Nursing Job Outlook By State

When you get a higher degree in your field, you generally raise your earning potential. One of the other perks is that you can afford to be slightly less flexible with your location desires, since you are likely to receive more job offers no matter where you live. As a nurse practitioner, this is often the case, since many hospitals and other healthcare facilities are hiring nurses in these advanced positions to take over some tasks traditionally done by doctors.

You might find it hard to find a job depending on your specialty or the type of employer you want. To increase your chances of getting that perfect job, start by applying in states that hire the most nurses, in relation to general population. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, those states are as follows:

  • California: 240,030 nurses hired
  • Texas: 176,330 nurses hired
  • New York: 169,710 nurses hired
  • Florida: 158,390 nurses hired
  • Pennsylvania: 130,930 nurses hired

Highest Paying States

In all of these states, the average salaries for nurses range from $44,190 to $95,130, and with your master’s degree in nursing as a nurse practitioner, you can expect to make at least that, if not more. If salary concerns you, though, you should perhaps look to the states that pay their nurses the most money. As of most recent reports according to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, those states are as follows:

  • Alaska: $112,090 per year, on average
  • Hawaii: $104,690 per year, on average
  • Oregon: $103,280 per year, on average
  • Massachusetts: $102,340 per year, on average
  • New Jersey: $101,030 per year, on average

Highest Paying Cities

There’s also always a higher demand for medical staff members in cities than in more rural areas, in most cases. Moving to a city opens you up for more numerous job opportunities, many of which come attached to higher paychecks. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cities with the most jobs available are as follows:

  1. Durham, North Carolina
  2. Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  3. Rochester, Minnesota
  4. Gainesville, Florida
  5. Huntington-Ashland, West Virginia-Kentucky-Ohio
  6. Florence, South Carolina
  7. Saginaw, Michigan

The highest paying jobs can be found in the following metropolitan areas:

  1. San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara, California: $125,450 per year, on average
  2. Texarkana-Texarkana, TX-AR: $124,680 per year, on average
  3. Stockton, CA: $121,200 per year, on average
  4. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL: $120,880 per year, on average
  5. Anchorage, AK: $116,780 per year, on average
  6. San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metropolitan Division: $116,430 per year, on average
  7. Fairbanks, AK: $115,240per year, on average

Highest Paying NP Careers

There are two types of Nurse Practitioners: Clinical and Administrative. Within these two types are a variety of specialties to choose from such as Pediatric, Family and, Adult care, Geriatrics, Women’s Health, Neonatal, Acute care, and Occupational Health. Each specialty has its own value and urgency when it comes to pay and employment rates. Below are several of the most common and lucrative nursing specialties:

Clinical Careers

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist: A clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is an advanced-practice nurse who provides care to a specific age group or health concern. CNS salaries range from $62,985 – $106,133.
  • Nurse Anesthetist: A certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is a trained expert with advanced skills in the organization and management of anesthetic agents. CRNA salaries range from $80,123 – $171,695.
  • Nurse Midwife: A certified nurse mid-wife (CNM) provides prenatal, intrapartum, and postnatal maternity care to expectant mothers, they also offer gynecologic examinations and often prescribe medication. CNM salaries range from $67,222 – $100,640.
  • General Nurse Practitioner: A nurse practitioner (NP) offers patient care in various sub-specialties such as cardiology, infectious diseases, rheumatology, primary care, pediatric oncology, among other areas. NP salaries range from $57,810 – $100,289.

Administrative Careers

  • Clinical Nurse Leader: A clinical nurse leader (CNL) steps into a leadership role by overseeing patient care and casework management while also motivating staff to perform at high expectations and standards. A CNL salary starts at $76,000.
  • Nurse Administrator: A nurse administrator is typically high-ranking or the head nurse at a hospital or health clinic and they are responsible for various administrative tasks while providing managerial support to an entire department. A nurse administrator salary starts at $77,000.
  • Nurse Educator: A certified nurse educator (CNE) trains new practitioners in a clinical/field setting, develops a curriculum and other instructional strategies. A CNE salary starts at $73,000.
  • Nurse Manager: Nurse managers are accountable for both administrative and nursing roles by directing and monitoring staff as well as managing patient care. A nurse manager salary starts at $80,000 .

With your MSN degree, the sky really is the limit when it comes to finding a job you love with a salary deserving of your time and educational level. Remember, some employers even pay for you to go on to get your doctorate with tuition reimbursement programs, so consider all of your job options carefully before you accept an offer. Visit our list of accredited schools and degrees to find an MSN program that meets your needs, and begin your career training today.

Featured Nurse Practitioner Programs

Purdue University

Accreditation: HLC, NCA


Request Information

Liberty University

Accreditation: SACS


Request Information

Click here to see more Nurse Practitioner degrees...

Find Your Nurse Practitioner Program

Research your nurse practitioner program options with our database of over 200 schools. Search by subject, tuition, campus or online to find a nurse practitioner program that fits your needs.

Find Your Nurse Practitioner Program