Nursing Homes: 10 Best States for Nurse Staffing

Residents generally do better the more time spent being cared for by registered nurses.

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Yesterday, the federal government rolled out a revamped and simplified approach to its evaluations of nursing homes, in order to make the onerous task of choosing the right one easier for families. Like the system the government uses for rating Medicare health and drug plans, the Nursing Home Compare site now gives nursing homes from 1 to 5 stars, overall and in each of three areas—performance in the latest three quarterly reports in 10 key quality measures, such as the percentage of residents with urinary tract infections; performance in the latest three annual health inspections; and adequacy of both overall and nurse staffing.

The following 10 states have the highest percentages of nursing homes with the best rating of 5 stars for adequate staffing by registered nurses.

Rank State Total, all nursing homes 5 Stars
1 Alaska 12 100 percent
2 Hawaii 42 57.1 percent
3 Montana 84 47.6 percent
4 Wyoming 39 46.2 percent
5 Maine 109 43.1 percent
6 New Hampshire 75 37.3 percent
7 Delaware 40 35.0 percent
8 South Dakota 108 30.6 percent
9 Rhode Island 80 30.0 percent
10 Washington, D.C. 18 27.8 percent