Advance Your Career: Top 5 Cities for Nurses

Nursing is one of the fastest growing healthcare professions, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. They predict that the need for nurses through 2020 will exceed 25 percent. This is due to a number of factors, including an aging population with a higher demand for healthcare. More nurses will be needed in most specialties across the country.

Top 5 Cities for NursesSome nurses never move out of their geographic location or specialty. Others become a travel nurse in order to test out what it would be like to work in different places, meeting different people. Both approaches show just how versatile the nursing profession is.

It can be helpful to map out your career to experience nursing in different cities and facilities. It’s valuable to future employers to see that you’re adaptable. Here are the top cities for positions to consider for your next nursing opportunity.

Portland, Oregon

Oregon has seen a steady rise in population over the past 10 years, primarily in the Portland and Vancouver regions. More business and industry has moved into Oregon to take advantage of the climate and tax benefits. This has driven the need for more available healthcare. Hospitals and clinics are hiring nurses and medical assistants in various specialties. This is a good place to hone general nursing skills before venturing into one of the specialties, according to

Portland is a medium-sized city with a moderate cost of living. It is known for its parks and artists of all kinds. For a city this size, it has one of the best transit systems in the country.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle also has a high demand for nurses, as healthcare, education and research are a big business in this city. Home of many bio-tech companies, nurses have the opportunity to work in different capacities in research, diagnostic and treatment centers. The medical schools in Washington place a big emphasis on cancer research and treatment.

The cost of living here is fairly high, although not as high as comparable cities in California. This city is on the water and is surrounded by mountains, so there are many popular outdoor activities here. Besides the employment opportunities, there are many ways to build up your resume by doing healthcare-related volunteer work.

Cincinnati, Ohio

While there continues to be a need for nurses in low income areas of the country, people have steadily moved into the large metropolitan cities creating more demand for healthcare services. Reports noted by Soliant Health show that the more populated states will have the most need for nurses. Ohio is No. 4 on the list of top ten states for nursing demand. Cincinnati has many healthcare opportunities because of the growth of Fortune 100 companies that have settled there, according to Healthcare facilities have expanded to match this growth.

Cincinnati has a low cost of living and is often referred to as one of the best cities to start and raise a family. There are many cultural activities in the city and there has been a big increase in the support of the arts by larger corporations.

Los Angeles, California

Near the top of the list for nursing salaries is Los Angeles. Scrubs magazine ranks California at the top of nursing salaries, followed by New York. Hospitals and clinics here practice some of the most advanced medical procedures available. Even so, hiring is very competitive in these facilities. reminds that new nursing graduates find it very difficult getting hired in this city. Most positions are open only to those with experience. There are many candidates for each open position and only the most persistent make it into one of these roles.

The cost of living in LA is high and keeps many nurses from venturing there. Those that do, benefit from challenging their nursing skills in ways that lets them grow professionally.

Orlando, Florida

At the other end of the spectrum is Orlando. The local Herald Tribune mentions that due to people continually settling in Florida for retirement or just to find a slower-paced urban lifestyle, there is a high demand for healthcare by the older adults in this region.

This is a city in which many nurses settle down for the remainder of their careers. The cost of living is moderate to high, but the nursing salaries in Florida are within the top five in the country. The demand for nurses here is expected to continue into 2025 and opportunities are available for both new grads and experienced nurses.