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Top Ten Travel Nursing Hot Spots

Fabiah Blog is supported by Fabiah.com, where you can purchase affordable, comprehensive malpractice insurance for nurses and healthcare professionals. If you are not already insured, you are uncertain about purchasing a personal policy, or would simply like to learn more about personal medical malpractice insurance, then please read this article. Now, here is our list of top ten travel nursing hot spots!

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The great thing about being a traveling nurse boils down to one key component – it’s about the travel!  For those of us who love moving around and seeing the world, travel nursing is the profession of our dreams.  There are many travel destinations available, based on weather, activities, cost of living, and salary.  Therefore, I have gathered a list of my top ten travel nursing hot spots based on the number of travelers who inquire about each location every month.  Are you a travel RN scouting a new assignment?  Then I’d like to suggest the following ten “Hot Spots”.

1. Hawaii

This is the first item on our list of top ten travel nursing hot spots.  It’s no shock that Hawaii generates over 500 travel nursing inquiries per month.  The wide range of outdoor activities from snow-capped mountains to snow-white sandy beaches elevates Hawaii to one of those meccas. Here you can build a snowman or a sand castle all in one day.  Nurses tell me that you’ll discover virtually every type of outdoor activity imaginable—hiking trails that wind through erupting volcanoes, secret beaches, and lush green ranchlands.  Many travelers also hunt, mountain bike, go rafting, and golf on some of the world’s most extravagant courses.

2. Alaska

 Travel nurses are intrigued by the possibilities of Alaska’s rugged mystery.  Alaska is a huge wilderness with beautiful scenery. Luckily, travel nursing assignments offer plenty of time to see and do everything you want. Winter’s darkness under northern lights, or the glorious spring and summer where it’s light most of the time are both available. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy Alaska for its wildlife, spectacular natural landscape, and fishing expeditions. The fish really are as big as the stories about which they’re told.  Countless day cruises and sightseeing expeditions abound, as well as opportunities to hike, kayak, canoe, ski… Need we say more?

3. Montana 

Whether photographer, adventurer, or both, Montana is truly a state that beckons with open arms.  River trips, fishing and camping, history, snowy mountain ranges, and waterfalls are what you’ll encounter. There is also plenty of open space to explore.  Assignments in Montana appeal to those who just need some time to break away from their city grind to enjoy marching to the beat of an entirely different drummer.  The Big Sky Country boasts some of America’s most famous mountains, canyons, river valleys, forests, grassy plains, badlands, and caverns. Many travelers find it just irresistible enough to keep coming back.

4. Maine 

Maine’s splendor has inspired artists like Georgia O’Keefe and three generations of the Wyeth family, since the mid-nineteenth century.   Travel nurses can’t resist at least one adventure in this charming getaway.  Whether you embark on outdoor adventures like skiing, or if you prefer the cozy ambience of antiquing through charming villages Maine is legendary. It offers some wonderful experiences.  Its’ unique culture is outdoorsy and quaint. In addition, you get to enjoy lobster as the locals do—fresh from the ocean! 

5. California 

 Warm weather and world-famous beaches make California a favorite choice for traveling nurses.  Nine-hundred miles of coastline gives nurses in all locations the chance to spend many hours near the waves; and for nature lovers, California is home to many wildlife parks, remote wilderness areas, and safe-havens for endangered animals.  If you’re an excitement junkie, you can scout out a wide selection of theme parks; and no matter what your taste in music, concerts abound in every type of venue. Historic sites and museums invite, as do five-star restaurants and clubs in which to see and be seen. The shopping is unparalleled, whether it’s trendy Melrose Place, La Jolla, or the strand in Venice Beach; and of course it’s home to Hollywood, and, yes, movie stars.  Whether northern, southern, or coastal locations, traveling nurses return to California time and again.

6. Washington 

The Evergreen State boasts the gorgeous Pacific Ocean, the Cascade Mountains, desert experiences, rain forests, towering volcanoes, glaciers, and lush wine country.  Washington State rates high on the list of many nurse travelers.  Must-sees are the Space Needle and Coulee Dam.  The culture here is incredibly diverse; sophisticated, outdoorsy, and loaded with resorts, history, parks, museums, and botanical gardens.  Whether touring downtown Seattle for cozy antique and book stores, exploring ancient Indian grounds, or hiking and biking mountains or trails, Washington holds a strong allure for many nurse travelers.

7. South Carolina 

Endless adventure, excitement, fun and exploration represent why South Carolina is always a favorite destination for travel nurses.  America’s oldest landscaped gardens frame mansions rife with historical heritage, in addition to pristine beaches and legendary marshy wetlands.  For all you golfers, with over 330 golf courses, there’s always a new place to swing your clubs.  However, what fascinates many traveling nurses is the rich heritage in which South Carolina has paved the roads of culture, art, and folklore in our past.  You can visit several historical areas and discovery centers of American history, including the American Revolution and the Civil War.

8. Colorado 

World-class winter skiing and summer music festivals in the mountains are just two reasons that nurses love traveling to Colorado.  Boasting four spectacular seasons, Colorado is where travel nurses get to explore the state’s 18 million acres of state and national parks, and forests. There are also monuments for biking, hiking, fishing, mountain climbing, and kayaking, to name a few.  Colorado has many cultural treasures. These include ancient Native American sites and dinosaur fossil exhibits, historic ghost towns, and even award-winning vineyards in Grand Junction.  For those who enjoy city life, amid all this natural beauty lie wonderful metropolitan areas like Denver and Boulder. These are full of shopping, performing arts, and professional sports.

9. Tennessee

 From energetic nights of blues on Beale Street, to gorgeous rolling acres of Tennessee Walker horse country, Tennessee is a vacation that offers many world-renowned attractions.  Nurse travelers who visit Tennessee will find that they’re within a day’s drive of 75-percent of the U.S. population via quality interstates and highways.  Attractions in Tennessee include the Jack Daniels’ distillery, Elvis’s Graceland, the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and lots of southern hospitality.  And don’t forget the crown jewel of the southern Appalachians, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

10. Arizona

This is the final item on our list of top ten travel nursing hot spots. If you adore the outdoors, then the Grand Canyon State might just be for you.  The nurses who go there just rave about Arizona’s landscape. Here tall mountain ranges, swift rivers, grasslands, sand dunes, and cactus forests all set against a beautiful sky that glows pink in the sunsets. Those who enjoy history will find plenty of it here. Historical areas including Old West reformations, Native American nations, and Spanish-influenced areas lay all in one state.  Arizona is also home to the nation’s greatest golf courses, resorts, spas, cabins, and ranches.

As you can see, limitless possibilities exist for nurses who want travel, fun, and adventure as part of their daily lives.  If  you’re a nurse who travels and it’s time for you to move on to a new location, try one of these top travel nursing destinations and see what new experiences lie ahead.

The Travel Nurse Assignment Checklist Every New Travel Nurse Should Follow

Travel nursing is a great and exciting way to develop your nursing career and gain experience. It might also just be the change that you need if you have been experiencing burnout. However, we have all heard horror stories about inadequate housing, confusing paperwork, overly stressful work environments, and much more. Here are some helpful tips to know before you start the process to ensure that you have a good experience. Knowing these things might also help you to decide whether or not travel nursing would be right for you. This is your travel nurse assignment checklist.

1. You Will Likely Need Some Experience 

Sadly, it is difficult to jump into travel nursing right after nursing school, and travel nurse positions will likely require that you have at least some experience. This experience may involve specific training or have broad requirements depending on the assignment. If you are brand new to the field and are looking to gain experience that will be good for travel nursing, ICU and ER experience are among some of the best options. Travel nurse agencies will help you with finding the right assignment for you if you get overwhelmed or confused though.

2. Do Your Research 

After having experience, doing relevant research is the first item on your travel nurse assignment checklist. If you have been looking into travel nursing for a while then you probably already know that there are plenty of both good and bad travel nurse agencies. As a result, it is important that you do thorough research before you sign on with one. You can do your research by looking for reviews on the internet or asking other travel nurses about their experiences with the company. Luckily, we live in an era that is full of social media groups. This is an excellent resource for you to get the full scoop on a travel nursing agency that you are interested in. 

3. Get EVERYTHING In Writing 

Nothing is ever set in stone until you get it in writing. Therefore, it is crucial that you make sure that verbal agreements make it onto your contract and don’t get forgotten about. It is unfortunately not unheard of for certain travel nurse companies to make false promises in order to get you to sign a contract. Therefore, you should make sure that the important perks of your assignment are actually possible. Some agencies might be more notorious for this than others, so this could be a good thing to keep in mind when doing your research on travel nursing companies. 

4. Go Through Your Contract Thoroughly 

You may be already looking closely at your contract to make sure that your previous agreements are present, but you should be extra careful to go through and look at the whole thing closely. This is important for a couple of reasons. Possibly the most obvious thing is that you definitely don’t want to have unknown or surprise work requirements and policies that you discover last minute. This adds a lot of unnecessary stress and potential problems. Another thing to keep in mind when going through your contract is to make sure that everything to do with compensations and stipends are correct and accounted for. This should be done before you start getting ready to go for your assignment. 

5. Find Your Own Housing If You Can 

You may already know some of the horror stories circling the internet about problems with housing assigned to travel nurses by their travel nurse agencies. A way to avoid this is to find housing yourself and just ask for the housing stipend to cover it. This will help you make sure that your temporary housing is safe and comfortable, and you might even have the chance to save some money this way as well as an added bonus. 

6. Hire Someone To Help You With Taxes If You Need Help

A common misconception is that your salary as a travel nurse is much higher than the average RN’s salary. It may come as a surprise that this isn’t the case, and all of the extra money you earn comes in the form of stipends and tax returns. Taxes can feel overwhelming even without complex additions like travel nursing compensation, so it may be beneficial for you to hire someone who specializes in filing  taxes for travel nurses. This will ensure that you get all of the money that you earned, and it will save you a lot of hassle. 

7. Talk To Seasoned Travel Nurses

Although all of the above tips are very important to remember and are sure to help you along your travel nursing path, there may have been some things that have been forgotten or overlooked when making our list. For this reason, it is important that you include some other sources while doing your research. There is possibly no better source than nurses who have done travel nursing in the past. As mentioned before, there are numerous groups over social media that can get you connected to these nurses, and it is a great space for you to ask questions, get advice, and hear travel nurse stories before getting started yourself. Even if you have already talked to a travel nurse, it is a good idea to do this at least one more time as an end to your travel nurse assignment checklist.

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Fabiah Blog is supported by Fabiah.com, where you can purchase affordable, comprehensive malpractice insurance for nurses and healthcare professionals. If you are not already insured, you are uncertain about purchasing a personal policy, or would simply like to learn more about personal medical malpractice insurance, then please read this article.