Travel Nursing is a great way to see the entire country while also earning premium wages. It can be exciting but also overwhelming to decide where you might want to go to work.


One of the inconveniences of travel nursing is that you need to be licensed to work in each state. Thus, it is not always easy to jump from state to state due to licensure restrictions. When asking yourself about the top states for travel nursing, you may want to consider getting a compact license so that you can work in all compact states without having to worry about going through the licensure process for each state individually. There are many deciding factors that go into choosing which state to work in including; highest pay, desirable location, or close to family/friends. This post is all about which state nurses should be looking into right now!






Virginia is one of the top states for travel nursing for several reasons. The state has seen steady job postings recently especially with the rise of COVID-19, so there are plenty of openings across all different specialties. Virginia has a vast and diverse area to work from such as the large metro area outside of Washington D.C., mountainous terrain of the western part of the state, and coastal towns. Travelers can find any type of environment they desire in the state of Virginia.

Another reason to travel here is that Virginia is a compact state, so if you are a compact license holder you will not need to worry about the licensure process to be able to make this move. The state also has a quick turn around for obtaining a single state license. A Virginia license should be processed in 10 business days once all required documentation is received. Check out the Virginia board of nursing website for additional details.


A person sits atop a mountain in Virginia overlooking the landscape and a beautiful sunset



Arizona is another great state for travel nurses to consider. Geographically Arizona offers mountains, desert, and mild weather 9 months out of the year. Because snowbirds (people moving to warmer climates in the winter months) tend to flock here, there is a steady need for travel nurses and other healthcare professionals in the winter months. Winter is a great time to be in Arizona with mild temperatures present in most of the state and compared to other states there is a relatively low cost of living. Also, housing can typically be found for less in Arizona than in other parts of the country, which increases your net pay while on assignment! Arizona is also a compact state, again which makes the move very simple for compact license holders and a single state license for  Arizona typically takes 2-4 weeks to obtain.


A view into a canyon during a hike in Arizona showing off the natural beauty of the state




While Alaska should be a bucket list state for everyone, it is definitely one of the top states for travel nurses to consider. Travel nurses and other healthcare professionals have the amazing opportunity to live, work, and be part of communities in popular travel destinations and Alaska would provide a very unique experience. It is the largest of the U.S states and would meet the goals for anyone who is seeking an adventure. Many travelers will choose to take the once in a lifetime road trip from the “lower 48” to Alaska and take in the breathtaking views and unparalleled scenery. During this trip, travelers can travel the famous Alaskan- Canadian Highway and have a gorgeous view of the mountains and even see a random caribou or sheep near the road.


In the summer you can find salmon runs, gorgeous hikes, wildlife, and wildflowers. In the winter months, you can have endless fun in the snow and see the coveted northern lights. No matter what time of the year you go, travelers won’t be disappointed. With so much nature to explore and plenty of opportunities to social distance in the wilderness, Alaska is an ideal state to work in during the pandemic. An Alaska license can take a bit of time, with an average turnaround time of 8 weeks. so,  if you want to get to Alaska give yourself plenty of time to get licensed! While you are waiting for your license you can plan out all of the adventures you plan to have and all the sites you will need to see during your trip.


A view of the Alaskan mountains from a single tent campsite, showing how vast and breathtaking Alaska can be.

The top states for travel nursing are always changing and there are plenty of places to work across the U.S, so make sure to talk to a recruiter at Trusted Nurse Staffing today!