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National Nurses Week: KY Ranks in Top 10 for Pay

Public News Service

Whether they're working in a hospital, physician's office or nursing home - Kentucky nurses can take comfort in knowing they're earning some of the best wages in the country.

May 6-12 is National Nurses Week, and a recent survey from finance website WalletHub ranked Kentucky 25th on its list of best states for nurses. And when it comes to wages, WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said the state is in the top 10 for starting salaries for nurses.

"They're making about $2,500 a month,” Gonzalez said. "Also good for the annual salary for nurses at a growth projection, specifically, registered nurses, nurse anesthetists, and midwives are all making just around the $100,000 mark or more."

The survey examined several metrics, ranking Kentucky 23rd nationally for "opportunity and competition" and 24th for "work environment."

The nursing industry is expected to grow at a rate more than twice that of the average profession through 2024. Gonzalez said nurses are facing several challenges as the industry adapts to changing dynamics.

"So an aging U.S. population is one,” she said. “A student loan crisis affecting what nurses are actually looking into is two; and three, the future of health care as we know it and key entitlement programs for nurses specifically."

There are nearly 72,000 professionally active nurses in the state, and for National Nurses Week, Gonzalez encouraged Kentuckians to say thanks to the nurses in their lives.