Andrew Wettengel / Monday, March 1, 2021 / Categories: Work World, Travel


Travel nursing can allow you to travel around the country and visit regions, cities, and places you have never been. A career that actually pays you to cross locations off your bucket list. That’s pretty cool, no? However, there are a lot of factors that go into selecting the ideal travel nursing destination for you. 

At OneStaff Medical, our recruiters work with our nurses to find the most appropriate travel nursing assignment for them. We all have different likes, preferences, goals, hobbies and passions. So, we narrowed down some top travel nursing assignment spots, and wanted to share those top 5 most popular destinations for travel nursing in 2021... 

How to Find a Travel Nursing Assignment

Healthcare traveling agencies are the key to finding travel nursing assignments in the U.S. While there are many to choose from, you want to work with a travel nursing staffing agency that is trustworthy, credible, and works with hospitals in many cities and towns across the country. When you first meet with a staffer, you can ask which hospitals they work with, what specialties they place often, and for testimonials from current and past travel nurses they have found placements for.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Travel Nursing Destination

When deciding on a travel nursing destination, there are plenty of factors to consider. When doing your travel nursing research, you may already have a list of cities or regions that interest you, whether it is because of the weather, someplace you’ve never been, or a hospital you really want to work at. It is important to share this list with your travel nursing staffer if you have certain requirements or wants like these.

You will also need to consider nurse licensing. If you have a license from a state that is part of the enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC), you’ll be ready to take on nursing assignments in more than 30 states. Not having to worry about licensing can relieve some of the stress of preparing for a new assignment. However, some states will require you to obtain a temporary license.

When choosing a travel nursing destination, you should also consider the cost of living and your expected expenses. For example, travel nursing assignments in California may have higher pay; however, the cost of living is also more expensive. While this shouldn’t necessarily deter you from taking a certain assignment, it is important to consider when choosing a travel nursing destination.

Other factors you will want to think about are transportation and housing. Is there public transportation or will you need to drive? Sometimes you can find temporary housing close enough to the facility that you can walk. You will also have various housing options to choose from, and the travel nursing destination you choose may affect the amount you pay. 

Check out our blog Travel Nursing Housing 101 to learn more about different housing options as a travel nurse.

5 Popular Destinations for Travel Nursing in 2021

Now that we have gone over what you should consider when selecting your next travel nursing destination, we want to discuss the most popular travel nursing destinations in 2021. Even better, all but one of these states are part of the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC), so you will not need to worry about getting additional licenses, if you reside in any current eNLC state already. 

1.     California

The one state on our list that’s not part of the eNLC, but by far the state with the most demand for traveling nurses, is the Golden State. California has always been a state with a high job volume for nurses. With a number of large cities and plenty to do, it’s a popular choice among travel nurses. Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Palm Springs are all California cities seeing high demand for travel nurses. Depending on the specialty, California can be one of the best paying states to take assigments in as well. 

While there is undoubtedly a demand for nurses in California, it can also be a headache for travel nurses. You will need to get a temporary California nursing license before starting your assignment. Additionally, California's cost of living is higher than most other states, so despite the higher pay, this is something you’ll want to consider. Either way, who doesn’t have a little “California Dreaming” in them this time of year? 



2.     South Carolina

South Carolina provides the coastal lifestyle without the cost of expensive cities. Myrtle Beach and Greenville are both cities that are expected to see a lot of travel nursing job opportunities in 2021. Housing is affordable, and the cost of living in both cities is below the U.S. average. In addition to the low cost of living, the pay in South Carolina is also great. 



3.     Texas

Like California, Texas is always a popular destination for travel nurses, and there are many cities to choose from as the largest of the 48 contigous states. This year, the most sought-after Texas cities for travel nursing are Dallas, Houston, and Austin, each having plenty of opportunities to keep you busy on your days off. 



4.     Florida

Popular for the beautiful weather, Florida is a favorite among travel nurses. Sarasota and Miami are top cities seeking traveling nurses right now, which means you can spend your time off on the beach or enjoying the warm temperatures. Both cities are home to highly regarded healthcare systems. 



5.     West Virginia

With mountains, hiking trails, and national parks, West Virginia is a perfect destination for any travel nurse who loves the outdoors. Like other states, travel nurses in West Virginia can make great money. Combined with the reasonable cost of living, this has made West Virginia a popular choice for our travel nurses. West Virginia is yet another state that’s part of the eNLC, and you will get to work at pristine healthcare facilities. 



Questions on pay ranges on any of these states at all? Let’s talk. If you are looking for one of the best nurse travel companies, look no further than OneStaff Medical. Our team of staffers is dedicated to helping our traveling nurses find the perfect assignments, which includes their ideal destinations. To start working with our team today, give us a call at 877-783-1483.  

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