Travel Guides

Florida, ‘The Sunshine State’: Location Guide

Florida is one of the most popular states for people to live in. Nurses move there for the year-round warm weather, laid back vibes, turquoise ocean waters, and impeccable beaches. There are tons of nursing jobs available throughout the state, and many healthcare systems are offering enticing incentives to work for them! It’s not just for the snowbirds and elderly folks-  there are tons of adventure options! 

Top Locations to Live Florida


Known for its theme parks, many people don’t realize that there is a lot more to this city. Orlando is sprinkled with lakes and freshwater springs that offer great opportunities for water sports, especially paddle boarding and kayaking. Some of their waterways are ‘intercoastal’ and are home to manatees and other wild marine life. 

There are also beautiful botanical gardens, a cool giraffe ranch where you can feed the animals, and an adventure park built into the trees. You can also hop on an airboat tour of the Everglades headwaters, only an hour south of Orlando. And of course, if Disney is your thing- this is the place to live. Between the Universal parks, Epcot, Busch Gardens, the Disney parks, and all of the other options for fun and relaxation, Orlando is sure to please almost anyone that moves there. 


Who wouldn’t want to live near the Sarasota coastline? It’s renowned for white sand beaches, crystal clear blue waters, and the pristine environment of Lido and Siesta Key. The beaches are inviting, the water is warm, and there is plenty of room to spread out on the soft sand. Sarasota has a vivid arts scene, fabulous restaurants, and adorable shops and boutiques. 

It’s considered to be 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 and wander through groves of palm trees and live oaks, originally explored Native Americans.  And- it’s only an hour south of Tampa!


A small college town with a trendy feel in central Florida. Gainesville is full of freshwater swimming opportunities, hip cafes, and a vivacious nightlife scene. A slower pace of life and abundance of outdoor space makes Gainesville one of the top places to move in Florida. Healthcare professionals like the hip atmosphere with easy access to the lakes for boating and swimming, year round!


There is a reason this is one of Florida’s most popular places to live. Sunshine for days on end, absolutely gorgeous beaches, top notch shopping, culture, art, music, renowned restaurants, and a bustling nightlife are a few of the reasons people choose to move to South Florida. 

The South Beach neighborhood is famous for its fabulous fiestas and VIP party scene. Little Havana is a colorful neighborhood full of art and the scent of wafting cigar smoke. People love the fun atmosphere and outdoor events in Miami. Healthcare workers can choose from one of the many healthcare systems in Miami, and the nearby cities like Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood.


People tend to forget about this western Florida city across the bay from St. Petersburg and just east of Clearwater. 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 most alluring beaches in Florida. White sand beaches and vibrant water draw people to this area. 

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

Florida Hospitals and Healthcare Systems

Memorial Healthcare System– This patient-safety oriented healthcare system is located in the areas surrounding and central to Hollywood, Florida and 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. Rumors among south Florida nurses are that the pay is relatively decent, and they enjoy the variety of settings that Memorial has to offer. 

University of Miami Health System– This health system is spread out across multiple campuses with its flagship hospital being the UTower. The University of Miami offers tons of options for career growth and a variety of settings for clinicians to practice in. They are the only university healthcare system in South Florida and offer employment at three main hospitals, and over two dozen off site settings. Many of their open positions have huge sign on or relocation bonuses attached to them, and they are dedicated to a health work- life balance. University of Miami embraces an inclusive culture and wants staff to feel value, as well as add value. Vivian has some awesome UHealth jobs posted with huge pay incentives and a fast-tracked apply to hire process!

Baptist Health- South Florida– Baptist prides themselves on demonstrating a commitment to nurses through their “Center for Excellence in Nursing” program. The program is designed to grow their employees as their career moves forward. Its Nurse Scholars Program even provides training for those who want to begin a career in nursing. Also, geared towards nurses already working for Baptist Health South Florida, the “Grow Our Own” scheme facilitates identifying the best staff and promoting them.

Keralty Hospital Miami– Keralty Hospital is also known as Westchester General Hospital is located in Miami and prides itself on being a part of the community and serving the underserved. They are a physician owned hospital that offers a graduate medical education program that trains physicians and brag about a ‘patient-care centered experience’. They are 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 their patients. They have been offering health services for over 100 years and are widely recognized for their pediatric healthcare. They have over 300 open positions and treat their staff as ‘miracle workers’. 

Average Pay and Cost of Living

Florida isn’t known to be a top paying state, but Vivian has some great jobs that are offering top pay, plus some monetary motivators like sign on and relocation bonuses. The cost of living isn’t quite as high as other in-demand  states, so nurses and healthcare workers have a great chance to save a lot of cash with the right job and right pay. Plus, there is no state income tax in Florida, which can increase the amount of each paycheck that the nurse is banking. 

Finding housing isn’t as much of a struggle as in other states. There are a lot of options for rentals and home ownership. Many locations offer charming and historic neighborhoods and very reasonable prices. If you’re moving from out of state, take advantage of those relocation bonuses and find your ‘perfect’ place to live. 

Florida Job Market 

The nice thing about Florida is that it’s beautiful year round! 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 jobs can be lucrative, especially with many facilities offering sign-on bonuses and other incentives upon hire. Plus, those that live in Florida can enjoy a consistent cost of living without worrying about rent increases due to seasonal demand. 

Popular Florida Attractions

Check Out these Stunning Sights Located in The Sunshine State

Dry Tortugas National Park– Located about 70 miles west of Keywest, this national park is made up of seven small islands, and is only accessible by seaplane or boat. It’s known as being 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– 120 miles off the southern tip of Florida lies 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 color and the nightlife is all about those island vibes. Key West is the southernmost point in the US and was home to Hemingway during his heyday. 

Biscayne National Park– Located just a few miles from Miami, this park is 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– 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 to the history of humans in space. 

Caladesi Island State Park– This is one of the few unspoiled islands on the Gulf Coast. 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. There is also the Scharrer Homestead for the history buffs out there to explore as they stand surrounded by live oak trees. The former resident of the homestead, Myrtle Scharrer Betz, referred to the island as ‘paradise’, and not much as changed in the deep blue clear water, streaked with bits of teal and turquoise. 

Everglades– Probably Florida’s most well known National Park, the Everglades are teeming with wildlife and air boats. Often referred to as an ‘international treasure’, the park is also a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, and a Wetland of International Importance. Aside from alligators, 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 start your healthcare career nursing career if you are looking for year round warm weather and beautiful beaches. Connect with a recruiter on Vivian health today to find your dream job in the Sunshine State. 


Rachel Norton BSN, RN

I have been a critical care nurse since 2007. I grew up in the northeast but enjoy every corner of the country. My passions are people and travel. Travel nursing allows me to meet amazing people and satisfy my wanderlust. I love inspiring other nurses to travel and expand their practice.

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I like helping out by hosting nurses through my Air BnB, there’s also a special rate or 20% for travel nurses.


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