7 Best States for Nurses on the East Coast

best states for nurses east coastBy Erin Wallace

Consider yourself lucky if you're an east-coast resident. 

This region of the United States boasts top-ranking hospitals, excellent nursing salaries and manageable costs of living.

If you're considering a cross-country move, read about these seven best states for nurses on the East Coast before making your final decision.

The East Coast: 7 Best States for Nurses

1. Massachusetts

Ranked third nationwide on this list of best states for nurses, Massachusetts boasts an average annual salary of $83,370 for full-time RNs. Nurses employed here can expect to make an average of $40.08 per hour.

Massachusetts is full of top-ranking hospitals, including Mass General, Brigham & Women's Hospital and Children's Hospital of Boston. 

Mass General is nationally ranked in 16 adult and 4 children's specialties. Nurses applying for jobs in the Bay State find plenty of choices.

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2. Rhode Island

This New England state offers beautiful beaches and other famous attractions, such as the mansions of Newport, for exploring on your days off.

RNs in the Ocean State make an average of $73,070 annually. There are currently over 11,000 RNs in Rhode Island, but the state is experiencing a shortage that's expected to grow. 

In particular, in-home nursing applicants are likely to find plenty of opportunities in Rhode Island, one of the best states for nurses.

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3. New York

New York is one of the best states for nurses on the East Coast. RNs can expect to make around $74,100 annually and $35.63/hour; however, the cost of living in New York is higher than other areas of the country.

Choose your housing wisely; it may make more sense to live in an affordable suburban area than in the city, where rent is more expensive.

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4. Florida

Florida has an aging population, and it's a popular destination for retirees. Those aging boomers need top-quality medical care, meaning the demand for nurses is high. 

Florida, one of the best states for nurses, also joined the legion of nursing compact states in 2016.

So if you're already licensed in another compact state, a transition to a Florida license requires little to no paperwork.

Florida has experienced recent workforce shortages, so jobs are bound to plentiful.

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5. Connecticut

Part of the top ten highest-paying states for nurses, Connecticut is home to world-class facilities such as Yale-New Haven Hospital, ranked #1 in the state and nationally ranked in 18 specialties.

Annual salary depends on location: RNs in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area earn an average of $79,640 annually.

Whereas Waterbury or northwestern nonmetropolitan areas of the state are a bit lower at $67,000 and $70,000, respectively.

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6. Maryland

Maryland is an excellent mid-Atlantic state to start your nursing career. Home to top-ranking facilities such as Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and the University of Maryland Medical Center, nurses can find plenty of job opportunities. 

Becker's Hospital Review identified Maryland as a state with a projected shortage by 2025, so the demand is high for experienced RNs.

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7. Maine

While it's not among the highest-paying states (average annual RN salary is about $65,890), Maine is a rural state that's currently facing a critical nursing shortage, making it one of the best states for nurses.

This means jobs at hospitals such as Barbara Bush Children's Hospital in Portland or Acadia Hospital in Bangor are likely to be numerous, providing plenty of opportunities for prospective applicants.

[SEARCH: Travel Nursing Jobs in Maine]

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