5 Top Destinations for Summer Travel Nursing Assignments


By Megan Murdock Krischke, contributor

Looking for a new travel nursing assignment this summer? There are several “hot” cities for travelers, based on increasing demand in top-notch hospitals and health systems. A nurse traveler can also find plenty of interesting sites, restaurants, cultural experiences and fun things to see and do while working in these cities.

Here are’s top five places to ask your recruiter about for the coming weeks:

1. San Diego, California

Rated by The Weather Channel as having the best summer weather in the mainland United States, San Diego seems to have it all. Miles and miles of beaches lie to the north and south of the city and hiking and camping are available just a few miles inland. Located just north of the U.S.-Mexico border, this sun kissed city is home to several world-famous attractions, including the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, Sea World, Legoland, and a thriving harbor and downtown. San Diego also has the highest concentration of museums west of the Mississippi, many in the historic Balboa Park. 

The city is emerging as a health care and biotechnology development center, due in part to the presence of the University of California-San Diego (UCSD) and the UCSD Medical Center. In addition to opportunities with UCSD, travel nurses could potentially find positions at Sharp Healthcare, Rady Children’s Hospital, or in the Kaiser Permanente and Scripps health systems in San Diego.

2. Palo Alto, California

Palo Alto offers mild summer temperatures and quick access to all that San Francisco has to offer, but a step away from the hubbub of the big city. Cross into East Palo Alto for authentic Mexican fare, or spend an afternoon walking the tranquil Stanford University campus. An ultimate destination for foodies among major U.S. cities, San Francisco boasts the highest number of restaurants per capita. The city is also home to the landmark Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate State Park that offers diversions such as museums, windmills and a flower conservatory.  

Nearby Napa Valley, Yosemite National Park, the redwoods of Muir Forrest and the seaside drive along the famed Highway 1, are among the many fabulous ways to spend a few days off. 

Palo Alto offers some great career opportunities, as well. “The Stanford Hospitals and Clinics and related Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital are known among the nurses I work with to be very traveler-friendly and such a great place to work that many eventually take permanent positions there,” noted Brandi Gallegos, recruitment manager for an AMN Healthcare company.  

3. Houston, Texas

The country’s fourth-largest city, Houston is a thriving metropolis. A unique draw for those in the medical profession is that Houston is known as the “Healing Center,” due in part to the cutting-edge cancer research happening at M.D. Anderson and the various medical institutions that were born out of the medical advancements made by Drs. Cooley and DeBakey, the famed heart transplant team.

The city has a thriving downtown nightlife and is a mecca for those interested in the arts. Houston is home to resident companies for symphony, ballet, opera and drama; in fact, it has the country’s largest theater district after New York’s Broadway. Additionally, for those who love the beach, the beautiful Gulf Coast, including San Padre Island, Corpus Christi and Galveston, is within driving distance. 

There are a myriad of hospitals in Houston that often provide opportunities for travelers, including the 740-bed Texas Children’s Hospital, Memorial Hermann Medical Center, Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital, Ben Taub General Hospital and the St. Luke’s Hospital system.

4. Portland, Oregon

Summer is likely the best season to spend in Portland. This bike-friendly city is packed with quaint coffee shops, hole-in-the-wall ethnic restaurants serving delicious food, and bookstores that invite you to sit and read awhile. The winter and spring rains leave the city a sparkling green, while offering warm, but not sweltering summer temperatures. Located less than two hours from both the mountains and the ocean, as well as being within driving distance to a number of wineries, there are endless weekend adventure options. 

Travel nursing jobs are also varied and plentiful. The city’s large VA Medical Center, for instance, is just one place that offers opportunities for travel nurses. “While it can take time to get clearance, typically once you have that clearance it is simple to get a position at any other VA hospital,” explained Gallegos. She added that other top facilities for travelers in Portland include the Kaiser Permanente health system, Oregon Health Sciences University Hospital and Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. 

5. Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore, also known as “Charm City,” is a diverse port city made up of over 100 neighborhoods or districts, such as Little Italy and Fells Point, which feels like an Old English village. Inner Harbor is Baltimore’s popular waterfront district. Described as “the model for post-industrial waterfront redevelopment around the world,” by the Urban Land Institute, Inner Harbor is a mixed-use community replete with restaurants, shops and tourist attractions such at the National Aquarium and the U.S.S. Constitution, the last Civil War vessel still afloat. For weekend trips, Washington, D.C., just an hour away, offers its wealth of opportunities to those living in Baltimore.

Travel nursing opportunities in Baltimore may include working at the world-renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital, as well as the University of Maryland teaching hospital, among others.

To discover what kind of travel nurse jobs are available in these five cities and other exciting destinations, connect with a top travel nursing agency today!

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