Deciding where to work as a traveling nurse? It’s a career path that usually has more options than you know what to do with, which may lead you to create a laundry list of requirements for what you’re looking for in the destinations you’ll work your way through.
In the interest of helping you (or any friends or colleagues who’re considering travel nursing) to narrow things down, here are our picks of the top U.S. locales to work as a travel nurse, based on population, average pay, number of hospitals, and track record for hiring travel nurses:
Everything’s bigger here
The Lone Star state is home to four of the most populated centers in the U.S., which means big demand for travel nurses in the cities that sprawl across this huge state.
It may sound corny, but odds are you won’t get far without being “Howdy’d” or having a hat tipped in your direction.
Associated most often with cowboy culture and oil, Texas is also home to pine forests, mountains and rolling plains, as well as a world-famous desert.
Surf and sand
With a looming nursing shortage and excellent pay, travel nurses can choose from a wide variety of opportunities in sunny California.
Pluses here include the fact that you’re never more than a few minutes from endless sandy beaches. There’s also the state’s obsession with healthy living and outdoor activity, major theme park attractions, and some of the best food in the world from around the Americas.
Sun and snow (on the same day)
Most people think of Arizona as desert, and more desert. But The Grand Canyon state is actually home to mountain ranges, more than 100 lakes, and some of the largest pine forests in the world, not to mention the before-mentioned Canyon.
After a long shift in the winter, you can rejuvenate by skiing in the northern mountains, then drive south and suntan or golf for a few hours – all on the same day.
If you can make it there…
There’s a high demand for travel nurses in New York (the city and the state) and some of the top pay rates in the country can be had here, but the high cost of living in some areas may motivate you to make this a shorter stay.
Take it all in while you’re there; museums, restaurants, and world-renowned landmarks, along with the sheer number of people in The Big Apple, are well balanced with the natural beauty and history that touch every corner of the state.
Longest coastline in the continental U.S.
Between millions of tourists and the retiring baby boomers who are increasing the state’s population annually, Florida’s largest cities (especially Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville) have a constant demand for part-time nurses.
And the perks are great: you don’t pay personal or state income tax, the weather is beautiful most of the year, and the entire state is a coastal playground for your time off.