Travel nursing is appealing for many reasons. The idea of adventure, flexibility, and great pay are just a few of the perks that make travel nursing so popular.

But, moving approximately every 13 weeks can feel overwhelming, even for the most seasoned travel nurses. 

So, how can you get the most out of your experience as a travel nurse?

Choose a location where you can make an impact.

But, where are travel nurses needed the most? In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about the top spots for travel nurses and why you should choose one of these locations for your next assignment.



Table of Contents


best places to travel nurse in the us


Where Are Travel Nurses Needed?

While travel nursing jobs can be found all over the U.S., not all jobs are created equal, and not all postings are available to every nurse.

When choosing an assignment based on high-demand, there are several factors to consider. 

For example, the need for nurses in Florida and Arizona increases during the winter months when retirees flock to these warmer locations to escape the cold, increasing the older aged population exponentially.

There may also be an increased need for nurses during crisis situations. During the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in New York, travel nurses were being offered contracts in excess of $100k for a single 13-week assignment because the need was dire.

So, while there are some states where the need is consistently high year-round, there will always be a need for travel nurses in every state.

Do you want to know where you are needed the most right now? Complete your free online profile with Trusted Nurse Staffing and our recruiters will immediately start working to find the best travel nurse assignments for you.

Why Are Travel Nurses In High Demand?

In addition to many nurses within the workforce approaching the age of retirement, there is a growing baby boomer population requiring more healthcare than ever before.

Nurses play a critical role in the healthcare industry and as the shortage of nurses continues to rise, there is also no end in sight to the increasing demand for the profession.

As a result, there are cities all over the U.S. that are in constant need of experienced nurses to fill the neverending voids in their healthcare facilities.

Can Travel Nurses Choose Where They Go?

Travel nurses have the luxury of choosing their assignment locations. Trusted Nurse Staffing has assignments available from 8 to 52 weeks in duration in all of the top nursing destinations across America. Whether you want to hit the beach or the slopes on your days off, it’s your choice.




Where Are Travel Nurses Needed The Most? The 5 Best Places To Travel Nurse

While salary tends to be the number one motivation when choosing an assignment, there are a few factors to consider before searching by pay rate alone.

Making the most money may depend on:

  • Cost of living. While the pay rate may seem higher in California, many nurses make more money working in Michigan because daily living expenses are drastically less.
  • Specialization. Nurses with experience in highly sought after specializations will make more money, no matter where they go.
  • Overtime. Most assignments are 36-48 hours a week, but nurses willing to work 48 hours a week will reap the benefits of overtime pay.

With all of this in mind, if hourly pay is still your number one driving force, we’ve compiled a list of five states with consistently higher rates year-round. 

Which one is for you?

#1 California

Are you ready for a little sand, surf, and sun? Then you may want to choose California for your next travel nursing assignment.

Boasting the highest pay rates in the industry, California is one of the most attractive destinations for travel nurses from all over the U.S.

California offers a little something for everyone. Whether you enjoy hiking and watersports, or theater and wine-tasting, you’ll never be bored while living in the Golden State.

#2 New York

If you’re a big city kind of a person, then the Empire State could be your next calling.

Travel nurses are paid one of the highest wages in the industry, especially in the busy New York City hospitals.

If you thrive in a fast-paced environment, enjoy the hustle and bustle of city living, and want to spend your days off cycling around Central Park, or diving into a slice of NY pizza after touring The Met, then New York has your name all over it.

#3 Massachusetts

Clam chowder, anyone?

Famous not just for the vast array of delicious seafood options, Massachusetts is also well-known for being one of the best places to travel nurse.

Enjoy the charm of the many historical sites of Boston or Plymouth, take in the fresh sea air at the Chatham Pier and Fish Market, or visit Salem and learn about the famous witch trials.

#4 Texas

The Dallas Cowboys, country music, and BBQ are just a few of the things Texas is most famous for. 

For travel nurses, it’s also known for paying on average $100k/year and having a lower cost of living than the other four states on our list, making it a top destination for nurses who want to save their hard-earned wages.

But, don’t worry. There are plenty of attractions in Texas to keep you busy during your time off including The Space Center, various national parks, and the State Capitol in Austin.

#5 Washington

When it comes to nature vs. city, you don’t have to choose in Washington State. And with an average salary of over $100k in Seattle, you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Home to 215 national parks, Washington is a nature-lovers paradise. But don’t worry city-dwellers, you’ll love the sophistication of Seattle, America’s most educated city.

So grab your hiking boots and your travel mug and apply for your next assignment in Washington.


best places to travel nurse


4 Factors Involved In Finding The Best Places To Travel Nurse In The US

You’re ready for your next assignment in one of the best places to travel nurse in the US.

We’ve answered the question, “where are travel nurses needed the most?”, but how can you make sure you’ll be chosen for the job?

Below are four key factors in the selection process for most healthcare facilities.

#1 Licensing

Many hospitals won’t even consider your profile if you’re not licensed in their state. By maintaining multiple state licenses, you’ll increase your chances of landing the highest paying jobs.

At Trusted Nurse Staffing we value the experiences and opportunities of our nurses which is why we take care of any licensing maintenance required to ensure our nurses never miss out on the assignment of their dreams.

#2 Location

Have you been busting your butt in a busy ward for the big bucks and now you’re ready for some R&R?

The best places to travel nurse are not always the highest paying. For some nurses, the experience of 13 weeks in Hawaii, despite the high cost of living, is worth the sacrifice.

We suggest making a list of what you want the most out of your next location. Consider things, such as…

  • Climate
  • Amenities
  • Adventure
  • Cost of living
  • Culture

before you take on your next assignment. You may just find yourself renewing your contract if you land your dream destination.

#3 Specialty

Specialty nurses are highly sought after in every state across the United States. 

If you have experience with any of the following specialties, be sure to include it in your free online profile with Trusted Nurse Staffing:

  • Emergency Room
  • Medical Surgery/Telemetry
  • Women’s Health
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Operating Room
  • Cardiovascular Operating Room
  • Long Term Acute Care
  • Psychiatric

Interested in one of these specialties, but don’t have experience? 

Trusted Nurse Staffing can help. We will pay for your continuing education needs.

#4 Shift

If you’ve ever seen a job board for travel nurses, then you already know that the night shift is in high demand.

Nurses who are capable of operating at full capacity in the wee hours of the night are paid a higher hourly rate.

So, if you’re an experienced night shift nurse, you could be earning some serious dough.





Do Travel Nurses Make More Money Than Staff Nurses?

On average, travel nurses make more than staff nurses. This isn’t necessarily the result of a higher hourly rate, it can actually be lower in some cases, but travel nurses receive a host of other perks that make it possible to earn $100k/year or more.

Travel nursing benefits often include:

  • Health insurance
  • Tax-free stipends
  • Per diems
  • Bonuses
  • Overtime/double-time pay
  • Referral and loyalty rewards

In addition to the array of benefits, travel nurses also enjoy more free time, often making more than staff nurses while working only 10 months out of the year.

How To Make Even More Money As A Travel Nurse

We’ve listed some of the best places to travel nurse based on money alone, but we understand that sometimes nurses need to be closer to family, or want to experience a new destination, even if the pay isn’t the greatest.

We get it. It’s not always about the money, money, money…

So, how can nurses make a little extra scratch in the lower-paying assignments?

Like this:

  • Find your own housing. If you are in an area with a low cost of living you could find living accommodations that cost less than the stipend you receive, making it possible to pocket that extra tax-free money.
  • Have flexibility. Sometimes the hardest positions to fill are those that are in less desirable locations or require nights or variable shifts. These positions often pay more to entice nurses to sign on.
  • Work extra shifts. While you may appreciate the freedom of a 36 hour work week, taking a few extra shifts during your contract not only earns you more money, but you get the benefits of overtime pay as well.
  • Rapid response assignments. Sometimes this means heading into a proverbial war zone, but a rapid response assignment can mean big bucks. If you’re quick on your feet and aren’t afraid to enter the unknown, you could cash in big.
  • Sign-on, retention, and completion bonuses. Some companies offer bonuses, such as priority job order, or signing and completion. Ask a recruiter at Trusted Nurse Staffing how you can make the most with our bonuses.


where are travel nurses needed


What Is The Best Travel Nurse Company?

The best travel nurse companies will offer:

  • Stability and a proven track record
  • High pay and housing options
  • Customized benefits
  • Transparency and accountability
  • Good quantity and quality of job opportunities
  • An accessible recruiter you can trust
  • Personal attention

With a good agency, you’ll never feel like just another number.

Create Your Free Profile With Trusted Nurse Staffing Today

We understand the challenges of working on the road, which is why you’ll enjoy the highest pay rates and the best benefits packages in the industry when you become a traveling nurse with Trusted Nurse Staffing.

Simply fill out your free online profile and within 24 hours an account manager will contact you to review your goals and availability.

Where are travel nurses needed the most? Ask a recruiter at Trusted Nurse Staffing where you can make the most impact today.