The Top Locations for Travel Nursing Jobs in 2020
By Anita Wong, contributor
Whether you're drawn to sunny beaches, snow-covered mountain peaks or vibrant, bustling cities, there are plenty of exciting travel nursing jobs available across the country. Check out some of the best cities for nurses in 2020, and start your RN travel adventures today.
Denver is one of the country's fastest growing cities and offers enticing travel nursing jobs in a variety of specialties. On your days off, you can ski and snowboard on nearby mountains, hike scenic wilderness trails or whitewater raft on the Colorado River. You can also take in fabulous restaurants and entertainment in historic Larimer Square, enjoy a concert under the stars in the sandstone amphitheater in Red Rocks Park and visit Denver's art museum, botanic gardens and zoo.
Plan ahead to spend the winter in sunny Orlando, where you can enjoy the famous theme parks at a leisurely pace instead of cramming them into a single vacation. You might even invite friends to stay with you in your provided housing. When your shift wraps up, explore charming Orlando neighborhoods such as Winter Park and Audubon Park Garden District. If you feel like some adrenalin, zip line through a forest or get behind the wheel of an ATV. Orlando is also ideally located for day trips to stunning beaches on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
Boston is one of the best cities for nurses, offering a lucrative average annual RN salary of $95,270 and excellent resume-building opportunities at hospitals such as Massachusetts General and Boston Children's. When your travel nursing shift is over, you can visit iconic Fenway Park, walk the Freedom Trail and find inspiration at the Museum of Fine Arts. Consider booking an assignment in the summer months so you can whale watch, explore the waterfront and take the seasonal ferry to visit the Boston Harbor Islands. Stay in New England through the autumn and you can experience the spectacular red and golden colors of fall.
Texas ranks 23rd in affordability among all states, making it an attractive option for nurses who want to maximize their dollars. In Houston, RNs earn an annual mean wage of $80,160, more than the national average of $75,510. When you're not working, there's a lot to keep you busy, including NASA's must-see Johnson Space Center, the 19 museums in the Museum District and free performing arts shows at Miller Outdoor Theatre. When you want fresh air, you can hike or bike through Buffalo Bayou Park or stroll through the urban wilderness of the Armand Bayou Nature Center. Be sure to also plan a day trip to the beautiful island city of Galveston.
Nurses in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward area earn the second highest nursing salary in the nation, averaging $62.01 per hour. San Francisco's desirability is well-known, but a travel assignment across the bridge in Oakland offers great benefits, too. Lake Merritt and Redwood Regional Park provide lots of outdoor recreation opportunities. There's great entertainment at the famed Fox Theater, artisan boutiques in Temescal Alleys and plenty of art, food and music at the First Fridays block parties on Telegraph Avenue each month. Oakland is also a perfect launching point for exploring California's wine country and pretty coastal towns such as Santa Cruz and Monterey.
Nursing jobs are often plentiful in Seattle, where RNs enjoy an average annual salary of $85,840. This beautiful corner of the Pacific Northwest has grown nearly 19% since 2010, and it's easy to see why. On your days off, you can take sailing lessons in Puget Sound, hike the trails in Discovery Park, take a short ferry ride to visit Bainbridge Island, or head to Mount Rainier. You can experience the city on a guided bicycle tour, tempt your taste buds at Pike Place Market and marvel at the exquisite glass-blown art showcased at Chihuly Garden and Glass.
Where will your nursing travels take you this year? Plan ahead with your recruiter, and spend spring in Oakland, summer in Boston and the winter months in Florida, or choose the destinations that most capture your imagination.
Check out our tips on how to get the travel nursing jobs you want, and apply today for your dream assignments.