Professional nurses are capable of making excellent salaries, but if you live in an area that engulfs your paycheck due to a high cost of living, your impressive earnings may worth less than originally imagined. If you are looking for a location that provides a low cost of living, offers employment in your nursing expertise and provides exciting options for entertainment, explore the top 10 best cities for nurses to work.

The Criteria for Best Cities

The best places for nurses were chosen and rated on criteria that included:

  • The cost of living: Ranked as 1-100
  • Average Salary for Nurses
  • Number of healthcare facilities
  • Unemployment rate

#1 Austin, Texas

As the best city for nurses that is projected for job growth in healthcare, Austin, Texas remains the top city for nurses. According to Forbes Magazine, Austin leads the country in low housing costs, offers numerous institutions of higher education and provides an exciting nightlife as the “Live Music Capital of the World.”

Cost of Living: 67
Average Nurse Salary: $63,000
Healthcare Facilities: 129
Unemployment Rate: 5.5%

Click here to find CNA training in Texas

#2 San Antonio, Texas

As ranked by Forbes Magazine as the 11th best place for careers and businesses, for nurses, San Antonio, Texas performs even better. With a rich and diverse culture, this large Texas locale provides endless entertainment, beautiful parks and a mild winter.

Cost of Living: 38
Average Nurse Salary: $59,776
Healthcare Facilities: 197
Unemployment Rate: 6.9%

#3 Salt Lake City, Utah

As the nation’s largest industrial banking center, Salt Lake City has developed a community that is dedicated to health and wellness, education and service. With a growing population of baby boomers and elderly, Salt Lake City has devoted much of its resources to state-of-the-art hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and medical centers. Utah also provides access to Grand Canyon, recreational parks and live theater centers.

Cost of Living: 56
Average Nurse Salary: $45,000
Healthcare Facilities: 166
Unemployment Rate: 5.8%

Click here to find CNA training in Utah

#4 Las Vegas, Nevada

With a rapidly growing population, low housing costs and endless entertainment, Las Vegas has recently made the best city list. In the midst of a huge nursing shortage, premiere hospitals offer high sign-on bonuses, gratefully train new graduate nurses and offer impressive nursing salaries.

Cost of Living: 89
Average Nurse Salary: $68,000
Healthcare Facilities: 112
Unemployment Rate: 8.9%

Click here to find CNA training in Nevada

#5 Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh and surrounding Durham offer premiere hospitals and medical centers that are strongly supported by the health conscious communities. Numerous parks, resorts and hiking trails offer skiing, camping and rock climbing. Besides being the third largest film and entertainment producer, Raleigh boasts the best barbeque eateries in the country.

Cost of Living: 89
Average Nurse Salary: $61,702
Healthcare Facilities: 156
Unemployment Rate: 7.1%

Click here to find CNA training in North Carolina

#6 Rochester, New York

Due to an extensive population of elderly, the nursing shortage and a dedication to new healthcare reform, Upstate New York is an excellent choice for nurses. As corporations continue to grow and end urban sprawl, commute time has significantly lessened.

Cost of Living: 74
Average Nurse Salary: $62,880
Healthcare Facilities: 97
Unemployment Rate: 8.9%

Click here to find CNA training in New York

#7 Seattle, Washington

If you are thinking about occupational nursing, Seattle is home to the giants of technology. Microsoft, Starbucks and other corporate entities hire nurses to care for their employees. The wealth quotient in this city provides excellent healthcare facilities that provide excellent opportunities for nurses.

Cost of Living: 96
Average Nurse Salary: $67,990
Healthcare Facilities: 122
Unemployment Rate: 7.9%

Click here to find CNA training in Washington

#8 Denver, Colorado

With an overwhelming job growth projected in the years to come, the population of Denver is highly focused on health and fitness. Outdoor activities, ski resorts and an exceptional nightlife are offered by this beautiful city.

Cost of Living: 98
Average Nurse Salary: $69,702
Healthcare Facilities: 117
Unemployment Rate: 7.2%

Click here to find CNA training in Colorado

#9 Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu offers beautiful beaches, volcanoes and water sports, but manages to retain a low cost of living despite the rest of the state. Hospitals, mental health centers and research companies keep nurses in demand.

Cost of Living: 93
Average Nurse Salary: $69,667
Healthcare Facilities: 83
Unemployment Rate: 7.4%

Click here to find CNA training in Hawaii

#10 Nashville, Tennessee

Tourism is large in Tennessee and the community reaps the rewards of a consistent stream of income. Home to several premiere hospitals and medical centers, Nashville was rated 5th in Forbes Magazine as the best places for careers and starting a business.

Cost of Living: 73
Average Nurse Salary: $66,023
Healthcare Facilities: 67
Unemployment Rate: 6.5%

Click here to find CNA training in Tennessee

Despite the economic downturn, nursing opportunities in America continue to flourish. Explore the costs of living rates, research career options and include the entertainment value for downtime when you are considering the best cities for nurses.