Whether you’re new to travel nursing or taking a fresh look at your career after a stressful year, summer is coming and it’s time to get excited about new assignments. Where do you want to go next on your perfect summer travel assignment?

The adventure has changed for travel nurses over the past years and a lot of professionals are looking for something different. COVID-19 exacerbated the existing nursing shortage and that’s changed the dynamics within the system. Plus, the growing number of states who’ve passed some form of Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC) legislation is also opening doors for RNs, LVNs, and other medical professionals to work in the state they choose. 

Even as pressures on the healthcare system ease and the number of fully vaccinated Americans goes up, it will be some time before things settle back to some sort of normal. 

In the interim, facilities have turned to bonuses, hazard pay, and other perks in a bid to attract nurses with the type of experience they need. Many systems are rethinking their staffing models and looking at how they recruit and hold onto nursing staff. That makes it a great time to get out and explore new opportunities! Here’s a look at some of the best locations for travel nurses this summer.

How to choose a summer travel assignment?

In pre-pandemic times, the priorities were typically salary, shifts, and career advancements. These incentives are still key, but a lot of travelers are looking for something different: More breathing room, new opportunities to socialize, or perhaps something a little closer to family.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Short-term goals: What are your top priorities for the coming season?
  • Long-term goals: What type of position or experience would best support your career goals?
  • Work environment: Should you aim for a large city with larger facilities or hold out for a more rural area that might give you more downtime?
  • Budget: Do you want to prioritize a high salary? More affordable living conditions? Other perks, such as a bonus or tax-free stipend?
  • Lifestyle: How do you want to spend your downtime? How do you feel about the summer heat?

Once you have the information you need about travel assignments, you can start your search! Here are a few cities to look out for.

Our top summer travel assignment locations for healthcare pros

Phoenix, AZ

Highlights: Iconic national parks, outdoor adventure, affordable cost of living

Yes, summer in Phoenix can be hot—but don’t let that scare you away from this friendly desert city! The state of Arizona has a lot to offer, particularly for travel nurses who love the outdoors. From access to national treasures like the Grand Canyon and the Petrified Forest, to great hikes you can do without leaving the city, to world-class golf and a Major League Baseball team, Phoenix can be an unforgettable assignment. And if you do need a break from the hot and sunny days, you can quickly escape to higher-altitude cities like Flagstaff, Prescott, and Sedona. 

Burbank, CA

Highlights: Movie studios, energetic city life, nearby beaches

If you love warm and sunny weather, set your sights on Burbank. shines with some of the best that urban SoCal has to offer. Located in the San Fernando Valley, it’s some of the best that urban SoCal has to offer with easy access to LA, Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Venice Beach. It’s a dream for movie lovers: Visit the studios, recreate your favourite moments from hit movies and TV shows, get tickets for current productions like The Ellen Show, or just keep an eye out for stars while you embrace city life.

Denver, CO

Highlights: Outdoor activities, pro sports teams, art

Denver is a city where life happens outdoors; its pleasantly cooler summer weather and proximity to the Rocky Mountains are sure to bring a breath of fresh air. You can go whitewater rafting on the Colorado River, take your mountain bike into the hills, or catch concerts at one of the spectacular outdoor venues. In the city, there’s something for everyone: the NFL Broncos and MLB Rockies will be playing throughout the summer, and the nice weather will give you lots of time to enjoy Denver’s diverse art scene, which includes some of the best street art in the country.

Philadelphia, PA

Highlights: Iconic U.S. history, bike friendly, weekend getaways

As a destination, Philadelphia has a bit of a lower profile than other destinations—but that’s starting to change. And if you’re a travel nurse looking for a diverse East Coast experience, it’s the perfect city to temporarily call home. Philly is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S., which gives you a perfect way to explore its unique neighborhoods and a history that goes all the way back to our country’s roots—including its first hospital. For a weekend getaway, places like New York City and the Jersey Shore are a short drive away.

Austin, TX

Highlights: Live music, trendy restaurants, outdoor activities

There’s a reason why Austin is the fastest-growing area in the U.S. and a standard on almost every travel list. It’s renowned for its dynamic and trend-setting restaurants, its wide network of parks and lakes, and—of course—it’s culture and live music. It also has good weather year-round, but the summer months are a particularly ideal time to explore its spring-fed swimming holes, go boating on Lake Travis, eat plenty of Texas BBQ, and catch the Congress Avenue Bridge urban bat colony in action.


As travelers know, our country is full of the unexpected. Some places attract people with the promise of a unique adventure, and sometimes you need to find it yourself. Still wondering whether travel nursing is right for you? Learn more about how it works.

Whatever experience you’re looking forward to this summer, we hope these cities will spark new ideas and lead you toward a summer you won’t forget!