In the 1820s, a new phrase began appearing across the American frontier. “Gone to Texas” — or more commonly, the shorthand equivalent “GTT” — was scrawled on abandoned homes and etched into fences. The rallying cry informed friends and neighbors these former inhabitants were headed southwest, striking out in search of opportunity and prosperity.
Today, Texas is still a land of opportunity with a burgeoning population and robust economic environment. For travel nurses, the state’s renowned healthcare institutions, diversity, and importantly, its participation as a Nurse Licensure Compact state, all combine to make travel nursing in Texas an ideal opportunity for personal and professional growth. Here are five great reasons to go now!
1. Diversity of healthcare institutions, patients, experience
With more than 600 hospitals in the state, Texas offers travel nurses abundant professional development opportunities. Texas is home to some of the country’s largest hospitals and health systems, nine of which are nationally ranked, according to U.S. News & World Report.
While the majority of hospitals in Texas are in big metropolitan centers, 27% are in the state’s rural areas. Rural Texas, like many of our nation’s rural areas, is faced with an extreme shortage of nurses and other healthcare professionals. Travel nurses in these areas deliver critical care to some of the most underserved communities.
An added dimension to Texas’ healthcare landscape is the need for bilingual providers. Texas is one of the most diverse states in the country, with more than twice the national average of Hispanic residents. Bilingualism in nursing, and throughout the healthcare system, provides critical understanding, security, and care for patients. Bilingual nurses can help facilitate sensitive discussions, cut down on errors, and respect important cultural beliefs and values.
2. Nurse licensure compact status
Texas is also attractive for travel nurses because it’s an Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) state. The eNLC is a multi-state nursing licensing agreement that allows nurses to practice in participating states without having to apply for a new license each time. The multi-state license makes practicing across state borders more affordable and convenient and helps remove the cumbersome expenses and paperwork involved in securing multiple licenses.
3. Best places to live
Texas’ capital city, Austin, claimed the number five spot on the U.S. News 2022 Best Places to Live in America list. Two additional Texas cities — Houston and and Dallas-Fort Worth — landed in the top 40. The ranking considers the job market, value, quality of life, desirability, and net migration of an area, and Austin’s live music scene and outdoor spaces, were just a couple reasons it landed in the top five.
Californians, in particular, have felt the pull to Texas, seeking the lifestyle they enjoyed in California without the hefty price tag. They’ve discovered that many places in Texas, like the suburbs surrounding Dallas, have relatively little crime with an abundance of jobs, affordable housing, good food, and clean air.
4. Cost of living and economic opportunity
Texas has a thriving economy, owed in part to its low tax burden and rapidly growing cities.
Notably, Texas is one of nine states without a personal income tax, which can translate to higher take-home pay. Further, many Texas cities boast a cost of living that is lower than the national average, meaning your dollar can go further in these areas.
The second-largest state in both population and size, six of Texas’ bustling cities graced the list of the country’s fastest-growing cities. Experts expect the rapidly booming population to double to 54 million by 2050.
5. Sights, sports, and social scene
With more than 260,000 square miles, exploring Texas feels vast and nearly limitless. Houston is home to the NASA Johnson Space Center and a trendy food and nightlife scene. San Antonio visitors can take in The Alamo and the famous San Antonio Riverwalk. Austin is known for its eclectic live music scene, and visitors to Dallas can enjoy the beautiful Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Sports enthusiasts also have their choice of teams to cheer — with three NBA teams, two NFL teams, two MLB teams, and an NHL team.
Consider travel nursing in Texas
There are many factors to consider when choosing a travel nursing assignment. For ease of licensing, diversity of opportunities, cost of living and a variety of recreational pursuits, Texas delivers, and more travel nurses are catching the “gone to Texas” wave.
Updated April 15, 2022