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Where do Kentucky, Indiana rank for nurses? | FOCUS

COVID-19 has put the nursing industry in the spotlight. A new report by WalletHub, a personal finance website, reveals the everyday realities for nurses.

It’s the start of Nurses Appreciation Week. From now until May 12, our FOCUS investigative team will be digging into the realities nurses face both in Kentucky and Indiana.

While so many of us have been in our homes during COVID-19, nurses and other healthcare workers have been on the front lines. We’re taking a look at what they’re dealing with everyday, from pay to job growth. 

Jill Gonzalez, an analyst at WalletHub, a personal finance website, revealed its latest findings on the best and worst states for nurses. Crunching numbers from places like the CDC and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, she looked into their biggest challenges, and what states are doing to support them.

RELATED: Discounts and freebies for health care workers during Nurses Week

Out of 50 states and the District of Columbia, Kentucky ranked in roughly the middle of the pack at 37. Indiana performed a little better, at 24. 

Among the biggest challenges for both states, Gonzalez cites slow job growth, long work hours, and lower state and hospital funding. 

When you factor in cost of living, she said starting salaries are strong: In Kentucky, it’s $2,493 monthly. In Indiana, it’s $2,272 monthly. But she said those salaries stagnate over time. 

With COVID-19 putting nurses in the spotlight, she said she hopes to see more action, like state and federal funding, to support them.  

“This is a study that we’ve done now for 5 years in a row, and I’ve never seen the attention that it’s getting right now because nurses are finally getting the recognition that they deserve," Gonzalez said.

See WalletHub's full report, here.

More FOCUS:

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