woman mediating on cliff over Pacific Ocean
Contract Nursing February 8, 2017

By Melissa Mills, RN, BSN, CCM, MHA

10 Best Travel Nursing Locations on the West Coast

Are you ready to try out life on the west coast? Some of the top travel nursing locations in the country are along the Pacific coast. 

Covering California, Oregon, and Washington, this part of the U.S. offers adventure, beauty, and unique living experiences in some of the best travel nursing locations.

You can find short term travel nursing assignments on the West Coast and enhance your nursing skills with travel nursing jobs at top facilities across the U.S.!

10 Best Travel Nursing Locations On The West Coast

Travel Nursing Jobs In California

1. Los Angeles

Spanish for “City of Angels,” Los Angeles is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, and bustling city center. Home of the famous Hollywood sign, Dolby Theatre, and Dodger’s Stadium, this city has something for everyone.

Some of the nation’s top healthcare facilities call Los Angeles home, making this one of the top travel nursing locations in the state.

2. Sacramento

The capital of California, Sacramento is one of the largest cities in the state. You can travel to historic Old Sacramento or soak up the contemporary “hipster” culture. 

Anywhere you go, you will relish the city’s rich history and modern amenities, and the sunny climate will keep you happy on your days off.

Home to some of the largest medical and research facilities in the state, Sacramento is one of the best travel nursing locations in the U.S.

3. San Diego

A seaside city on the coast of southern California, San Diego is about 120 miles south of Los Angeles and just north of Mexico. Unsurprisingly, this city has strong Spanish influences in its neighborhoods, foods, and cultural activities.  

Known for its climate, natural deep-water harbor, and extensive beaches, outdoorsy folks will be quite comfortable during a travel nursing assignment here.

With highly competitive salaries, San Diego is an ideal travel nursing location. And its wealth of activities and sunny days will keep you busy on your days off.   

4. San Francisco

Home to the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and many distinct neighborhoods, San Francisco has so much to offer no matter what interests you. 

With a mild climate and beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, outdoor living and activities are at their best in one of the top travel nursing locations. Some of the highest paid California nursing jobs can be found in San Francisco.

5. San Jose/Palo Alto/Santa Clara

This multi-city region is at the center of Silicon Valley, where the tech revolution began. With an affluent Spanish culture, this area offers a one-of-a-kind living experience.

San Jose is one of the most populous cities in California. Its prime location in the center of the Santa Clara Valley, on the southern shore of the San Francisco Bay, provides many work and life options for travel nurses.  

Travel Nursing Jobs In Oregon

6. Portland

A major port in the Willamette Valley region of the Pacific Northwest, Portland is known for its water access and timber industry. 

One of the world’s most environmentally conscious cities, Portland is highly walkable, being home to many parks, and it also holds a large community of bicyclists.

Nicknamed “Bridgetown“ due to the numerous bridges in the downtown area, this top travel nursing location is sure to please anyone at all interested in the outdoors.

7. Salem

The capital of Oregon is one of the best travel nursing locations on the West Coast. It is located in the center of the Willamette Valley, along the Willamette River. 

The coast range and Cascades, including Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, and Mount St. Helens, can be seen throughout the city on most clear days.

With an average annual temperature of 53 degrees Fahrenheit, this city sees some rain, but little snow. There are 18 neighborhoods to choose from and a wide variety of cultural events, such as the Reed Opera House.

Travel Nursing Jobs In Washington

8. Port Angeles

Named the Port of Our Lady of the Angels by a Spanish explorer, Port Angeles is the county seat of Clallam County and an excellent travel nursing location. 

Located on the north edge of the Olympic Peninsula along the Strait of Juan Fuca, Port Angeles is in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains.

The Pacific Ocean keeps the summer cool and the winter mild, allowing for year-round outdoor adventures, making it perfect for your next travel nursing assignment.

9. Seattle

This west coast seaport is known for the Space Needle, coffee shops, quirky neighborhoods, and fresh seafood. While you’re here in one of the best travel nursing locations, you can enjoy the outdoors, culture, and history in equal measure.

When you think of Seattle, you might think “rain,” but don't worry—you’ll be able to enjoy your days off! Full sun days average around 60 per year, and it's not raining constantly otherwise, which means there are still plenty of opportunities to take in the beautiful scenery of the region.

10. Vancouver

Not to be mistaken for a city of the same name in Canada, Vancouver, Washington, sits on the north bank of the Columbia River and is one of the largest suburbs of Portland, Oregon. 

It is the fourth largest city in the state of Washington and has undergone much revitalization in the past 20 years.

So what are you waiting for? Get ready for your next travel nursing adventure on the West Coast in one of these top travel nursing locations.

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