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WalletHub report names best, worst states for nurses

Wyoming showed the highest annual salary for nurses, followed by Nevada, Michigan, Texas and Arizona.

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

If you're a nurse living in Wisconsin, New Mexico, Iowa, Texas or Colorado, then according to WalletHub's report "2017's Best and Worst States for Nurses," you're on the good end of the results, as those states were the top 5.

The report listed the worst 5 in descending order as being Alabama, Louisiana, New York, Hawaii and District of Columbia.

That said, other states boasted important attributes as well. The report said Nevada actually touted the highest annual mean wage for registered nurses, after cost of living adjustment, at $80,182. That figure is 1.5 times higher than the lowest figure, which came from Hawaii at $53,112.

[Also: Nearly half of nurses consider changing careers as nationwide shortage looms, RNnetwork study says]

It was Wyoming that showed the highest annual salary for nurses, followed by Nevada, Michigan, Texas and Arizona.

Nevada also showed the lowest competition rate, or number of nurses per 1,000 residents, at 8.39. That's 2.3 times lower than D.C., which showed the highest competition at 19.63.

Vermont showed the highest nurse-to-hospital-bed ratio at 5.6, which was almost two and a half times higher than the lowest, which was Wyoming's ratio of 2.3.

For the report, WalletHub's analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key dimensions, "Opportunity & Competition" and "Work Environment."

[Also: Allina Health spent $105 million on two nurses' strikes in 2016, system says]

Those dimensions were analyzed using 18 metrics like those described in the results above. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for nurses. The total score was calculated for all states and the District based on its weighted average across all metrics.

"Aspiring nurses have much to look forward to upon certification. Nursing occupations are some of the most lucrative careers with the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S. In fact, the industry is expected to grow at more than double the rate of the average occupation through 2024," WalletHub said.

Twitter: @BethJSanborn

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