With nurses risking their lives to keep us safe from COVID-19, the personal finance website WalletHub has released its report on "2020's Best and Worst States for Nurses."

Analyst Jill Gonzalez said WalletHub compared the relative attractiveness of the 50 states across 22 key metrics that speak to the nursing job opportunities in each market. New Jersey finished disastrously in the survey, ranking in the bottom 10.

New Jersey's 8th-place ranking comes down to not so much the work environment, which is better than average, but opportunity and competition. New Jersey has a low starting salary for nurses compared to the cost of living. Also, there are not many nursing job openings per capita in the state, meaning high competition projected from now until at least 2026.

However, there are some positive signs. The overall work environment in New Jersey is decent because New Jersey is one of the states that's offering the most coronavirus support and mandatory overtime restrictions.

"I think it really comes down to creating more types of opportunities so that there are more openings for people, especially those graduating from nursing schools in the area and are obviously getting their license in New Jersey," Gonzalez said.

Oregon is the best state for nurses followed by the state of Washington, New Mexico, Minnesota and Nevada. New York is the worst state for nurses. Louisiana is second to last followed by Hawaii, Alabama and Oklahoma.

Gonzalez said in New York, the opportunities to be a nurse are few and far between. The salary for nurses in New York is decent but with the adjusted cost of living, the money can't compete with some of the other top states like Oregon and Washington.

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