Nursing has become one of the most popular fields of employment in the USA. As of today, there are well over 3 million registered nurses all across the nation. Although this job is very demanding, it is virtually recession proof. People working as nurses enjoy a lower unemployment rate than then the national average, due mostly to the fact that the baby boomer generation is getting older. However, there are some cities that pay their nurses far better than others. In this article we will provide you with five of the best cities in which to practice nursing based on median salary, rent prices, availability of jobs, and overall quality of life.
1. Houston, Texas
The number one city for nurses is always Houston. The Houston metro area was shown to have the highest number of nursing jobs of any city at a whopping 14.6 percent of the workforce. This city also offers their nurses the highest annual salary, currently around $78,000. Only 13.8 percent of that income will go towards rent here, which makes Houston the lowest in the nation. In terms of quality of life, Houston was recently ranked the 11th best American city to live in on LawnStarter’s 2015 Quality of Life Index. According to this data, Houston is the happiest city to live in in Texas, especially due to its very good GDP per capital numbers and its climate.
2. Seattle, Washington
If you are a nurse who loves Starbucks coffee and Frasier re-runs, then relocating to Seattle might be the best career move of your life. Seattle is not only a great American megalopolis, it also pays its nurses well. It was recently estimated that registered nurses get $74,000 a year. The median rent you can expect to pay per year here is $13,200. Although not as high as Houston, the demand for registered nurses here is quite high, currently around 9.4 percent of the workforce.
3. Los Angeles, California
For those nurses out there who have dreams of stardom, LA may be a great place to work in. The number of jobs in this city for registered nurses is quite high, currently at 12.4 percent. Plus, the annual salary for nurses here currently stands at $74,000. The only thing bad about LA is that the cost of living is very high, with a median rent of $15,156. Although you will be paying more on average for either housing or rent, the quality of life is generally high for this city. The warm Mediterranean climate and wide variety of entertainment venues are the main reasons why people love living in LA.
4. Tulsa, Oklahoma
Although Tulsa may offer nurses a lower annual income, it is a city worth considering due to its high employment rates and low rents. The average annual income for a registered nurse is $62,000, but the median annual rent is only $8,820. Also, the percentage of nurses in the workforce is 11.4 percent. Some of the best hospitals to work for in this city include St. John Health System and Hillcrest Healthcare System.
5. Dallas, Texas
Rounding out this list is Dallas, yet another great Texan city for a nurse to live in. Dallas gives nurses an average salary of $71,000, and only 15.3 percent of that income will go towards rent. The median annual rent is now at $10,848. Although the cost of living and salary are great here, Dallas has a more limited job market, with only 8.3 percent nurses in the workforce.
Any registered nurse who wants to live in a metropolitan area will find great opportunities for careers in any of these American cities. These metropolitan areas are always touted as the best cities in which to practice nursing within the USA. While everyone will find positives and negatives with each of these specific options, at least one of these locations is bound to provide a nurse with the lifestyle he/she desires.
See also: Top 10 Best Online RN to BSN Programs