Top 10 Locations to Work as a Travel Nurse
The decision to become a nurse means you’ll have a wealth of directions in which to take your career. One choice that offers nurses exceptional freedom to try new things and explore the world is travel nursing. With so many choices of location, it can be hard to narrow it down when choosing a city. Here are 10 of the best options for travel nurses in terms of salary, demand, and regional perks.
There’s no denying Alaska’s stunning natural beauty. It just so happens that the city is home to Alaska’s largest hospital, the Providence Alaska Medical Center. With a growing health care industry and great pay, Anchorage is an increasingly popular destination for travel nurses. In addition to these factors, the city also offers some unique features. If you enjoy lengthy sunny days, you’ll be able to soak up the rays late into the night because of the city’s Northern location — with proper sunscreen application, of course! Nurses who enjoy outdoor activities like boating, fishing, and camping flock to Anchorage for its adventurous spirit.
Maui is a great choice if you’d like to feel far from the familiar sights of the continental U.S. Though the competition for travel nurses is a bit steeper in this covetable location, a bit of patience and perseverance is all it takes to land an assignment there. Putting in the time to find travel nursing destinations off the beaten path is often well worth it in the long run. Hawaii isn’t where travel nurses should expect to go when they’re hoping to earn top dollar for their hours worked, but it makes up for being less lucrative by offering an unparalleled nursing experience.
Related Resource: Why Nursing Careers Are Good for Wanderlust
Austin is often ranked among the most popular locations for travel nurses for a number of reasons. In addition to being a fast-growing city in recent years, it has a high density of highly regarded healthcare facilities to keep demand for nurses relatively constant. Nurse shortages stack the odds in job-seekers’ favor, making this city a magnet for skilled nurses. Austin is also a hub for music and entertainment, so those interested in live music and local food scenes might find Austin too wonderful to leave. For example, the SXSW festival draws thousands of music fans to Austin every year.
Denver has all the benefits of urban life with the added bonus of breathtaking natural wonders like the Rocky Mountains. Denver will surely attract nurses who enjoy skiing or other winter sports as a hobby, but it has a lot to offer year-round. Like Texas, Colorado is a compact nursing state — meaning a license in one translates easily to work assignments in another. This helps travel nurses attain greater work mobility without as much complex licensure law.
Home to many television and film studios like NBC and Disney, Burbank locals get to enjoy living in the heart of the entertainment industry. Travel nurses in California also enjoy some of the highest nursing salaries in the country, and the combination of a lucrative assignment with the nearby glamor of Hollywood make for an appealing combination for many. Southern California can also make a travel nursing assignment feel an awful lot like a vacation during your off hours due to its pleasant weather year-round.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is famous for being a travel nurse destination. It’s a city with unique offerings — you can take in a concert by your favorite singer one night and attend a spectacular comedy show the next. Even if the idea of casinos and flashy venues is not of interest to you, Las Vegas does have many less eccentric attributes as well, like outdoor recreational getaways and day trips. The city offers a relatively low cost of living. This combined with the fact that it’s growing quickly makes it a fantastic option for travel nurses.
Related Resource: Why You Should Consider Alternative Nursing Jobs
New York City, New York
Have you always dreamed of living in the Big Apple, but don’t like the idea of paying New York’s sky-high rent? Visiting New York as a travel nurse gives you the best of the city without the big commitment. In addition to being home to some of the most prestigious museums, parks, restaurants, and art in the nation, New York also offers travel nurses some of the highest salaries — which will help offset the expensive nature of the city. You might land an assignment at any one of New York’s well-known medical centers, such as the NYU Langone Medical Center, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, or Mount Sinai Hospital.
San Francisco, California
Much like New York, San Francisco has one of the country’s highest costs of living — making it a great travel nursing destination for a quick chapter in many travel nurses’ careers rather than a long-term choice. It offers sights like beautiful victorian houses, foggy walks on the beach, and a high concentration of diverse cultural events to enjoy. San Francisco also awards travel nurses with higher-than-average salaries, and being so close to the technological innovations of Silicon Valley also makes it an exciting place to work in the medical field.
Related Resource: These Are the Highest Paying Nursing Specialties
Dallas has been ranked one of the best cities for job-seekers for the past several years in a row, and travel nursing is no exception. You can expect plenty of assignment opportunities in Dallas, since its major hospitals and medical centers have ample need for a variety of nurse specialties on an ongoing basis. Just like its neighbor Austin, Dallas is known for a rich variety food, music, and sports to keep things lively for travel nurses during their time in the city.
If desert living suits you, you might consider spending time on a travel nursing assignment in Tucson. The city has myriad travel nurse opportunities and a lower cost of living than many other favorite travel nurse locals. Tucson is home to many beautiful natural features in addition to well-known music and food scenes, and its population includes a large younger demographic of university students as well as a high number of retirees.
Travel nursing comes with many wonderful benefits that make it a truly unique career option for nurses. The freedom to move around and explore new places, the ability to find assignments with free housing and extra stipends, and the chance to make new friends near and far are all reasons travel nursing might appeal to you. One thing to remember: It’s never too late to branch out in your nursing career!
Are you a travel nurse? What are your favorite cities to work in? Do you have any travel nursing tips or stories to share? Visit our Facebook page — we’d love to hear from you.