Harrisburg ranks as top place to be a nurse in U.S.

By Lenay Ruhl, October 28, 2015 at 3:09 PM

Harrisburg ranks No. 7 in the top 10 places to be a nurse in the United States based on growth in jobs and wages, according to a study by SmartAsset, a financial technology company.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge. – (Illustration / Larissa Newton)

Although growth isn’t occurring evenly in all parts of the country, Harrisburg is an exception.

“Harrisburg had very strong salary growth and job growth,” said Nick Wallace, data journalist at New York-based SmartAsset. “In some areas we saw maybe one or the other but Harrisburg was across the board.”

The “best places to be a nurse” study found that the number of nurses in the United States has grown by almost 7 percent since 2009, driven by demand from an aging population. Job growth for registered nurses is projected to reach 19.4 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In the capital region, nurse incomes have increased 10.7 percent over the past five years to an average salary of $64,286 in 2014.

According to Wallace, the average reflected the weighted income of four nursing categories. Broken down, the specific salaries are:

  • Nurse anesthetists: $170,000
  • Nurse practitioners: $96,000
  • Registered nurses: $65,990
  • Licensed practical nurses: $45,000

To conduct the study, SmartAsset looked at data on income and employment for nurses in 127 of America’s largest metro areas, and considered metrics such as one-year and five-year employment and income growth, the percentage of nursing jobs out of the total workforce and income after housing costs.

Housing costs were based on the average income minus the average housing costs, including property tax and insurance. That information came from the U.S. Census Bureau.

In Harrisburg, housing costs are slightly below average.

“It’s a little bit less expensive than a lot of other major metro areas, so we found that median monthly housing costs is $934 per month,” Wallace said.

source: Central Penn Business Journal