Texas Ranks Top 15 Best Places for Nurses

Nurse documenting during Covid-19
Nurse inputs information into a patients chart. | Image by wanderluster

The state of Texas scored among the top 15 best places for nurses, according to a new study. 

“Texas offers the second-highest monthly average starting salary for nurses and some of the highest average annual salaries for nurses,” said Jill Gonzalez, an analyst for WalletHub. 

The WalletHub study found that the Lone Star state ranked in 12th place compared to Arizona, which scored the top spot, and Maryland, which was last among the 51 states. 

“Nurses in Maryland and Arizona have fewer job openings to choose from than those in Texas,” Gonzalez told Dallas Express. “Maryland also has a higher projected competition for nurses than Texas does.”  

Although nurses have experienced infectious workplace conditions during the pandemic, the industry is expected to grow at nearly double the rate of other occupations through 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Other factors that contributed to Texas’ high ranking were the fact that the state restricts mandatory overtime by law and the presence of a nursing licensure compact law. 

“Arizona doesn’t restrict mandatory overtime,” Gonzalez said in an interview. 

A Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC) permits a nurse to work in more than one state. 

“The factors that kept Texas from ranking even higher were the small number of healthcare facilities per capita and the low share of projected elderly population in 2030,” said Gonzalez. 

In order to rank among the top 3 states, which include Arizona, Washington, and Nevada, Texas officials need to increase the state’s number of healthcare facilities and the quality of its nursing homes.  

“The ratio of nurses to hospital beds is another area that requires improvement,” Gonzalez said.  

The Texas Workforce Commission noted that, according to its labor analysis published in the Texas Tribune, there are some 23,000 more vacant jobs in Texas for nurses than there are nurses seeking employment, while ABC News reported that the state will be short up to 50,000 nurses by the year 2030. 

“Nurses in Texas face the danger of burnout, especially now, during the pandemic,” Gonzalez said. “One of the reasons that leads to a high burnout rate is the low ratio of nurses to hospital beds.” 

The average annual salary for nurses in Texas is the seventh-highest nationwide, according to the study, while the monthly average starting salary for nurses is the second-highest in the country. But Texas ranked 20th for work environment. 

The lower scoring metrics were the ratio of nurses to hospital beds, the fact that state practice and licensure laws restrict the ability of a nurse practitioner to engage in at least one element of practice, and the low share of best nursing homes,” Gonzalez added. 




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