With National Nurses Week kicking off May 6, a new report on 2024’s Best & Worst States for Nurses, may help nurses, especially new graduates, find the best markets for their profession.

The study compared the relative attractiveness of the 50 states across 20 key metrics. The data set ranges from job openings for nurses per capita and average salaries to mandatory overtime restrictions and the quality of nursing homes.

The Long-term Outlook for the Field of Nursing

“The long-term outlook for the field of nursing is excellent overall. Few health professional roles offer as many different opportunities to advance in your career as nursing. The market for hospital nurses will always be strong, but I think we will start to see more community-based nursing roles in the future. Working conditions in hospitals can be stressful and community-based ones offer a nice alternative for nurses seeking to work in lower-stress environments,” said Allison P Squires, FAAN, Ph.D., RN – professor; director of the Global Consortium of Nursing and Midwifery Studies, New York University.

“The long-term outlook for the field of nursing is great! As the population ages, nurses are called to care for patients with many co-morbid diseases like Diabetes, Hypertension, Cardiovascular Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Renal Disease, Cancer, and other aging processes. Nurses are being utilized in health departments, clinics, schools, hospitals, occupational health facilities, insurance agencies, prisons, jails, and on many review boards,” said Deborah L. Hopla, DNP, APRN-BC, FAANP, FAAN – Amy V. Cockcroft Leadership Fellow 2015-2016; director MSN/FNP and DNP Programs; professor, Francis Marion University.

Tips for Recent Nursing School Grads Looking for a Place to Live and Work

“Recent graduates need to remember they are interviewing places of work just as much as the places of work are interviewing them. If they have the opportunity to shadow a nurse for a day or even talk to some of the nurses at the institution to which they are applying, they should take advantage of this. It is important to find out what the culture is like and whether the nurses feel supporNew nurses need to beto be in a nurturing environment where they can freely ask questions and find individuals who are willing to mentor them. It is also important to consider things like salary, cost of living, benefits, and career advancement opportunities,” Gawlik added.

“New nurses have opportunities all over the country so theyally choose where they want to live and work with little difficulty. I think it is important to know what you like to do on your days off. For example, if you rike the beach, choose a place to work that has a beach nearby. Same with hiking in the mountains, going to theater or music events, or if you are someone who likes the tranquility of rural life. It is also important to choose your first job carefully. You want to choose a unit to work on that has a collaborative environment amongst co-workers, a supportive manager, and an organization that facilitates the work of nursing. There are also a few red flags to watch out for when choosing your first job. First are toxic co-workers. If a shift always has vacancies and they cannot seem to keep anyone new for a long time, odds are it is because toxic nurses are working the shift who are not held accountable for their behavior. That means they are tolerated because the manager thinks their clinical experience outweighs their toxicity. That means the manager does not hold them accountable, which suggests other problems with how the manager runs the unit. Poor management is the second red flag. You can tell when you interview if the staff are ‘good’ stressed or ‘bad’ stressed. Pay attention when you interview to what you observe on the floor when interviewing,” Squires added.

What Local Governments and Health Systems can do to Attract and Retain Nurses?

“Local governments and health systems need to offer a better work-life balance and pay nurses for their worth. People are hospitalized for 24-hour nursing care. It is time facilities understood that nurses are professionals who do an outstanding job caring for others. Ensuring nurses have a safe environment and not allowing the violence we know nurses are experiencing in the workplace is vital to retaining nurses,” Hopla added.

“Local governments and health care systems need to ensure new nurses have the support and resources to help them be successful. They need to be adhering to the recommenurse-to-patienttient ratios and ensure adequate staffing for all positions. Nurse burnout occurs more frequently when units are understaffed and nurses are overworked. They also need to ensure nurses have competitive pay, a safe work environment, and flexible scheduling options. Many new nurses often have to work nights, weekends, and holidays so health care systems need to ensure scheduling is fair to everyone,” Gawlik added.

For the full report, please visit here.

Source: WalletHub