Everything is bigger in Texas, including the number of nurses! Nurses are flocking to Texas for the food, entertainment, and culture of diverse cities. The Lone Star State is home to some of the largest hospital systems in the country, and travel nurses love the backyard BBQ atmosphere of Texas towns and cities.
Top Locations to Live Texas
Ramble along the River Walk, dive into the history of the Alamo, or explore one of the theme parks or zoos in the area for entertainment. San Antonio is known for its tasty food, laid back ambiance, cowboy boots, and military men, which is probably why it’s Texas’ fastest growing city. It is also home to San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC)- the Department of Defense’s largest medical facility and only level I trauma center. Also known as Brooke Army Medical Center, civilians are hired through the government for these positions. Search Vivian for healthcare jobs at popular non military hospitals including Methodist, Baptist and University Health of San Antonio.
Dallas is diverse city with an awesome arts scene and plenty if culture for those who crave it. Travel nurses can visit Reunion Tower, investigate conspiracy theories at the Sixth Floor Museum, line dance with a cowboy (or cowgirl!), and chow down at food fusion restaurants that are popping up all over Dallas. The city also boasts some of the best open space in the state with over 50,000 acres of parks, and 60 lakes in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Between the heavy HealthOne (HCA hospital) presence, larger hospitals like Baylor, and the many smaller regional hospitals, travel nurses never struggle to find jobs here.
Known for its numerous large healthcare facilities, oil industry, and hot humid weather, travel nurses come here for year round warmth and to work for some of the most renowned hospitals in the country. There are multiple large hospital systems here including Memorial Hermann Health, Houston Methodist, and MD Anderson cancer centers. Travel nurses are always in demand in Houston! You can find fellow travel nurses hanging out at the hammock bar (better known as the Axelrad beer garden), wandering through the Houston Zoo, checking out NASA at the Johnson Space Center, or taking day trips to the Texas coast and enjoying Galveston or Padre Island.
This is probably the most popular city for travel nurses in Texas. Austin is known for its legendary music scene, artsy culture (the street art is AMAZING!), and its hipster vibes. BBQ food is on every corner, in addition to some trendy food truck parks where you can find fresh and unique dining options. Dive into Barton Springs on a hot day, or take a day trip to Hamilton Pool or Jacob’s Well for some special swimming sites (reservations required). Visit the Hope Outdoor Gallery and see some street art in action. Zilker park is over 350 acres of green space with tons of options for recreation. Travel nurses commonly work in facilities like Dell Seton, North Austin Medical Center, and Heart Hospital.
Not to be forgotten, the border town of El Paso is said to be one of the safest cities in America. This city has a high Mexican-American population and some of the tastiest Tex-Mex cuisine in the state. Not far from the artsy hipster desert city of Marfa, and only 1 hour 45 minutes from Guadalupe National Park, El Paso is a great spot to start an adventure. With cheap cost of living and perfectly located on the Texas/New Mexico border , travel nurses love this city for its location and money making potential. University Medical Center (UMC) and El Paso Children’s are popular facilities for travel nurses in El Paso.
Popular Texas Tourism Attractions
The Lone Star State may be spread out but there is plenty to see! Check out these Texas landmarks and sites!
- Big Bend National Park (my personal favorite!)
- Bend Bend Ranch State Park
- Padre Island, Fredericksburg Wine Country
- Marfa and the Prada storefront
- Hueco Tanks and Historic Site (epic rock climbing and bouldering here!)
- Galveston seashore
- San Antonio River Walk
- Zilker Park and Barton Springs
- Hamilton Pool, Jacob’s Well
- Big Thicket National Preserve
Best Time of Year to be a Travel Nurse in Texas
Travel nursing in Texas is hot all year-round! Literally. The weather is pretty hot year round and the jobs are ALWAYS posted. Summer is almost unbearable in Houston, unless you are a fan of temps in the high 90s with 100% humidity. February through June is ideal and the state is a bit greener. March is a great month to be in Texas and take part in The South by Southwest music festival in Austin, the Houston Rodeo, or the beautiful Bluebonnet bloom. September through December is a bit cooler than the summer and Christmas time Texas style is a lot of fun. Hurricane season on the east coast of Texas usually winds down in September. Texas always needs nurses so find your next job with Vivian today!
Average Pay and Cost of Living
Aside from Austin, Texas cities have lower costs of living compared to the national average. Even Austin costs 30% less (on average) than living in NY state. Dallas costs of living are usually just at the national average. Out of the cities in this article, San Antonio and El Paso have the cheapest costs of living.
Travel nursing salaries are on par for the rest of the country and there is an opportunity here to make a fair amount of money with a lower cost of living. Austin is the most popular city in Texas, and that results in the lowest rates. Pay rates vary greatly in Houston depending on facility and need. San Antonio and El Paso travel nurse pay rates are higher than the median incomes in those areas- which makes for a great money saving situation!
Special Considerations for Nursing in Texas
Texas houses some of the biggest hospital systems in the country. HealthOne has a large network of hospitals and is one of the favorite HCA systems for healthcare providers. There are 53 HCA hospitals in Texas to choose from. Healthtrust (the managed service provider for HCA) owns the travel nurse contracts and passes them onto to smaller vendors if they cannot fill the positions.
Rather than using managed service providers, Memorial Hermann has also built its own staffing agency and float pool. This hospital system relies heavily on local agency and travel nurses. The staff nurses are great resources since they are used to having nurses that are unfamiliar with units.
Texas is also a compact state- meaning if you have a compact license you can practice in the state without having to apply for a single state license. You will have to apply for a single state license (longer processing time) if your home license is not in a compact state.