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D.C. ranks worst place in the nation for nurses

Nurses, they take care of you when you are sick, watch over you when you are admitted into the hospital, and help out in a variety of other ways. They work long hours and sometimes overnight but when you talk to a nurse, you won't hear a single complaint...because they love what they do. But are all states the same when it comes to nursing or are some better than others?

With National Nurses week kicking off Saturday, May 6 we thought we would share a recent study done by WalletHub that determined the best and worst states for nurses by comparing the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 18 key metrics. This may come as a surprise to many nurses and non nurses but the District ranked the worst place in the nation for nurses.

In order to determine the best and worst states for nurses, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key dimensions, namely 'Opportunity & Competition' and 'Work Environment.' We evaluated those dimensions using 18 relevant metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for nurses. We then calculated the total score for each state and the District based on its weighted average across all metrics and used the resulting scores to construct our final ranking.

Opportunity & Competition:

  • Monthly Average Starting Salary for Nurses
  • Average Annual Salary for Nurses
  • Health-Care Facilities per Capita
  • Share of Population Living in a Primary-Care HPSA
  • Projected Share of Elderly Population in 2030
  • Educational Opportunities Based on Quality of Nursing Schools
  • Share of Licensed Nursing Professionals Not Working in Nursing Field
  • Nursing-Job Openings per Capita
  • Nurses per 1,000 Residents
  • Projected Competition in 2024

Work Environment:

  • Mandatory Overtime Restrictions
  • Ratio of Nurses to Hospital Beds
  • Presence of Nursing Licensure Compact Law
  • Share of Best Nursing Homes
  • Quality of Public Hospital System
  • Friendliness Toward Working Moms
  • Average Number of Work Hours
  • Average Commute Time

Here is how D.C. stacks up against the competition: ( 1 = best; 51 = worst)

  • Monthly average starting salary: 43rd place
  • Average annual salary: 50th place
  • Number of healthcare facilities per 100,000 residents: 10th place
  • Share of population living in primary-care HPSA: 5th place (37.3%)
  • Projected share of elderly population in 2030: 50th place (13.44%)
  • Educational opportunities based on quality of nursing schools: 1st place
  • Share of licensed nursing professionals not working in nursing field: 50th place (93.67%)
  • Nursing job openings per 100,000 residents: 1st place
  • Nurses per 1,000 residents: 51st place
  • Projected competition in 2024: 51st place
  • Mandatory overtime restrictions: 17th place
  • Ratio of nurses to hospital beds: 49th place
  • Share of best nursing homes: 1st place
  • Friendliness towards working moms: 37th place
  • Average commute time: 48th place

For the complete study, click here.