Follow the Snowbirds: Why Travel Nurses Should Head to Warmer States

Author: Coast Medical Service

Posted: September 29, 2023


As an experienced travel nurse, you’ve likely braved the chill of winter and felt the weight of seasonal affective disorder as your scrubs become just another layer against the cold. But have you ever considered swapping those winter blues for sunnier skies? Just as snowbirds migrate south for the winter, travel nurses also have the golden opportunity to relocate to warmer states like California, Arizona, Florida, and Texas, where year-round activities and warmer climates await.

Outdoor Activities Year-Round

What if we told you that your days off could be filled with hiking, camping, beach outings, and outdoor shopping regardless of the calendar date? One of the most compelling reasons to consider taking an assignment in warmer states is the broad range of outdoor activities available all year. You can hike through the scenic landscapes of Arizona, fish in the abundant waters of Florida, or even engage in some outdoor retail therapy in California’s famed shopping districts. Not only do these activities serve as excellent stress relievers, but the consistently warm weather means you won’t have to ‘hibernate’ and miss out on fun experiences.


Boost Your Work-Life Balance

Local Farmers Markets: Experience local culture and cuisineWhen you’re stationed in states with harsh winters, even a simple trip to the grocery store can become a monumental task. Tough winters can be mentally draining, and dealing with layers of snow and ice makes even the simplest outdoor activities a hassle. Imagine clocking out and heading straight for a sunset beach walk in Florida or a scenic mountain trail in Arizona. The pleasant weather makes it easier to engage in physical activities, which is proven to improve your mood and overall mental health. Warmer locations provide a natural way to de-stress and recharge, improving not just your leisure time but also your performance at work.


Hidden Gems Await

While popular attractions draw the most attention, each of these warmer states offers hidden gems that travel nurses can explore. Maybe it’s a secluded beach in Florida that tourists haven’t overrun or a quiet fishing spot in Texas where you can unwind. These lesser-known locations offer solitude and a chance to engage with the local culture more intimately.


Professional Benefits: More than Just Sunshine

Apart from the immediate joys of a sunny climate, these warmer states also offer unique professional experiences. Florida, with its large senior population, offers the chance to specialize in geriatric care. Texas and California are known for their state-of-the-art medical facilities, providing opportunities to specialize and grow your career. Additionally, the diverse patient demographics offer a rich cultural experience that will broaden your professional skills.Geriatric Care: Specialize in elder care in Florida



Professional Benefits: A Sense of Community

Though this aspect may not be the first thing that comes to mind, warmer states generally offer a strong sense of community among allied healthcare professionals. Frequent community events and meetups are more feasible due to the pleasant weather, making it easier to network and build relationships within the industry.


A Few Locations to Consider

Choosing a city within these warmer states can significantly shape your travel nursing experience. Cities like San Diego offer the perfect blend of outdoor activities and cultural landmarks. Austin, known for its vibrant music and food scenes, offers a plethora of entertainment options that can fill your days off with fun and discovery. Phoenix and Orlando provide a wide range of professional opportunities along with a high quality of life.




Tips for Making the Move

If you’re tired of spending your winters layered up and shoveling snow, consider these tips for making a seamless transition:

  • Research the Destination: Know the cost of living and what the state offers in terms of activities and professional opportunities.
  • Seek Recommendations: Connect with other travel nurses who have worked in these states to get the inside scoop.
  • Plan for Continuous Education: Look into state requirements for keeping up with your nursing credentials.
  • Pack Smart: You’ll need less winter gear, but don’t underestimate the power of the sun. Pack plenty of sunscreen!
  • Be Open to New Experiences: This is your chance to shake up your routine and enrich both your personal and professional life.


Explore the Sunshine State: Florida

Orlando, Florida

Florida isn’t just about amusement parks and beaches, although those are fantastic places to start. Consider exploring the natural springs like Ichetucknee or Silver Glen for some freshwater snorkeling and tubing. The Florida Keys offer a unique environment for kayaking and underwater exploration.

  • Ichetucknee Springs: Freshwater tubing
  • Silver Glen Springs: Snorkeling
  • Florida Keys: Kayaking and scuba diving
  • Everglades National Park: Airboat tours and bird-watching


Discover the Desert Beauty: Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Arizona offers far more than its iconic Grand Canyon. Sedona is a haven for spiritual relaxation and hiking, with trails like the Devil’s Bridge offering panoramic views. The state also has a series of beautiful lakes like Lake Havasu, perfect for boating and fishing.

  • Sedona: Hiking and spiritual journeys
  • Devil’s Bridge: Panoramic views
  • Lake Havasu: Boating and fishing
  • Saguaro National Park: Discover the giant cacti and desert wildlife


Lone Star Adventures: Texas

Austin, Texas

Texas provides a unique blend of natural and urban adventures. Enjoy the live music scene in Austin or go river tubing in the Guadalupe River. Big Bend National Park offers remote wilderness and night skies perfect for stargazing.

  • Austin: Live music and food trucks
  • Guadalupe River: River tubing and camping
  • Big Bend National Park: Hiking and stargazing
  • Padre Island National Seashore: Bird-watching and beach activities

Embrace the SoCal Lifestyle: Southern California

Southern California

Southern California isn’t just about Hollywood glamor. From surfing in Malibu to hiking in Joshua Tree National Park, there are a variety of outdoor activities to keep you exploring and engaged with nature. Don’t forget to explore the vineyards in Temecula for some wine tasting.

  • Malibu: Surfing and beach volleyball
  • Joshua Tree National Park: Hiking and rock climbing
  • Temecula: Wine tasting and hot air balloon rides
  • Catalina Island: Snorkeling and zip-lining

As you embark on your next travel nursing assignment, consider destinations that offer not just career growth but also a fulfilling lifestyle. With year-round outdoor activities and diverse professional opportunities, these warmer locations are perfect for a life of adventure, exploration, and well-rounded personal and professional development.

Come check our Job Board and find the perfect job in some warmer locations!

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