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The Top 10 Highest Paying States for Nurses (As of 2021)

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

At Vitawerks, we believe that our hard-working nurses should be paid what they are worth. However, a registered nurse’s salary usually depends on their location. To help you earn what you are worth, we have organized a list of the 10 highest paying states for nurses in the USA.

  1. California: $113,240/yr

  2. Hawaii- $104,060/yr

  3. Washington, D.C. - $94,820/yr

  4. Massachusetts - $93,160/yr

  5. Oregon - $92,960/yr

  6. Alaska - $90,500/yr

  7. Nevada - $88,380/yr

  8. New York - $87.840/yr

  9. Washington - $86,170/yr

  10. New Jersey- $84,280/yr

The registered nurse salaries by state are the average incomes of all nurses in a certain area. Your pay can vary significantly depending on your certifications, speciality, and more. If you want to earn more then keep in mind these top considerations hospitals look at to determine your salary.


Even the highest paying states for RN nurses do not give their best salaries to fresh graduates. Hospitals typically pay experienced nurses more. Expect your salary to rise over time, as you gain more years of work experience and grow in skill. Do not be afraid to seize an opportunity to gain experience. Working with a variety of patients and departments, taking overtime shifts, or opting for volunteer work lets you build your resume.


A registered nurse’s salary increases as they further their education. For instance, a nurse with a bachelor's degree earns more than one with an associate’s degree. If you want to make that leap in your career path, a Master of Science in Nursing lets you qualify for leadership positions in the top paying states for nurses. If you want to work towards more opportunities but you only have an associate’s degree, there are options for you. Not all master’s degree programs require a bachelor's, and some let you earn at the same time.


Working extra shifts also allows you to earn additional income. While most hospitals compensate their staff for long hours, this is not always the case. Booking through Vitawerks guarantees you will be paid accordingly when you put in the time. We let you book as many shifts as you can, from a wide range of facilities. You have full control over how much you earn and where you work.

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