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Survey: Iowa a Top-Notch State for Nurses

There are more than 51,000 registered nurses licensed to practice in Iowa. (Ester Max/Flickr)
There are more than 51,000 registered nurses licensed to practice in Iowa. (Ester Max/Flickr)
May 8, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Whether they're working in a hospital, physician's office or nursing home, Iowa nurses can take comfort in knowing they're in a top-notch state for their profession.

May 6-12 is National Nurses Week, and a recent survey from finance website WalletHub ranked Iowa third in the nation for nurses. President of the Iowa Nurses Association, Jan Ricklefs, said she's not surprised.

"We have competitive wages. Iowa is very rural so we do have a slightly lower cost of living,” Ricklefs said. “We're one of the top as far as health care facilities per capita, so we have many opportunities across the state for nurses to work."

The survey examined several metrics, ranking Iowa ninth nationally for "opportunity and competition" and 11th for "work environment." It also found the average work week for nurses in Iowa is 32 hours, much lower than in many other states.

The nursing industry is expected to grow at more than twice the rate of the average profession through 2024. Ricklefs said nurses have a level of skill and knowledge that makes them adaptable to changing demands.

"Challenges that we're facing include the fact that our population is aging,” she said. "It includes health care laws. It includes the fact that we really are in a high-technology age, so there's been a very rapid growth of technology in new treatment."

Ricklefs said more than 51,000 registered nurses are licensed to practice in the state. And during National Nurses Week, she encourages Iowans to say thanks to the nurses in their lives.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IA