Whether you are a veteran travel nurse or just becoming acquainted with the field, you may be familiar with the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). This is a top advantage for travel nursing in Arkansas, because it’s one of the 29 participating eNLC states. In addition to licensing convenience, Arkansas offers travel nurses a wealth of opportunity for professional development and personal fulfillment.
The eNLC is a multi-state nursing license agreement that allows nurses to practice in participating states without having to apply for a new license each time. The license is especially beneficial for travel nurses, facilitating greater ease, convenience and affordability when practicing across state lines. The eNLC helps remove the often cumbersome expenses and paperwork involved in securing multiple licenses.
If you’re drawn to areas with the comfort and convenience of a small town, with the excitement and vibrancy of a bustling metropolitan centers, read on to discover three great benefits of living and working in Arkansas.
1. Nationally-ranked hospitals and communities in need
One of the top reasons to consider travel nursing in Arkansas is the nearly 100 hospitals and medical centers across the state that offer a diverse range of opportunities for healthcare professionals.
Five the state’s hospitals are nationally ranked or earned high performing marks from U.S. News & World Report. Among these nationally-ranked institutions is Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas’ capital and largest city. This teaching hospital is ranked in four pediatric specialties, including neonatology, cardiology and heart surgery, pulmonology and urology.
Individuals contemplating a travel nursing assignment in Arkansas might also consider taking their skills to the state’s more underserved communities. While healthcare costs are lower than the national average, there are also fewer healthcare providers per capita in Arkansas than the national average. Travel nurses fill an important need in these communities, while sharpening their own professional skills.
2. Small town feel, big city development
Nestled in the Ozark Mountains of northwestern Arkansas, the state’s third largest city, Fayetteville, recently earned the #5 spot on U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the best places to live in America. Fayetteville is home to the University of Arkansas’ flagship campus, and the surrounding area serves as the headquarters for seven Fortune 500 companies, including Walmart and Tyson Foods. According to the ranking, the region has undergone a rapid transformation “from a small town to a center of higher education, culture, commerce, and entrepreneurialism.”
Arkansas boasts an affordable cost of living, due in large part to housing and rental prices well under the national average. Other important cost of living contributors, such as groceries, healthcare, transportation and utilities, also come in below national averages.
3. Flora, fauna, and food in The Natural State
Nicknamed “The Natural State” for its natural scenic beauty, Arkansas is an outdoor aficionado’s paradise. Even as the smallest state west of the Mississippi, The Natural State’s landscape makes room for 52 state parks, three national forests, five national parks and the nation’s first national river. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the area’s clear lakes and streams, abundant wildlife and stunning vistas. nature
The Ozark Mountains in northern Arkansas and surrounding states cover nearly 47,000 square miles, making it the most extensive highland region between the Rockies and the Appalachians. In addition to offering visitors extensive options outdoor recreation, the region is also the birthplace of a distinctive Ozark culture. Traditional Ozark culture includes stories, songs and dancing, highlights of which are interpreted and shared through musical performance and exhibitions of pioneer skills and crafts in the area’s state parks and commercial enterprises.
Arkansas’ dining scene boasts some of the most distinctive dishes in the country. As a function of the state’s geographic location, the area draws on culinary influences from both the South and Midwest. From chocolate gravy and biscuits and famous Possum Pie (the hidden chocolate custard layer gives this dessert its name from the phrase “playing possum” or, pretending to be something you’re not), to fried chicken and spaghetti (a unique pairing of the region’s signature soul food and a staple of the area’s Italian settlers), you’re sure to find menus that delight.
Next Stop, Arkansas
If cost of living, community and access outdoor recreation are important quality of life factors for you, consider Arkansas among your list of prospective travel assignments.
For more information about travel nursing, to speak with a recruiter, or to learn more about potential assignments in Arkansas, please give us a call at 855.289.9766.
Are you a travel nurse who has completed a travel assignment or is currently on assignment in Arkansas? What is the most important piece of advice you would share? Let us know in the comments below!