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Longview is a city in northeast Texas that sits just 30 miles from the Louisiana border. The metro area is home to over 218,000 people, and it is listed as one of the country’s best small places for business and careers by Forbes. Even better, healthcare is the area’s top industry, employing more than 4,000 nursing professionals alone. Nurses here work in a variety of roles, including nurse practitioner (NP), registered nurse (RN), licensed vocational nurse (LVN), and certified nursing assistant (CNA).

The nursing community in Lawton, Oklahoma, consists of nearly 900 registered nurses (RNs), 500 licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and 400 certified nursing assistants (CNAs). Though these are the most common nursing roles in this southwestern Oklahoma city, dozens of nurses here also work in advanced practice registered nursing (APRN) roles like nurse practitioner and certified registered nurse anesthetist.

Las Cruces, New Mexico, is home to more than 2,000 nursing professionals. Some of the most common roles are registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN), and certified nursing assistant (CNA). Most Las Cruces-based nurses earned their degree or certificate at a local college or university. The region’s top nursing schools include New Mexico State University, Doña Ana Community College, and Computer Career Center. Collectively, these institutions offer nursing programs at all levels.

With more than 450,000 nursing professionals, California has the largest population of nurses in the United States. They are among the highest-paid professionals in the healthcare industry, with advanced nursing roles commanding $180,000 or more per year. Compensation for Lancaster-based nurses is particularly impressive. For example, the city’s certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) earn an average annual salary of $183,470, while its nurse practitioners (NPs) take home $122,120 per year.

Lake Charles, Louisiana, is home to 1,800 registered nurses (RNs), 1,220 certified nursing assistants (CNAs), 1,200 licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and more than 100 nurse practitioners (NPs). Depending on the role, education requirements can range from a brief certificate or diploma program to a graduate-level master of science in nursing (MSN) or doctor of nursing practice (DNP). Fortunately, the nursing schools in the Lake Charles metropolitan area offer programs at all levels.

The nursing community in Lafayette, Indiana, consists of more than 2,500 professionals. Registered nurses (RNs) comprise the largest group of nurses, followed by certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs). Many of these professionals work at major area hospitals such as IU Health Arnett Hospital, Franciscan Health Lafayette Central, and Franciscan Health Lafayette East.

Kingston, New York, is home to 1,150 registered nurses (RNs), 550 licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and 760 certified nursing assistants (CNAs). Many of these healthcare professionals earned their degree or certificate at a local college or university. Some of the best nursing schools in the area belong to the State University of New York (SUNY) system. A good example is SUNY Ulster, which offers an associate in science (ASN) program that takes just two years to complete.

The city of Joplin, Missouri, is home to 220 nurse practitioners (NPs), 2,080 registered nurses (RNs), 450 licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and 820 certified nursing assistants (CNAs). Many nurses in the metropolitan area earned their degree or certificate at a nearby college or university. One of the best local options is Missouri Southern State University. The school’s bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) students recently posted a 100% first-time pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

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