Travel Nursing in the Pacific Northwest
By Anita Wong, Contributor
If you haven't explored the little corner of paradise known as the Pacific Northwest, consider adding this spectacular region to your list of destinations. Whether you choose travel nurse jobs in Oregon or Washington, you can enjoy professional opportunities, competitive salaries and endless outdoor adventure.
Here are some of the exciting benefits of travel nursing in the Pacific Northwest
The great outdoors
It's hard to stay inside when you're in the Pacific Northwest. Even if you're living in a city, you're close to opportunities to cycle, hike, fish, kayak, ski or surf.
In Washington, you can see alpine lakes, waterfalls and glaciers in North Cascades National Park or Mount Rainier National Park. Olympic National Park boasts 73 miles of undeveloped coastline and is a designated World Heritage site.
Visit Crater Lake in Oregon and see one of the deepest and clearest lakes in the country. Valley of the Rogue in the southwest is known for white water rafting and fishing. Along the coast, the windswept Oregon Dunes is a great place for whale watching, dune buggies and hiking.
Relaxed cities and charming towns
Travel nurses are needed throughout the northwest states and can choose assignments in a variety of locations. You might land a rewarding job at a hospital such as University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle or OHSU in Portland. Both cities offer a laid-back lifestyle with all the amenities you expect from an urban center. Explore charming neighborhoods, restaurants, markets, microbreweries and coffee houses, or take in theater, professional sports, concerts and museums.
Those who want to live in a smaller city might consider a travel nurse job in Bellevue, a picturesque setting between Lake Sammamish and Lake Washington, or Pullman, home to Washington State University and featuring lots of green space to relax in. Redmond is a tranquil location that still keeps you close to the amenities of Seattle.
Travel nurse jobs in Oregon are often available in Bend, a popular town located near skiing and outdoor recreation. Salem has a major hospital and is situated in the pretty Willamette Valley. Corvallis boasts a lively college town vibe, and Lincoln City and Seaside are great options if you want to be near the ocean.
Generous nursing salaries
Travel nursing in the Pacific Northwest can be lucrative. According to 2019 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, RNs earn an annual mean wage of $92,960 in Oregon and $86,170 in Washington.
Travel nurses typically make more than permanent staff, although salaries depend on factors such as experience, specialty, facility and location.
To give you an idea of what salary you might earn, here are weekly ranges for travel nurse jobs in Washington as of April 2020:
- L&D nurse in Everett: $1,384 to $1,525
- Psychiatric nurse in Bellingham: $1,617 to $1,782
- PACU nurse in Kirkland: $1,764 to $1,944
- Med-surg nurse in Seattle: $2,581 to $2,844
Weekly salary ranges for travel nurse jobs in Oregon are:
- OR nurse in Lincoln City: $1,462 to $1,612
- ICU nurse in Clackamas: $1,659 to $1,829
- Telemetry nurse in Eugene: $1,719 to $1,894
- Home health nurse in Portland: $1,491 to $2,071
Healthy, green living
The demands of nursing mean it's important for you to take time for self-care, so it certainly doesn't hurt if your travel nurse job is in a place where residents value the environment and healthy living.
Seattle ranks sixth and Portland ninth among the greenest cities in America, so take time to breathe fresh air, exercise and eat well. The WalletHub study is based on factors such as air quality, green space, bicycle lanes, commute time, organic farms and community gardens.
Both Washington and Oregon slot into the top five in the country for physical activity. Perhaps it's the beautiful natural setting that encourages people to get outdoors — more than 80% of Oregon and Washington residents spend at least half an hour a day exercising.
US News puts Oregon and Washington in the top 20 states for healthcare based on access, quality and public health. Both have fewer uninsured adults and preventable hospital admissions than the national average, so you're working in the country's best healthcare systems.
If you're ready to discover the benefits of travel nursing in the Pacific Northwest, check out Travel Nursing's job database and find a travel assignment.