Which Major Metro Areas In KS, MO Pay Nurses Highest in Wages?

Vivian Health found the highest paying metros for Kansas and Missouri are Lawrence and St. Louis respectively. Photo credit: Shutterstock (felipe caparros)

Posted February 7, 2024

Vivian Health, a digital healthcare job marketplace, compiled data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and found what city metros are the highest paying in each state.

Vivian Health used BLS data to rank metropolitan areas from each state based on the dollar difference between a registered nurse’s median annual salary and the median salary of all occupations in the area.

Kansas nurses are paid the highest in Lawrence. Nurses in Lawrence typically earn $28,920 more than the metro’s median income and the median annual wage for nurses equates to around $67,150.

Meanwhile, nurses in Missouri receive the most pay in St. Louis earning $31,400 more than the metro’s median income and the median annual wage for nurses is around $77,390.

California had the highest wage among all states with a median annual wage of $175,350 for nurses in Santa Cruz. On the opposite end of the rankings was Iowa with nurses earning a median annual wage of just $62,860 in Sioux City.

Vivian Health notes in its findings the nursing field taxing and could often lead to burnout. Approximately 100,000 registered nurses left the profession since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 due to burnout, stress and retirement, according to a 2023 report from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.