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Travel nursing in Virginia: 4 reasons to visit the Old Dominion State

Virginia countryside

Virginia is more than meets the eye. Seen by many as the birthplace of the United States, it’s also the state we have to thank for Sandra Bullock, Chick-Fil-A Sauce, and bluegrass music. It’s also home of the Pentagon, Shenandoah National Park, and the Arlington National Cemetery. It’s no surprise, then, that travel nurses are flocking to Virginia. From an epic, blue-crab-dotted coastline to the misty peaks of the Appalachian mountains, here are four reasons to check out travel nursing in Virginia.

1. Virginia is a Nurse Licensure Compact member state

Virginia is one of the 37 states and two territories to pass legislation to participate in the Nurse License Compact agreement. As such, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and licensed vocational nurses alike can bypass the burden of fulfilling additional state licensure requirements to become travel nurses here.

The built-in portability of an NLC license lowers the barriers for travel nursing in Virginia, making it easy to find work and get started without needing to re-apply, pass exams, or pay expensive licensure fees.

Virginia city

2. Demand is high for nurses, so you’ll feel both appreciated and needed

As of 2020, there are 95 hospitals in Virginia. Primarily non-profit institutions, there are also for-profit clinics, as well as a handful that are operated by state and local governments. Nationally renowned institutions include the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville and the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond.

According to the latest Community Health Needs Assessment from the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, the five leading health issues facing Virginia are obesity, behavioral health conditions, heart disease, diabetes, and substance abuse.

This presents a unique opportunity for travel nursing jobs in Virginia that can assist with critical service gaps in rural, impoverished communities. By 2028, the Virginia Employment Commission is projecting statewide demand for over 10,000 new nurses.

3. Often overlooked, Virginia is actually a great place to live and work

Virginia offers travel nurses a high quality of life. In 2022, U.S. News ranked Virginia seventh in the nation in its annual analysis of the best states to live in. What’s more, out of the 150 most populous metro areas analyzed, Richmond was named as the 57th best place to live in the country.

In 2021, Virginia took the top spot in the annual rankings of CNBC’s rankings of business-friendly states. This speaks to the state’s eagerness to welcome new talent across sectors, including healthcare, where it ranks 12 overall in the nation.

Virginia waterfront town

4. There are wonderful activities for all kinds of travel nurses

The mountains and valleys of Virginia’s southwest region make way to the robust Tidewater culture of the southeast. And yet, it all converges in the expanses of suburban Washington, D.C.

This compelling mix of dense urbanization, estuaries, and rolling hills is a spectacular backdrop for nurses with myriad interests.

  • For the history buff. As the birthplace of four out of the first five U.S. Presidents, you don’t have to travel far to find a window into our nation’s past. Go to First Landing and see what Virginia was when the English arrived. Wander America’s Historic Triangle — Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown — and experience what life was like in the 1700s, when the Declaration of Independence was created and signed. While there, you can even walk up the same staircase as Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de La Fayette.
  • For the outdoorsy. Virginia has several dozen state parks and designated historical sites with enough adventures to more than fill every weekend in a year. The Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains catch the eye of campers, backpackers, and vista-seekers, whereas the Chesapeake Bay and inland waterways pique the interest of the kayakers, anglers, and boaters. If you’re itching to lace up your hiking boots, one of the 544 miles of the Appalachian Trail that span the state will more than satisfy. Just be sure to pack your bug spray.
  • For the city slicker. Virginia isn’t all backwoods flat footing and washboard playing. Major metropolitan areas include Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Arlington, Norfolk, and Richmond, offering respite to travel nurses who are more comfortable with a city bus map than a compass. Dine at The Inn at Little Washington, a recipient of two Michelin gold stars. Sip craft cocktails at one of the many waterfront bars that line Virginia Beach. Take in opera at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, one of the only national parks devoted to the purpose of performance. And if you need an even bigger city fix — or a night out to cheer on a professional sports team — Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Charlotte can all be reached in a day.
  • For the introvert. After a full day of caring for others, you might be in need of some quiet time. Rather than rewatch Gilmore Girls, take a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, pick up your next favorite novel at Prince Books & Coffee House in Norfolk, cozy up with a bowl of local favorite Brunswick Stew, or sit along the sandy coastline and take in the waves of the Atlantic.

Wendy Devine, a traveling dialysis nurse, was delighted by the beauty of her Virginia Beach placement. “I wake up on the tenth floor of my hotel room and open up the curtains to the ocean. It was quite an experience for me. I’ve never stayed on the beach.”

For more information about travel nursing, or to speak with a recruiter, give us a call at 800.866.0407.

About the author

Jen Hunter

Jen Hunter has been a marketing writer for over 20 years. She enjoys telling the stories of healthcare providers and sharing new, relevant, and the most up-to-date information on the healthcare front. Jen lives in Salt Lake City, UT, with her husband, two kids, and their geriatric black Lab. She enjoys all things outdoors-y, but most of all she loves rock climbing in the Wasatch mountains.

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