This week’s edition of the Traveler’s Guide to Nursing and Allied Health explores 5 Red-Hot winter travel assignment destinations.
It’s almost time to turn back the clocks and end daylight savings. Shorter days and longer nights accompanied by dropping temperatures send many travel nurses and allied health professionals to the sunny confines of South Florida and Southern California. But as you think about where to book your next assignment, consider the benefits of a cold-weather locale.
Here’s a look at some of the hottest spots to enjoy a winter weather travel assignment.
The largest city in Vermont is only 45 miles from the Canada-U.S. border and 95 miles south of Montreal. A college town, Burlington is home to Champlain College and the University of Vermont and is known for its liberal environment.
Vermont is a top destination for fall foliage but is also popular for its ski resorts. Enthusiasts can visit Stowe Mountain Resort, Smugglers’ Notch Resort, and Sugarbush Resort outside Burlington. All three open in November and offer skiing through mid-April. Residents can also go ice skating on “wild” ice−an actual lake at Arthur Park instead of an artificial rink.
Burlington is home to the state’s largest and top-ranked hospital, the University of Vermont Medical Center, and though Burlington is a small town, the cost of living there is slightly higher than the U.S. average.
New York Metro Area
Is there a better place to spend the festive winter season than New York City? The Big Apple is full of iconic holiday activities such as the world-famous lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and of course, the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square.
Home to some of the top medical facilities on the East Coast, including Mount Sinai, NYU Langone Medical Center, and New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, New York is a sought-after location for many travel nurses and allied health professionals.
Still, New York is the most expensive city for renters, with the average price for a one-bedroom fluctuating between $3,950 in Manhattan to $1500 on Staten Island, according to bankrate.com. But the city provides plenty of activities to compensate for the high prices. There’s Broadway, museums, shopping, and restaurants, plus sports fans are never at a loss for a good game with the Jets, Giants, Knicks, Nets, Rangers, and Islanders playing.
America’s least populated state, with just six residents per square mile, is an outdoor paradise in the winter months. Some of the country’s most popular attractions, such as Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton, are just a short drive from Cheyenne. Wyoming has some of the best powder in the west at Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee Resort, Snow King Resort, and Hogadon Basin. Jackson Hole is skewed towards intermediate and advanced skiers and averages 38 feet of snow annually. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and snow tubing are also popular activities.
The cost of living in Cheyenne is significantly lower than in other cities. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $889. Food, utilities, and transportation are also comparatively low. There are several medical facilities in the area, but Cheyenne Regional Medical Center ranks as the city’s top facility and was given the highest rating by U.S. News for treating heart failure patients.
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
A winter in the Twin Cities may sound a little daunting, but with the proper clothing, travel nurses and allied professionals may find this northern destination the perfect outdoor playground. The Wild ice hockey team, the Vikings football team, and the Timberwolves basketball team all play during winter. Minnehaha Falls, the Winter Carnival, and Ice Castles Minnesota are also popular attractions. And when you’re ready to get in from the cold but still want to venture out, you can use the Minneapolis Skyway System. A series of indoor pathways stretching 9.5 miles, connecting 80 city blocks.
Minneapolis is slightly more expensive than St. Paul, with a one-bedroom apartment averaging $1273. Abbot Northwestern Hospital is ranked the best medical facility in the area by U.S. News & World Report and the second-best in the state.
Not convinced? Then consider Charleston, South Carolina, Pensacola, Florida, or Tucson, Arizona. All of these cities enjoy mild average temperatures but won’t be as expensive or as competitive to secure an assignment as Miami, Phoenix, or San Diego. Rents in Pensacola are 12 percent less than the state average, and the cost of living in Tucson is 7.9 percent lower than in Phoenix. And while Charleston may be expensive compared to other South Carolina cities, housing, utilities, food, transportation, and healthcare are all lower than the national average.