Make California Your Next Travel Nursing Destination

California is a big state with lots to do. Overall, it has the world’s 5th largest economy, national parks, diverse climates, and some of the best travel nursing jobs in the country. Why not try a new assignment somewhere exciting in California?

Benefits of Travel Nursing in California


Some people really enjoy warm sunny days, while others are more comfortable bundling up by a fire. Luckily, there is something for everyone in California. Due to the size of the state, you can drive from hot deserts and warm beaches to cool forests and mountains, depending on where you want to be.

You can enjoy relatively mild summers in the Humboldt Bay region around Eureka, or the elevated climate of Mammoth in the Sierra Nevada mountains. There’s also the extreme heat of Death Valley, one of the hottest regions in the world.

There are many well-known attractions in California. Aside from Hollywood, California is home to the Pacific Coast Highway, Yosemite National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Alcatraz Island, The Golden Gate Bridge, Lake Tahoe, and of course, Disneyland, among other things.

Travel Nursing Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2020, California is the highest-paying state for registered nurses. The top-paying metropolitan areas for travel nursing are all beautiful California locations as well according to ZipRecruiter. These locations are also home to some of the top healthcare facilities in the country.

Yes, the cost of living in California is above average. However, with the overall value placed on healthcare workers, it’s still profitable to live and work in the state. As a travel nurse, you can test out multiple areas to decide which one best fits your needs.

Safe Ratios

Did you know that California is the only state in the country to require a nurse-to-patient ratio by law? That means there is a specific number of nurses covering patients based on acuity. The law requires hospitals to provide one nurse for every two patients in intensive care and one nurse for every four patients in emergency rooms. With these requirements, there is a better chance for nurses to really focus on their patients and to prevent unsafe conditions or burnout.

These ratios are upheld at some of the top medical facilities in the country. According to the US News and World Report’s “2020-21 Best Hospitals Honor Roll and Medical Specialties Rankings,” five of the top 20 are in California.

Desirable Locations for Travel Nurses

  • Redding: Redding is the “trails capital of California” with 225 miles of trails within a 15-mile radius of downtown. It’s famous for cycling, kayaking, and fishing. So, if you are an outdoor enthusiast, Redding might be the perfect place for your next assignment.
  • Sacramento: As the capital of California, Sacramento is a hub of culture, history, and food. Aside from the local breweries, colorful street murals, and Gold Rush-era family attractions, the city is also known for its farm-to-fork style restaurants. Sacramento is the perfect place for a foodie or history buff.
  • San Francisco: Speaking of history… did you know that San Francisco’s cable cars are the only national historical monument that can move? San Francisco is home to some amazing sites, from the Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz. If you are interested in a milder climate and bustling city, maybe this is the perfect place for you.
  • Oakland: This is the perfect spot in the middle of everything. Just across the bay from San Francisco, Oakland is a great launching point for a working tourist. Visit the Redwoods, Jack London Square, or soak up some of the Victorian architecture and boutiques.
  • Modesto: Home to the largest winery in the world, E & J Gallo Winery. Modesto happens to be geographically at the heart of California. In addition to a large agricultural industry, they are also known as a very pet-friendly place. So, if you have a four-legged traveling companion and love wine, this is the perfect location for you.
  • Bakersfield: Country music fans do not have to stay in the South. Bakersfield is known as the country music capital of the West Coast. Bakersfield is the perfect base to explore various attractions nearby. You’ll find wildlife preserves, history museums, and outdoor recreation all within driving distance.
  • Los Angeles: Last on the list, but far from least, is Los Angeles. LA is home to Hollywood, Disneyland, countless celebrities, and three of the top-ranking hospitals in the country. From work to the mountains or beaches, you will never run out of something exciting to do in Southern California.

Getting Started in California

Once you get your California license, it’s easy to continue travel nursing within the state. As an added bonus, California is making it easier for nurses to come and work. The pandemic has shown many states the benefits of joining the Nursing Licensure Compact. For the first time, California has pending legislation to join the eNLC. That should make finding future travel assignments even easier.

Ready to hit the road? To learn more, check out our blog post about what you need to get started travel nursing in California. Supplemental Health Care has plenty of contracts throughout the state and our recruiting team is ready to find you your next assignment today!