Andrew Wettengel / Friday, May 21, 2021 / Categories: Work World


With an aging population and high rates of burnout, the demand for nurses has never been higher, and the Midwest is no exception. While some travelers imagine themselves in major cities or along the scenic coastlines, Midwest travel nursing has many opportunities for career advancement, great pay and adventure. Plus, plenty of bucket lists cities (and Americana on your road trip) to cross off your travel career checklists.

As a proud Midwestern-based travel nursing agency, OneStaff has matched registered nurses from all across the country with travel nursing assignments in the region. With our resources for travel nurses and network of travel nursing work, our team helps resolve the nursing shortages in the Midwest with skilled nurses looking for both long- or short-term assignments. Whether you’re from the coasts, the south, or a local Midwesterner, explore your career opportunities and consider the pros and cons of  travel nursing in the Midwest. 

Pros of Travel Nursing in the Midwest

As a career, there are many benefits to being a travel nurse, from traveling across the country while maintaining full-time employment to opportunities to work in a new unit or nursing specialty. The Midwest region comes with its own benefits that you can’t get anywhere else in the country. 

Lower Cost of Living

When choosing a travel nursing assignment, it’s easy to imagine yourself in certain areas. While the big coastal cities and mountainous regions are exciting, the Midwest is an inviting, charming area that often gets overlooked. What makes it even more inviting to prospective travelers is the low cost of living.

In a recent economic study, 40 percent of the most affordable states in the United States came from the Midwest region. The lower cost of living translates to a lot more financial freedom for travel nurses in the area, including better housing opportunities, lower transportation costs, and a higher quality of life. Some Midwest travel nursing jobs offer a housing stipend, which goes much further than it might in other regions of the country.

The lower cost of living is not only found in the small farm towns the Midwest is known for. In Chicago, the biggest metro in the Midwest, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is roughly $1300 per month. For bigger cities like Los Angeles or New York City, you can easily expect to double your monthly rent for about the same space. 

If you want to get the most out of your travel nursing salary, consider Midwest travel nursing with OneStaff. Based in Omaha, (and a second office in Miamisburg, OH), you’ll work with our professional travel nursing agency to find your next assignment. We promise to bring our Midwestern work ethic to the table, daily, and gain your loyalty for all your travel nursing adventures. 

Close to Family and Friends

Some travelers choose to take on regional travel nursing assignments to stay close to family and friends. While it’s not common, it’s possible to have a lucrative career doing local travel nursing. There are many reasons why you might need to stay close to home while travel nursing like children, caring for a loved one, or just starting out your career, and local assignments give you that freedom. 

While local travel nursing is a viable option for a lot of nurses, there are some rules that most contracts enforce. You may have heard of the “50-mile rule,” where a nurse must travel at least 50 miles to be eligible for travel nurse assignments. Healthcare facilities add this rule to stop their nurses from applying. 

Fifty miles is the industry standard for eligibility on most assignments, but it all depends on your contract. Certain facilities and positions do not require it, while others might have a different standard. It’s best to check with your travel nursing agency to see if you’re eligible for local positions. 

Being a travel nurse will require you to travel, but that doesn’t mean you have to go halfway across the country. There are many communities in need of skilled nurses to fill openings, and some might be near you. When you work with OneStaff, our recruiters understand what you want to get out of your travel nursing experience and can match you with the right assignment. 

There's Still Plenty to See in the Midwest

Many people will argue that the Midwest doesn’t have anything to offer when it comes to sightseeing or adventure. We disagree, along with a lot of other Midwesterners. From the charm of a small town to the hustle of a big metro to many adventurous outdoor activities, the Midwest has something to offer almost anyone. 

Travel nurses can get the big city experience with a Midwest nursing assignment. While off the clock, you can tour around Chicago, catch a St. Louis Cardinals game, take the Boulevard Brewery beer tour in Kansas City, and so much more. Foodies have the luxury of a plethora of different distinctive midwestern cuisines, well worth the miles they put in. Our metros are filled with historic museums, lively nightlife, outdoor concerts, and so much more. While on the clock, you get to experience working in state-of-the-art healthcare facilities and hospitals with an inviting staff. 

If the big city isn’t for you, there are many small-town facilities in need of travel nurses too. You can enjoy picturesque farmlands, quaint towns, and a charming community during your Midwest travel nursing assignment. Get in touch with the recruiters at OneStaff or browse our travel nursing jobs today.

Allows You to Try Out Travel Nursing

The lower costs associated with living in the Midwest give nurses a great opportunity to try travel nursing as a career. Pursuing a travel nursing career is a big decision to make and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Many nurses that consider traveling would rather ease into it, and Midwest travel nursing provides that opportunity. 

The Midwest is cheaper to live in, centrally located for easier travel, friendly and charming, and still allows opportunities for travel. Travel nursing in the Midwest is a great starting opportunity to give nurses the experience of travel nursing without feeling isolated or a heavy financial burden. 

First-time travelers will have a lot of questions and concerns, and a midwestern travel nursing assignment offers a great opportunity to try it out for yourself. At OneStaff, our recruiters are a helpful resource for you throughout the entire experience. As the Midwest’s best travel nurse agency, you’ll know you’re in great hands with OneStaff. 

Cons of Travel Nursing in the Midwest

While there are many pros to travel nursing in the Midwest, it’s not without its drawbacks. Something to keep in mind when choosing your next travel nurse assignment is that no location will be perfect. Each assignment is different and comes with its own unique challenges. 

There Are Fewer Travel Opportunities

Travel nurses take on assignments to see as much of the world as possible. While the Midwest has a unique charm you can’t find elsewhere, there are limited travel opportunities when compared to other parts of the country. The Midwest is more spread out, so what was a short drive between major cities or states is typically further in the Midwest. There are still many opportunities to experience adventures in the Midwest during your stay, but you’ll need to consider the added time when planning any trips. 

You'll Still Need to Organize Housing

As we mentioned before, the Midwest is one of the most affordable regions in the United States, especially for housing. Travel nurse housing is always a hot topic, but the Midwest offers a lot more housing options, typically for a lot less than in coastal cities. While you can get a lot more for a lot less, you’ll oftentimes still need to organize housing yourself. 

At OneStaff, our housing department is dedicated to finding suitable housing options for you that work with your budget. We have long-standing relationships and discounts with many major hotel chains and extended stays, plus we offer assistance with searching for a rental property. 

You May Not Make as Much Money

Due to the Midwest’s affordability, salaries aren’t as high as you would expect in other parts of the country. Healthcare facilities still offer a higher contracted salary than a full-time nurse’s wage; however, this isn’t always as high as the salaries offered in the more expensive areas. Our metro healthcare facilities typically offer salaries that are competitive with the country’s more expensive areas, though. 

Your salary is all dependent on your contract. Higher need units or specialties may still offer competitive salaries compared to more expensive cities. If you’re considering travel nursing in the Midwest, don’t be shocked if the contracted salary isn’t as high as other places in the country. It typically balances out once you take into account the price difference and cost of living of the Midwest, but that may be something to consider. 

Whether you’re considering Midwest travel nursing or want to travel all across the country, you need a travel nursing agency that fulfills your needs. OneStaff’s team of recruiters take the time to understand what you want to get out of your travel nursing experience to find your perfect assignment.

If you’re ready to start your career as a travel nurse, contact OneStaff Medical today at 877-783-1483. 

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