9 Best States to Travel Nurse in 2023

woman traveler sitting and overlooking mountains

Work-life balance has jumped to the top of the list when it comes to career planning, and within the nursing field, this is no exception. The past few years have spotlighted the many challenges nurses face—understaffing and burnout being two primary issues. Today, healthcare workers are leaving behind longtime traditional roles for the freedom and lifestyle that travel nursing provides. 

As a travel nurse, you can pursue your passion while benefiting from a flexible work-anywhere lifestyle. Paired with a trusted nurse staffing agency like MAS Medical, you can also enjoy full-time benefits like health insurance, 401k compensation, weekly pay, and so much more. But which states should you consider as a traveler? 

With an abundance of opportunities, this is a question best answered by you. To help you find the best state to travel nurse, we’ve made a comprehensive list.

Why Should I Become A Travel Nurse?

To start, travel nurses benefit from higher salaries, flexible schedules, and the ability to see the country through short-term contracts, all while supporting healthcare systems in dire need of additional staff. 

With the need for travel nurses continuing to rise, the best places to travel can earn you upwards of the national average travel nurse salary of $3,000 per week – depending on specialty, experience, and demand. With regular registered nurse salaries staying stagnant alongside increased demands by employers, the exponential earning potential of travel nursing and malleable lifestyle it provides should make it a career change to consider. 

SEE ALSO: 10 Pros and Cons of Travel Nursing

Best States for Travel Nurse Assignments

Ready to pack your bags and make the leap into the exciting world of travel nursing? We’ve compiled nine of the best states to work in as a travel nurse for work-life balance and career advancement. 

And don’t forget the compensation—you’ll also find the average weekly salary for each state in our list. 

We’ve got the details on all the best states to travel as a nurse. Keep reading to find your ideal location and get in touch with our recruitment team today to start planning your next placement.  

1. Massachusetts

If you’re looking for the amenities of a bustling metropolis that’s steeped in history and culture, Boston and its surrounding areas may be the perfect spot for your next nursing stop. Boston is home to Massachusetts General Hospital, ranked in the top 10 of “America’s Best Hospitals” for 2022-2023. 

While Harvard, baked beans, and Fenway Park are synonymous with Boston, Massachusetts has much more to offer. The idyllic seashores of Cape Cod and historical haunts like Salem make Massachusetts one of the best states to travel as a nurse. 

Average Travel Nurse Salary In Massachusetts: 

$2,249 per week

2. Florida

As a retirement hub, Florida has an aging population with no shortage of demand for healthcare workers. Jacksonville boasts the best healthcare in the state with Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, but there are plenty of other parts of Florida in need of nurses that will fit the bill for your next travel nurse appointment. 

Whether you’re a Disney superfan destined for Orlando or want to dig deep into the Miami club scene, Florida is one of the best states to travel as a nurse. Enjoy your nurse’s salary tax-free, while soaking in warm sunshine and endless beach days during your free time.

Average Travel Nurse Salary in Florida: 

$1,892 per week

3. North Carolina

Besides the comfortable mid-atlantic weather and easy-going lifestyle, North Carolina is also a state with no shortage of travel nurse opportunities. Between pandemic burnout and an aging nurse population nearing retirement, the demand for new nurses is expected to almost double in the next ten years.

Cities like Raleigh and Charlotte will give you a taste of southern city living, while places like Asheville boast bucolic rolling hills and a thriving arts culture. Plus, the state boasts top-rated medical facilities like the UNC Hospital system and Duke University Hospital where you can acquire skills and experience to advance your nursing career. 

Average Travel Nurse Salary in North Carolina: 

$1,622 per week 

4. South Carolina

South Carolina ranks in the top five for projected nursing shortages, with an expected need for more than 10,000 nurses by 2023. The high demand could keep travel nurse salaries rising, leaving you lots of extra spending money for your next day out at Myrtle Beach. 

South Carolina is filled with history and culture to compliment its sandy coastline. Its largest city, Charleston, is a world-class travel destination with loads of historic charm and is home to the highly-rated MUSC Health University Medical Center. 

Average Travel Nurse Salary in South Carolina: 

$1,924 per week

5. Connecticut

A hop and a skip from the major metros of New York and Boston, Connecticut is the perfect place if you’re looking for a quaint New England experience with access to an abundance of amenities. Connecticut boasts the perfect blend of coastal towns and rural beauty alongside cultural hotspots like Mystic Seaport and Yale University.

With hospitals like Yale New Haven Hospital, Hartford Memorial Hospital, and Manchester Memorial Hospital in need of travel nurses, there’s no shortage of opportunities if you want to add Connecticut to your travel nurse road map. 

Average Travel Nurse Salary in Connecticut: 

$2,153 per week

6. Virginia

Virginia offers both the bustle of being near our nation’s capital and the relaxed vacation vibes of Virginia Beach, making it a top contender for the best state to travel as a nurse. And since it’s a member of the nurse licensure compact, you can easily transition to your next appointment once you’ve spent enough time exploring Mount Vernon and Monticello. 

In Virginia, you’ll have access to a wide variety of experiences like the natural beauty of the Appalachian Trail and the rich cultural history of Colonial Williamsburg. Plus, gaining experience working at top-rated state of the art medical facilities like University of Virginia Medical Center and VCU Medical Center will be a big boon for your resume. 

Average Travel Nurse Salary in Virginia: 

$2,021 per week 

7. Rhode Island

With its picturesque seaside coastal towns and culture aplenty, Rhode Island is one of the best places to travel as a nurse. While Rhode Island may be the smallest of the U.S. states, you can earn a pretty penny as a travel nurse in Providence, Warwick, or Cranston. 

When you’re not taking care of patients in the operating room at Rhode Island Hospital, which boasts the state’s only level I trauma center, you can enjoy sailing and swaying to the sweet sounds of the Newport Folk Festival. 

Average Travel Nurse Salary in Rhode Island: 

$2,131 per week 

8. New Hampshire

If you have a passion for the outdoors and high peaks, try a travel nursing gig amidst the White Mountains of New Hampshire and embrace the state’s “live free” lifestyle. Plus, New Hampshire is one of the highest paying states for traveling nurses. 

Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant culture of Concord or the slower pace of Keene, New Hampshire is a little state with a lot to offer. And since New Hampshire is sandwiched in the middle of New England, you’ll have easy access for getaways to neighboring states when you want a break from the breathtaking mountains. 

Average Travel Nurse Salary in New Hampshire: 

$2,387 per week

9. Maine

While Maine has been facing a massive nursing shortage, the state has made a major investment in education to get more nurses trained and into the workforce. Even with these increased efforts, the state will still be short almost 1,500 nurses by 2025. You’ll get excellent experience for your resume in Maine, too—Maine General Health in Augusta was ranked one of the best hospitals in the world by Newsweek. 

Although Acadia National Park is the state’s star, there’s plenty of camping and hiking to enjoy  throughout the state. Coupled with its stunning coastlines and breathtaking natural beauty, Maine is an ideal location for lobster loving travel nurses to enjoy the laid-back downeast lifestyle from Bangor to Portland. 

Average Travel Nurse Salary in Maine:

$2,282 per week 

How to Find Travel Nursing Jobs with MAS Medical

While working in the medical field is full of complications and tough situations, finding your next travel nursing assignment is simple when you have 24/7 support. 

At MAS Medical, we partner with you to find the right location to fit your needs and help you grow your medical career. You’ll also have access to industry-leading compensation packages including health insurance, generous housing stipends, referral bonuses, and an exclusive rewards program. Let us assist you in finding a placement in the best state to travel as a nurse and get ready to embark on your next adventure. 

When you’re ready for your traveling healthcare job search, let us walk you through everything you need to know about licensing, housing, and more. Contact us today to start mapping your course as a travel nurse—we’ll be your partner every step of the way.

Contact A Recruiter
 

Sources: 

#1 Megha K. Shah MD. Prevalence of and factors associated with nurse burnout in the US. JAMA Network Open. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2775923. Published February 4, 2021. Accessed September 30, 2022.

#2 Lake S. Travel nurses can cash in at more than $3,000 per week. Fortune. https://fortune.com/education/business/articles/2022/09/23/travel-nurses-can-cash-in-at-more-than-3000-per-week/. Published September 23, 2022. Accessed September 30, 2022.

#3 What is the average RN salary by state in 2022? – ziprecruiter. https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/What-Is-the-Average-RN-Salary-by-State. Accessed September 30, 2022.

#4 America’s best hospitals: The 2022-2023 honor roll and overview. https://health.usnews.com/health-care/best-hospitals/articles/best-hospitals-honor-roll-and-overview. Accessed September 30, 2022.

#5 Hoban R. Within a decade, NC could be short more than 21,000 nurses. North Carolina Health News. https://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2022/03/02/within-a-decade-nc-could-see-nursing-shortage-of-more-than-21000/. Published March 2, 2022. Accessed September 30, 2022.

#6 Catherine Burger MSOL. The places with the largest nursing shortages. The Places with the Largest Nursing Shortages. https://www.registerednursing.org/articles/largest-nursing-shortages/. Published August 5, 2022. Accessed September 30, 2022.

#7 Clarke T. Expansion of nursing education could help with state shortage of nurses. WMTW. https://www.wmtw.com/article/expansion-of-nursing-education-could-help-with-state-shortage-of-nurses/39301894#. Published March 2, 2022. Accessed September 30, 2022.

#8 Mainegeneral is committed to your care. MaineGeneral Health. https://www.mainegeneral.org/about-us/news/2022/mainegeneral-included-in-worlds-best-hospitals-list/. Accessed September 30, 2022.

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