The Need for Nurses

The nurse’s responsibility entails assessing patient health problems and needs, maintain medical records, develop and implement nursing care plans. Administering nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients is the main description that I can think of that fits what a nurse does. Nurses may advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management. Licensing or registration required from the state. Nurses can be advance practice nurses such as: nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives, and certified registered nurse anesthetists. Advanced practice nursing is practiced by nurses who have specialized formal education and who function in autonomous and specialized roles.

There is a projected need for 1,001,000 nurses needed in the United States by 2016. Registered Nurses (RN) in the United States average a median base salary of $41,642.  Half of all the RN's are expected to earn between $38,792 and $44,869.  Nearly 67% of nurses are employed in hospital inpatient and outpatient settings.  32% of all nurses are employed in medical offices and clinics, home healthcare agencies, nursing homes, temporary help agencies, academia, and government agencies. Job growth will be high; by 2020, Florida will need 61,000 more nurses than what is projected to be available.

Every four years, the Department of Health and Human Services has the Health Resources and Services Administration does a massive study of registered nurses, covering everything from job satisfaction, turnover rate at hospitals, to average age of nurses. This study also shows the states with the most and the least nurses. The states with the highest number of RN’s are District of Columbia and New Hampshire. The states with the least nurses are Idaho, Nevada, California, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. California came in lowest, with 603 nurses per 100,000 and Nevada had 612 nurses per 100,000.

Here is a list of the top twenty states where you should or should not be a nurse. The salaries are from highest to lowest.

State Salary (hourly)
1. California $25.45
2. Hawaii $24.76
3. Massachusetts $23.38
4. New Jersey $23.33
5. Alaska $23.09
6. Delaware $22.98
7. Oregon $22.91
8. Nevada $22.83
9. Maryland $22.79
10. Connecticut $22.62
State Salary (hourly)
11. North Dakota $17.60
12. Louisiana $17.50
13. Wyoming $16.88
14. Oklahoma $16.76
15. Kansas $16.74
16. West Virginia $16.52
17. Arkansas $16.44
18. Mississippi $16.42
19. Iowa $16.36
20. South Dakota $16.35

The states that nursing students should have their eyes on are listed here.

State Average Annual Job Openings
1. California 10,900
2. Florida 7,440
3. New York 6,360
4. Ohio 4,630
5. North Carolina 4,093
6. Illinois 4,020
7. New Jersey 3,700
8. Michigan 3,500
9. Georgia 3,340
10. Massachusetts 3,290

Top Ten states with the least job openings

State Average Annual Job Openings
1. Rhode Island 570
2. New Mexico 520
3. South Dakota 500
4. Montana 420
5. Delaware 410
6. Hawaii 390
7. North Dakota 280
8. Vermont 270
9. Alaska 260
10. Wyoming 210

Nursing students who are looking to work in the locations where they are most needed and most likely to have employers who are lined up and offering great incentives, it makes sense to check out those states. And definitely research how much money potential employers would offer for relocation assistance, and tuition reimbursement.


Allied Physicians. (2006). Nurse Salary Surveys. Retrieved from

Allhealthcare. (2010). Top 10 Best and Worst States to Be a Nurse. Retrieved from


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