Best States for Nurses in 2017

Back in 2016, we published our list of the best states for nurses. However, over a year later the healthcare industry and the country have changed. Thus, we thought it was time to update our list based on new statistics and current information. When considering where to pursue your next travel assignment, you have a lot to think about, from salary to job opportunity and more. It can be difficult to balance the many factors that play into this decision. If you are interested in travel nursing, chances are you love an adventure. While you may be able to find incredible opportunities throughout the country, below are our recommendations for where you should find travel nursing jobs through the remainder of this year.

Best States for Nurses

Best States for Nurses

1. Rhode Island

Annual Salary for a Registered Nurse: $75,200

The smallest state offers one of the greatest rates of nursing jobs per 1,000 jobs. However, beyond offering such vast opportunity to find jobs, the salary you earn after securing a job is above average as well. The median salary for registered nurses is $68,450, meaning that RNs in Rhode Island often earn near the 75th percentile. All this goes without mentioning that Rhode Island is perhaps one of the most beautiful coastal states in the country. All of this was enough to push the Ocean State into our number 1 spot.

2. Massachusetts

Annual Salary for a Registered Nurse: $89,060

Remaining in New England for number 2, Massachusetts boasts the second highest average annual salary of registered nurses. Massachusetts also provides travel nurses ample opportunity to find employment given their very high ranking of nursing opportunities compared to all other jobs. Similar to Rhode Island, the Bay State offers scenic shorelines for you to take in throughout your travel assignment. Also, the state is also home to Boston, one of our country’s most noteworthy cities.

3. California

Annual Salary for a Registered Nurse: $101,750

Coming in at number 3 in our list of the best states for nurses in 2017, California nurses astonishingly earn near the 90th percentile of all nurses on average. Yet, the high cost of living is the primary reason that this state is not higher on this list. Between top pay and the California lifestyle, who wouldn’t want to spend some time in the Golden State for their next travel assignment?

4. Texas

Annual Salary for a Registered Nurse: $70,390

Although it is the only repeat state from our 2016 list, Texas has fallen from number 3 to number 4 in our rankings for 2017. The average salary for Texas RNs has grown in that time by almost $3,000 per year but it is really the cost of living that keeps this state attractive. Despite unique big cities like Dallas, Houston, and Austin, the Lonestar State ranks fourth for annual salary adjusted for cost of living.

5. Minnesota

Annual Salary for a Registered Nurse: $73,940

As long as you’re prepared for the cold, Minnesota should certainly be on your list of places to work in 2017. Ranking number 1 for the best work environment in WalletHubs 2017 analysis, Minnesota also provides competitive salaries and lots of opportunity for employment. Plus, while you’re on your assignment, you can experience the Great Lakes first hand. With all this in mind, there are plenty of reasons why we ranked Minnesota number 5 and you should consider travel assignments in the North Star State.


Regardless of whether or not you are interested in jobs in one of the best states for nurses in 2017 or in other states, is your guide to finding your next travel assignment. For more recommendations about where to look for your next travel assignment, look at this infographic as well! If you’re ready to start looking for where to take your next adventure, browse our job opportunities here.

Author: Travel Nurse Source

Share This Post On


  1. I received a notification on one of my application submissions that I don’t meet the requirements for the employment opportunity…I’m wondering what requirements am I lacking. I’m trying to contact anyone that I can ask questions to!!!! Please contact me ASAP.
    Thank you,
    Mary Erickson, RNC

  2. Hi Mary – We are sorry to hear that. Did you receive this notification from TravelNurseSource?

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *