Nursing in Your State

When it comes to renewing your nursing license or completing a continuing education program, each state has its own set of rules. Even salaries and opportunities for nurses differ greatly from place to place. We’ve done you the service of collecting everything you need to know about the particulars of nursing in all fifty states.

Select Your State

What Information We Provide

  • Licensure & Continuing Education Requirements: For each state, you will find everything you need to earn your nursing license and keep it current.
  • Salary Info: Do you know the average RN in San Francisco, CA earns over twice as much as the average RN in Mobile, AL? Find out how earnings data for a number of nursing positions compares to data for all other major U.S. cities. Moreover, use the data in your area to estimate the bump in salary nurses typically receive when they pursue different paths.
  • Hospitals: If you’re job hunting or considering a move to a new state, you can get a head start with our ranked lists of the largest hospital employers in each state. The rank is taken from a list of the top 50 employers in that state.
  • The Future of Nursing Campaign: With support from the AARP and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this campaign promotes the role nurses play in administering medical care. They provide progress reports of each state, which will allow you to see the parts of the country doing the most to further nursing.
  • Additional Nursing Resources & Contact Information: Finally, this comprehensive resource will help keep you abreast of the most useful healthcare players in each state, from government agencies to student nursing associations.

All statistics found below were accessed or updated in April of 2014. Any figure listed as “N/A” indicates that particular data was not available.

Choosing to become a nurse was the best decision I’ve ever made. Every day brings a fresh challenge, an opportunity to improve and the promise of making a meaningful impact on the lives of my patients.

, Registered Nurse

Nursing Nationwide

Nursing is experiencing tremendous growth. Given how that growth differs state-to-state, we dedicate most of our resources to investigations of each state. However, it’s useful to see what the field looks like for the U.S. as a whole.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2012 and 2022, the national job market will grow 19% for registered nurses and 31% for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners:

National Job Outlook for Nursing Careers

  Employment, 2012 Projected Employment, 2022 Growth
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Registered Nurse 2,711,500 3,238,400 +526,900
Nurse Midwives 6,000 7,700 +1,700
Nurse Practitioners 110,200 147,300 +37,100
Nurse Anesthetists 35,200 43,900 +8,700

In spite of this growth, the demand for nurses continues to outpace the number of active RNs. The U.S. Government projections up to 2020 anticipate that the disparity between nurses needed and practicing nurses will only grow.

Supply Vs. Demand in the United States

In less than a decade’s time, all but a handful of states will feel the effects of the nursing shortage.

States With Projected Shortages, 2000 and 2020

Nursing students have reacted to the demand and scarcity of nurses by pursuing their BSN. From 2007 to 2011, the number of RN to BSN graduates per year virtually doubled. Earning this advanced degree gives RNs the qualifications they need to compete for the very best jobs in a wide open field.

Looking at the degree levels of working RNs in 2000 compared to 2010, trends indicate nurses are moving from diploma and associate-based educations towards advanced degrees, with BSNs experiencing the biggest growth. This trend will continue.

Licensed RNs Graduating with a BSN Qualification, 2007-2011

Highest Degree Held by RNs, Census 2000 and American Community Survey 2008

It boils down to this: the demand for nurses has never been greater; given that demand, there will soon be an unprecedented scarcity of nurses; RNs with advanced degrees, primarily a BSN, will have the qualifications needed to secure rewarding careers with fantastic salaries. For nurses dedicated to their profession, pursuing the right degree will make all the difference in the years to come.

Disclaimer: While we strive to provide the most up-to-date information, state rules are subject to change. Please check with your state board of nursing to confirm the most current continuing education and licensing requirements.