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Best Places to Work as a Travel Nurse

Posted on: April 12, 2022


written by

Risa Kerslake, RN

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Travel nursing is hard work. If you're going to make relocation a part of your career, you may as well aim to hit some of the best places in the country. So where are the best places to work as a travel nurse? It depends on your preferences and expertise. 

If your goal is to advance your knowledge and you thrive best in a busy metropolitan hospital, you might consider taking assignments in some of the bigger cities. Trying new restaurants, visiting the local tourist attractions, and living as a local are all enticing reasons to travel to different states and experience new adventures. Whether it's for broadening your knowledge, or to visit the famous winery or pizza joint, each location you travel to will give you lasting experiences. 

Here are our favorite places to work as a travel nurse!

New York, NY

If you're looking for opportunities to enhance your skill set and want to be immersed in a bustling hospital setting, you can't get much better than a busy NYC hospital. Some of the more well-known facilities include Mount Sinai Hospital, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and NYU Langone. 

You’ll never run out of things to spend your paycheck on in NYC. From the Met, Central Park, and Broadway shows, you’ll get plenty of experiences in before your assignment comes to an end. 

San Francisco, CA

This coastal city has plenty of places to explore including Fisherman's Wharf, Golden Gate Park, and Alcatraz Island. It's not a cheap place to live, but travel nurses can make on average $99,000 to $128,000 a year. Healthcare facilities in this city are leading the way in new treatments and innovations. 

If you're looking to advance your skills while having a wide variety of tourism destinations to explore, San Francisco may be a great fit. 

Chicago, IL

Chicago offers plenty of culture and art, along with the beauty of Millennium Park. And don't forget Chicago-style pizza. If you're looking to immerse yourself in the rich diversity Chicago has to offer, you might consider this location for your next assignment. There are plenty of museums such as the Art Institute, and Shedd Aquarium where you can get lost in the aquatic world. 

Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Rush University Medical Center rank in the top 20 best hospitals. 

Palm Springs, CA

Sunshine and relaxation make Palm Springs an ideal place for travel nurses to sneak in some rest and recuperation. If you're looking to escape the snow and cold, you could consider this resort city to live in over the winter months. 

The Coachella Valley Preserve is a nature preserve that provides plenty of walking paths under palm trees. You might even want to purchase a day pass to one of the city’s natural mineral springs to melt your stress away after a busy shift. 

Boston, MA

Boston and its nearby cities have a reputation for some of the best medical schools. This means lots of teaching, research, and new technology. Beth Israel, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Boston Children’s Hospital are well-known places to work and can give you a boost in your resume. 

Boston holds plenty of things to do on your days off including seeing a game at Fenway Park, visiting the Museum of Fine Arts, and touring the Old North Church built in 1723.  You may want to try some authentic Boston Cream Pie, lobster rolls, or clam chowder. 

Anchorage, AK

Probably not the place to travel to if you're looking for warm beaches, but Alaska is a location with breathtaking views and plenty of opportunities for hiking and camping with your new coworkers. You may want to bring a good pair of boots with you if you decide to travel here. Watch for the Northern Lights and moose walking down roads. Anchorage also offers plenty of arts and restaurants and good travel nurse pay. 

Rochester, MN

Home to the world-famous Mayo Clinic, Rochester is a city with plenty of opportunities for travel nursing. Mayo Clinic is ranked top in the country with opportunities to work with leading providers in cancer treatment, cardiology, and other specialty cares. 

Rochester is a perfect blend of a small town and large metropolitan city. The Peace Plaza is a great place to walk around shops and try new restaurants. Even if you're visiting Minnesota in the winter, you can take advantage of the skyways and underground walkways to get around downtown while staying warm. 

Tucson, AZ

If the cold isn't your thing, but you still want to see mountains, you might thrive taking an assignment in the heart of the Arizona desert. Here, there's a lower cost of living which is easy on your wallet. This historic city gives you the chance to do some biking, rock climbing, and vintage shopping. Visit the Tucson Botanical Gardens or eat gumbo and hushpuppies at the restaurant, The Parish.

There are plenty of opportunities to branch out in travel nursing and see different parts of the country you’ve never been to. As you gain experience, you’ll continuously open yourself up to new assignments in highly desirable locations.

Ready to go on assignment? Contact the Barton Healthcare Staffing team today to get started!

Risa Kerslake, RN
About Risa Kerslake, RN

Risa Kerslake, RN, BSN is a Minnesota-based nurse and freelance writer. She has experience in a variety of settings including psychiatric nursing, triage, and case management. Learn more about her freelance writing at