7 Best Cities for Nurses in 2019: East Coast Edition
By Sarah Stasik, Contributor
Travel nursing has some great perks, such as getting to explore the country while earning a living working at something you're passionate about. But one challenge that you might not consider is that you have to decide where you want to work before you take on each assignment. Whether you're new to travel nursing or a seasoned traveler, that can be difficult. Learning about the best cities for nurses is one way to narrow down the choices.
Check out these seven best cities for nurses to work in on the East Coast.
ALREADY SOLD? Start your job search now.
7 Best Cities for Nurses East of the Mississippi River
1. Atlanta, Georgia
Nurses in the Atlanta metro area make around $33.92 an hour on average, which is right at the national average. They also have the opportunity to work for some of the nation's leading facilities, including Emory University Hospital, which is nationally ranked in a number of specialties.
But it may not be the career highlights that draw RNs to this city. It's one of the best cities for nurses to live in due to its central location to numerous outdoor areas and the culture and nightlife in the city itself. From the Georgia Aquarium and art galleries to the restaurants and clubs, you'll have plenty to explore during your contract. Here are some other attractions to bookmark if you're planning to land a travel nursing give in Atlanta.
Stone Mountain, home of an iconic laser light show, plenty of fun shopping and entertainment options, a high ropes course and plenty of other activities.
The World of Coca Cola, where you can browse a variety of Coca Cola displays and colorful paraphernalia, view historic Coca Cola commercials from around the world on a big screen and taste test dozens of varieties of soda.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park
- Zoo Atlanta
- High Museum of Art
- Atlanta History Center
- Center for Civil and Human Rights
2. Boston, Massachusetts
The Boston metro area is very friendly to nurses when it comes to pay. Nurses make an average of $46.70 an hour in the area, which is on the higher end for the entire nation. Plus, Boston has a location quotient of 1.15 for RN jobs, which means there are typically more jobs here for nurses than in other areas of the country. If that wasn't enough to make this one of the best cities for nurses to work, the historical significance and attractions in the area make it one for many travel RN bucket lists. Here are just a few places you might want to visit while working in Boston.
- Visit Fenway Park for historic tours or to catch sports entertainment
- Get some vitamin D in the Boston Public Garden or Boston Common
- Check out history at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museums
- Enjoy an adult beverage at the iconic Samuel Adams Brewery
3. New York, New York
New York is one of the highest paying states when it comes to RN work. But most nurses don't need that extra incentive to do a 12-week stint on a travel RN contract in the Big Apple. Being able to say you lived in the iconic city is almost enough of a reason to choose this area, but you'll also be able to check out Broadway, the MOMA, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and many other attractions during your off hours.
4. St. Petersburg, Florida
Florida joins New York on the list of high-paying states, and it actually has more nursing jobs to go around than the Empire State. That's partially due to the number of seniors who flock to the state for winter or during retirement. St. Petersburg makes this best cities for nurses list because of its low cost of living and proximity to plenty of museums and other attractions. RNs looking for an East Coast job during the winter may find jobs and sun both plentiful here.
Some attractions to seek out in this area include:
- Fort De Soto Park
- Sunken Gardens
- The Dali Museum
- Museum of Fine Arts
5. Charlottesville, Virginia
If you're looking for a more hometown feel for your next nursing assignment, consider Charlottesville, VA. It's a smaller city with a big medical impact — the area is home to facilities such as the University of Virginia Health System, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital and UVA Children's Hospital. Other things the town isn't lacking for include outdoor activities (it's located near the Blue Ridge Mountains) and nightlife. Charlottesville is the musical center of southwest VA, drawing a range of musical acts that nearby cities don't.
- The Southern Café and Music Hall, which features great food and live music almost nightly
- The Jefferson Theater, which is now a concert venue
- Plenty of record and music stores, including Sidetracks Music and Plan 9 Music
6. Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore is home to Johns Hopkins Hospital. Land a travel nursing gig there, and it's sure to resonate on your resume. But this isn't one of the best cities for nurses to work in for that reason alone. RNs in the area make $29.95 per hour on average and up to $39.51 an hour at higher levels. Plus, you can make the most of numerous attractions, including:
- The National Aquarium
- Fort McHenry National Monument
- Maryland Science Center
- The Maryland Zoo
- Baltimore Ghost Tours
7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is one of the top five states for employment levels and has a location quotient of 1.21. That means there are many more nursing jobs per capita here than in the nation on average. And if you're going to accept a travel nursing gig in PA, why not make it Philadelphia, were you can see the history of the country come alive and eat an authentic cheese steak on your day off? Add these Philly attractions to your list.
- The Liberty Bell
- The Philadelphia Zoo
- Elfreth's Alley
- Independence National Historical Park
These are just seven options you might consider when choosing your next travel nursing career. Ultimately, the best cities for nurses end up being the locations where you can find great work, a comfortable home and something to interest you when you're not caring for patients.
KEEP yourself in-the-know on all things nursing. Sign-up to receive our bi-weekly nursing newsletter - bottom right form.