Top 5 Travel Locations for Nurses in 2018

When deciding where to take your next job, as a travel nurse, the world is truly your oyster. Most travel nursing programs have great travel and housing structures in place to help you seamlessly move from assignment to assignment.

With the launch of the new eNLC in the United States, it just got even easier for travel nurses to practice in multiple states. If you have a compact license from any one of the 29 eNLC states, you can practice without needing to get another license. Even without a compact license, you can easily apply for a single-state license to practice in your state of choice - and our Nomad Navigators are here to help you with that process!

To help you decide where your next travel nursing location should be, we’ve ranked the top 5 travel locations for nurses in 2018. We’ve taken into consideration more than just salary - because we know that’s not the only thing that matters to you when choosing an assignment. You care about culture, environment and access to great resources.

These five locations have a great combination of these to make your next travel assignment your best!

1. Boston, Massachusetts

What do you think when you think Boston? Did you say great universities, baseball or good seafood? Any of those would be right because Boston has them all!

Boston is city rich with history and culture, and a number of great medical and research facilities all over the city. They boast one of the highest average registered nursing salaries in the country at $79,000 per year which is 20% higher than the average. They also have one of the highest median RN salaries and median hourly salaries.

Massachusetts General Hospital is one of the best medical facilities in the country and there are many great universities in the area affiliated with hospitals to work at.

When you’re not working, there’s a variety of things to explore in the city. Here are our top three things to do:

  1. Fenway Park: Home of the Boston Red Sox
  2. Museum of Fine Arts: One of the most comprehensive art museums in the world
  3. Freedom Trail: Walk a 2.5-mile route through history

eNLC status: Massachusetts was not an NLC state but it has pending legislation for eNLC. Stay tuned!


2. New York, New York

The Big Apple. The Empire State. Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.. Whatever you want to call it, this wouldn’t be a list of great travel locations if we didn’t include New York.

Though the cost of living is on the higher end, that also means New York has one of the highest average RN salaries in the country at $80,000 per year which is 21% higher than the average. On Nomad, travel nursing jobs in New York City on average offer a weekly salary over $2000 per week, with a 36 hour work week. That’s an average hourly rate of over $55! There is also no shortage of RN opportunities as New York has a population of over 20 million people.

Some of the best hospitals in the area are New York-Presbyterian, Mount Sinai and NYU Langone. NYU is also one of the best places in the country to get a BSN if you are looking to further your education.

As the #1 place to visit in the USA, you can’t spend time in New York and not explore. New York is also one of the easiest cities to navigate with a subway system that can take you almost anywhere you want to go. Here are our top three things to do:

  1. Central Park: Take a breather away from the hustle of the city in this 843 acre park
  2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The largest art museum in the United States
  3. Broadway Shows: Rotating selection of award-winning shows you can’t miss

eNLC status: New York was not an NLC state but it has pending legislation for eNLC. Stay tuned!


3. Portland, Oregon

It wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t give the West Coast some love on this list. Representing the western side of the country is our next city - Portland, Oregon. This city has one of the highest median RN salaries in the country at over $85,000 per year.

For good reason too - according to the Oregon Center for Nursing the demand for active RNs is continuing to grow. Vacancy and turnover rates have been increasing since 2004. Demand is projected to increase by approximately 1.9% annually between 2015 and 2025. If the supply doesn’t change, the gap between demand is supply is projected to be over 6,000 in the next 10 years.

Though there may be a shortage of nurses, there is no shortage of great places to work. Two of the best hospitals in Portland are OHSU Hospital and Providence Portland Medical Center.

There is also no shortage of activities to do during your time there. Here are our top three things to do:

  1. International Rose Test Garden: Oldest operating public rose garden with 650 varieties
  2. Wine Tours: View the countryside while also sampling local wine
  3. Pearl District: Lively shopping destination located in reclaimed warehouse spaces

eNLC status: Oregon is not currently an eNLC state. If you’re interested in getting a license in Oregon, our Nomad Navigators are always here to help.


4. Sunnyside, Washington

We travel a little under 200 miles away to find our next location. With one of the highest average nursing salaries at over $65,000 per year and a median salary of over $75,000, Washington is a great place to spend some time.

Sunnyside has a number of great medical facilities. Some of the largest include Astria Health and Sunnyside Hospital. Washington is also a great place to further your education if that’s of interest to you. The University of Washington in Seattle is one of the Top 10 places to get a BSN in the country.

This small town is a great chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of large cities and spend some time in the countryside. Here are our top three things to do:

  1. Spring Harvest Fiber Mill: Learn to weave and meet some of the alpaca on the land
  2. Cote Benneville: Classic wines from DuBrul Vineyard
  3. Roadtrip to Seattle: The capital city is a little over two hours away by car - take a weekend and explore!

eNLC status: Washington is not currently an eNLC state. If you’re interested in getting a license in Washington, our Nomad Navigators are always here to help.


5. Durham, North Carolina

We move back to the East Coast to round out this list. Moving into the warmer part of the country we find ourselves in the American South - Durham, NC.

With a need for over 99,000 RNs in the state, it’s a great place to find your next travel assignment. It also has the lower cost of living on this list at 11% lower than the national average.

There are a number of great university-affiliated hospitals in the area. UNC-Chapel Hill is a short 20 minute drive away and Duke University Hospital is another highly ranked facility. Duke is also ranked #1 as the best place to get a BSN in the US.

When you have some free time, explore this beautiful city with our top three things to do:

  1. Sarah P. Duke Gardens: Historic public garden featuring statues and a variety of flowers
  2. Durham Performing Arts Center: Over 200 performances each year
  3. Museum of Life and Science: Enjoyable for the whole family with interactive children’s exhibits

eNLC status: North Carolina was previously a NLC state and has joined the eNLC.


There you have it! And the best thing about all of these locations? They are all available on Nomad! If you’re interested in finding your next travel assignment in any of these locations, you can start your search here:

Don’t hesitate to reach out to our stellar Nomad Navigators team if you have questions about licensing or your job search.

Good luck!

The Nomad Team

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