LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas is not as good a place for a nursing career as most other states, according to one study.

A WalletHub study released Tuesday showed that the Natural State ranked 48th of the 50 states for nurses. The study used 20 key metrics to determine a score based on a state’s opportunity and competition followed by its work environment.

Arkansas placed closer to the middle in the opportunity and competition ranking at 38, but was driven down-scale for its 46 ranking in the work environment.

The opportunity and competition metrics included measuring average starting and annual salary, quality of nursing schools and nursing job openings per capita. Work environment used metrics such as the ratio of nurses to hospital beds and the quality of public hospital systems.

The 48 ranking for Arkansas put it ahead of only Oklahoma and Hawaii at 49 and 50, respectively. Washington ranked first in the study.

The study did not measure a state’s cost of living or factors such as natural beauty, both areas where Arkansas demonstrates some real advantages.

Nursing remains a viable career regardless of location. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a mean average pay of $89,010 for nurses, with employment opportunities growing yearly.