Urban Adventures or Rustic Retreats? The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your Travel Nursing Destination


Kim Lee | March 5th, 2024

Hey there, fellow travel nurses and wanderlust seekers! So, you’ve decided to take the plunge into the exciting world of travel nursing. Congratulations! Now comes the fun part: choosing where you want to go. But wait, urban jungle or rustic countryside? Which is the best fit for you? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of urban vs. rural travel nursing, highlighting the pros and cons of each. So, grab your favorite beverage, cozy up, and let’s dive in! 

Urban vs. Rural Travel Nursing: What’s the Deal? 

First things first, let’s clarify what we mean by urban and rural travel nursing destinations. Urban destinations typically refer to bustling cities with vibrant cultures, diverse populations, and an abundance of healthcare facilities. Think New York City, Los Angeles, or Chicago. On the flip side, rural destinations encompass smaller towns or communities nestled amidst scenic landscapes, offering a quieter pace of life and a closer-knit community vibe. 

Urban Cities Pros and Cons for Travel Nursing 

Ah, the allure of the big city! Urban destinations offer a plethora of opportunities for travel nurses, from prestigious hospitals to endless entertainment options. But as with any bustling metropolis, there are pros and cons to consider. 


  • Abundant Job Opportunities: Urban areas are often home to large healthcare systems and teaching hospitals, providing ample job opportunities for travel nurses across various specialties. 
  • Cultural Diversity: Immerse yourself in a melting pot of cultures, cuisines, and experiences, enriching both your professional and personal life. 
  • Entertainment Galore: From Broadway shows to trendy eateries and rooftop bars, urban cities offer endless entertainment options to suit every taste and interest. 


  • Cost of Living: Be prepared to shell out more for housing, groceries, and other essentials, as urban areas tend to have a higher cost of living compared to rural locales. 
  • Traffic and Commute: Say goodbye to leisurely drives through the countryside; urban traffic can be a nightmare, leading to longer commutes and added stress. 
  • Crowds and Noise: If you crave peace and quiet, urban living might not be your cup of tea. Cities are often crowded and noisy, making it challenging to find tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle. 

Rural Cities Pros and Cons for Travel Nursing 

Now, let’s shift our focus to the tranquility of rural destinations. Picture rolling hills, quaint towns, and a slower pace of life. Rural travel nursing offers a unique set of advantages and challenges worth exploring. 


  • Close-Knit Community: Experience the warmth and hospitality of a tight-knit community, where neighbors know each other by name and support one another like family. 
  • Lower Cost of Living: Stretch your dollar further with lower housing costs, affordable groceries, and a simpler way of life that won’t break the bank. 
  • Natural Beauty: Trade skyscrapers for scenic vistas and pollution-free air. Rural areas boast breathtaking landscapes, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. 


  • Limited Job Opportunities: While rural hospitals play a crucial role in providing healthcare to underserved communities, job opportunities for travel nurses may be more limited compared to urban settings. 
  • Lack of Amenities: Say goodbye to 24/7 convenience stores and trendy eateries; rural towns may have fewer amenities and entertainment options, requiring a bit of adjustment for city dwellers. 
  • Isolation: Embrace the solitude of rural living, but be aware that it can sometimes feel isolating, especially if you’re accustomed to the hustle and bustle of city life. 


In the end, whether you opt for an urban adventure or a rustic retreat, the choice is yours to make. Consider your preferences, career goals, and lifestyle priorities when selecting your travel nursing destination. Whichever path you choose, embrace the journey, and savor every moment of your travel nursing experience!


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