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Every state has much to offer physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. It may be quality of life. Employment opportunities. Regulatory and business friendliness. Or any of dozens of other features. But to make it to the top of PT in Motion's third annual analysis of the best states in which to practice, states needed high rankings in multiple factors that health care professionals say are important.

Best States in Which to Practice

What's the best state in which to practice physical therapy?

The answer of course depends in part on what you value. How important is salary? Quality of life? Future job prospects? Fewer regulatory restraints? The demographic characteristics (such as age and health) of the state's residents? And so on.

Many rankings of "best states" use some combination of these factors. PT in Motion's analysis uses these 8 criteria:

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  1. Sprey E. Best States to Practice 2014. Physicians Practice. September 24, 2014. http://www.physicianspractice.com/best-states-practice/best-states-to-practice-2014/page/0/1. Accessed August 17, 2015.
  2. Best Cities for Physical Therapists. Value Penguin. http://www.valuepenguin.com/2013/07/best-cities-physical-therapists. Accessed August 17, 2015.
  3. Best states to be a dental hygienist Dentistry iQ. http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2012/01/best-states-rdh-2012.html. Accessed August 8, 2014.
  4. State of American Well-being 2014. http://www.gallup.com/poll/181547/alaska-leads-states-first-time.aspx. Accessed August 16, 2015.
  5. Witters D. Utah Poised to Be the Best U.S. State to Live in. Gallup. August 7, 2012. http://www.gallup.com/poll/156449/utah-poised-best-state-live.aspx. Accessed August 6, 2013
  6. Kutner M, Greenberg E, Jin Y, et al. The Health Literacy of America's Adults—Results from the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NCES 2006-483). National Center for Education Statistics, US Department of Education iii-iv.
  7. Improving health literacy improves patient outcomes. Healthcare Providers Service Organization Risk Advisor for Physical Therapists. 2012. http://www.hpso.com/pdfs/db/newsletters/2012-PhysicalTherapist-Risk-Advisor.pdf?fileName=2012-PhysicalTherapist-Risk-Advisor.pdf&folder=pdfs/db/newsletters&isLiveStr=Y
  8. National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences. http://nces.ed.gov/naal/. Accessed August 16, 2015.
  9. DeNavas-Walt C, Proctor BD. Income and Poverty in the United Statates: 2013. September 16, 2014. United States Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/library/publications/2014/demo/p60-249.html. Data: http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/data/incpovhlth/2013/state.xls. Accessed August 16, 2015.
  10. File T, Ryan C. Computer and Internet Use in the United States: 2013. US Department of Commerce. United States Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/history/pdf/2013computeruse.pdf. Accessed August 16, 2015.
  11. Percent of People Who Have Completed an Advanced Degree by State." American Community Survey . Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/acs/www/. Accessed August 16, 2015.
  12. American Community Survey. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/data/summary-file.html. Accessed August 16, 2015. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/data/summary-file.html. Accessed August 6, 2013.
  13. Employment Trends by Occupation Across States. 2012-2022. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections. http://www.bls.gov/emp. Accessed August 16, 2015.
  14. Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014. US Census Bureau, Population Division. December 2014. http://www.census.gov/popest/. Accessed August 16, 2015.
  15. Allen N, Daniels S. 2013 Thumbtack.com small business friendliness survey: Methodology & Analysis. 2014. https://www.thumbtack.com/survey#/2014/1/states. Accessed August 17, 2015.
  16. America's Top States for Business 2015: A scorecard on state economic climate. CNBC. http://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/24/americas-top-states-for-business.html. Accessed August 17, 2015.
  17. A Summary of Direct Access Language in State Physical Therapy Practice Acts. January 2015. http://www.apta.org/uploadedFiles/APTAorg/Advocacy/State/Issues/Direct_Access/DirectAccessbyState.pdf. Updated with News and Briefs at http://www.apta.org/StateIssues/DirectAccess/. Accessed August 17, 2015.
  18. Health Information Technology. The American Physical Therapy Association. http://www.apta.org/FederalIssues/HIT/. Accessed August 20, 2015.
  19. State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies. The National Telehealth Policy Resource Center, Center for Connected Health Policy. February 2015. http://cchpca.org/state-telehealth-laws-and-reimbursement-policies-report. Accessed August 17, 2015.

    20. Percent of Physicians, NPs, and PAs that have Demonstrated Meaningful Use of Certified Health IT. CMS EHR Incentive Program data. April 2015. http://dashboard.healthit.gov/index.php. Accessed August 17, 2015.

  20. Percent of All Eligible and Critical Access Hospitals that have Demonstrated Meaningful Use of Certified Health IT. CMS EHR Incentive Program data. April 2015. http://dashboard.healthit.gov/index.php. Accessed August 17, 2015.
  21. Klowden K, Keough K, Barrett J. 2014 State Technology and Science Index. The Milken Institute. 2014. http://statetechandscience.org/state-tech-and-science-report-2014.pdf. Accessed August 17, 2015.
  22. America's Top States for Business 2015: A scorecard on state economic climate. CNBC. http://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/24/americas-top-states-for-business.html. Accessed August 17, 2015.
  23. 2012 PT/PTA Market Share by State. http://www.apta.org/MembershipDevelopment/Statistics/ChapterMarketShare/ Accessed August 6, 2013.
  24. http://www.apta.org/REACH100/.
  25. Platinum (100%), gold (90%), or silver (80%) levels in Reach 100. http://www.apta.org/REACH100/. Accessed August 17, 2015.
  26. Occupational Employment Statistics. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013. 29-1123 Physical Therapists. Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291123.htm. Accessed August 11, 2014.
  27. Cost of Living Data Series First Quarter 2014. Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. http://www.missourieconomy.org/indicators/cost_of_living/index.stm. Accessed August 11, 2014.
  28. Vision Statement for the Physical Therapy Profession and Guiding Principles to Achieve the Vision. APTA. http://www.apta.org/Vision/. Accessed August 17, 2015.
  29. Health Disparities Profiles: 2014 Edition. Washington, DC:DHHS Office on Women's Health. 2014. http://www.womenshealth.gov/quickhealthdata. Accessed August 17, 2015.
  30. Women's Health and Mortality Chartbook: 2014 Edition. Washington, DC: DHHS Office on Women's Health. 2014. http://www.womenshealth.gov/quickhealthdata. Accessed August 17, 2015.
  31. 2013 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates. American FactFinder, US Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/searchresults.xhtml. Accessed August 17, 2015.

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