLS:

Certified nurse practitioner: Cares for patients of all ages, diagnosing and treating illnesses, and focusing on wellness and overall changes that promote better health outcomes. NPs can specialize in areas such as family nurse practitioner.

Certified nurse-midwife: Cares for pregnant women and their families, assisting with prenatal care, labor and delivery to helping new mothers in the postpartum phase adjust to life with a newborn.

Certified nurse anesthetist: Administers anesthesia before and after surgery.

Nurse Practitioner Salaries by State

Curious about annual APRN salary? Here are the various salaries for certified nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives and certified nurse anesthetists in the U.S., according to 2018 data from the BLS.

This table features state-by-state salaries of three types of advanced practice registered nurses: certified nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwife and certified nurse anesthetists. Data was retrieved using the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics Query System
State Certified Nurse Practitioner Certified Nurse-Midwife Certified Nurse Anesthetist
Alabama $95,970 N/A $161,780
Alaska $122,880 $85,210 $187,690
Arizona $110,750 $114,900 $144,670
Arkansas $104,300 N/A $186,970
California $133,780 $139,990 $212,210
Colorado $111,210 $107,100 $172,700
Connecticut $118,020 $111,340 $190,480
Delaware $108,340 $96,340 $187,860
District of Columbia $109,800 $95,730 N/A
Florida $101,100 $88,060 $177,390
Georgia $106,750 $109,640 $151,070
Guam N/A N/A N/A
Hawaii $120,570 N/A $192,580
Idaho $102,600 $67,950 $143,270
Illinois $105,800 $105,640 $190,500
Iowa $106,290 N/A $209,130
Kansas $99,430 N/A $159,600
Kentucky $99,790 $101,990 $172,780
Louisiana $105,340 N/A $159,370
Maine $103,220 N/A $170,300
Maryland $115,060 $115,440 $191,160
Massachusetts $122,740 $119,380 $191,320
Michigan $106,880 $92,030 $180,560
Minnesota $119,160 $113,440 $188,130
Mississippi $109,700 N/A $163,320
Missouri $102,470 N/A $159,080
Montana $103,510 N/A $246,370
Nebraska $103,800 N/A $189,030
Nevada $112,540 N/A $163,220
New Hampshire $109,460 $105,120 $171,800
California $133,780 $139,990 $212,210
New Jersey $122,100 $113,980 $189,150
New Mexico $109,810 $97,930 N/A
New York $120,970 $110,150 $191,130
North Carolina $104,100 $106,570 $178,250
North Dakota $106,200 N/A $197,860
Ohio $101,970 $106,830 $174,380
Oklahoma $103,280 N/A $176,780
Oregon $110,010 $108,950 $205,730
Pennsylvania $98,250 $96,710 $171,250
Puerto Rico $20,910 N/A $57,810
Rhode Island $109,290 $107,700 N/A
South Carolina $99,910 $89,150 $164,480
South Dakota $100,690 N/A $188,360
Tennessee $95,990 $85,900 $158,510
Utah $105,840 $106,590 $161,300
Vermont $106,000 $87,700 $N/A
Virginia $105,170 $89,870 $187,320
Washington $117,650 $102,670 $195,610
West Virginia $100,690 $113,720 $183,080
Wisconsin $106,790 $108,690 N/A
Wyoming $116,030 N/A N/A

Disclosure: “Not available” indicates that the BLS has not provided data for it. All data was accessed in 2019.