September 2021 Travel Nursing Wage Trends by State

Healthcare workers continued to grapple with the “third wave” of COVID-19 in September 2021. However, more adults were reportedly getting vaccinated primarily due to the ongoing threat of the Delta variant and full approval of the Pfizer vaccine by the FDA. Some adults who chose to get vaccinated in September said it was due to reports of local hospitals filling up with COVID-19 patients again. Others said it was because they knew someone who had become seriously ill or died from the disease. Vaccine mandates also played a role in some decisions.

Overall, new COVID-19 cases nationwide dipped from 210,995 on September 1 to 116,209 on September 30. Despite the decline in cases, wages for nurses still increased in September across the nation. July wage trends indicated seven states had a drop in healthcare pay and August only had one with a drop. Salaries increased in every state in September. Healthcare pay rate increases ranged between 2.8% and 20.1%, so nurses in some states saw a more significant change than others.

States With Wage Increases of 10% or More

Of the 50 states with increased healthcare wages in September, 29 of them had relatively significant increases of at least 10%. Although Alaska’s wages in August saw an amazing 51.6% increase, the highest among all states, Delaware took the top spot in September with an increase of 38.9%. In September, Alaska still took the second-highest spot with an increase of 20.1% and New Jersey took the third-highest spot with an increase of 19.5%. Montana rounded out the list and barely broke the 10% threshold with an increase of 10.1% in healthcare wages in September compared to August. 

  • On September 1, Delaware had a seven-day average of 370 COVID cases, which included 328 new cases that day. By the end of the month, the state recorded a seven-day average of 441 cases and 531 new cases for the day. The seven-day average of hospitalized COVID patients on September 1 was 256 with 260 patients hospitalized with the disease on that day. By September 30, both numbers had dropped to 243. There were seven new COVID deaths on September 1 compared to one on September 30. Delaware is projected to have a nursing shortage of 1,000 by 2026.


  • Alaska had the second-highest increase in wages in September at 20.1%. At the beginning of September, the state recorded a seven-day average in new cases of 548, which included 791 cases on the first of the month. These numbers had significantly increased by the end of the month, causing a seven-day average of 1,246 and 1,267 new cases on the 30th. Hospitalizations also increased with 181 on the 1st compared to 207 on the 30th of September. The seven-day average also jumped from 162 to 181.


  •  New Jersey wasn’t far behind Alaska with its increase of 19.5% in September, making it the third-highest jump in wages nationwide. The Garden State had a seven-day average of 2,050 on the first of the month, which had 2,083 recorded cases. By month-end, the seven-day count average had dropped to 1,850 but new cases on September 30 were still 2,327. The seven-day average of hospitalizations on September 1st in New Jersey was 1,093 with 1,148 new cases that day. At the end of the month, the seven-day average was up only slightly at 1,109 and new cases on the 30th totaled 1,083. New Jersey is also projected to be short 1,000 nurses by 2026.

 

pexels-craig-adderley-1529746Delaware had the highest increase in wages for September

 

State

Avg Weekly Pay August

Avg Weekly Pay September

Percent Increase

Delaware

$1,716

$2,810

38.9%

Alaska

$2,510

$3,142

20.1%

New Jersey

$2,666

$3,312

19.5%

Connecticut

$2,122

$2,615

18.8%

Rhode Island

$2,259

$2,772

18.5%

North Dakota

$2,693

$3,278

17.8%

Maine

$2,419

$2,923

17.2%

Pennsylvania

$2,417

$2,909

16.9%

South Dakota

$2,526

$2,983

15.3%

Vermont

$2,489

$2,934

15.2%

Massachusetts

$2,192

$2,572

14.8%

Maryland

$2,376

$2,781

14.6%

New Hampshire

$2,252

$2,638

14.6%

New Mexico

$2,812

$3,274

14.1%

Iowa

$2,388

$2,777

14.0%

Idaho

$2,874

$3,324

13.6%

Georgia

$2,817

$3,249

13.3%

Colorado

$2,406

$2,738

12.1%

Nevada

$2,502

$2,846

12.1%

Minnesota

$2,443

$2,775

12.0%

Nebraska

$2,379

$2,705

12.0%

Kentucky

$2,472

$2,807

11.9%

North Carolina

$2,589

$2,912

11.1%

West Virginia

$2,313

$2,596

10.9%

Indiana

$2,635

$2,954

10.8%

Alabama

$2,585

$2,889

10.5%

Illinois

$2,563

$2,859

10.4%

Washington

$2,600

$2,898

10.3%

Montana

$2,335

$2,597

10.1%

States With Wage Increases of Less Than 10%

While the other 21 states also saw wages increase, they increased by less than 10% between August and September. Michigan almost broke 10% at an increase of 9.9% in September compared to August. While Oklahoma had the smallest recorded increase in wages at 2.8%, followed closely by Hawaii at 3%.

 

State

Avg Weekly Pay August

Avg Weekly Pay September

Percent Increase

Michigan

$2,495

$2,771

9.9%

Ohio

$2,439

$2,702

9.7%

South Carolina

$2,659

$2,938

9.5%

Oregon

$2,552

$2,810

9.2%

Kansas

$2,392

$2,623

8.8%

Arkansas

$2,690

$2,943

8.6%

Wyoming

$2,478

$2,702

8.3%

Virginia

$2,430

$2,645

8.1%

California

$2,830

$3,047

7.1%

Tennessee

$2,493

$2,678

6.9%

New York

$2,689

$2,883

6.7%

Utah

$2,341

$2,503

6.5%

Wisconsin

$2,527

$2,691

6.1%

Mississippi

$2,423

$2,570

5.7%

Arizona

$2,830

$2,986

5.2%

Florida

$2,746

$2,894

5.1%

Texas

$2,431

$2,561

5.1%

Louisiana

$2,664

$2,782

4.2%

Missouri

$2,771

$2,874

3.6%

Hawaii

$2,242

$2,312

3.0%

Oklahoma

$2,691

$2,767

2.8%

 

Schedule a demo with Vivian Health to learn how we can help you meet your hiring goals.

Moira K. McGhee

Moira K. McGhee

Moira K. McGhee has been a professional writer since 1999. She’s written 1,000s of print or digital feature articles, blogs, advertorials, how-to guides, and landing pages throughout her career. Her work has been featured in several nationally distributed magazines, on numerous websites, and in two super-fun cozy crime anthologies. Moira especially enjoys writing about nurses and the amazing jobs they do!

Want new articles every week? Subscribe now

See how Vivian can help you meet your hiring goals

Schedule a demo