The US has a large number of nursing programs available to students. Still, before you decide where to enroll, it’s essential to understand the differences in the US impacting your decision. For one, you have to factor in local laws and regulations. Different states have different requirements for licensing registered nurses (RNs).
Just because you live in one state, it doesn’t prevent you from attending a nursing school in another state if you prefer their program. You can relocate for college, or even look for 100% online courses at your chosen institution. For example, let’s say you wanted to become a nurse practitioner in Oklahoma; you can choose to study at Texas Woman’s University (TWU), where your coursework can be completed online through flexible distance learning. What’s more, the university will support you in finding a placement close to where you live.
This post will examine some main factors influencing your decision about where to study and practice. So, let’s get started.
Becoming a registered nurse
The first step in knowing how much a registered nurse (RN) can earn in each state is knowing how to become one. Perhaps you want to find a nursing program delivered in your area. Once you find a school, consider when you could start taking classes. Ideally, you want to begin taking classes as soon as you get accepted into the nursing program. Once you start taking classes, your next step is to search for nursing jobs in the areas where you want to live. Also, make it a point to look into the real estate market. That way, you’ll know how much you’ll have left after the rent gets paid.
How much does a registered nurse (RN) earn in each state?
The average salary for a registered nurse varies by state. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides annual information on how much a nurse earns in each state. But again, when you want to see where you’ll live, it’s essential to consider the cost of living in each city and state. In general, registered nurses in New York earn high salaries, but the cost of living is also high. In Mississippi, nurses earn less, but it costs comparatively less to live in that state.
Career advancement opportunities and RN salary growth
For the long term, remember that registered nurses have many career opportunities. One reason is that they work as providers (e.g., treating sick patients, monitoring a newborn or a patient’s condition, etc.). But they can also work as a manager (e.g., hiring and training staff, reviewing patient charts, etc.). Many job opportunities in the healthcare industry allow you to advance your career. For example, you can become a medical director, director of nursing, chief nursing officer, etc. Moreover, as they progress, registered nurses earn more. Another way a nurse can earn more is by returning to school and earning a higher degree.
Cost of living and nursing
Registered nurses can work in many different places across the country. And while that’s quite a benefit, it could seem overwhelming with so many choices. But keep it simple. When deciding where to work as a registered nurse, consider the cost of living in the state. Also, look into average salaries for nurses in that city and state. In sum, nursing is an exciting career, and they’re needed anywhere. The choice of where to live is entirely up to you!