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The Best States for Nurses - See Where RI Ranks

Thursday, May 04, 2017


RI ranked 19th in U.S. for nurses

From Rhode Island Hospital to Women & Infants to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Rhode Island is home to many nurses, but where does Rhode Island rank among the best states in the U.S. for nurses? 

According to a recent study done by WalletHub, Rhode Island is ranked 19th in the U.S. for nurses. 

“Like most segments of the economy, the nursing industry is in a state of significant transition under the weight of major socioeconomic dynamics — from the aging U.S. population to the student-loan crisis to concerns about the future of key entitlement programs. But such concerns are not unique among recent graduates, regardless of industry,” said WalletHub. 

Rhode Island ranks 43rd for opportunity and competition while ranking 4th for work environment

The Rankings 

Rhode Island ranks behind Illinois and Nebraska, who rank 17th and 18th respectively. Rhode Island ranks ahead of South Carolina and Connecticut, who rank 20th and 21st respectively. 

Wisconsin is ranked as the best state in the U.S. for nurses, while the District of Columbia is ranked as the worst state in the U.S. for nurses. 

See the full rankings in the map below 

Source: WalletHub

The Method 

In order to determine the best and worst states for nurses, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key dimensions, namely “Opportunity & Competition” and “Work Environment.”

They evaluated those dimensions using 18 relevant metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for nurses.

They then calculated the total score for each state and the District based on its weighted average across all metrics and used the resulting scores to construct our final ranking.

Opportunity & Competition – Total Points: 70

  • Monthly Average Starting Salary for Nurses: Full Weight (~6.67 Points)
  • Average Annual Salary for Nurses: Double Weight (~13.35 Points)
  • Health-Care Facilities per Capita: Full Weight (~6.67 Points)
  • Share of Population Living in a Primary-Care HPSA: Full Weight (~6.67 Points)
  • Projected Share of Elderly Population in 2030: Full Weight (~6.67 Points)
  • Educational Opportunities Based on Quality of Nursing Schools: Half Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • Share of Licensed Nursing Professionals Not Working in Nursing Field: Full Weight (~6.67 Points)
  • Nursing-Job Openings per Capita: Full Weight (~6.67 Points)
  • Nurses per 1,000 Residents: Full Weight (~6.67 Points)
  • Projected Competition in 2024: Full Weight (~6.67 Points)


Work Environment – Total Points: 30

  • Mandatory Overtime Restrictions: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)
  • Ratio of Nurses to Hospital Beds: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)
  • Presence of Nursing Licensure Compact Law: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)
  • Share of Best Nursing Homes: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)
  • Quality of Public Hospital System: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)
  • Friendliness Toward Working Moms: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)
  • Average Number of Work Hours: Half Weight (~2.14 Points)
  • Average Commute Time: Half Weight (~2.14 Points)

Related Slideshow: The Power List - Health and Education, 2016

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Inside Man

Russell Carey - A name few outside of Brown’s campus know, but Carey is the power source at the Providence Ivy League institution. 

Today, his title is Executive Vice President and he has had almost every title at Brown short of President. Carey is a 1991 graduate of Brown and has never left College Hill.

While Brown’s President Christine Paxson — who is functionally invisible in Rhode Island — is managing alumni affairs and fundraising, Carey is influencing almost everything in Rhode Island.

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Top Raimondo Appointment

Nicole Alexander-Scott - MD, MPH, and rock star in the making. As Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, she is fast developing a reputation as someone in the Raimondo Administration who can get things done. Her counsel and leadership on developing a strategy on opioid addiction has been widely been lauded.

In addition, she has handled the mundane - from beach closings to food recalls - with competency. An expert in infectious disease, it may be time for her to become a strong leader on Zika.

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Ronald Machtley - Bryant University's President rightfully deserves to be on a lot of lists, but what few understand is that Machtley’s influence extends far beyond Bryant’s campus in Smithfield. Machtley could make this list as a business leader or as a political force as much as for education.

Machtley is recognized for transforming Bryant University from a financially struggling regional college to a university with a national reputation for business.

Machtley serves on Amica’s Board and the Rhode Island Foundation, and also serves on the Board of Fantex Brands.

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Power Broker

Larry Purtill - While Bob Walsh gets the face time as the Executive Director in the media for the NEA of Rhode Island, NEARI President Purtill tends to be the inside man who gets things done.

The teachers' largest union is formidable, but is still reeling from the beat down it took when Gina Raimondo’s pension reform cut the benefits of teachers disproportionately over other employee groups. 

Make no mistake about it - not much happens in education in Rhode Island without Purtill's sign-off.

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Mim Runey - While Rhode Islanders wait, and wait some more, for development on the 195 land, Johnson and Wale's University's Runey is watching it come to fruition, as JWU is set to open the first completed building on the former Interstate on September 1, when it will host a ribbon cutting for its John J. Bowen Center for Science and Innovation. 

Under Runey, JWU continues to establish its foothold as one of the country's top schools for culinary training. Now Runey will oversee the addition of the new building on the old 195 which will house the university's School of Engineering and Design and its biology program. 

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A true community partner in every sense, JWU under Runey's watchful eye is expanding to an even greater presence in Providence. 

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Chairman of the Board

Edwin J. Santos - The former banker is Chairman of the Board of CharterCare, after having been a top executive at Citizens Bank. He has been a board leader for Crossroads, Washington Trust, Rocky Hill School -- you name it and Santos has helped to lead it.

His best work to date just might be at CharterCare, where he has helped the once fledgling hospital (Roger Williams Medical Center) into a growing hospital system.

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Lion Tamer

Weber Shill - He serves as the Chief Executive Officer of University Orthopedics, or in other words, dozens and dozens of oh-so-confident docs.

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Timothy Babineau - President and CEO of Lifespan, Rhode Island's biggest healthcare organization, where financial challenges make the job that much more complicated.

Now, the critics (GoLocalProv included) are raising concerns about the multi- billion dollar organization's refusal to make any contribution to the City of Providence. Lifespan is like General Motors, big and hard to innovate the organization.  


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