As our nation’s second smallest state by area (just under 2,000 square miles) and sixth smallest by population (approximately 925,000 people), Delaware might seem like an unassuming state on a map of options. But to paraphrase Shakespeare, “though [it] be but little…” this mid-Atlantic state packs history, scenery, arts and culture, and adventure into its peninsular borders. And with fewer miles between one adventure to the next, Delaware’s vast array of offerings are just a hop, skip, and a jump away.
Read on to learn more about life, recreation, and travel nursing in Delaware.
Nurse licensure compact status and competitive wages
One of the biggest appeals of travel nursing in Delaware is the state’s participation in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). The NLC allows for nurses to have one multi-state license, with the privilege to practice in their home state and other participating NLC states without obtaining additional licenses. The license makes it affordable and convenient to practice across state borders, and helps remove the often cumbersome expenses and paperwork involved in securing multiple licenses.
Another significant benefit of practicing in Delaware is the state’s high compensation for healthcare professionals. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses in Delaware earned an average annual income of more than $73,000 — well above the national average. And while some expenses, such as housing, are higher than the national average, Delaware is one of four states with no sales tax — meaning your dollar can stretch further here.
Given its small geographic area, Delaware is home to just 11 hospitals. But the state demonstrates that it’s not just about quantity, but quality — with a nationally-ranked institution (Christiana Care-Christiana Hospital in Newark) and two additional hospitals with high-performing marks in specialties, procedures, and conditions, according to U.S. News & World Report.
And while the national nursing shortage is not felt as acutely in Delaware as compared to national averages, the state does have a shortage of between 1,300 and 3,000 nurses. There are nine designated healthcare professional shortage areas in Delaware, and nearly 94 percent of the population lives in these areas.
First state in the nation
Delaware’s diverse landscape and rich history offers a wealth of activity to visitors and locals alike. Delaware proudly claims the title of “America’s First State” — as the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution on December 7, 1787. Its many historical sites help capture the state’s vast history, including First State National Historical Park. The park features festivals and events, walking and hiking trails through the still-forested countryside along the Brandywine River, and the Rvyes Holt House, estimated to be one of the 50 oldest structures in the country.
The state sits on a peninsula and features miles of dunes and coastline bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware River, and Delaware Bay. Among the state’s most popular beach towns are the family-friendly Rehoboth Beach, the party scene at Dewey Beach, and the serene and peaceful Lewes.
Northwest of Wilmington sits Delaware’s “Chateau Country,” an exclusive region made famous by the wealthy DuPont family and its stately mansions. Many of the homes and gardens are now open to the public for tours, including the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library — a 175-room estate on 60 acres of natural gardens.
Dining in Delaware
Delaware boasts a varied and burgeoning dining and nightlife scene, fueled by its proximity to fresh seafood and its abundance of rich farmland. Larger cities, such as Wilmington, are home to high-end dining and adventurous fare. And the state’s local homemade delicacies give foodies an opportunity to eat affordably and well.
Experience the Wilmington-born Bobbie sandwich, a sub sandwich inspired by Thanksgiving leftovers of turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. Dive into a plate of blue craw crabs (preferably at a backyard picnic). Or surprise your taste buds with cider vinegar-doused french fries at the beach.
Consider Delaware on your list of prospective assignments
Competitive wages, nationally-ranked healthcare institutions, charming coastal towns, and NLC status combine to make Delaware an attractive prospect for your next travel nursing assignment.
For more information about travel nursing, to speak with a recruiter, or to learn more about potential assignments in Delaware, contact us today at 855.289.9766.
Are you a travel nurse who has completed a travel assignment or is currently on assignment in Delaware? What advice or tips would you share with someone considering Delaware on their list of prospective assignments? Let us know in the comments below!