Best Cities for Your Travel Nursing Career in 2021: Tips for Travel Nurses

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By The Gypsy Nurse

July 5, 2021



The Best Cities for Your Travel Nursing Career in 2021

Life as a travel nurse is an adventure. Traveling from city to city, experiencing new cultures, gaining skills in your field while making a sustainable income to put toward nursing school debt—the perks are enticing. But, make no mistake, going from a stationary to a nomadic lifestyle can be a major adjustment for those who have lived and worked in one city for the majority of their professional lives. If you’re considering getting into travel nursing, it’s important to consider the best cities for travel nurses in 2021 and whether or not it’s wise to relocate.

If moving is on your horizon, it opens up a variety of questions—is it time to sell your home and buy a new one in a city fit for travel nursing? Or is renting more appropriate? Before you decide to relocate for your travel nursing career, think about some of these things:

Pros of keeping your home

  • You can rent out your home while you’re away and put extra passive income toward medical debt or other living expenses.
  • A house of your own can provide a source of stability in a dynamic lifestyle.

Pros of selling your home

  • With prices of homes on the higher end and interest rates low, you might get an impressive sum for your existing home.
  • You can use the money from your existing home to put toward a mortgage or rent payment in a more affordable area.

Pros of renting

  • Renting frees you from many financial obligations related to homeownership.
  • Lease agreements are less permanent, allowing for more flexibility to relocate and experience many different places and cultures.

Pros of buying a new home

  • Other cities may be much more affordable for homeowners. Compare an area’s cost of living to the prices of local homes for sale and your new salary to determine affordability.
  • Your home can be in a more central, practical location.

Know that many agencies offer temporary housing based on the job and location, which could play a major role in deciding the right travel nursing agency to choose and which cities are on your list of new potential homes. While you decide on where to live, think about the perks in some of these cities across the county:

San Jose, CA

With such a dense and diverse population, there is always someone to help and cure, making this city a hotspot for healthcare jobs. Keep in mind; this area is on the higher end of the cost of living scale; however, it also has the highest average base salary for nurses, making it affordable for some. Note that California is one of the fifty states expecting to see a shortage of nurses and the highest demand of travel nurses by 2025, so keep that in mind when considering a career.

Boston, MA

Did you know that Boston is home to the highest metropolitan salaries for RNs in the country? At $98,040 a year, this could be a great metropolitan area to relocate to for big-city lovers. It also has some of the highest numbers of nurses already employed. Boston is amongst the top places to raise a family, the best places for young professionals, and the best cities for outdoor activities in the US, deeming this a great place to consider planting roots.

Honolulu, HI

Shockingly enough, Honolulu tops the list of highest-paying salaries for registered nurses outside of California at just over $106,000 a year and is one of the most sought-after locations for travel nurses. Despite the high cost of living, Hawaii’s appealing geography, the potential for outdoor activities, and active lifestyle make it one of the most attractive places to take a travel nursing career.

Seattle, WA

Compared to cities in states with high costs of living like California, Seattle can be a more affordable place to live with similar lifestyle perks. Travel nurses who have lived and worked here also say that moving here has allowed them to bring home more money at the end of the day compared to other west coast cities and more time to spend with their families. This city is also on the list of best cities to invest in real estate in 2021.

Washington, D.C.

With some of the most esteemed medical facilities in the country, this can be a high-paying location for travel nurses with an average base hourly pay of approximately $40 per hour. D.C. also tops the list of best cities for young professionals, healthiest cities in America, and best cities for outdoor activities. Not to mention it has a plethora of sightseeing and learning opportunities at any museum or monument and plenty of other outdoor and indoor activities.

We hope you found these tips helpful. Are there any cities you think would be ideal for travel nurses this year? Comment them below.

If you are a new travel nurse or looking into becoming a travel nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step-by-Step (now offered in a PDF Downloadable version!)

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