This year, National Nurses Week takes place May 6-12 and it's a time to appreciate all those health care workers in your life — especially now, as they put their lives on the line to help fight COVID-19.
Aptly, personal finance website and prolific report producer WalletHub has released a new study on 2020's Best & Worst States for Nurses to help nursing grads find the "best markets for their profession."
WalletHub says, "The U.S. has gained a profound appreciation for nurses during the coronavirus pandemic, as they risk their lives every day to minimize the spread of the disease. That situation is made even more difficult by critical shortages of respirators, surgical masks, gloves, gowns and other necessary protective treatment. It's more important now than ever for states to step up and make sure that nurses are properly equipped to do their jobs and have the best work environment possible. Despite the stresses of the occupation, nurses are generally well-rewarded for their life-saving work. Nursing occupations are some of the most lucrative careers, with a mean annual wage of over $75,000 and some of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S. In fact, the industry is expected to grow at more than double the rate of the average occupation through 2028."
The study looked all 50 states across 22 key metrics in two areas: Opportunity & Competition and Work Environment. The metrics evaluated included monthly average starting salary, the number of health-care facilities per capita, quality of nursing schools, nursing jobs open per capita, number of nurses per 1,000 residents, states offering the most coronavirus support, ratio of nurses to hospital beds, the quality of the public hospital system and more.
With these criteria ranked, Ohio came in as the seventh worst state in the nation for nurses, with an Opportunity & Competition rank of 20 but a Work Environment rank of 49 (50 is the worst).
Key metrics that seem to have dropped us down: We were 45th for number of nurses per capita, 46th for projected competition by 2026 and 40th for share of best nursing homes.
Where is the worst state for nurses to work in 2020? New York.
The top three states? Oregon, Washington and New Mexico.