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Tulsa, OK: Healthcare Employment Location Guide

Healthcare professionals looking for a location where they’re treated like superstars may want to consider Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the prescription for career satisfaction comes with a side of Southern hospitality. As the second largest city in Oklahoma, Tulsa offers excellent opportunities for nurses and allied health professionals. Its thriving healthcare sector and lower-than-average cost of living provide a rewarding place to live and work in the Sooner State

Tulsa has much to offer, including a relatively favorable climate with four distinct seasons, captivating attractions, a vibrant arts and music scene and diverse culinary offerings. Its robust job market goes beyond the healthcare field, with flourishing aerospace, energy, manufacturing and technology industries that help support a stable economy. Whether you’re drawn to its many outdoor recreational opportunities, dynamic neighborhoods or a strong sense of community, T-Town offers a rich quality of life and a wealth of staff or travel nursing jobs or allied health positions that let you embark on the next leg of your career journey.

Top Hospitals in Tulsa, OK

Tulsa’s robust healthcare landscape provides ample employment prospects for nurses and allied health professionals in a broad array of specialties. It’s home to several renowned hospitals and medical centers known for their commitment to exceptional patient care, specialized services and cutting-edge technologies. These facilities also support healthcare workers’ professional growth and career advancement. Consider one of these leading healthcare employers in Tulsa for your next career move.

Saint Francis Hospital

St. Francis Hospital Tulsa, Oklahoma

Recognized as a top-ranked institution for medical services, Saint Francis Hospital raises the bar for healthcare in Tulsa. From its state-of-the-art facilities and advanced medical services to its commitment to delivering the highest standard of patient care, Saint Francis serves as the anchor of the St. Francis Health System. U.S. News & World Report ranked it as the No. 1 hospital in Tulsa and No. 1 in Oklahoma for the sixth consecutive year in 2022-2023. As one of the largest emergency care providers in the region, it makes an attractive employment option for nurses interested in trauma and critical care. Its dedication to innovation, collaborative work environments and professional growth provide nurses and allied health workers an excellent place to work and grow their careers.

Hillcrest Medical Center

Peggy V. Helmerich Women’s Health Center at Hillcrest Medical Center

As the primary campus of the Hillcrest Healthcare System, Hillcrest Medical Center is a comprehensive medical facility offering a wide range of specialized services and diverse career options for healthcare professionals. Its addition of the TeamBirth program makes it one of the best hospitals in Tulsa for nurses interested in caring for expectant mothers, and its regional burn center and wound care center provide exceptional training in this life-threatening care. As an academic hospital, Hillcrest offers varied opportunities for nurses and allied health workers to delve into education, research and professional development while delivering high-quality patient care. Its supportive environment and culture of collaboration help healthcare professionals thrive in their careers, offering an ideal place to work and make a difference.

Ascension St. John Medical Center

Ascension St. John Medical Center, Tulsa, OK

With a patient-centered approach focused on compassionate patient care, Ascension St. John Medical Center offers nurses and allied health professionals a fulfilling workplace that prioritizes a supportive work environment. Recognized as the No. 2 hospital in Tulsa and Oklahoma, Ascension St. John is committed to improving the health of the community and seeks dedicated staff who support this goal. Healthcare professionals may be particularly drawn to its reputation for providing quality care, especially in stroke treatment, women’s health, orthopedics, cancer care and cardiac conditions. The medical center also offers a range of professional development opportunities, including ongoing education and training programs, to help healthcare professionals excel in their careers.

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Average Nurse and Allied Health Pay Rates in Tulsa, OK

In late June 2023, Vivian Health had approximately 950 jobs listed in Tulsa for various nursing or allied health positions, with full salary transparency to help healthcare professionals make sound career decisions. Staff nursing jobs in Tulsa paid an average of $31.41 per hour during this period, about 1% higher than the state average. Travel nursing salaries were slightly under the state norm, paying $1,982 per week on average.

RELATED: Learn more in our Tulsa RN Salary Guide.

In late June 2023, Tulsa had limited staff allied health jobs available, with hourly pay averaging $24.41, about 4% less than the state average. Conversely, travel allied health jobs in Tulsa averaged $2,344 per week, about 4% more than the state average. The following table demonstrates the combined average and maximum pay for nurses and allied health workers in various staff and travel roles at top hospitals and other healthcare facilities in Tulsa and the surrounding metro area.

Discipline Average Pay Rate

Max Pay Rate

Staff Registered Nurse



Travel Registered Nurse



Staff Allied Health Professional



Travel Allied Health Professional



While the salaries above reflect the average of all professionals within each discipline, actual pay varies based on location, education, experience, professional certifications, work schedule and other factors employers deem essential to the role. Specialty can also play a role but so can current demand. 

For example, the highest paying staff nursing jobs in Tulsa at the end of June 2023 were hospice RN positions, while the most lucrative travel nursing jobs were contracts for cardiac cath lab and CVOR nurses. In comparison, the highest-paying staff allied health jobs across Oklahoma included roles for pharmacists and medical assistants. In contrast, top earning travel allied health jobs in Tulsa were positions for MRI, cath lab and radiology technologists.

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Cost of Living in Tulsa, OK

The overall cost of living in Tulsa is generally considered affordable at nearly 18% below the national norm per Sperling’s Best Places, making it an attractive option for healthcare professionals. Housing prices are more than 49% less than the national average, and transportation costs are about 10% lower, offering a more comfortable lifestyle and financial stability compared to larger metropolitan areas. 

Groceries and utilities also trend lower, but higher taxes throw a monkey wrench into the mix regarding finances. According to Kiplinger, Oklahoma has one of the highest combined state and local sales tax rates nationwide. Also, groceries are subject to sales tax (unlike some states), and utility services incur taxes, partially countering the lower initial costs. Furthermore, the state income tax schedule puts most residents in the state’s highest bracket, taking a larger chunk out of take-home pay.

Despite the higher tax considerations, Tulsa, Oklahoma, still presents a more favorable economic climate than many major cities. One major consideration is lower-than-average fuel taxes, meaning gas prices are lower. Per AAA, Oklahoma tends to rank in the top 10 states with the lowest gas prices nationwide, with Tulsa’s per-gallon rate on June 30, 2023, at $3.19 compared to a state average of $3.22 and a national average of $3.53. Cheaper fuel and other reduced costs on everyday expenses contribute to a more budget-friendly lifestyle in Tulsa.

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Top Locations to Live in Tulsa, OK

RN Salary in Tulsa

Lower housing costs compared to similarly sized metros increases affordability, boosting opportunities for reasonable rental rates and homeownership. Whether seeking temporary abodes during travel contracts or a forever home to put down roots in a staff position, nurses and allied health professionals will find numerous unique neighborhoods to explore. Tulsa is known for its diversity in neighborhoods that tout quirky charm combined with varied amenities. If you need a home sweet home, consider one of these popular neighborhoods:

  • Brookside: This vibrant neighborhood just south of downtown Tulsa offers an appealing mix of residential, commercial and entertainment spaces. Brookside is a highly sought-after neighborhood that appeals to young professionals and families alike for a strong sense of community coupled with a lively, amenity-rich environment. It features a diverse range of cozy cafes, trendy boutiques and social venues, providing convenience and ambiance. Brookside also boasts attractive living options near popular medical facilities, and it’s adjacent to the Arkansas River, offering scenic views, plenty of outdoor activities and leisurely strolls for relaxing after a hard day at work. Rental prices in Brookside vary greatly, ranging from $900 to $2,000 monthly depending on individual needs, while home prices average between $300,000 and $750,000.
  • Cherry Street: Also known as the Pearl District, Cherry Street is a trendy neighborhood in midtown Tulsa but near the downtown area. The eclectic mix of art galleries, boutiques, local restaurants and lively entertainment venues attracts healthcare professionals who enjoy a bohemian flair in a walkable neighborhood. Cherry Street also plays host to various annual events and festivals, providing additional opportunities for socializing beyond its bustling nightlife on the main thoroughfare at East 15th Street. Renowned for its tree-lined streets, housing in the Pearl District consists of historic homes, townhouses and modern apartments. Home prices average $300,000, and rental prices range from $900 to $2,500 per month.
  • Riverside: Located along the banks of the Arkansas River, Riverside offers a picturesque neighborhood with lots of stunning views, serene parks and outdoor recreational options for kids and adults. Riverside attracts families, nature enthusiasts and healthcare professionals seeking a more peaceful living environment in the bustling city. Conversely, Riverside is known for its diverse dining scene, with trendy eateries sharing space with cute cafes, various specialty stores and boutiques. Housing options include upscale historic properties, moderately priced single-family homes and modern apartments. Rental prices in Riverside range from $1,200 to $2,500 per month, while home prices average around $400,000.
  • South Tulsa: Nurses and allied health professionals seeking a neighborhood with more of a suburban feel may enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere in South Tulsa. Households with children benefit from the area’s excellent schools, convenient access to healthcare facilities and a range of amenities, including restaurants, shopping centers, parks and recreational opportunities. South Tulsa also offers a well-rounded mix of spacious single-family homes, apartments, townhouses and condominiums, providing ample choices for different lifestyles and budgets. Home prices run about $300,000, while rental rates generally range between $1,000 and $2,500 monthly.
  • Utica Square: While Utica Square is often considered part of the larger Midtown area, it’s a distinct neighborhood in Tulsa featuring a sophisticated shopping district and elegant homes. Known for its beautiful tree-lined streets, fine dining, upscale boutiques and other high-end amenities, Utica Square appeals to those seeking a more prestigious neighborhood with spacious, well-appointed homes and easy access to medical centers. Architectural styles in this sought-after neighborhood range from classic and historic to modern and contemporary, catering to an array of tastes. Rental prices in Utica Square range from $1,500 to $3,000 per month, while the average home price is approximately $700,000.

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Popular Tulsa, OK Attractions

Tulsa offers a plethora of captivating attractions to explore outside of work. Scenic outdoor spaces, cultural landmarks, museums and thriving entertainment venues provide a well-rounded blend of extracurricular opportunities. Consider these popular Tulsa attractions among the city’s seemingly endless options for exploring nature, art, music and entertainment.

Philbrook Museum of Art

Philbrook Museum of Art Tulsa, OK

Housed in an Italian Renaissance-style mansion surrounded by lush gardens, the Philbrook Museum of Art is a world-class museum showcasing a diverse collection of art, including Native American artifacts, masterpieces spanning periods and genres, and contemporary works from around the world. Philbrook also hosts educational programs, special exhibits and events that provide unique opportunities to engage with the art community. Whether marveling at the diverse art collection, strolling through the gardens or admiring the stunning architecture, the Philbrook Museum of Art offers an inspiring experience for healthcare professionals seeking a creative and cultural retreat.

The Gathering Place

The Gathering Place, Tulsa, OK

Tulsa’s renowned riverfront park, The Gathering Place, is a sprawling park offering a multitude of outdoor activities and fun entertainment and seasonal events for kids and adults. The park spans over 100 acres and features an amazing array of amenities, including playgrounds, sports courts, gardens and even a boathouse. The Gathering Place offers an inviting space for healthcare professionals to unwind, connect with others and rejuvenate within the splendor of nature’s bounty.

Tulsa Botanic Garden

Botanic Garden

Another ideal spot for nature lovers, the Tulsa Botanic Gardens offers a beautiful escape in a vast expanse of scenic trails and gardens featuring dynamic plant collections. Explore themed gardens, take part in educational programs, marvel at the colorful Floral Terraces or relax next to the serene Lake Katherine. The Garden also hosts art installations and seasonal events for additional inspiration. If you’re seeking natural splendor and moments of tranquility, the Tulsa Botanic Garden offers an ideal space to unwind and reconnect with nature because there’s always something in bloom.

Cain’s Ballroom

Cain's Ballroom Tulsa, OK

Step into the heart of Tulsa’s dynamic music scene at Cain’s Ballroom, an iconic music venue that’s hosted legendary performers since the 1920s. Known as the “Carnegie Hall of Western Swing,” Cain’s Ballroom’s rich history and vibrant atmosphere appeal to those with a love for live music. Its diverse lineup of local and nationally renowned musicians and bands means you can catch performances spanning genres, from rock to country, blues to alternative, and everything in between. The allure of its rustic ambiance and historic spring-loaded maple hardwood dance floor further creates a memorable night out immersed in the energetic world of music that Tulsa is noted for.

Gilcrease Museum

For those seeking to immerse themselves in the rich heritage and art of the American West, the Gilcrease Museum more than satisfies that desire. Also known as the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, this esteemed museum houses the world’s largest, most comprehensive collection of art of the American West, including Native American artifacts, Western art and historical documents. Delve into captivating stories and artistic expressions detailing the cultural diversity and history of the region. Located in the northwest corner of downtown Tulsa, the Gilcrease Museum is undergoing a massive rebuild that will make the venue better than ever.

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Tulsa’s Foodie Scene

Oklahoma BBQ

Savor the flavor that’s Tulsa’s foodie scene with local specialties like Oklahoma-style comfort food, slow-cooked barbeque and Tex-Mex. Combine that with the city’s diverse international cuisines from around the world and farm-to-table fare created with fresh, local ingredients, and the culinary delights just keep coming. Savor authentic street tacos and flavorful salsas from vibrant Mexican establishments, or embrace a taste of the Mediterranean from Greek and Lebanese eateries dishing up delectable gyros, hummus and falafel. Whether you’re craving something smoky, savory or sweet, locally sourced or globally gastronomic, Tulsa’s food culture serves up a flavorful journey that tantalizes the taste buds and offers a culinary adventure that keeps you coming back for more.

Getting Around T-Town

Healthcare professionals who prefer not to drive and seek a convenient commute have public transportation options in Tulsa. The city’s extensive public bus system, operated by Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority, offers accessible and affordable transportation that serves various neighborhoods and major employment centers throughout the city. Nurses and allied health professionals can rely on these bus routes to access multiple hospitals and other medical facilities easily. For active healthcare professionals, Tulsa has a growing network of bike lanes and trails that help make cycling a more viable mode of transportation when commuting shorter distances.

Whether you’re looking for staff or travel positions in Tulsa or anywhere in Oklahoma, you can count on Vivian Health to help you find the perfect job. We also offer career tips for Tulsa RNs to further assist with your job search. Sign up with Vivian and let us help you take the next step on your career journey today.

Moira K. McGhee

Moira K. McGhee is Vivian’s Senior Editor & All-Around Wordsmith. As part of the Vivian Health team, she strives to help support the empowerment of nurses and other healthcare professionals in their pursuits to find top-notch travel, staff, local contract and per diem positions faster and easier than ever.

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