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Travel nursing in Texas: 5 reasons to go there now

The Alamo

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.

Texas city skyline - a great location for a travel nursing assignment in Texas

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.

RELATED: 7 tips for communicating with patients who don’t speak English

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.

Texas cactus

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.

Texas city on the water

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.

Ready to try travel nursing in Texas? Give us a call at 800.866.0407 or view today’s travel nursing opportunities in Texas.

Updated April 15, 2022

About the author

Allison Riley

Allison Riley is a public relations professional with more than 10 years experience in healthcare and corporate communications. She lives in New York City with her better half and two wonderful daughters. She and her girls are currently contending for world's slowest recorded stair climb to a fifth-floor apartment, and she enjoys writing so she can just finish her sentence already.

1 Comment

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  • Unfortunately this is no longer the case. The reasons that you mentioned in this article to move to Texas, are the same reasons that people are moving from higher states such as California and New York. They are selling their $1 million homes and coming here and paying cash for houses that are 500 to 850,000, meaning they outbid native residents. They have driven the housing market up so high that some people who are native here cannot own homes. They are so used to paying more for entertainment and living, the restaurants and real estate market have raised their prices because they feel if they paid it in California or New York, they will pay here. Traffic commutes have become 2 to 3 hours because the streets are overcrowded, the job opportunities are not is plentiful for advanced practice nurse practitioners ironically even for psych nurse practitioners, I would know because I am one). They are also bringing their California and New York culture here which is not mixing in a lot of communities. Native people talk about the newcomers all a daily basis out of frustration. In the next 5 to 8 years Texas will be completely too expensive. It was forecasted that from 2017 to 2018, there will be 250,000 new people venturing to this state. My husband and I also look at the Texas census posted on the state’s website, And realized with )considerations of birth, deaths, people moving away, an influx of new people) on average there are 2300 new people in Texas every single week. Multiply that by 52 weeks.

    As far as from a nursing perspective, you also have to think about the Job market. Yes, there are 600 hospitals here but even at hospitals as large as Baylor Scott and white with it’s multiple locations, there were only about 35 new jobs posted to their website for nurse practitioners. I don’t think the job market for RNs has gotten super saturated at this point. Also if you think that becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner will guarantee you a job in Texas, please think again, I would know because I am a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Between the FNP’s that have gone back to school To become psychic NPs, the psychiatric nurse practitioners that I already present in the state, and the new ones that graduate every year from programs with the expectation that they will find jobs because they are psych nurse practitioners, they are highly disappointment to know that this is not the case. In general the nurse practitioner job market in Texas is super saturated and it is a supervisory state so that makes it even worse. If you think that you can move here and own a clinic, Please understand this is a supervisory state so you will have to find a supervising Doctor Who is honest and not willing to cancel a supervisory contract or request more money from your business when they trap you in a contract because they know a lot of medical doctors here will not agree to supervise nurse practitioners who own their own practice. If they cancel a contract that means you have to find another doctor which is very hard to do or sell your practice.

    All in all, do your own research about information that you need to make an informed decision about moving here. It is a absolute great state, there definitely is plenty to do, people are cool for the most part except for subliminal racism, but there’s a crowd for everyone. I just want to be very clear, I don’t want to discourage people from making the best decision for themselves, But when I read this article I feel the need to comment so that people will not be disappointed in its in accuracy. If you were to ask me if I’m willing to leave Texas, right now, I would say no because I’m pretty stable as far as employment and as far as owning a home but I have been here since 2017 which means that I was here before the storm i.e. influx of people. There are a few benefits for people like me, We bought our home before the rise in housing market and in less than a year a house is worth $100,000 more than what we paid for it because the Californians and NY. In five years it’s expected to exceed $1.5 million. And at time I guess, I will be able to sell and move somewhere else and pay cash, ironically.

    Good luck


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