The 5 Best and 5 Worst States for Nurses

If you're about to graduate from college and get your nursing license, you might be looking forward to starting your career with mixed feelings. On the one hand, nursing careers pay well and offer low rates of unemployment; on the other, getting started can be a struggle. It can be hard to get the minimum two or three years of experience that many employers look for in a new hire.

With this in mind, WalletHub recently evaluated all 50 states and the District of Columbia to identify the best and worst states for nurses – especially new nurses – in the U.S.

5 Things You Don’t Know About Nurses

If your picture of nursing and nurses was formed by watching medical dramas on TV, you probably wouldn't recognize a real Registered Nurse. Actual nurses do not flirt with doctors, wear World War II-era nursing caps, or spend the bulk of their day fluffing pillows and providing refreshments. They're highly skilled and rigorously educated professionals, and if you're ever in the hospital, they're the part of the medical team that will be most involved, on a daily basis, in getting you on the road to recovery.

5 Things You Should Know About Working as a Nurse

Some people are lucky enough to feel that they have a real calling toward one particular job or career field. Nurses tend to be these kinds of people. If you know someone with a profound desire to help others and a fierce work ethic and intellect to match, they just might work in nursing. But, while the job can be quite fulfilling, it's far from an easy career path. Let's get real about what it's like to work as a nurse in 2016. Here are a few things you should know.

Salary Calculator: Nursing 101

Recently the National Labor Relations Board issued a ruling (3-to-2) that will re-classify registered nurses — and possibly 8 million other workers — as “supervisors” if they perform certain types of duties. The National Labor Relations Board ruled that a worker would be a supervisor if he or she: exercised “independent judgment,” oversaw another worker, could be held accountable for another worker’s performance or spent 10 to 15 percent of total work time in supervisor-type duties.

How will this affect the average nurse salary? In the nursing world, that would mean that a nurse overseeing a shift (the charge nurse) would be considered a “supervisor” if she assigns another nurse to a patient. Ultimately, workers that are re-classified as “supervisors” are excluded from union membership, which will likely affect their pay rate.

According to our salary calculator, a (non-union) registered nurse in Michigan makes an average salary of $45,438. Is a non-union nurse salary significantly different from a nurse with union membership?