10 Best Cities to Find Work as a Nurse

Jan 29

One of the best parts of being a nurse is there are jobs everywhere. Any city with people will also need hospitals and every hospital needs nurses. However, even if you have your pick of just about any city in the US, not every city is created equal. From taxes to cost of living to average salaries, there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing where to look for your next job. So, we’ve put together a list to help get you started of the 10 best cities to find work as a nurse.

Data pulled from Value Penguin.

The cities were carefully chosen by the following questions:

  • What nurses can earn in the city. The cities are ranked based on the median annual pay of nurses.
  • Cost of living The cost of living is a measure of how far earnings can be stretched. (The city was about 100. So if a city with a cost of living is 175, then it is 75 percent more expensive compared to the average city.)
  • Location quotient for nurses “Location quotient measures the concentration of nurses in an area as a percentage of all occupations, and then compares that to the national average. We interpret a higher location quotient to mean a relatively higher demand for a nurse's services.”

1. ## Redding, CA

Average Salary - $89,960 Jobs - 1,780 Location Quotient - 1.55 Cost of Living - 103 Score - 105

Redding is located in Shasta County at the northern end of the Sacramento Valley. The city sits conveniently in the middle of San Diego and Seattle. The weather averages around 46 degrees in the winter and 82.4 in the summer, making it a great place to live all-year round. As the largest city north of Sacramento, it is filled with some of the best retail, education, and professional services.

Top Hospitals in Redding, CA

Mercy Medical Center Redding For more than 70 years, Mercy Medical Center Redding has offered comprehensive healthcare services as one of the North State area’s largest non-profit employers. This 267-bed hospital has been honored by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for their stroke program and recognized by Recognized by U.S. News & World Report for high performance in knee and hip replacement, heart failure, bypass surgery, and pulmonary disease. As a part of the Dignity Health System, one of the nation’s largest, Mercy Medical Center Redding has additionally been the recipient of the National Research Corporation Consumer Choice Award for eight consecutive years.

Shasta Regional Medical Center Shasta Regional Medical Center is dedicated to comprehensive care and treatment of cardiovascular disease. The institution has been earned national recognition as an Accredited Chest Pain Center and by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association "Get with the Guidelines" annual performance award. As the only hospital in the state of California to receive The Joint Commission’s Certification of Distinction for inpatient diabetes care, this hospital has proven itself to be of an established high caliber.

Patients Hospital of Redding Patients Hospital of Redding is the only five star rated medical center in northern California for patient satisfaction. Boasting a primary focus in patient care, Patient’s hospital of Redding has kept an intentionally low nurse to patient ratio (1:3) to, according to their website “promote comprehensive care of each patient and to fulfill the desire of caring nurses to provide the kind of care they were trained to give.”

Check out our open positions near Redding

2. Lawrence, MA

Average Salary - $78,370 Jobs - 2,190 Location Quotient - 1.77 Cost of Living - 103 Score - 107

Lawrence, Massachusetts is known as the "Immigrant City," a multi-ethnic and multicultural gateway full of rich culture. The Lawrence General Hospital is the largest and most well-known hospital in the area along with some other large healthcare companies. And in case you love the Red Sox, Boston is just twenty-five miles north.

Top Hospitals in Lawrence, MA

Lawrence General Hospital Serving 300,000 patients annually, the Lawrence General Hospital is a verified level three trauma center. They have consistently been recognized as one of the highest scoring facilities in the country in quality of care and costs. Lawrence General has received the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission. They’ve also been recognized as a Regional Best Nursing Team Runner Up by Advance for Nurses.

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center This multiple location hospital was ranked among the top ten largest employeer in the Lawrence area. The GLFHC offers a challenging yet caring culture amongst their employees, ultimately striving to create a culture of support and flexibility.

Check out our open positions near Lawrence

3. Hanford, CA

Average Salary - $91,340 Jobs - 1,180 Location Quotient - 1.56 Cost of Living - 103 Score - 119

Hanford, California has those hot, dry summers and cool winters located in south central San Joaquin Valley. The city has several surrounding counties that share it’s zip code and house a lot of its workers. In town, you’ll find lots of excellent shopping and great public transportation.

Top Hospitals in Handford, CA

Adventist Health Hanford Designed to provide the best place for a physician to care for a patient, Adventist Health strives to be the best place to work with integrity, compassion, respect and excellence. In 2014, it was in America’s Best 100 Hospitals, General Surgery along with the Joint Replacement Excellence Award, and Gastro Care Excellence Award.

Kaweah Delta Medical Center The largest hospital in Tulare County’s mission is to “to provide safe, high quality, customer-oriented, and financially strong healthcare services that meet the needs of those we serve.” It’s been accredited as a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology (also known as COEMIG) and in Robotic Surgery by the AAGL and Surgical Review Corporation. Also, in May of 2017, Kaweah Delta Health Care District received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

Check out our open positions near Hanford

4. Worcester, MA

Average Salary - $90,350 Jobs - 6,670 Location Quotient - 1.34 Cost of Living - 116 Score - 112

Worcester is the second largest city in New England and is under an hour from Boston, Providence and Hartford. The town is medium sized, but comes with all the perks of a classic college town: awesome food and fun sites and shops.

Top Hospitals in Worcester, MA

St Vincent Hospital St. Vincent Hospital fosters a culture of respect and collaboration attracting some of the best physicians and skilled nurses. They recently were awarded the American Heart and Stroke Association - Gold Plus Award for Stroke Care, Joint Commission Top Performer Award for Core Measures and Blue Cross/Blue Shield Blue Distinction Award for Knee and Hip Replacement.

UMass Memorial Medical Center Partnering with the UMass Medical School, they are the largest healthcare provider in Central Massachusetts. They are one of three Massachusetts hospitals to receive the highest level of recognition for excellence in development initiatives around organ and tissue donation awareness and registration.

Check out our open positions near Worchester

5. Ann Arbor, MI

Average Salary - $69,580 Jobs - 7,990 Location Quotient - 1.96 Cost of Living - 112 Score - 118

Speaking of college towns, Ann Arbor is the home to the University of Michigan and its medical center which employees the majority of the city. This midwest town situated right on the Huron River has cold winters, but a lovely summer.

Top Hospitals in Ann Arbor, MI

University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers Michigan Medicine was named Best and Brightest ‘elite winner’ for employee recognition programs and currently ranks number 6 in the country by US News & World Report. The hospital was also awarded the highest institutional honor for nursing excellence! From groundbreaking and compassionate patient care to remarkable innovations, and advancement in medical education, Michigan Medicine has been on the forefront of medicine since the mid-1800s.

St Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor St. Joseph has a mission-driven culture, where nurses deliver patient-centered care that treats the mind, body and spirit of all those they serve. They have a strong focus on patient ratios and works with advanced technology.

Check our our open positions near Ann Arbor

6. Chico, CA

Average Salary - $77,310 Jobs - 2,240 Location Quotient - 1.58 Cost of Living - 103 Score - 127

Big cities not really your cup of tea? Well Chico, CA has a small-town feel with all the perks of a well-run big city. Located in the Northern Sacramento Valley of California, Chico is known to be “a vibrant regional center for business, recreation and cultural activities.”

Top Hospitals in Chico, CA

Enloe Medical Centers The Enloe Medical center has 298-bed non-profit hospital with the mission of improving the quality of life of their patients through patient-centered care. It currently houses the region’s only Level II neonatal intensive care unit and operates the FlightCare air ambulance service and is one of the few California hospitals still locally governed.

Chico Surgery Center Chico Surgery Center is accredited by The Joint Commission and has a patient satisfaction score of 94%. The hospital’s main focus is to care for every patient and their family as if they were our own. Each patient, each family, each and every time​.

Check out our open positions near Chico

7. New Haven, CT

Average Salary - $79,380 Jobs - 7,460 Location Quotient - 1.36 Cost of Living - 139 Score - 129

New Haven, CT is home to Yale University and is filled with fun events and museums around the university, and not to mention all the agricultural events. As the second largest city in Connecticut, it’s rich with history and culture.

Top Hospitals in New Haven, CT

Yale New Haven Hospital Regularly ranked among the best hospitals in the United States, the Yale New Haven Hospital is well recognized for its commitment to teaching and clinical research. In 2017 YNHH was named one of the Best Workplaces in Health Care for 2017 by Great Place to Work and Fortune and among the best in the nation for nine of its specialties. As a 1,541-bed private, nonprofit teaching hospital, NYHH is committed to innovation and excellence in patient care. With two main campuses, it is also the largest acute care provider in southern Connecticut and one of the major referral centers of the Northeastern United States.

Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital Aa part of the Yale New Haven Hospital, the Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital has ranked among the best in the United States for eight of its pediatric subspecialties in 2017. In 2016, the institution was honored with the Top Pediatric Quality Award for Improving Care Delivery to Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Patients. The Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital continues to offer advanced therapies to area children long before they’re available nationwide.

Check our our open positions near New Have

8. Boston, MA

Average Salary - $90,880 Jobs - 43,460 Location Quotient - 1.22 Cost of Living - 145 Score - 134

Theaters, venues, sports, farmers markets, this old city has it all. The cost of living is higher than we’d prefer, but many say the pros outweigh the cons in this hub of the east coast. Go for a visit and see if you like the culture, lots of beautiful architecture and history for you to explore.

Top Hospitals in Boston, MA

Massachusetts General Hospital As one of U.S. News & World Report's top five hospitals in the United States, the Massachusetts General Hospital is renowned for its high standards in patient care, education and research. MGH has been given the American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Hospital Magnet Recognition, an honor achieved by less than 7% of hospitals in the nation. Having received both the 2015 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service and American Stroke Association's Get With the Guidelines Gold Performance Achievement Award, this 999-bed medical center aims to serve approximately 48,000 inpatients and 1.5 million outpatient visits per year.

Brigham and Women's Hospital The Brigham and Women's Hospital began in 1980 after a merging of three of Boston’s oldest and most prestigious Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals. Today BWH is an international has a legacy of excellence and is recognizable as a leader in virtually every area of medicine as well as groundbreaking biomedical research. The institution’s 793-bed facility has been recognized by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Hospitals for 23 years.

Check out our open positions near Boston

9. Rochester, MN

Average Salary - $65,650 Jobs - 6,720 Location Quotient - 3.24 Cost of Living - 117 Score - 153

The third largest city in Minnesota, Rochester has been frequently recognized by Money Magazine, since the 1980's as one of the best places to live in the United States. “The mission of the City of Rochester is to provide a safe, attractive environment through the responsive, efficient, and cost-effective delivery of municipal services. The City will strive to enhance community pride by improving the physical, environmental, economic, cultural, and social quality of the community.” This city seems like a winner to us, if only you could get rid of the cold winters.

Top Hospitals in Rochester, MN

Mayo Clinic In 2017, Mayo Clinic made its 14th consecutive appearance on FORTUNE Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. In its service of over 100 years, the Mayo Clinic has been recognized for high-quality patient care more so than any other academic medical center in the United States. The Rochester campus itself has more number one rankings than any other hospital in the nation in a multitude of specialties. Employees of the Mayo clinic focus on a vision of putting the patient’s needs first and taking pride where their work.

Rochester Methodist Hospital As an affiliation of the Mayo Clinic, the Rochester Methodist Hospital became known as the Mayo Clinic Hospital, Methodist Campus in 2014. Home to a 794-bed facility, this campus's unique treatment areas include their Women's Cancer Program, and Intraoperative radiation surgical suite, Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as specialized transplant programs for liver, kidney, pancreas and blood and bone marrow.

Check out our open positions near Rochester

10. Durham, NC

Average Salary - $67,160 Jobs - 8,610 Location Quotient - 1.52 Cost of Living - 85 Score - 159

Home of Duke University and North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC concludes our list. It’s warm and full of beautiful nature and parks, a wonderful place to raise a family and not too far from the beach.

Top Hospitals in Durham, NC

Duke University Hospital The Duke University Hospital has been nationally ranked by U.S. News as one of the top hospitals in the country. The hospital is recognized as the number one medical center in North Carolina and has been honored as one of the Best Organizations for Leadership Development (BOLD) Award by the National Center for Healthcare Leadership. Since it's opening in 1930, The Duke University Hospital has dedicated itself to excellence in education, research and patient care.

University of North Carolina Hospital University of North Carolina Medical Center is a not-for-profit integrated healthcare system boasting an acute care facility of 830 beds. UNC is consistently voted one of the nation’s best hospitals and children’s hospitals and has received national recognition for the dedication of their employees. Since it was founded in 1952, the UNC Medical Center has been honored as a finalist for the coveted American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize.

Check out our open positions near Durham

Where else would you add to the list? We’d love to know what your favorite cities are!

Alyssa McNally