5 states that pay the highest nurse salaries

Although most nurses didn't receive a pay raise in 2014 and there are complaints that male nurses earn more than their female colleagues, several states across the country offer higher-than-average salaries to registered nurses.

California tops the list of the states that offer nurses the best salaries, according to a new post by Insider Monkey, a finance website that based its findings by calculating average salaries using estimates from the Nurse Journal and Nurse Salary Guide.

The Golden State pays its registered nurses an average of $82,560 a year, compared to the national average compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of $65,470.

Massachusetts is a close second. Although the salary varies from $63,000 to $88,000, Insider Monkey determined the average was $81,185 a year and predicts the state will remain among the highest paying for nurses in the years to come.

The other states that round out the top five are: 

  • Washington--average salary of $78,765
  • New York--average salary of $77,050
  • Connecticut--average salary of $75,830

But salary isn't everything. Earlier this year finance site WalletHub revealed the best and worst states for nurses to work based on the work environment, competition and opportunity. That site named Washington as the best state for nurses to work, followed by Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Texas. In general, though, a 2013 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that most nurses say they love their jobs, but they aren't pleased with salary compensation or limited promotion opportunities.

To learn more:
- read the article at Insider Monkey
- here's the salary info from Nurse Journal
- check out the salary info from Nurse Salary Guide
- here's the BLS information