With its plethora of renowned hospitals, it may come as little surprise that Massachusetts is a pretty great state for nurses. In fact, three of the best cities for registered nurses in the country are in the Bay State, according to a ranking by financial research firm ValuePenguin.
Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ValuePenguin compared the median salary, cost of living, and location quotient (the concentration of nurses in an area as a percentage of all occupations) for 377 cities reporting data across the country, looking for cities most favorable for nurses. Among the top 10 cities were Lawrence at No. 2, followed by Worcester and Boston, which came in at No. 4 and No. 8, respectively.
When coming up with the list, ValuePenguin ranked cities favorably by comparing nurses’ median pay to the relative cost of living. High salaries in expensive cities typically did not place as well as cities with slightly lower median salaries but a lower cost of living.
Lawrence, for example, the first of three Massachusetts cities to rank in the top 10, had a median nurse’s salary of $78,370 — much lower than Boston’s median salary of $90,880 — but placed higher because of its lower cost of living and a higher demand for nurses.
ValuePenguin also created separate rankings that were adjusted for population size. When broken down in this way, Worcester took the No. 1 spot for large cities (those with populations greater than 500,000), followed by Boston at No.2. No mid-sized Massachusetts cities made the cut, but four small cities were recognized, including Lawrence, Barnstable Town, Peabody, and Brockton.
So if you’re one of the 2.7 million nurses employed in the U.S., you might want to consider moving to Massachusetts – or California, which also had three cities make the top 10 list for best places for nurses to work and live, including Redding, California, which took the No. 1 spot.