One of the biggest perks of being a travel nurse is that it enables you to live and work in environments with climates that call to you most and to choose them according to the season. 

If you’re keen on escaping the winter blues and basking in a little bit of desert sun, consider exploring travel nursing jobs in Arizona—a state that boasts a whopping 299 days of sunshine per year!

Whether you’ve already accepted an Arizona travel nursing job or you’re intrigued by the idea of it, this is your go-to guide for ensuring a seamless and pleasurable experience.

The Appeal of Arizona for Travel Nurses

“Travel nursing Arizona” is a hot topic and search for RNs who love warm, sunny weather and the outdoor thrills that come with it. Specifically, the Grand Canyon State is incredibly appealing for travel nurses because it features:

  • World-class medical centers – Arizona’s healthcare options are among the best in the nation. Home to 30 Banner Health hospitals, the ever-prestigious Mayo Clinic-Arizona, and the City of Hope Cancer Center-Phoenix, The Grand Canyon State is a leading destination for specialized medical care. It’s also home to Phoenix’s St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and one of the country’s largest and most esteemed burn centers (the Arizona Burn Center–Vallewise Health Foundation), making it an optimal spot for burn nurses—or those interested in accruing experience in a burn unit. 

When you partner with an agency like Host Healthcare, you can more easily further your nursing career through exclusive opportunities at these leading facilities. Our recruiters take into account your specialty, preferences, and goals to match you with the exact right travel assignment for you. 

  • Increased winter demand – You’re certainly no stranger to the fact that the nation is enduring one of the most dire nursing staffing shortages in history. Arizona has been hit especially hard, with estimates suggesting the state will have the highest number of vacancies by 2025. The demand for qualified RNs like you is particularly high in the winter months when snowbirds flock to Arizona for its outdoor sports and seasonable weather. This may open up additional travel nursing assignments, and, if you’re a winter sports lover yourself, you’ll have plenty to do during your days off.
  • Urban sophistication and stunning natural attractions – Whether you’re a self-proclaimed foodie or a sucker for a striking sunset, Arizona offers a wealth of cosmopolitan delights, splendid sights, and outdoor adventures. Phoenix, for one, is a walkable shopper’s paradise. Meanwhile, Sedona and the Grand Canyon are globally renowned for their otherworldly beauty.
  • Globally-renowned food – Arizona’s culinary scene is, in a word, brilliant. Many of the dishes and drinks that have come to define the Southwest—Sonoran hot dogs, fry bread, prickly pear margaritas, Navajo tacos, and chimichangas, to name just a few—are readily available throughout the state. Plus, Phoenix boasts several fantastic, James Beard award-winning restaurants.

Top Cities and Regions for Travel Nursing Assignments

From huge, electrifying cities to chill, rural regions, Arizona abounds with unique spots that suit a range of personalities. A few of the best spots in the state for travel nurses include:

  • Phoenix – The state capital is a natural fit for travel nurses who want that “sunshine and scrubs” experience in the heart of an exhilarating city. Phoenix has 215 hospitals, including the acclaimed Mayo Clinic-Arizona. Gaining professional experience, however, is only one part of the draw of travel nursing in Phoenix. In fact, the city as a whole has plenty to offer, including a vibrant arts and culture scene, superb shopping, and distinct regions each with their own charm, such as:
    • Tempe
    • Old Town Scottsdale
    • Arcadia
    • Desert Ridge
    • Downtown
  • Tucson – Tucson may not have the walkability of certain districts in Phoenix, but the state’s second largest city makes up for it in spades with its wonderful diversity, rich history, fun festivals, and extraordinary scenery. Tucson also houses the Diamond Children’s Medical Center, which might hold tremendous appeal for pediatric nurses who want to hone their skills and broaden their experience.
  • Flagstaff – Searching for a more intimate professional and personal experience that includes access to outdoor escapades? Consider adding Flagstaff to your list of potential Arizona travel nursing locations. Situated in the northern, mountainous region of the state, the laidback city is near the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and Antelope Canyon. Plus, its primary hospital, Flagstaff Medical Center, offers travel nurses a more personalized experience thanks to its smaller size. 

Other top spots for those Arizona travel nursing jobs you may have been Googling include Mesa—a striking city in the center of the Sonoran Desert—and Sun City, Glendale, Kingman, and Gilbert.

Licensing and Requirements for Travel Nurses in Arizona

If you’ve been Googling “travel nursing Arizona,” you’re not alone. Arizona is a premier choice for travel nurses because it’s part of the Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC). (To nurses who are new to the process, this means that you won’t have to obtain additional licensure if you hold a valid license from another participating state.)

A qualified and responsive travel nurse recruiter will help you put together the additional requirements you’ll need to fulfill if you accept a travel nursing job in Arizona. Typically, these include:

  • Physical exams
  • Drug screening
  • Vaccine records
  • Federal and state-required fingerprints
  • Background check

Securing Housing for Your Arizona Nursing Adventure

Arizona may have some of the most extraordinary vistas in the nation but it’s also renowned for its reasonable cost of living, particularly in terms of housing. To get an idea of what types of homes are available, check out resources like:

  • Zillow
  • Zumper
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Airbnb
  • Vrbo
  • Furnished Finders

Fortunately, top-notch recruiting agencies like Host Healthcare offer personalized housing assistance and support so that you don’t have to stress about securing your own housing before your assignment begins. 

Essential Tips for Navigating the Grand Canyon State as a Travel Nurse

With your dream region selected, and your credential requirements and housing fulfilled, how else can you ensure your Arizona travel nursing assignment goes as smoothly and enjoyably as possible?

Consider these tips:

  • Connect with networks and resources – Travel nursing can sometimes feel like an isolating experience, but that doesn’t need to be the case if you actively work to connect with others and rely on travel nursing resources. Prior to setting off for Arizona, you may want to connect with other travel nurses in your destination through social media. Once you arrive, consider inviting a colleague or two out for a pint at one of the state’s acclaimed breweries, a hike, or to check out live music. Another option is taking advantage of resources specific to nurses, such as RNconnect 2 Well-being—a complimentary support system offered by the Arizona Nurses Association. 
  • Find a mentorMentoring in nursing is essential to say the least. Navigating a new facility and its protocols may have its challenges but it’s all the more doable if you have a mentor to work with. A number of healthcare institutions have nurse mentorship programs, but you can also explore your options through the American Nursing Association (ANA) and the American Association for Nurse Practitioners. 
  • Immerse yourself in the Arizona lifestyle – No matter if you choose Scottsdale or Flagstaff, it’s important to acclimate yourself to your new city so that you can start feeling at home. From checking out the local farmer’s market to tasting your way through the area’s amazing culinary scene, there are unlimited ways to engage with your new culture and community.
  • Explore the great outdoors between nursing shifts – Arizona is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, and there is no savvier way to practice self-care and manage your mental health than by soaking up some time outside. Fortunately, the state features a boatload of one-of-a-kind outdoor escapades, including:
    • Hiking in the Grand Canyon 
    • Bicycling down Mount Lemmon—a 20-mile trek that offers breathtaking views
    • Horseback riding in Sedona
    • Touring Arizona’s ruins, such as Montezuma’s Castle in the Verde Valley and the Sycamore Canyon Cliff Dwellings
  • Mentally and physically prepare yourself to be busy – Arizona sees an uptick in visitors in summer and winter, which may lead to a greater influx of patients at its hospitals, urgent care centers, and other medical facilities. Accepting that you may be exceptionally busy during these seasons is the first step toward managing your shifts with confidence. 

Soak Up the Arizona Sun on Your Next Nursing Assignment with Host Healthcare

Few things are more liberating than packing your bags and fleeing the winter chill for a travel nursing assignment in a state that boasts year-round idyllic weather. 

With winter temps that hover in the 70s, Arizona is one such place to explore when considering new travel nursing destinations. It also features first-rate healthcare centers that can deepen your nursing knowledge, introduce you to cutting-edge medical practices, and ultimately amplify your credentials.

Bring Host Healthcare along on your travel nursing journey. We match talented, passionate nurses like you with reliable and experienced recruiters who are committed to your contentment, success, and comfort. Add outstanding benefits, housing assistance, an unlimited referral program, and 24/7/365 support to the list, and you can see why Host Healthcare is consistently ranked as one of the country’s top travel nurse staffing agencies.

Build the life and career you dream (and deserve) and apply to Host Healthcare today.



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