You have the unique opportunity to experience scenic destinations across the nation as a professional travel nurse. Whether you’ve been hibernating through the brisk winter weather in a warm climate along the West Coast or you’ve been making snowmen in the Midwest, the perfect weather of a spring healthcare travel assignment is right around the corner. As you consider where to go next, check out these top five spring locations for travel nurses.
No. 1: California
Photo courtesy of visitcalifornia.com
California’s need for nurses
The nursing shortage has made an impact in nearly every state in the U.S., including California. In fact, the University of California in San Francisco’s (UCSF) Health Workforce Research Center on Long-Term Care recently assessed the current and future supply and demand of registered nurses (RNs) and found there will be a significant shortfall of RNs over the course of the next five years. It’s estimated that the California shortage sits at around 40,567 full-time equivalent RNs, which is a 13.6 percent gap that’s expected to continue until 2026. Plus, data from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) shows the system’s average nurse vacancy rate of 9.9 percent. At 9.25 nurses per capita, it’s safe to say California needs you, travel nurse.
What to do in California in the spring
While you’re in California for your spring assignment, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the sites. Here are some ideas on what to do in California in the springtime:
- Visit wine country. It’s no secret that California is home to some of the world’s best wineries and vineyards are beautiful and vibrant during the spring. Look up local wineries near your assignment and spend an afternoon wine tasting.
- Explore national parks. From Yosemite, the Redwood National Forest, Joshua Tree, and more, California is full of several natural parks to enjoy. Marvel at the world’s largest tree in the Redwood Forest, frolic through wildflower field in Yosemite, and admire the desert blossoms at Joshua Tree. No matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong.
- Visit tourist attractions. Whether you’re into theme parks or world-famous zoos, California has it all. Spend time at Six Flags, Disneyland, or Knott’s Berry Farm or as the weather warms up, visit the San Diego zoo to see the animals as they start becoming more active after the winter.
- Tune in for a meteor shower. The Lyrid meteor shower is a dance of shooting stars that comes around every April. You see the meteor shower firsthand from Big Sur, Mendocino, Death Valley, and along Highway 395.
- Go whale-watching. With spring comes the migration of gray whales. As these majestic giants make their annual swim from warm water in Mexico to cooler climates in Alaska, they pass along the California coast, which gives you the perfect opportunity to watch as they go by.
Find California travel nursing jobs.
No. 2: Texas
Photo courtesy of traveltexas.com
Texas’ need for nurses
Like healthcare facilities across the U.S., many Texas hospitals are running out of or have run out of available beds in their intensive care units (ICUs). Not only that, but Texas will face a shortage of most types of nurses, like licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), nurse practitioners (NPs), and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) until 2032.
Over the next decade, the demand for nurses will continue to rise and is expected to increase by nearly 50 percent. Currently, with 23,000 more unfilled RN jobs in Texas than nurses who are seeking to fill them, travel nurse are extremely needed in Texas.
What to do in Texas in the spring
Spring is one of the best times of the year in Texas. So, while you’re there, check out these fun springtime Texas activities:
- Pick the wildflowers. It may surprise you to learn that native wildflowers like bluebonnets, Indian blankets, and Indian paintbrushes thrive in Texas. The peak bloom starts in March and can last as long as May, depending on the year. To get the full experience, visit farms and gardens like Wildseed Farms and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Or head over to the “Bluebonnet Capital of Texas,” otherwise known as Burnet, Texas.
- Soak in the spring weather with a camping trip. Even if you’re not usually the outdoorsy, camping-type, springtime in Texas is the perfect time to try it out. Take a break from the hot summer weather and the cold, wet winter weather and relax in the ideal climate. If you’re looking for popular places to camp in Texas, look no further than Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Big Bend National Park, and Garner State Park.
- Treat yourself to a native delicacy, crawfish. You may have heard of it as crayfish, crawdads, water lobsters, or something else. No matter what you know it as, spring is crawfish season, so take time to treat yourself to the Texan cuisine. For even more fun, check out the Texas Crawfish and Music Festival that’s hosted every April in Spring, Texas.
- Celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Mexican culture is alive and well throughout Texas, so why not embrace the Latino heritage and celebrate Cinco de Mayo. You won’t want to miss out on the biggest Cinco de Mayo festival in Houston, Texas.
Find Texas travel nursing jobs.
No. 3: New York
Photo courtesy of iloveny.com
New York’s need for nurses
There’s no better time to experience the Big Apple than in the spring, especially if you’re a travel nurse. On the whole, New York averages 12.25 nurses per capita, which is slightly above the national average of 12.06. By 2030, it’s projected there will be a shortage of more than 39,000 RNs in New York.
“As healthcare systems struggle to meet new recruitment and retention challenges, they’re also struggling to meet the high patient volume we’re seeing from our communities,” said a St. Peter’s Health Partners spokesperson. “Many healthcare systems have been forced to rely on external sources such as agencies to fill the gaps caused by staffing shortages. This places a significant strain on today’s healthcare system.”
Do what you can to make a difference in New York’s healthcare system and find travel nursing jobs in New York.
What to do in New York in the spring
New York has much to offer outside of Central Park and the Statue of Liberty. Ditch the common tourist attractions, and instead, experience the real New York.
- Attend the annual Orchid Show. Each year, the New York Botanical Garden hosts the Orchid Show, where thousands of orchids transform the area. This year, the show will feature a kaleidoscope of color by artist, Jeff Leatham. Starting February 26th and ending May 1st, this year’s show will be unlike any other.
- Go to a baseball game. If you’re into peanuts and Cracker Jacks, then you’ll be happy to know that spring marks the official return of the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. So, enjoy a nice spring day at the baseball stadium cheering for your favorite team.
- Experience the Macy’s Flower Show. You know it’s springtime when the blooming flowers start to take over the outdoors. Every spring, Macy’s hosts a two-week-long show with nearly one million flowers, plants, and trees to appreciate the groundbreaking florals of the season.
Find New York travel nursing jobs.
No. 4: Florida
Photo courtesy of visitflorida.com
Florida’s need for nurses
As one of the largest states in the U.S. and a top state for the rampant coronavirus, Florida has been named the state with the highest nursing shortage in the country, according to a report by Registered Nursing. By 2035, it’s projected that only 59,100 nurses will be employed throughout all of Florida because turnover rates have been 25 percent higher than the last year.
To help out, take your travel nursing talents to Florida and offer your expertise to patients in need. And here’s what you can do while you’re there.
What to do in Florida in the spring
- Take a dip in a natural spring. Being in Florida, you’re spoiled for your choice of swimming holes. Not only does the state have more than 700 natural freshwater springs, but Florida is also home to several state parks that offer the best views of these springs. For crystal clear water and exclusive mermaid shows, head over to the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Or if cascading waterfalls are your thing, then visit Rainbow Springs State Park. If you’re traveling with the family, experience the family-friendly diving dock at Blue Springs Park.
- Sunbathe on the beach. Of course, Florida is full of sandy white beaches that you won’t want to miss out on. For some of the best landscapes, check out Siesta Key, Clearwater, and Fort Walton. Then, Vero Beach, Amelia Island, and Delray Beach feature quiet beaches and sparkling waters from the Atlantic Coast. However, if you want to collect colorful seashell treasures, then you’ll want to go to Sanibel and Captiva Island, Marco Island, or Caladesi and Honeymoon Island.
- Hike a scenic trail. With over 360,000 acres of land, Florida doesn’t lack outdoorsy adventures. Make your way through the largest scrub forest of Ocala National Forest and make your way to Juniper Springs. Or explore dam caves loaded with million-year-old stalagmites and stalactites in Florida Caverns State Park.
Find Florida travel nursing jobs.
No. 5: Washington
Photo courtesy of stateofwatourism.com
Washington’s need for nurses
Last on the list of high-paying travel nursing spring destinations is Washington state. Currently, there are 2,957 travel nurses working in the state to try to alleviate the need for more nurses, but still, there are 3,143 open nursing positions. According to a Washington State Hospital Association study, about 6,100 nurses are needed to fill vacancies across the state. Between 2019 and 2021, the average duration of an open RN position increased by 54 percent, exacerbating the nursing shortage in Washington. So, take your skills to the road and spend your spring healthcare travel assignment in the “evergreen state.”
What to do in Washington in the spring
While you’re enjoying the perfect Washington springtime weather, spend time sight-seeing, hiking outdoors, and more. Here are some of the top Washington activities for the spring:
- Sign up for a bus tour. When it comes to sight-seeing, Washington has many places worth visiting. Sign up for a bus tour and spend a day experiencing different scenic destinations across the state. For example, you could get to know the beautiful city of Seattle or wine taste on a Snoqalmie Falls and Seattle winery tour.
- Explore the great outdoors. With Mount Rainer National Park, Olympic National Park, the Cascade Mountains, and more, there’s plenty of outdoor places to adventure through. If you’re less into hiking and more into sight-seeing, get the best of both worlds and whale watch from Friday Harbor.
- Taste-test your way through the state. With several exquisite cuisine options, you won’t want to miss out. Take a chef-guided tour of Pike Place Market or visit Seattle’s local fish store and learn how to make the perfect sushi roll.
Find Washington travel nursing jobs.
Did you know spring is the nation’s most-loved season of the year? Perhaps it’s because the snow has finally melted, but the summer sun hasn’t quite made its grand debut. Now that spring has rolled around, use Fusion Marketplace to find jobs these top destinations for your next travel nursing assignment.