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Florida: Healthcare Employment Location Guide

Florida is the third most populated state in the U.S., and there are plenty of reasons people choose to live and work in the Sunshine State. Year-round warm weather, laid-back vibes, beautiful beaches, water sports, theme parks and a mix of cuisines attract healthcare workers to this spectacular state. Though it’s known for its snowbirds and retirement communities, Florida offers many options for your healthcare career across the state. A wide variety of nursing and allied health jobs are available in metro areas and smaller cities throughout Florida, with many healthcare systems offering enticing incentives to work for them.

Top Hospitals and Health Systems in Florida

Per the Florida Hospital Association, the state had 317 hospitals, with 70,662 beds total, and 492 freestanding ambulatory surgery centers in June 2022, with about 10% in the Miami-Dade area. Florida ranks third among states for the highest employment of registered nurses and all healthcare practitioners and technical occupations combined, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Some of the state’s top hospitals and health systems include the following.

Memorial Healthcare System: This patient-safety-oriented healthcare system located in the areas surrounding and central to Hollywood, Florida, is one of the largest public healthcare systems in the nation. They view their employees as a system-wide team and boast a healthy culture of excellence. Reviews among south Florida nurses state that the pay is relatively good, and they enjoy the variety of settings that Memorial offers.

University of Miami Health System: Spread across multiple campuses, this health system’s flagship hospital is the UHealth Tower. The University of Miami offers many options for career growth and various settings in which clinicians can practice. It’s the only university healthcare system in South Florida and provides employment opportunities at three main hospitals, with over two dozen off-site settings. Many of their open positions have sign-on or relocation bonuses, and the health system is dedicated to a healthy work-life balance. The University of Miami embraces an inclusive culture and wants staff to feel valued as well as add value.

UHealth Tower

Baptist Health – South Florida: Baptist prides itself on demonstrating a commitment to nurses through its “Center for Excellence in Nursing” program. This program is designed to grow their employees as their career moves forward. Its Nurse Scholars Program even provides training for those wanting to begin a career in nursing. Additionally, nurses already working for Baptist Health South Florida enjoy the “Grow Our Own” program that facilitates identifying the best staff and promoting them.

Keralty Hospital Miami: Also known as Westchester General Hospital, Keralty Hospital in Miami prides itself on being a part of the community and serving the underserved. They’re a physician-owned hospital offering a graduate medical education program that trains physicians with a “patient-care centered experience.” They were also the first facility research center to test Ifenprodil, the first drug focused on treating COVID-19 damage in the lungs.

Jackson Health System: Located in South Florida, this nonprofit public health system and its flagship hospital, Jackson Memorial, is dedicated to giving high-quality care, regardless of the financial status of its patients. They’ve been offering health services for over 100 years, and the system has been widely recognized for its pediatric healthcare. Jackson Health System often has a variety of open positions and likes to treat its staff as “miracle workers.”

Jackson Memorial Health

Average Nurse and Allied Health Pay Rates in Florida

Florida isn’t always known to be a top-paying state, but Vivian has some great jobs offering excellent pay, with some employers offering sign-on and relocation bonuses. In early December 2022, Vivian Health had 1,000s of healthcare jobs posted on our jobs marketplace at healthcare facilities throughout Florida. The following table demonstrates the average rates for travel and staff jobs in nursing and allied.

Discipline Average Pay Rate Max Pay Rate
Staff Registered Nurse $39/hour $77/hour
Travel Registered Nurse $1,969/week $4,770/week
Staff Allied Health $34/hour $65/hour
Travel Allied Health $2,070/week $3,742/week

While the salaries above reflect the average of all professionals within each discipline, actual pay varies based on specialty, location, the number of working hours, experience, professional certifications and other factors employers may find essential to the role. The highest-paying specialty in Florida was Pediatrics OR for travel nurses and the NICU for staff RNs. Among allied health professionals, cardiovascular technologists earned the most among travelers, while physicists and pharmacists topped the highest-paid list for staff roles. Check Vivian’s salary tool to search average pay rates by location and specialty.

Cost of Living in Florida

The cost of living in Florida isn’t quite as high as in other in-demand states, so nurses and allied healthcare workers have a great chance to save some money with the right job and pay. Plus, there’s no state income tax in Florida, which can increase the overall take-home amount of each paycheck.

Florida healthcare jobs are abundant, and most specialties are hiring year-round. Seasonal positions are common October-May for the snowbirds that flock to Florida, but housing costs tend to increase exponentially during that time, making it difficult for some temporary workers to balance salary and cost of living. Permanent staff positions offer the benefit of a consistent cost of living without worrying about rent increases due to seasonal demand. 

Top Locations to Live in Florida


Miami, Florida

There are many reasons people flock to Miami, making it Florida’s second-largest city. Sunshine for days on end, gorgeous beaches, culture, art, music, renowned restaurants and a bustling nightlife are just a few reasons healthcare professionals choose to move to this South Florida location. Medical workers can choose from many healthcare systems in Miami or nearby cities like Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood. According to the BLS, Miami ranks fifth in the U.S. for employment of healthcare support occupations. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area ranks in the top 10 for the highest level of employment of RNs and all healthcare practitioners and technical fields.

Miami includes several areas that attract residents and visitors. The South Beach area is famous for its high-end shopping, celebrity-chef restaurants and VIP party scene. Little Havana is a colorful neighborhood full of art and the scent of wafting cigar smoke. Miami Beach is known for its spectacular coastline, Art Deco architecture along Ocean Drive and lively beach scene. Overall, people love the fun atmosphere and events happening year-round in Miami, including professional sports, music venues, dance clubs, art exhibits and more.


Universal Studios Orlando, Florida

Known for its theme parks and tourist attractions, many people don’t realize there’s much more to this city. Lakes and freshwater springs throughout Orlando offer great opportunities for water sports, especially paddle boarding and kayaking. Some of its inter-coastal waterways are home to manatees and other wild marine life, making Florida a state like no other.

Beautiful botanical gardens, a drive-through giraffe ranch where you can feed the animals and a zip line adventure park with suspended bridges and Tarzan swings await those looking for adventure outside the theme parks. You can also hop on an airboat tour of the Everglades headwaters, located only an hour south of Orlando. Of course, Orlando is the place to be if you’re a Disney or Universal fan. Take advantage of your Florida resident discount rate and enjoy the theme parks, Epcot, Busch Gardens, and all the other options for fun and relaxation the city offers.


Tampa Florida

The city of Tampa is packed with fusion food and outdoor parks, and it’s close to the Busch Gardens/Adventure Island experiences. Healthcare workers in Tampa love living in this vibrant city that makes you feel like you’re on vacation year-round. Tampa has some of the best weather in the state, with summer highs rarely going above 100 degrees. The job market in Tampa is growing, with healthcare at the forefront. Nurses and other healthcare professionals have many job choices, and the cost of living is less than in some other areas of the state.

This bustling western Florida city is across the bay from St. Petersburg and just east of Clearwater. While St. Petersburg is a beach town with beautiful beaches and a cool vibe, it also holds the record for most consecutive days of sunshine at 768. Clearwater Beach is one of the top beaches in the U.S., with white sand, water sports and activities that consistently draw people to the area.


Sarasota Beach Scene

Renowned for white sand beaches, crystal clear blue waters and the pristine environment of Lido and Siesta Key, the Sarasota coastline is a great place to live and work. Located on the gulf shore south of Tampa, Sarasota’s beaches are inviting, the water is warm and there’s plenty of room to spread out on the soft sand. Sarasota also has a vivid arts scene, fabulous restaurants, farmer’s markets and adorable shops and boutiques.

It’s considered the cultural center of West Florida, and travel nurses love working in such a beautiful environment. Visit the majestic Myakka River State Park for a wildlife experience, wander through groves of palm trees and live oaks or take a tour by kayak. Sarasota is also home to the Ringling Museum of Art, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium and Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary. 


Gainesville Landscape

A central Florida town with a trendy feel, Gainesville is home to the University of Florida. As a center for medicine and education, UF Health Hospital attracts a variety of healthcare professionals. The campus includes the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Butterfly Rainforest, with fun cafes and a lively nightlife scene nearby. A small-town pace and abundant outdoor space make Gainesville one of the top locations to move to in Florida. Travel nurses and HCPs like the city’s hip atmosphere and easy access to freshwater lakes for year-round boating and swimming.

Popular Florida Attractions

Florida offers a wealth of entertainment options, historic sites and natural wonders across the state. Whether you’re relocating to Florida permanently or looking for sites to visit during travel assignments, check out these amazing sights in The Sunshine State. If you’re travel nursing with a family, some spots are a must-see while in the area.

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World

Located near Orlando in Lake Buena Vista, Walt Disney World is likely the most famous and most popular attraction in Florida and a primary part of the Disney theme park empire. It’s the world’s largest, most visited theme park resort. The sprawling campus houses four individual theme parks: The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studio. It also encompasses numerous water parks, golf courses, hotels, retail outlets, restaurants and other attractions that make up Florida’s glorious wonderland.

Universal Studios Orlando

The top challenger to Disney World is Universal Studios Orlando, the largest of the Universal Studios theme parks. This magnificent complex of movie magic and fun includes two theme parks, the original Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. It also features three resort hotels, a nightclub and restaurant complex and a CityWalk.

Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park - Key West, FL

Located about 70 miles west of Key West, this national park is made up of seven small islands and is only accessible by seaplane or boat. It’s known as the home to Fort Jefferson, as well as pristine waters with bright coral reefs filled with abundant marine life. 

The Florida Keys and Key West

Located 120 miles off the southern tip of Florida is the island chain oasis known as The Florida Keys. The keys are a popular destination for fishing, snorkeling, boating and scuba diving. The water is a beautiful teal, and the nightlife is all about those island vibes. Key West is the southernmost point in the U.S. and was home to Ernest Hemingway during his heyday.

Biscayne National Park

Just a few miles from Miami is Biscayne National Park, a place dedicated to protecting coral reefs and all ocean waters. The bright blue waters, along with the historical sites, attract visitors to this park year-round.

Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center
Guaranteed to please anyone obsessed with space and the stars, the Kennedy Space Center offers a variety of out-of-the-world experiences. Located in Cape Canaveral, this attraction gives visitors a hands-on feel of the history of humans in space.

Caladesi Island State Park

Only accessible by boat, visitors can kayak through the mangrove forest located on the bayside, or they can stroll the beaches of soft, white sand. It’s truly one of the few unspoiled islands on the Gulf Coast. The Scharrer Homestead appeals to history buffs wanting to explore as they stand surrounded by live oak trees. A former resident of the homestead, Myrtle Scharrer Betz, referred to the island as “paradise,” and not much has changed in the deep blue clear water, streaked with bits of teal and turquoise.

The Everglades

Florida Everglades

Probably Florida’s most well-known National Park, the Everglades are teeming with wildlife and airboats. Often referred to as an international treasure, the park is also a World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve and a Wetland of International Importance. The Florida Everglades is the only place on earth where alligators and crocodiles coexist. Aside from these scaled creatures, the bird watching here is out of this world, and you may spot a manatee or even the mysterious Florida panther roaming the shores.

Florida is a fantastic state to grow your nursing or allied health career if you’re looking for year-round warm weather, beautiful beaches and abundant job opportunities. Browse Vivian Health to find your dream healthcare job in The Sunshine State.

Rachel Norton BSN, RN

Rachel Norton became an RN in 2007 and has been part of the Vivian team since 2019. She has always worked in critical care, and spent the first 12 years of her career working in a surgical neuroscience trauma ICU. She's also worked as a flight nurse, started travel nursing in 2010 and continued working in the ICU until joining Vivian full-time in 2022. As a user researcher, Rachel advocates for healthcare workers to help bridge the gap between employee and employer expectations.

Comments (2)

I am looking for a change and want out of Florida, unlike other nurses but am terribly afraid of leaving the familiar and safe. I am not young and vibrant, although feel that I can still be useful. Do you have any advice for me?


Thanks for reaching out, Norma. Check out Vivian’s current job listings to see if any location and/or position feels right to you. We have travel positions for a temporary change or permanent positions when you’re ready for a long-term commitment. You can browse all our job postings here: https://www.vivian.com/browse-jobs/landing/


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