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The 5 Most In-Demand Cities for Nurses


There is a shortage of nurses across the United states. Nursing schools continue to graduate large classes of RNs, but they can’t keep up with the increased number of patients from a retiring generation of baby boomers. With a multitude of high-paying nurse specialties to choose from, nurses get to follow their passions and choose what interests them most. But what cities are best for nurses?

California is one example of a state in need. It has produced around 50 percent of the nurses it needed in the past few years. As the elderly live longer with advanced medicine, the influx of patients means more nurses are necessary. While not ideal for patients, this supply and demand imbalance allows nurses to be more selective about which jobs they take and where they choose to live and work. Consider moving to one of these cities after graduation, and find a nurse-friendly job market.

5. Durham, NC

Average salary: $68,968

Cost of living: 1 percent below national average

Nursing jobs in Durham, North Carolina, increased by 19 percent over a 5-year period. This stark increase outpaced new hires and nurses, leading to a competitive market with great potential for new nurses. Duke University Hospital and University of North Carolina Hospital are both nearby, with over 20 national rankings between them. With a low average cost of living and great local medical facilities, it’s a promising location with potential job growth.

4. Fresno, CA

Average salary: $82,024

Cost of living: 2 percent below national average

The number of nursing jobs in the Fresno area grew by 38.1 percent over the last five years and continues to grow. With a high average salary and low cost of living, Fresno could be the perfect spot to start your nursing career. With a wide range of medical facilities and teaching hospitals, great opportunities await.

3. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA

Average salary: $89,548

Cost of living: 14 percent above national average

Nursing jobs in Vallejo-Fairfield rose by 25.9 percent over five years. This wonderful area just outside of San Francisco avoids the outrageously high costs of living in the city while still allowing you to enjoy the bay area. Additionally, NorthBay Medical Center is nearby, with six high-performing specialties and procedures. With great opportunities and a high rate of growth, Fairfield is the perfect place to start your journey as an RN.

2. San Bernardino, CA

Average salary: $90,066

Cost of living: 10 percent above national average

San Bernardino saw an increase of 17.3 percent over a 5-year period. With a slightly higher cost of living in the area, the salary is less competitive than other cities with high demand for nurses. San Bernardino comes in second, but its nursing field holds high potential with great area hospitals.

1. Salem, OR

Average salary: $100,162

Cost of living: Same as national average

The number of nursing jobs has increased by 32.4 percent in Salem, Oregon, over the last five years. This prolonged growth shows strength and longevity in the area. Additionally, Salem Hospital has seven high-performing specialties. With a very high average salary and great opportunities in the job market, Salem comes in first on our list.

Nurses are always in demand, but when you find the perfect mixture of strong hospitals, good salaries, and available jobs, you know you’ve hit the jackpot. Peruse our list, and stay tuned for more updates and insights from the Ameritech nursing program.