Arizona is one of the fastest growing regions for travel nursing positions. You’ll get paid one of the higher salaries for travel nursing and you’ll have the one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon, in your back yard. A lot of senior citizens retire in Arizona, so there’s plenty of job opportunities there, and despite its southern location, you can still find snow in the mountains during the winter. That also means perfect ski conditions.
We’ll cover a few things you’ll have to know to become a travel nurse in sunny Arizona.
AZ is part of the NLC
NLC stands for the Nurse Licensure Compact which functions as a multi-state nursing license. If you have a license in one of the 24 NLC states, you have a license that’ll work for the other 24 NLC states. This is great news for travel nurses as you only have to have one license to rule them all.
For more information about the NLC, log onto their website https://www.ncsbn.org/nurse-licensure-compact.htm and make sure you qualify.
Arizona also has its own website within the NCSBN (National Council of State Board of Nursing), so you can contact them if you have any further questions about what Arizona expects from their travel nurses: https://www.ncsbn.org/Arizona.htm
The NLC is great because you don’t need as much paperwork if you plan to move from Arizona to another one of the other NLC states. That’s always a bonus for travel nurses.
Many fresh out of college nurses have a hard time finding work in Arizona, but that’s because medical facilities prefer nurses with some experience under their belts. As mentioned above, Arizona has a large population of retirees and they need more experienced nurses to handle the workload. That’s where travel nurses come in. Travel nurses make up a large portion of the nurse workforce in Arizona.
Cost of Living
Arizona has a reasonable cost of living overall—almost right in the middle—but Phoenix runs a little high and Sedona has a very high cost of living. These two areas raise the rest of the state’s cost of living to meet the national average. As a result Tucson, Sierra Vista and other regions of Arizona have much lower costs of living, so you may want to consider the smaller, less touristy regions of AZ to set up camp.
It’s hot in Arizona. Yes, there are mountain and snow isn’t foreign, but the majority of Arizona has heat to spare. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t get rainfall. When many people think of Arizona, they think of desert and that’s true, but Sierra Vista gets a lot of rainfall—they even have a pseudo-monsoon season—and Tucson is a short drive to Mount Lemon. You go from cacti to pine trees and the temperature drops about 40 degrees. This makes for a nice summer getaway. In fact, Tucson has much cooler temperatures year round than Phoenix—there’s a reason the city’s named after a mythical bird that catches on fire.
If you have a little experience and don’t mind warmer temperatures, Arizona might be your new favorite state.