Head to these 5 cities if you want to earn the most as a nurse

Susanna Kahr

As we all know, the pay for nurses varies a lot depending on experience, qualifications and the type of industry you work in. It also varies across states and cities too, so while a nurse in San Diego might take home $30 an hour, a nurse working the same job in Southern California might take $80 an hour! Crazy, right?! Check out our list of cities you should head to if you want to earn more as a nurse. 

According to Medscape’s 2018 nursing salary report, the Pacific region, especially California, pays the best, followed by New England and the Mid-Atlantic. Here are the top paying cities in these states. 

Salinas, CA

Average hourly wage for RNs: $63.32

Annual mean wage: $131,710

Salinas is the largest city in Monterey County, California. Just 2 hours drive from San Francisco, Salinas is located in an area of stunning beauty as it’s home  to the spectacular Big Sur coastline and the rich, fertile Salinas Valley. It’s only 8 miles away from the Pacific Ocean, and the iconic Highway 1 – so you can easily explore more of California. This city also happens to be the home of author John Steinbeck! If you’re tempted to move here, and score a better salary then why not apply for a role at the Salinas Valley Medical Clinic? This 266 bed acute care, public district hospital, is dedicated to truly impacting individuals and families in the communities in Monterey County, CA and has openings for Nurse Aides, and Registered Nurses.


San Francisco Oakland Hayward, CA

Average hourly wage for RNs: $62.01

Annual mean wage: $128,990

San Francisco–Oakland–Berkeley, CA, otherwise known as the San Francisco Metropolitan Area includes a number of different counties in the Pacifc Bay Area. The region is also really beautiful and has 6 different terrains which means that there’s everything from mountains to rainforests! It’s the 12th most populated metropolitan area in the US, so there is a lot of demand for healthcare. If you’d like to move here then you could apply to UCSF Health, they have openings for a Director of Nursing and a number of Registered Nurse positions. 


San Jose Sunnyvale Santa Clara, CA

Average hourly wage for RNs: $61.83

 Annual mean wage: $128,610

You might have heard of Santa Clara before – it’s the home of Silicon Valley! As such it’s become an economic powerhouse and is one of America’s most affluent counties. That’s great news for you then if you’re looking for a well-paid nursing job! Once great hospital you could work at is the El Camino Hospital which one employees says is a good company to work for with a good environment. Check out their recent postings for Clinical Nurses

Santa Cruz Watsonville, CA

Average hourly wage for RNs: $61.27 

Annual mean wage: $127,440

Santa Cruz is yet another stunning city in California! We’re really spoiling you today, right?! It’s the largest city in Santa Cruz county and is around 75 miles south of San Francisco. Unlike San Francisco, though, Santa Cruz is known for having a more moderate, sunny climate and is full of natural beauty like redwood forests and stunning coastlines. A good place to look for a nursing job is at the Dominican Hospital, which is part of the wider Dignity Health System, they’re looking for Registered Nurses.

Sacramento Roseville Arden Arcade, CA

Average hourly wage for RNs: $57.95

Annual mean wage: $120,530

Sacramento is the capital city of California. It’s located in the middle of the Sacramento Valley and is around 120 km from the coast. You can expect to enjoy mild winters and hot summers here. You can also expect to make a really good salary as a nurse!! We recommend applying to  Mercy General Hospital, where you can apply right now as a Certified Nurse Assistant!



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