Lubbock ranks top for nursing job opportunity

Study: Lubbock ranks top for nursing job opportunity

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

A new study finds that not only is nursing a great long-term career option, Lubbock is ranked at number three on a list for "Best Places to be a Nurse."

Lubbock is home to a sizable number of nurses. According to the data by SmartAsset.com, about four percent of the Lubbock workforce are nurses.

"People stay in Lubbock because of the community. It's a big community, it's a friendly community, it's easy to live in Lubbock," Susi Mitchell with Covenant Health said.

The study not only analyzes data on percentage of nurses, but also: employment and income growth and income after housing.

"The job growth, we're growing. The city is growing, projected to double in size," Mitchell said. "So there's a lot of potential for growth out there and for nursing as well, more opportunities."

Those opportunities are found here because of the sizable area Lubbock hospitals treat, from patients in West Texas into Eastern New Mexico.

"A lot of patients come to Lubbock, and to these facilities, and there's a big draw for that," Terry Hill with TTUHSC said. "That means that there's a lot of job security. There's a high demand for nurses and there's a good variety of places where you can choose to work."

Speaking of the wide areas of care, the nurses here are a community.

"The healthcare community is like a family and you can really feel it here in Lubbock," Hill said.

Not only does the healthcare community respect each other, the patients do as well.

"They know what their nurses do for them," Hill said. "You have their lives in your hand and I think the people of Lubbock really respect that."

And of course, health care jobs provide a comfortable living.

"As a nurse, you can start off financially sound, taking care of yourself and your family," Mitchell said. "You can grow from there and as you stay one year to three years to five years, your income grows as well."

That income is a boost for students who graduate here from nursing school, and are then enticed to stay.

"Whenever you're coming right out of school, they start you out at a very competitive base salary, and you can pretty well set you a nice career path and advance and increase your pay and increase your responsibility and your role," Hill said.

According to the study, Lubbock nurses have the second-lowest median income after housing costs in the top 10. Texas’ high property tax rates may play a role in that.

Lubbock ranked 11th on this same study just last year, moving up eight spots to number three. The only other Texas cities in the top 15 are Beaumont-Port Arthur at number 12, and Corpus Christi at number four.

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