Known for its rich history, hip-hop music and the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr., living in Atlanta, Georgia, also offers diverse cultures, vibrant nightlife and unique restaurants. Although the city had an estimated population of about 500,000 in 2021, the metropolitan area includes over 6 million residents. Several top hospitals in and around Atlanta offer many employment opportunities for nurses and allied health professionals. It’s also home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s world headquarters, making Atlanta a research center that attracts world-renowned healthcare professionals. Whether you’re pursuing a staff position, travel nursing job or allied health career, Atlanta may be an ideal location for you.
Top Hospitals in Atlanta, Georgia
The Atlanta metropolitan area boasts several nationally-renowned hospitals and healthcare organizations that have won numerous awards. These institutions attract the best healthcare professionals and nurses from across the globe. With a wide range of specialties and subspecialties, Atlanta’s healthcare systems provide excellent patient care, research and career advancement opportunities. Below are some of the top hospitals in the Atlanta area.
As part of Emory Healthcare, Emory University Hospital (EUH) is one of the country’s leading hospitals in cardiology and heart surgery. It’s a teaching hospital affiliated with Emory University School of Medicine and ranked No. 1 on the 2022-23 U.S. News and World Report’s lists of Best Hospitals in Atlanta and Georgia. It’s nationally ranked in five adult specialties, including Cancer Care, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Geriatrics, Urology and Neurology & Neurosurgery. Additionally, EUH rated top-performing in three additional adult specialties and has earned Magnet Recognition since 2014 for its nursing excellence.
As the flagship hospital of the Northside Hospital system, this Atlanta facility ranked as the No. 3 Best Hospital in Atlanta and No. 47 nationally in Obstetrics & Gynecology by U.S. News & World Report in 2022-23. The Northside Hospital Atlanta website states it has “served Georgia for generations, delivering more babies a year than any other community hospital in the country.” Other specialties include oncology, cardiovascular care and orthopedic surgery.
At Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, which is a part of Piedmont Healthcare, over 4,000 healthcare professionals are available to care for patients. With 643 beds, it ranked as the No. 4 Best Hospital in Atlanta by U.S. News & World Report in 2022-23. The hospital also earned recognition for its high-performing adult Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery and Neurology & Neurosurgery services. Additionally, it offers transplant and women’s health services and strives to deliver patient care excellence with advanced technology. Piedmont Atlanta Hospital received the Large Hospital of the Year award in late 2022 from the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals for its clinical excellence and services.
Average Nurse & Allied Health Pay Rates in Atlanta, GA
As of July 13, 2023, Vivian Health listed over 2,600 nursing and allied health professional job opportunities in Atlanta, GA. Postings included staff and travel positions at many top healthcare facilities throughout the Atlanta metro area, ranging from post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) nurses to interventional radiology technologists. The following table demonstrates the average and maximum pay for Atlanta nursing jobs and allied health professionals on this date.
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The salaries listed above reflect the average of all healthcare professionals within a specific discipline. Actual pay varies depending on location, experience, specialty, schedules, certifications and other employer factors. Some high-paying Atlanta nursing jobs for staff RNs included intensive care, operating room and emergency room roles. The PACU and RN First Assist were some of Atlanta’s top-paying travel RN jobs. High-demand staff allied health positions, like pharmacist and MRI technologist jobs, offered large sign-on bonuses. Lucrative travel allied health positions included first assist technicians and interventional radiology technologists.
Cost of Living in Atlanta, Georgia
According to Sperling’s Best Places, Atlanta’s cost of living is around 9% higher than the national average. However, its job growth increased by almost 3% over the past year, and the unemployment rate is 5.3%, lower than the national average.
With a median home price of around $364,000 and one-year appreciation values of 9.7%, staff healthcare professionals may find it financially beneficial to purchase a home. However, most of the Atlanta metro is in Fulton County, which has higher tax rates to consider. For travel healthcare professionals, the higher cost of living may be a consideration when searching for an assignment, especially in downtown Atlanta. The cost of living outside the Atlanta metro is slightly lower, but commute time increases, so choose the best option for you and your lifestyle.
Top Locations to Live in Atlanta, GA
Home to Coca-Cola’s headquarters and many entertainment and sporting venues, Atlanta offers an assortment of activities for every lifestyle. The metro area also boasts various neighborhoods, ranging from lively urban to peaceful suburban areas. Regardless of which area you select, many have hospitals nearby, making commuting to work reasonable. Some of the most sought-after neighborhoods are:
- Midtown: Just north of downtown Atlanta, Midtown is home to many young professionals. This area offers highrises and city life combined with pleasant outdoor activities at nearby Piedmont Park. The area’s many restaurants and museums are conveniently within walking distance since traffic can be a bear at almost any time of the day. Jobs at Emory University Hospital – Midtown offer a short work commute. Home prices are more expensive in the downtown area, with a median price of $410,833 per Orchard (real estate) and median monthly rent at $2,058 on Zumper as of mid-July 2023.
- Inman Park: As one of the trendier spots near downtown Atlanta, Inman Park offers tons of vibrant restaurants and nightlife. It’s near the BeltLine, a walking and biking trail, providing easy access to nearby attractions and activities. Grady Memorial Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – Hughes Spalding Hospital are a short distance away and offer plenty of employment opportunities. As of mid-July 2023, the median monthly rent was $1,545 and home prices were around $677,000 per Niche.
- Virginia-Highland: This quieter, more charming area of Atlanta is great for families and has a good school district. It’s a short distance from Little Five Points, offering plenty of unique restaurants and activities, and it’s between many top hospitals in Atlanta, providing various employment options. However, this quaint neighborhood is a highly sought-after location. Per data from Niche in mid-July 2023, median home prices were just under $650,000 and the average rent for a small, one-bedroom apartment was $1,746, though pricing is subject to change with market fluctuations.
- Sandy Springs: Just north of the I-285 Atlanta perimeter, Sandy Springs boasts many Fortune 500 company headquarters. This area is safer than other parts of the Atlanta metro but requires a longer commute. However, it’s near the intersection of many large interstates, highways and public transportation. Living options in this area are primarily single-family homes, with median prices of $490,200 in mid-July 2023 and monthly rent averaging $1,490 on Niche.
- Buckhead: One of Atlanta’s more upscale areas, Buckhead offers plenty of high-end shops and restaurants. This area has a diverse mixture of living options, hotels and office spaces, and Piedmont Atlanta Hospital is a quick 15-minute commute away. Median home prices were just under $600,000, and the average rent was $1,850 for a 1-bedroom in mid-July 2023 per Orchard. However, median prices are approximate and subject to change based on market conditions.
Popular Atlanta Attractions
Atlanta offers a fantastic array of major attractions, from sporting events to museums and concerts. Enjoy a stroll in Piedmont Park, take a historical tour at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights or peruse the High Museum of Art. Some of the area’s most popular attractions include the following.
Explore the wonders of the sea at the Georgia Aquarium, which partners with several marine research organizations. Holding more than 11 million gallons of water, it’s the largest aquarium in the U.S. and the 4th largest in the world. It’s known for its massive whale shark exhibit but is also home to penguins, sea lions and other marine life. Explore your adventurous side by booking an animal encounter with sharks, rays, sea otters and other creatures.
World of Coca-Cola
Get a behind-the-scenes look into the Coca-Cola Company’s history. The World of Coca-Cola is an interactive museum providing a 4D movie experience and tons of Coca-Cola memorabilia items at its gift shop. You also get to sample different Coca-Cola flavors and soft drinks from around the world.
Centennial Olympic Park
Discover the beautiful outdoors at Centennial Olympic Park, situated in the heart of downtown Atlanta. Constructed for the 1996 Summer Olympics, this park features scenic walking paths and refreshing water fountains children enjoy playing in. The park’s proximity to central downtown also offers numerous nearby dining options, hotels and activities, easily accessible on foot. For a breathtaking view of the park, stroll across the street and hop on the SkyView Ferris wheel.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
Located next to Piedmont Park in Midtown, the gorgeous 30-acre Atlanta Botanical Garden showcases orchids, tulips and other vibrant flowers and plants. It offers breathtaking exhibits during the spring and summer and hosts “Garden Nights, Holiday Lights” in the winter, where you can enjoy the seasonal decor and displays with millions of festive lights.
Atlanta’s Foodie Scene
With many mouthwatering food options, the restaurant scene in Atlanta satisfies the most voracious appetite. Atlanta’s known for its Southern fare and hospitality, so it’s no wonder fried chicken is a popular dish at many restaurants, usually paired with traditional sides like mashed potatoes and collard greens. If you’re looking for unique flavors, Atlanta’s also home to delicious barbeque dishes and one-of-a-kind chicken wings, with popular flavors including lemon pepper and Koren barbeque. Try one of the city’s many Persian or Thai restaurants if you seek an international spice flair. Cook your own food at Korean restaurants or try Pho, a delightful Vietnamese soup.
Getting Around Atlanta
Since Atlanta is a large city, commuting via car is sometimes the only option. However, expect to run into traffic, so plan accordingly and leave well ahead of time. You might also consider public transportation options through the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), a system of buses and rail trains throughout the Atlanta metro area. MARTA has four rail service lines and 38 rail stations, covering 48 miles and all directions.
For those seeking exercise on their commute, many areas in downtown Atlanta are within walking distance of local restaurants and shops. Plus, various pathways and trails connect parts of the city, making them a short bike ride away.
Atlanta is also home to the busiest airport in the country, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. This airport makes it convenient to travel to and from the city, with more than 2,700 daily flights for domestic and international destinations.
Allied health professionals and nurses looking for staff and travel opportunities can rely on Vivian Health during their job search. Vivian offers comprehensive job postings with transparent salary information, location guides and additional resources to help you find the perfect opportunity. Read our job search tips for valuable insights if you’re considering relocating to or switching jobs in Atlanta.