Top 10 Cities for Travel Nursing

If you are a nurse and have dreamed of seeing more of the world, travel nursing gives you the opportunity to experience new cities while gaining experience. becoming a travel nurse is especially rewarding if you want to experience different cultures and settings while earning decent pay. For nurses who aren’t sure where they want to settle down, travel nursing is a great way to try out different towns and cities to determine which one is the best fit for them.

You can also gain extra qualifications while serving as a travel nurse. There are thousands of colleges across the country and many of them have online courses that can help you obtain new credentials. The best cities for travel nursing include smaller towns where demand outstrips supplies and large cities where good nurses can always find a position as a traveling nurse.

The Highest-Paying Cities for Travel Nursing: 

  1. Sacramento, CA – Average per Week: $5,148.00
  2. Toccoa, GA – Average per Week: $5,059.00
  3. Port Jefferson, NY – Average per Week: $4,614.00
  4. Avon, IN – Average per Week: $4,133.00
  5. Houma, LA – Average per Week: $3,946.00
  6. Lakeland, FL – Average per Week: $3,905.00
  7. Mansfield, TX – Average per Week: $3,587.00
  8. Chewelah, WA – Average per Week: $3,587.00
  9. Shelby, MI – Average per Week: $3,455.00
  10. Lebanon, PA – Average per Week: $2,941.00

As the demand for nurses continues to grow, Travel nursing has become a good way for nurses of all specialties to make great money and meet new people. You can work in diverse healthcare settings across the country. Fortunately, nursing is a very versatile field. There are opportunities for those who have ambition and like to see new cities. It’s helpful to think about what you want to achieve from each assignment. This will help you determine whether specific assignments are right for you.

Types of Travel Nurses in Demand

You can find work as a travel nurse in almost any specialty from RN to pediatric nursing. However, here are some of the most commonly requested specializations:

  • Emergency room nursing: Emergency room nurses handle serious illness, heart attacks, and accident injuries with grace and dignity. Although its hectic, many nurses find the experience exhilarating. You can save lives and provide care to
  • Intensive care unit: ICU nurses assist patients with critical conditions such as infection, trauma, and organ failure.
  • Medical-surgical nursing: This specialization includes numerous conditions such as surgery, pneumonia, heart attacks, and chronic illnesses.
  • Progressive care nursing: Progressive care nurses tend to patients transitioning from ICU back to the medical surgical ward. This is also called step-down care.
  • Telemetry nursing: This specialization deals with monitoring blood pressure, heart rate, and other vitals.

Operating room nursing, coronary care unit, and perioperative nurses are also in demand for traveling assignments.

Advantages of Travel Nursing

There are many advantages to becoming a travel nurse. For one thing, it can help you build your resume and learn new skills. Working as a travel nurse, you will experience clinics, hospitals, and other facilities in different areas of the country. Top-ranking hospitals look great on your resumes and the opportunity to serve in underserved regions enables you to have a real impact on your patients’ lives.

Becoming a travel nurse typically comes with benefits and higher salaries. You receive nontaxable stipends and typically travel nurses get incentives to travel that boosts your income even more. If you want to make more than typical staff nurses, traveling nursing can give you that opportunity.

If you want to go to new places, nursing assignments are available across the country and even in other parts of the world. This nursing career path also gives you a chance to extend your professional flexibility. You can take off time between jobs to travel or reconnect with family.

Best Cities for Travel Nursing

We have listed some of the best cities for travel nurses below. Rather than working for hospitals, clinics and facilities directly, most travel nurses find placement through an agency. We have provided the names of agencies prevalent in each city according to Nursefly.com, an online travel nurse exchange. Learn a little bit about the educational opportunities and local entertainment to help you choose the city’s that best meet your needs.

1. Sacramento, CA

Sacramento is the state capital of California. So, it has historic importance combined with beautiful landscapes and quirky areas that are fun to explore on your downtime. Host Healthcare and MedPro are leading placement agencies in Sacramento, which has several hospitals that could act as potential employees. Hospitals in the area include UC Davis Medical Center, Sutter Medical Center, and Mercy General Hospital. During their downtime, travel nurses can explore attractions such as the California State Railroad Museum, American River Bicycle Trail, and historic Old Sacramento.

Educational opportunities abound in local nursing schools such as SacMed Training, Careway Health Institute, Unitek College Sacramento Campus, and UC Davis Betty Irene Moore School Of Nursing. If you live in California and want to experience the vibrancy of the capital, travel nursing is a great way to do it.

Average per Week: $5,148.00

2. Toccoa, GA

Gypsy Nurse and Hire Rocket are two agencies that list travel nurse positions in Toccoa, GA. There are several local hospitals and clinics that hire nurses regularly including Stephens County Hospital, Habersham County Med Center, Rabun County Hospital and Cobb Memorial Hospital. Nurses looking for a small town vibe will love Toccoa, which has a population under 9,000 people. Toccoa Falls lies 100 yards off the town’s historic Gate Cottage. At 186 feet, it’s the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi River.

Nearby colleges and universities that offer nursing programs include North Georgia Nursing Academy and Medical Institute of Northeast Georgia. Assignments here promise plenty of outdoor activities and scenic views on the way to work.

Average per Week: $5,059.00

3. Port Jefferson, NY

Aya Healthcare, Fastaff Travel Nursing, and Medical Solutions are just three of the agencies that recruit travel nurses for hospitals and facilities near this small community along Long Island Sound. For travel nurses who would like to stay and work in a small community but have geographic access to New York City, this would be an ideal setting to expand your skills and explore the area. St. Charles Hospital and Stony Brook University Medical Center are located in the area and may require travel nurses with different specializations.

Stony Brook School of Nurse provides an opportunity to continue your education while working in the area. Port Jefferson is one of the highest paying cities for travel nurses.

Average per Week: $4,614.00

4. Avon, IN

Avon, IN, is a midwestern town of 12,000 people. It’s the type of place where people want to raise their kids. Travel nurses who venture to Avon can spend their downtime at the local aquatic park or Beasley’s Orchards and Gardens. Local hospitals include IU Health West Hospital, St. Vincent Neighborhood Hospital – Avon, Hendricks Regional Health – Avon Campus, St. Vincent Neighborhood Hospital – Plainfield, and OrthoIndy West Hospital. Any of these facilities may need additional staffing of emergency room, ICU, and other nursing specializations. Pizzaville and Wiskey Bent are top recommendations for dinner and there are several great options for breakfast stops in town.

Average per Week: $4,133.00

5. Houma, LA

Nurses looking for great weather will love Houma’s snowless winters and warm summers. There are plenty of cultural treasures to explore in the area, including Southdown Plantation, a historical landmark, and the Regional Military Museum and Bayou, which celebrates local military history. Terrebonne Wildlife Museum is a great place to enjoy a natural setting and relax before or after your shift.

Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center, Terrebonne General Medical Center, Physicians Medical Center and Davuluri Childrens Clinic are local healthcare providers that may need travel nurses to supplement their staffing. While there are no schools located in Houma, nurses can often find online educational opportunities for their specialization. For nurses curious about southern culture, Houma provides a perfect opportunity to try southern foods at local eateries. 

Average per Week: $3,946.00

6. Lakeland, FL

NurseFly and RNnetwork are great places to begin your job search for Travel Nurse opportunities in Lakeland, FL. On your day off, invite coworkers to go to Safari Wilderness to see African wildlife in a natural setting. Polk Museum of Art provides a cultural respite after a busy day caring for patients at local hospitals such as Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, Lakeland Regional Health, Jay Care Medical Center, and Watson Clinic Bella Vista Building. Florida Southern College and Keiser University provide opportunities for students who want to continue their studies while working in Lakeland. Florida’s sunny climate may attract Travel Nurses who love the city’s beach access and tropical weather.

Located between Tampa and Orlando, Lakeland’s Florida Southern College has the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. Aviation enthusiasts catch the SUN ‘n FUN Fly-in held each year.

Average per Week: $3,905.00

7. Mansfield, TX

Emerald Health Services and NurseFly are agencies that place travel nurses in Mansfield, TX. As part of the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex, the city gives nurses access to cultural opportunities, shopping and entertainment in the area. Local hospitals that may have job opportunities include Kindred Hospital Mansfield, Baylor Scott & White Emergency Hospital and Methodist Mansfield Medical Center. RNs, NPs, and other nursing specialists can apply to travel positions listed for the area. The University of Texas College of Nursing has nursing programs that may match your career goals. Tex Mex and Mexican restaurants abound, and travel nurses can make their tastebuds happy with local cuisine.

Travel nurses can shop in Downtown Mansfield and enjoy historic landmarks. The local Chamber of Commerce can provide information on local attractions to explore when you aren’t at work. You can also visit Farr Best Theater, which is 100 years old.

Average per Week: $3,587.00

8. Chewelah, WA

The Gypsy Nurse and Nursefly both list travel nurse jobs for Chewelah, WA, a small town of 2,600 people. Providence St. Joseph’s Hospitals may hire travel nurses with your area of specialization. Washington state is known for its natural beauty and there are dozens of lakes where nurses can fish and swim during their downtime. This is a family-oriented area known for its winter skiing and biking, snowmobiling, and hiking opportunities in nearby USFS Colville Nat’l Forest.

There are no local nursing schools, but travel nurses determined to continue their education while working can take advantage of online opportunities for advanced nursing degrees. Sportsman’s Bar and Grill has elk burgers on the menu for adventurous eaters to try while Westside Pizza has the best pies in town. ChewVino Wine Bar and El Ranchito are great choices for dinner out with friends.

Average per Week: $3,587.00

9. Shelby, MI

Fusion Medical Staffing, Trilogy Health Services and First Choice all provide job listings for Shelby, MI. Nurses looking for schools to further their education might have to travel to Lansing or Grand Rapids. The city is located along Lake Michigan, giving students an opportunity to explore the gorgeous scenery of the Upper Peninsula. Try Sabrosa Sangria to support local wineries or go for a nature walk in Stony Creek Metropark. As one of the best cities for travel nurses in the United States, Shelby offers low crime rates, proximity to the Great Lakes, and a good salary for travel nurses. Sky Zone Trampoline Park is a great place to blow off steam and have some fun.

Average per Week: $3,455.00

10. Lebanon, PA

GRH Travel Nursing often places travel nurses at local facilities. Nursefly and The Gypsy Nurse are also reliable places to begin your job. Thanks to the areas low cost of living, your paycheck will go further. The city is 76% as expensive as the average U.S. municipality. WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital is just one of several hospitals in or near Lebanon. Lebanon VA Medical Center, Good Samaritan Hospital Blood Donor Center and Good Samaritan Health System are other prominent health care providers in the area where travel nurses might find work. While there are no local schools to pursue advanced nursing degrees, you can find plenty of schools online to help you work towards your next credential. You could also take it easy and enjoy the rural setting.

Average per Week: $2,941.00

Related: 

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Top 20 Highest-Paying Travel Nursing Agencies

Top 25 Highest-Paying Cities for Nurses

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Sandra Janowicz
Author

Keeley Jones
Registered Nurse

Carrie Sealey-Morris
Editor-in-Chief