Cooler Weather, PSLs and a Brand New City
There are great benefits to travel as a nursing professional in the fall! What better time is there to check out some of the best travel nursing locations than now? When the leaves are painting art and cooler temperatures make outings more enjoyable. As a travel nurse, you have the unique opportunity to explore new places, meet fascinating people, and discover lots of hidden gems all while helping others.
As you get ready for your next travel assignment, it’s important to think about the season you’ll be in when you begin (and end). If you have a transfer on the horizon, you’re in luck! The fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year. There’s a fresh feel to the air, which is only amplified by the prospect of moving to a brand-new city, full of potential and possibility.
Why Plan Your Next Nurse Assignment in the Fall?
- Get ahead of the game by planning your next travel nursing assignment now so that you can preplan for the holidays and family visits.
- With seasonal needs, hospitals know that the area will experience a population increase (or decrease) during a certain time of year. They post jobs – and hire travel nurses! – earlier and give you more time to plan ahead.
- Higher demand = higher pay. States with colder weather and harsher climates offer higher pay rates in the fall and winter months. Make sure to plan now and talk to a recruiter about getting placed asap because prime locations and higher pay rates go first and go fast!
Try to iron out all of the details about your fall nursing assignment as soon as possible including contract dates, shift times, travel, transportation and healthcare housing. Leaving things up in the air can be freeing, but you may want to spend time with family, friends, or loved ones as the festivities become more frequent. If you know your important dates now, you can share them with others so they’ll know when you’ll be in town. Or, they can make plans to visit you and enjoy the holidays!
Extending Through the Winter
Snowbirds travel south for the winter so hospitals and facilities are in higher demand for nursing professionals during the winter months. Many traveling nurses will purposely find contracts in the warmer weather as well! But what does that mean for those colder states that are losing healthcare staff to the warmer weather? You guessed it! Select facilities in harsher climates will increase their pay rates and offer more flexibility because they are also in more demand.
Love the cooler temperatures, piles of leaves, and Pumpkin Spice Lattes that you find in the fall, but not so eager to spend the winter in an especially chilly spot?
Book your fall assignment now so that when the weather turns cold, you can extend your contract in a warmer climate! There are lots of states where it stays warm and comfortable nearly all year round, including Florida, Texas, California, and Arizona. If your idea of the perfect winter is lying on the beach and perfecting your tan, look for somewhere that can help you keep that glow.
Of course, if you prefer the cold, then you may want to head where it’s even more brisk! Cold-winter states offer an abundance of outdoor activities that can keep you occupied and entertained all season long. From Wyoming and Wisconsin to Vermont and even Alaska, there are plenty of places for you to explore.
As you research possible places to extend your travel RN assignment through the winter, keep your budget in mind and remember that the cost of living can change in each location depending on the season. For instance, if you’re heading to Jackson Hole during the winter, you can expect to pay more due to the influx of tourist-related travel.
Top Fall Locations for a Traveling Nurse
It’s important (and fun) to think about the travel nurse experience you want to curate. If you’re all about the fall and don’t mind slightly cooler temperatures, then go where you can get a true taste of the season and autumn foliage.
For Full on Fall
The following locations are perfectly fall-esque and are the more popular assignment locations for travel nurses this time of year. If you want to embrace sweater weather in all its glory, think about heading to these cities:
- Asheville, NC
- New Haven, CT
- Roanoke, VA
- Bar Harbor, ME
- Gatlinburg, TN
At each of these locations, you can find festivals, fairs, and plenty of places to take in the fall scenery. Visit Yale University in New Haven, get your spook on at a haunted Bar Harbor Ghost Tour, and visit the Biltmore House in Asheville when it’s surrounded in shades of auburn and gold. Everywhere you look, there’s a postcard moment waiting to happen just for you.
For Colder Temperatures
Are you a travel RN that wants to head to a place where the weather is bound to turn frigid after all the leaves fall? If skiing and snowboarding are some of your favorite pastimes, you might prefer to work someplace where you’re sure to see your breath, and maybe even snowy holiday celebrations!
Some of the top cold-weather spots for nurses traveling in the fall include:
- Boston, MA
- New York, NY
- Chicago, IL
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Seattle, WA
Go ice skating at Chicago’s Millennial Park, take a Jeep tour through Colorado’s Pike’s Peak region, or bask in the sight of Times Square preparing for the holidays. You might be shivering, but your heart will be warm.
For Fun in the Sun
If you’re a nurse looking for an assignment that would rather skip the cold altogether and head somewhere that stays sunny around the clock, here are the top warm-weather destinations:
- Sacramento, CA
- Tampa, FL
- Phoenix, AZ
- Arlington, TX
- Honolulu, HI
Cheer on the Sacramento State Hornets, take a pedal cab tour through downtown Phoenix, or attend a luau just steps from the ocean. These cities offer mild, temperate weather that lets you do it all.
Keep in mind that while these warmer locales might be pleasant during the fall, they won’t exactly be empty. Many snowbirds who live in colder climates the rest of the year flock to places like Florida, Texas, and California when they want to escape the chill of their hometown and soak up the rays someplace sunnier.
Create a Sense of Home with Seasonal Favorites
Fall offers so many fun activities to squeeze into your busy schedule, but only a limited amount of free time. This is especially the case if you’re the new travel nurse in town.
If you’re in healthcare, you know how important those moments of personal exploration and freedom can be between your long and demanding shifts. Therefore, it’s so important to celebrate the season BIG, and indulge in all of the fall favorites you can only get during this time of year.
Start with pumpkin EVERYTHING: muffins, pancakes, pies, scones, seeds, cookies, bread, and bars! If you’re a coffee drinker, we suggest starting with the ever popular Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks! You can even try to make your own PSL with this step-by-step recipe to create a taste of fall right at home.
For something a little heartier, plan to make some of your favorite seasonal meals. Autumn dinners tend to be warm, hearty, and filling, and they’re especially delicious after a long day’s work in nursing. Think soups, bisques, and chilis revitalizing you for the busy workweek ahead.
Once you’ve wrapped your hands around a warm mug or bowl of something delicious, make a mental note of all the other fall trends you can embrace! Start by decking out your living space with pumpkin-scented candles, harvest-themed centerpieces, and cozy knits in your favorite neutrals. Then, put on a spooky movie (or the big ballgame), stir up this easy autumn trail mix, and relax.
Find Local Fall Activities
Fall is loaded with seasonal favorites and activities for travel nurses such as pumpkin patches, fall sports, colorful hikes, holiday parties, and delicious eats.
One of the best parts about being a travel RN is the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to get out and explore. Sometimes, it’s easy to know exactly how to spend your spare time. For instance, if you love hiking, you may plan to spend all season trekking around the Great Smoky Mountains or Acadia National Park.
Other times, you may arrive in a new city and feel a little lost. That’s OK! With a little sleuth work, you can usually uncover lots of fun events and activities happening right in your backyard.
Start with your city’s official websiteor local community center. Many local sites will offer digital community boards filled with events and activities. This is a great place to find a local calendar, where you can learn about everything from hayrides and bonfires to festivals and leaf tours. Pencil in a few that sound interesting and make plans to go!
You can also check online for more information on local sports schedules. You’ll really feel like a resident as you cheer on the hometown professional sports team or local university!
Where Will You Work This Fall?
The end of summer is always bittersweet. We reluctantly say goodbye to long days at the beach and evenings spent outdoors, but there is also a sense of excitement in the air as we start to think about the possibilities of fall and all those beautiful fall colors.
Travel nurses have the distinct advantage of being able to work and make money in places that others can only visit on vacation. If you’re planning to take on a nursing assignment in a brand-new city this autumn, use these tips to help you prepare and pump up for your next travel adventure!
These are only a few of the in-demand places where you can travel this fall with many more to discover. Whether you want to kayak on Lake Tahoe, explore the coffee culture in the Pacific Northwest, or visit Disney World on your days off, we’ve got you covered.