Advantis Medical Staffing provided this article.
Travel nurses are planners. On top of your game and generally ahead of the pack, planning your assignments well in advance is common. Location is often cited as the most important factor in job selection. So as the weather is changing and the air is getting cooler, what does your winter look like? Here are some of the best travel nurse locations for winter. We’ve included destinations for those of you who love the cold. Some locations are best for travel nurses with family or friends. Still, other states suit travelers who can’t wait for summer. Whichever you are, we hope you find inspiration!
Cold Weather Destinations for Travel Nurses
You know who you are – you start eyeing wool sweaters in August, and you celebrate Christmas in July. Why? Because you love EVERYTHING winter! The crisp air, the warm clothes, winter sports, and hot cocoa. These cold-weather destinations are not for the faint of heart or the boring of spirit.
Illinois – Travel nurses are a special kind of brave, and that’s necessary to endure an Illinois winter. If your answer to sub-zero temps is, “Bring it on,” we’d recommend Chicago. Ice skating under the Bean at Millennium Park. Stroll along the Magnificent Mile and Lakefront Trail to take in the sights. In the evening, you can enjoy cocktails and curling on the rooftop rink at The Gwen Hotel. Whether you crave sports, culture, or a culinary adventure, you can thrive in the Windy City.
New York – Travel nurses, can live the dream. You can spend 13 weeks in New York City without the cost of long-term residency. View the skyline from a heated boat tour, skate under the famous Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, and take in a Broadway or off-Broadway show! Make sure to pack your best shoes when you head to NYC. If you prefer a slower pace, Upstate New York has peaceful charm while still offering city access on days off.
Alaska – If laying eyes on the Northern Lights is on your bucket list; this is the assignment for you. In coastal locations, which average around 25 degrees Fahrenheit, you can enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle. Coastal cities include population centers like Juneau and Anchorage. Enjoy ice skating, snowshoeing, or playing hockey. Remember to bring serious gear for this sub-arctic adventure. Also, pack sunlight-supplementing full spectrum lights to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Winter Locations for Travel Nurses with Friends or Family
Winter is a magical season during which many of us celebrate holidays. Togetherness with friends or family is often a priority around now. Accept assignments in these places for adventures best enjoyed by more than one.
Washington – Washington State is great for travelers with families. Leavenworth is a storybook Bavarian town tucked away in the Cascade Mountains, where you can visit an actual reindeer farm! Fit friends and family can hike for miles through the ancient Hoh Rainforest. And the most fearless travelers can venture into the spooky Seattle Underground with their crew.
New Mexico – The Land of Enchantment offers breathtaking winter escapes and cultural experiences. Witness massive formations in Carlsbad Caverns, sled down ivory hills in White Sands National Park, or hit the slopes in Taos. Decompress on off-days in Santa Fe, where you can visit the Plaza Area museums for cultural experiences. You’ll find souvenirs in the many local galleries.
Utah – Nothing showcases the Utah landscape quite like a blanket of snow. Winter sports include skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and even snow tubing. Explore breathtaking destinations such as Park City and Arches National Park. For those who like seeing more than doing, don’t miss the stunning annual Ice Castle display in Heber Valley.
South Carolina – From Charleston’s charm to Myrtle Beach’s sandy shores, South Carolina truly has something for everyone. The many state parks and dedicated outdoor spaces are great places for observing wildlife and admiring the region’s flora and fauna. History buffs can make a stop in Gaffney to visit the site of a Revolutionary War battle.
Travel Nurses Who Can’t Wait for Summer
Texas – The Lone Star State offers a wide variety of winter escapes. You can spend a weekend fishing on the Gulf Coast or head west to Big Bend State Park. Texas’ temperate winter weather is also perfect for those who want to visit Waco’s famed Magnolia Farms, the Fort Worth Stockyards, or Dallas’ happening Arts District. Everything’s bigger in Texas – including the fun.
California –Nature lovers, head west. Yosemite’s breathtaking Horsetail Falls turn golden at sunset in February. Head to Joshua Tree National Park to check out its odd-looking namesake plants. Or delight in a mass migration of monarch butterflies at Pacific Grove. Of course, the famed California beaches make for the perfect unwinding destinations. And wine country is a can’t–miss on your days off.
Louisiana – Head down to Louisiana for amazing music, historic architecture, and incredible food! Plus, if your winter assignment falls around February, you can go to New Orleans to experience all the festivities of Mardis Gras. You can catch and cook your dinner on the same boat at the coast. Or head to the scenic Atchafalaya swamps in the heart of the state on your weekend.
What to Pack for a Winter Travel Assignment
Congrats! You’ve accepted a winter travel nurse assignment. Start knowing you’ll need to pack more strategically for cold weather assignments than for warm ones. You’ll need more layers along with bulky items like coats, boots, and possibly heavy blankets, depending on your living arrangements. Here’s a winter checklist to get you started:
- Layers (plan strategically for different environments)
- Coats, jackets, scarves, hats, and gloves
- Boots / waterproof shoes
- Heavy blankets and throws
- Moisturizer for dry skin
- Skis or other winter sports supplies suitable for your destination
- Cold medicine for the inevitable sniffles
Travel Nursing Adventure that Gives You the Chills
Whatever your favorite season or weather, travel nurses can fully experience a new destination four or more times a year. As you crisscross the country taking care of others, make sure you take time for fun and self-care. Each travel job can be a new chapter in your travel career. You can enjoy each day more fully; plus, the memories you make will last a lifetime.
Our job board is a great place to search for your next travel nurse assignment. We have you covered with our housing page if housing is an issue. You can search for what you are looking for.