10 Best Travel Nursing Locations in 2019


2019 best travel nursing locations


By Alana Luna, Contributor


When you become a travel nurse, the world is your oyster. That kind of flexibility is practically priceless, but that makes it surprisingly difficult to narrow down a list of top travel nursing locations to just one winning locale. Check out our list of the best states for nurses to work in 2019 and see which one speaks to you.

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10 Travel Nurse Locations to Explore in 2019

1. Hawaii
As if the call of crystal-clear water and beautiful beaches wasn’t enough of a reason to work in Hawaii, the islands also offer off-the-charts compensation for registered nurses. On average, RNs in Hawaii make about $114,728 per year, about 50 percent higher than the national average. Add in the other perks that come with travel nursing, and life in the Aloha State is looking pretty good.
2. Colorado
Thanks to low housing costs, lots of job opportunity and an endless array of outdoor recreation, Colorado is one of the best places in the United States for families to live. Take your travel nursing career to Colorado and you’ll enjoy some 300 days of sunshine each year —plenty of time to explore the national parks, visit wildlife refuges or try your hand at biking, hiking or mountain climbing.
3. Alaska
Half a year’s worth of winter can daunt even the most die-hard cold-weather enthusiasts, but chilly temps in Alaska are small potatoes compared to all this beautiful state has to offer. Long summer days mean more opportunity to enjoy life between shifts, and if you decide to spend the afternoon shopping, you likely won’t even have to pay sales tax on your goodies. There’s no state income tax either, but the real draw is a chance to live amongst the 1,000 or so vertebrate species (including nearly a million caribou) that call the state home.
4. Washington, D.C.
Spend your morning at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, drop by the United States Capitol building in the afternoon and cap your day with a picnic at the lush expanse that is Hillwood Estate. Yes, Washington D.C. is full of politics and drama, but it’s also a city steeped in history with a lot of Michelin-rated restaurants to boot. Eat, drink and be merry next to lawmakers, movers and shakers, and then help others while working in hospitals ranked nationally for everything from cardiology and heart surgery to neonatology.
5. New York
If you’re looking to gain experience at top-rated institutions while living in one of the most diverse, busy and fascinating cities on the planet, NYC is an obvious choice. New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and Cornell is national ranked in a whopping 24 adult and pediatric specialties, and NYU Langone and Mount Sinai are high-performing as well. That said, don’t forget about opportunities outside of the five boroughs; head upstate, and life slows down, so you can trade in subway rides for apple picking in Milton or wine tasting in the Finger Lakes.
6. Massachusetts
Massachusetts comes in seventh on the list of states with the best work-life balance. That ranking is largely attributed to higher-than-average weekly earnings and an average work week that hovers around just 33.4 hours. Of course, those conditions won’t always hold true for nurses committed to 12-hour shifts, but a city with good work-life balance means a happier, more positive population, and that’s a plus for everyone involved.
7. Minnesota
Travel nurses itching to work at one of the best hospitals in the country can fulfill their dreams at Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic. The facility holds the top spot on the Best Hospitals Honor Roll and is nationally ranked in a combined 22 adult and pediatric specialties. Abbott Northwestern Hospital, St. Cloud Hospital and University of Minnesota Medical Center aren’t far behind in terms of accolades and reputation. Minnesota is also affordable, with lots of charming small towns and friendly neighbors eager to share a beer or invite you to a fun summer festival.
8. Florida
With beaches, world-renowned theme parks, protected ecosystems, great weather and entertainment galore, there are ton of reasons to spend some time as a travel nurse in Florida. You can swim with dolphins, tailgate before a Jaguars or Buccaneers game and, eat some of the freshest seafood you’ll ever taste. There’s a reason Florida is continuously ranked as one of the best places to retire, but it’s a wonderful option for working nurses too.
9. Oregon
Referred to by financial experts as the “picture of economic health,” Oregon is an ideal spot for travel nurses seeking culture and nature while getting their personal finances in order. Sign up to work in Oregon and you’ll be able to take advantage of the best-performing economy in the country —that means better home prices, better income opportunities and so much more. The state is also famously laid back, so you can de-stress at hip coffee shops in Portland, tour the historic residential districts in Salem, dive into the Pinot Noir in Willamette Valley or discover the magic of small-batch cheese and ice cream.
10. Arizona
Travel nursing is all about new challenges, both personally and professionally, and Arizona serves as an ideal home base for all kinds of exploration. There are plenty of big institutions and smaller, more intimate healthcare settings to choose from, and you can spend your downtime visiting the Grand Canyon or getting pampered in Sedona. Living in Arizona is a chance to advance your nursing career and revel in an incredible climate at the same time.
If you’re looking to hit the road next year, these top travel nursing locations could be your ticket to building your skills and your resume while experiencing some of the most interesting spots in the United States.

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