Maine, Montana Top Places For Nurses to Work

Maine and Montana are the top two places to work as a nurse in the United States in 2018, new rankings have found.

Hawaii and Washington D.C., in contrast, are the very worst places to work, according to personal finance website WalletHub.

In the compilation of the 2018 rankings, states were evaluated on 21 key metrics, including nursing-job openings per capita, highest annual nursing salary, competition rates and projected population ages. Home health care providers might want to pay attention to where nurses see the most opportunities, as the industry has felt the squeeze of a tighter labor market.

Here are the top 10 states for nurses to work:

1. Maine

2. Montana

3. Washington

4. Wyoming

5. New Mexico

6. Minnesota

7. Arizona

8. New Hampshire

9. Oregon

10. Colorado

Although neither came in No. 1 overall, Minnesota finished first for best work environment, while Wyoming topped all destinations for job opportunities and competition.

Vermont had the most nursing-job openings per capita, according to the rankings. Other places that ranked high for nursing-job openings included Washington D.C., Maine, North Dakota and Alaska.

The employment of registered nurses is projected to grow at least 15% through 2026, much faster than all other occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The demand for nursing jobs is largely expected to rise as the country’s current population continues to age.

“The beauty of nursing and health care, in general, [is that] there will always be patients as long as there are people,” Michael Bumbach, clinical assistant professor at the University of Florida College of Nursing, said in a statement. “There is a huge nursing shortage, increasing over the past 20 years, which doesn’t seem to be going away… It is not difficult to find meaningful and substantial work.”

Arizona, meanwhile, has the highest annual nursing salaries when adjusted for cost of living, followed by Nevada, Wyoming, Michigan and Texas.

Among caregivers, low wages are closely tied to high turnover rates.

Written by Robert Holly

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Robert Holly
When Robert's not covering the latest in home health care news, you can likely find him rooting for the White Sox or roaming his neighborhood streets playing Pokemon Go. Before joining HHCN, Robert covered everything from big agribusiness to the hottest tech startups. 



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