Best Places for Nurses to Live


Have you been a travel nurse for years and want to now find that permanent home?  Maybe you just need a break for a few years but want to live in a place where you can prosper as a nurse.  I have found some information to share that may help you decide on that place.

One of the concerns when looking to relocate is what is the salary of nurses in the area. Salaries for nurses can vary greatly depending on the city and state where you practice.  One of the things that affect a salary is the cost of living for the area.  The first thing to consider would be what is important to you where you live.  Do you want a high average salary, job availability or nurse friendly hospital or medical facility?

A report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the average salary for a registered nurse was $68,450 in 2016. At the top end nurses earn over $102,000, and at the low end earn less than $47,000. I think most nurses generally consider salary at the top of the list for a decision to relocate.  However if there is low job availability it does no good to relocate where you can’t find a job.

A Wallet Hub report gives detailed information on factors to determine what makes a location a good or bad. They provide a list of states with high and low job availability. You might find it surprising where the the best opportunities would be for relocation.  States like Utah, Hawaii, Mississippi, New York, and Washington have the lowest job availability for a nurse. The highest number of job openings can be found in District of Columbia, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Vermont.  If annual salary is most important then you would consider Wyoming, Nevada, Michigan, Texas, and Arizona.  Surprisingly Maryland, New York, Vermont, the District of Columbia, and Hawaii offer the lowest annual salary.  the decision is whether salary or job availability is important.

Lets look at some of the best places for a nurse to live and work:

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

One reason to move to Philadelphia is one of the biggest Children’s hospitals in the United States is always in need of nurses.    Philadelphia is known as an ideal place for nurses to relocate to.

Boston, Massachusetts

If you are looking to move to the east coast then Boston offers nurses the highest pay scale anywhere on the East Coast of the United States. This city is known for many job opportunities in teaching or researching medication.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco is always at the top of the list as a great place for nurses to call home. They are known generous salaries that will more than cover the cost of living.  The city has an added bonus since convenient transportation options make it easy to save money on commuting.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Currently there is a job shortage in Hawaii.  I would not make that transition unless I had a job locked down.  There is word that the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation plans to invest millions of dollars into the health care industry over the next few years. If this in fact true then this should open additional job availability. If island living is your dream Hawaii is a wonderful place to live and work.

Anchorage, Alaska  anchorage

On the other hand if  you are looking for a place where the job opportunities are many then Anchorage is the place.  There is a high turnover rate in the city and results in a steady flow of nursing job opportunities. Alaska is not a place for the new nurse just out of school.  Health facilities in this city only hire nurses with experience.

New York City, New York

If you are looking for a city with much to offer in the off time then New York is the city for you.  If you do not mind the pace of a busy city, New York City, New York, is the perfect location for nurses. There are many high-quality nursing facilities with a lot to offer.

Los Angeles, California

I California is your desired ;location but you prefer the southern part of the state then Los Angeles offers a desirable annual salary and convenient public transportation.

Seymour, Indiana

Seymour is known for the most nurse-friendly hospital in the United States. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was awarded to Schneck Medical Center for going above and beyond with quality standards.

Dallas or Houston, Texas

Texas is home to three three different hospitals that are among the top 30 most nurse-friendly hospitals in the country. If you are looking for a supportive work environment Dallas or Houston, Texas, are ideal places to call home.

Baltimore, Maryland

Nurses who choose to move to Baltimore generally dream of working at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The plus side of nurses in this state is a salary of $65,280 which is nearly twice the average annual cost of living $33,994 for a single adult.

Hopefully this is helpful information for any travel nurse who is ready to plant roots.  If you are not ready to settle down maybe you want to ask your recruiter for a job opening in one of these locations to test the waters.

Happy travels!!!!




Cheryl Roby, RN

Cheryl J. Roby is a retired RN and US Army Nurse Major. She has over 30 years of nursing experience and 26 years of military experience in the Army Nurse Corp. During her nursing career she has traveled as part of her military experience visiting many of the 50 states and once to South Korea. Her medical training began during the Vietnam era when trained as an army medic. She went on to train as an OR tech and then as a LVN/LPN. She completed nursing school and was direct commissioned into the reserve Army Nurse Corp. nurse. She appreciated the challenge of working in various specialties and expanding her clinical and professional skill sets. Her time in the Army Reserves and California National Guard gave her the opportunity to travel to most of the 50 states and working in other medical facilities. During her career she spent years as an OR nurse, Occupational Health Nurse, Hospice Nurse, Forensic Nurse, Nurse Case Manager for developmental disabilities, Parish Nursing as well as being a Nurse Entrepreneur.

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