Travel nurses have the unique opportunity to work across a variety of healthcare settings in different locations throughout the country. The beauty of a travel nursing career is being able to travel and work wherever you want while being paid well.
Deciding on your next travel destination can be overwhelming, let’s discuss where travel nurses can work and what factors influence where you may want to go.
While summer temperatures are a few months away in many U.S. regions, it’s time to nail down your ideal summertime travel nursing assignment. Whether you are looking to work in an amazing city, spend time in the mountains or by the ocean, or experience life in a rural charming town, our experienced team at Health Carousel Travel Nursing will help place you in your ideal travel nursing destination.
Where Can a Travel Nurse Work?
Travel nurses have the freedom to work anywhere they desire as long as they are licensed in the state they are practicing in and have current BLS certification. Travel nursing offers nurses the opportunity to work anywhere in the United States and many of its territories.
As a travel nurse, you may choose to work in many different settings. While hospitals are the most common travel assignments, nurses may also work in acute care facilities, outpatient surgery centers, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, schools, camps, correctional facilities, occupational health facilities, clinics, or doctor’s offices. Travel nurses can essentially find work wherever there is a need for qualified nurses.
Nurses should be confident in their skills and have at least a minimum of 1-2 years of experience before taking on a travel nurse assignment. Having a compact license is helpful for states that have reciprocity, but not a requirement to travel. Remember to utilize your recruiter to help you obtain any necessary licensure outside of your home state.
Deciding where to work as a travel nurse can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first assignment. Things to consider when choosing where to work are location, salary, housing options, cost of living expenses, and what you want to do in your free time. The ability to pick and choose where you want to work based on what locations interest you is one of the many benefits of being a travel nurse.
Can Travel Nurses Choose Where They Work?
The best part about travel nursing is the freedom! Travel nurses can choose wherever they want to work in different locations throughout the country. You can choose the healthcare setting, hospital, and location of where you want to work.
Speak to your recruiter about what assignments are currently available and make your decision on where your next assignment will be. Travel nursing is unique because you can move on to a new location in a few short months. You always have the next place to look forward to.
Choosing your travel assignment is exciting and sometimes overwhelming. Are there destinations that you have been meaning to check off of your travel bucket list? Have you always wanted to go to California, but haven’t had the time? How about trying an assignment in San Diego for a few months? Have you wanted to visit Hawaii, but feel like it is too expensive to travel there? Consider a new assignment in Honolulu, while you enjoy the benefits of housing stipends and travel pay. You can explore all of the natural wonders Hawaii has to offer on your days off, like taking a helicopter tour to marvel at Hawaii’s natural beauty. Create an On Demand account today to learn more about the travel nursing jobs available so you can pick your next dream destination!
Factors That May Influence Where You Want to Go as a Travel Nurse
Travel nurses have the flexibility to pick assignments wherever they choose. Aside from salary, location tends to be one of the main factors that influence where travel nurses want to go.
Other factors that may influence where you want to go as a travel nurse may include:
Proximity to family and friends
Exploring new places and trying new activities
Climate- You may want to get out of the cold and head to a warm climate for the winter
Checking out a new location before a permanent move
Financial opportunities- Certain locations pay higher than others
Cost of living expenses- Salaries may be higher in a place like California, but a nurse working in a place like Arkansas may take home more money due to lower cost of living expenses and decreased taxes.
Improving your resume- Consider working in hospitals that will look great on your resume and lead to possible career advancement. Having recognizable facilities on your resume can open many professional doors for you.
Being able to explore new cities and states is perhaps the biggest perk of becoming a travel nurse. Assignments in popular travel nurse destinations may be harder to come by, but they are well worth the wait. It is a good idea to have a list of choices ranked from most desired to least desired. If an assignment in your preferred location isn’t available, you can always take your second or third choice while you wait for your first choice to open up.
How you like to spend your free time will influence where you want to go as a travel nurse. Make a travel nurse bucket list and check off the destinations as you go. You will have something to look forward to on your days off.
Has it always been your dream to explore national parks? Consider exploring the wild west of Wyoming and take an assignment close to Yellow Stone National Park. Are you into the great outdoors? Maybe you want to see the majestic mountains of West Virginia. Have you wanted to explore the beautiful city of Charleston in South Carolina? Have you always wanted to be awed by the Northern Lights? Consider a travel nurse assignment in Alaska and time it when you are most likely to view the Northern Lights. Travel nursing can take you to many amazing destinations and provide invaluable experiences.
Travel nursing gives you the freedom to choose when and where you want to work. If you desire to travel to different parts of the country, meet new people, and enjoy new experiences consider a career as a travel nurse.
If you’re ready to lock down your ideal summertime travel nursing job, trust the recruiters at Health Carousel Travel Nursing to guide you throughout the process. Here are our suggestions of 5 beautiful states to consider for your summertime travel nursing destinations while the weather is warm.
Find Your Next Travel Nurse Position
Sailing on the Chesapeake Bay, feasting on delectable steamed crab, and catching an outdoor movie in the Little Italy neighborhood of Baltimore—simply put, Maryland is a great place to be this summer. Ocean City is the quintessential summertime destination where you can soak up the sun and the sand, enjoy a free Fourth of July concert and fireworks over the Atlantic, and a variety of rides and amusements on the three-mile-long Boardwalk. Be sure to take a spin on the giant Ferris wheel for a spectacular view of the landscape below. For those with a sweet tooth, search for the perfect ice cream on the state’s ice cream trail.
Just a quick half-hour drive away from Ocean City is Assateague where you can enjoy watching wild horses walk along the beach. Explore St. Michaels for small quaint town experiences along the Chesapeake Bay.
During your off-time in Massachusetts, you’ll have a wealth of fun activities to enjoy. There are so many day trips just a short drive away. Cheer on the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, photograph picturesque lighthouses, explore the dunes and artsy Provincetown on Cape Cod and hop aboard the ferry for a day or weekend on Martha’s Vineyard. Rent a bike to explore the island and be sure to wander through the village of Oak Bluffs, famous for its vibrantly-painted gingerbread-style cottages. The area also boasts sandy beaches with minimal surf that are ideal for wading.
If you’re a fan of festivals, a Pennsylvania travel nurse job is a great choice for the summer (and beyond). Pittsburgh offers the Three Rivers Arts Festival, which gathers musicians and artists at the Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela rivers over 10 days in June—and it’s all free. In mid-July, the city puts on the Summer Beer Fest, with over 300 craft beers and live music. If UFOs or quirky events pique your interest, head to Kecksburg in late July to take part in the UFO Festival. It features a bed race, corn-hole tournament, parade, craft show, food vendors, Bigfoot, paranormal, and UFO-focused speakers and displays.
Philadelphia is full of fun festivals and outdoor pop-up restaurants all summer long. Head down to Spruce Street Harbor Park to enjoy outdoor activities along the Penn's Landing waterfront.
Pennsylvania calls to chocolate lovers of all types, too. In Hershey, enjoy the thrills at Hersheypark, including over 16 water rides and 14 coasters. At Hershey’s Chocolate World, you can take a free tour to learn how chocolate is made, taste mouthwatering samples, buy chocolate gifts, and more.
The Blue Grass State is a great pick for outdoor adventure and nature lovers. In the beautiful Red River Gorge area, you’ll find miles and miles of hiking trails that wind through remote canyons, leading to awe-inspiring arches and unique rock formations. You can also embark on a kayak or canoe tour along the Red River, cool off in the Jumping Rock swimming hole, or go off-roading. Practically an endless list of other options for summer await throughout Kentucky—witness the moonbow at Cumberland Falls, explore the more than 400 miles of passages and caverns at Mammoth Cave National Park, or go mountain biking in the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.
No matter where you land a travel job in New York, you’ll have a wide range of activities to choose from close to your accommodations. Central Park hosts the state’s largest free performing arts festival, with an impressive music lineup that includes everything from jazz and classical to indie rock and hip-hop. Enjoy a beach town feel on Long Island, with flip-flops as standard attire from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Take a stroll through colorful botanical gardens, spend a day or more on the sand, dine at seafood shacks, taste vino on the Long Island wine trail, or go strawberry picking.
Do you come from a small town and want to experience city life? Consider spending your summer in the largest city, New York City, and enjoy all of the experiences one of the best cities in the country has to offer.
Lauren Rivera is a nationally certified neonatal intensive care nurse with over 15 years of experience. She serves as a nurse expert offering support and educational classes for women from preconception through childhood. Lauren is also a freelance writer with works published on several nursing sites. She develops and curates content for various healthcare companies, and writes continuing education modules for other healthcare professionals.
Interested in how the pay stacks up in other states not on this list? Our trusty Super Nurse sidekicks are standing by to answer any questions you have. Click below to get information on opportunities in other states!