If your travel nursing assignment wish list includes pristine beaches, world-class dining, rich history and outdoor recreation, South Carolina may be the assignment for you. The Palmetto State also offers an abundance of opportunities for nurses, given its status as a Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) state and high demand for nursing professionals.
Read on to learn more about travel nursing in South Carolina.
Nursing in South Carolina
One of South Carolina’s biggest draws for travel nurses is its participation in the NLC. The NLC is a multistate nursing license that allows nurses to practice in one of the participating states without having to apply for a new license each time. The multistate license makes practicing across state borders more affordable and convenient, and helps remove the cumbersome expenses and paperwork involved in securing multiple licenses.
As the nationwide nursing shortage continues to loom, the situation in South Carolina is especially dire. According to the bureau of labor statistics, South Carolina expects to face a nursing shortage of 24 percent over the next few years. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Center for Health Workforce Analysis anticipates South Carolina will have a shortage of 10,400 nurses by the year 2030. South Carolina is one of just four states projected to have shortages of more than 10,000.
South Carolina is home to nearly 100 hospitals and healthcare institutions. Charleston Health-University Medical Center is nationally ranked in ten specialties and high performing in an additional 15 specialties, procedures and conditions, according to U.S. News & World Report. Eight additional hospitals are high performing in an additional 36 specialties, procedures and conditions, according to the same report.
Quality of life
Four South Carolina cities claimed spots on U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the best places to live.
Greenville, ranked 31st on the list, is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers ease of access to nature. Its reinvigorated 10-block downtown has attracted new businesses and has a bustling culinary scene. And adjacent to downtown Greenville’s historic West End District lies the 32-acre park Falls Park on the Reedy.
Charleston’s charming blend of history, nightlife, award-winning dining and boutique shopping secured the waterfront town the 38th spot on the list. And the cities of Columbia and Myrtle Beach claimed the 56th and 74th spots, respectively.
Cost of living
South Carolina boasts a low cost of living that can help travel nurses save toward their financial goals. Cost of living in South Carolina is below the national average, with housing contributing most significantly to the margin, at just 75 percent of the national average. Healthcare and transportation costs are also lower in South Carolina than averages nationwide.
Life and leisure in the Palmetto State
The Palmetto State offers leisure activities and destinations to suit nearly every taste.
Beach-goers will enjoy Myrtle Beach, the hub of the Grand Strand — a 60-mile string of beaches. Myrtle Beach features a boardwalk, hotels, arcades — even one of the country’s tallest Ferris wheels, the SkyWheel. Hilton Head Island offers another beach getaway and is famous for world-class golf courses and the Harbour Town Lighthouse that marks its southwest shore.
History enthusiasts may gravitate toward Fort Sumter National Monument — an island fortification off the coast of Charleston, known as the site where the American Civil War began. The state is also home to more than 2,000 plantations and historic homes, many of which can be toured today.
South Carolina is a veritable foodie paradise — from the region’s famous BBQ to signature dishes and Charleston’s fine dining scene, the Food Network considers South Carolina one of the most “food-forward” destinations in the country. Charleston’s FIG was included among Eater’s list of the Best Restaurants in America, and Circa 1886 serves up low-country cuisine in the historic Wentworth Mansion.
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy rafting the Chattooga National Wild & Scenic River, hiking to the top of Table Rock State Park, or exploring the Jocassee Gorges-Devils Fork State Park.
Consider a travel assignment in South Carolina
Nationally-ranked health care institutions, a bustling economy, charming beachfront towns, and NLC status combine to make South Carolina an attractive prospect for your next travel nursing assignment.
Are you a travel nurse who has completed a travel assignment or is currently on assignment in South Carolina? What advice or tips would you share with someone considering South Carolina among their list of prospective assignments? Let us know in the comments below!