The Midwest’s Best States for Travel Nursing


Iowa is one of the best states for travel nurses

By Jennifer Larson, contributor

Find adventure with healthcare traveler jobs in the Midwest

The Midwest is home to many of the best states for travel nursing and a wide array of healthcare traveler jobs. The job opportunities are tremendous, with a number of high-paying assignments that can help in your professional growth.

But there is a lot more to do in these Midwestern states than just work! In addition to the standard visitor recommendations, we’ve uncovered some lesser-known opportunities to explore in each state. So check them out on your next travel assignment.

Whether you are a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or a foodie, you’re sure to find something that will fit your style. Here’s hoping that you enjoy the journey, and experience all these travel nurse locations have to offer. 

Note: During the ongoing COVID pandemic, be sure to check in before you visit any of these locations. Ask about operating hours and closures. 

What to do in the Midwest’s best states for travel nursing


Thinking about a travel nursing or other healthcare traveler job in Indiana? The Hoosier State has plenty to keep travelers occupied.

Columbus. A few years ago, National Public Radio called Columbus “A Midwestern Mecca of Architecture.” You may be astonished by this small city, which is home to more than 70 notable examples of architecture by big names such as I.M. Pei, Kevin Roche, and Deborah Berke, who is also the dean of the Yale School of Architecture. 

Market Street Catacombs. Just below the busy streets of downtown Indianapolis is a series of hidden catacombs. Built in the 1880s under the City Market and featuring limestone and brick archways, these catacombs used to preserve food overnight in the days before refrigeration. Now they’re open for tours several days per month, so get a ticket in advance

Find travel nursing jobs in Indiana.


There’s a lot more to Iowa than cornfields. 

Ames. Why go to Ames when you’re in Iowa? To see the world’s tallest garden gnome, of course. (His name is Elwood, BTW.) If that’s not Instagram-worthy enough for you, check out the rest of the Reiman Gardens on the Iowa State University campus while you’re there. 

Downtown Des Moines. If you’re planning to work anywhere near the capital city of Iowa, be sure to schedule some time in the downtown area. Visit the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, eat at Zombie Burger and Shake Lab, grab a beer at El Bait Shop, or catch some live music and scoop up some local produce at the Downtown Farmers Market. 

Other notable sites for travel nurses to visit in Iowa include the quaint Dutch town of Pella, the “Field of Dreams” movie site in Dyersville, the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site with its presidential library and museum in West Branch, and the famous covered bridges of Madison County.

Find travel nursing jobs in Iowa.


A few opportunities for your downtime in Kansas:

Shawnee Mission Park.Shawnee Mission Park offers hiking trails, mountain biking paths, beaches, fishing, an archery range, kayaking and canoeing, and even an outdoor amphitheater that’s home to a vibrant community theater program.

National World War I Museum and Memorial. Located in Kansas City, the National World War I Museum and Memorial is a tremendous opportunity to learn more about an important era in our country’s history. Want to prepare for your visit in advance? Check out the interactive WWI timeline on the museum’s website. 

Find travel nursing jobs in Kansas.


Anyone taking a healthcare traveler job in or near Michigan should take note of the following:

Mackinac Island. This idyllic location is one of Michigan’s best known vacation destinations, and for good reason. No cars are allowed on this jewel of an island in northern Lake Huron. Ride the ferry, ride a bike or paddle a kayak instead. 

Grand Rapids. Love to eat? Michigan is known for its agricultural diversity. And the second-largest city in Michigan is home to a wealth of farm-to-table restaurants that are passionate about using locally-sourced ingredients to make your meal memorable. Order a beet salad at Terra, or try the farmer’s market hash or charcuterie at Reserve Wine and Food. Or for a more casual experience, grab a seat on the patio at the Green Well and order some pub food. 

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. On the northeastern shore of Lake Michigan, this tranquil park is simply beautiful. It’s worth a trip just to revel in the miles of sandy beaches along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore alone. But there are also inland lakes and forests to enjoy, as well as opportunities for camping, making the famous Dune Climb, exploring Port Oneida, and hiking the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. 

Find travel nursing jobs in Michigan.

Cuyahoga National Park in Ohio has healthcare travel jobs


Ohio is home to lots of sports teams and institutions of higher learning…and these attractions:

Amusement parks. If you love riding roller coasters, you have come to the right state. Ohio is home to Cedar Point, which bills itself as the Roller Coaster Capital of the World, since it is home to 18 roller coasters. Not far away is Kings Island, which boasts both the longest wooden roller coaster in the world (the Beast) and one of only a handful of giga roller coasters in the world (Orion, which opened in 2020). 

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Ohio’s also home to lots of museums, but one of the best is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. See the motorcycle once owned by Elvis, David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust costume, outfits worn by Eddie Vedder, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and the Supremes, and guitars owned by more famous musicians than you can count.

Cuyahoga National Park. This park is a plant and wildlife refuge that you won’t want to miss. A few suggestions for your visit: visit Brandywine Falls, go to Beaver Marsh, and take a leisurely ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. 

Find travel nursing jobs in Ohio.


Take a travel nursing job in Wisconsin and enjoy some fun in your free time.

Milwaukee. Located on the western shore of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is just couple hours’ drive from places like Madison and Janesville. This city is a great destination for festival lovers, street art fans, and oh yes, beer drinkers. With dozens of breweries and tap rooms, no wonder it’s called “Brew City.” 

Kettle Moraine State Forest. Just north of Milwaukee, much of the terrain in Kettle Moraine State Forest was shaped by glaciers. Hike the trails in the forest, swim at the beaches, go horseback riding or mountain biking, set up camp, or ski in the winter.  

Other Wisconsin activities to consider: exploring the Cave of the Mounds near Blue Mounds, attending a variety of festivals in historic Cedarburg, touring the sandstone formations and numerous attractions in Wisconsin Dells, or relaxing in the unmatched beauty of Door County.

Find travel nursing jobs in Wisconsin. connects you with opportunities throughout the U.S., allowing you to choose from the best states for travel nursing.

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