What to Expect: Travel Nurse Jobs in Hawaii
If you ask a group of travel nurses where they want to go, chances are that Hawaii will be on a few people’s bucket list. With miles of beach, a tropical climate and plenty of outdoor activities, it’s a paradise whether your idea of fun is lounging in the sand with a drink in your hand or hiking through national parks, Hawaii has something to offer nearly everyone.
When someone says Hawaii, it’s important to understand exactly what they mean. Hawaii is made up of eight main islands in the Pacific Ocean. Nearly 2000 miles of water come between the islands and the west coast of the U.S. The eight main islands include Ni’ihau, Kaua’i, O’ahu, Moloka’i, Lana’i, Kaho’olawe, Maui and Hawai’i. Hawai’i is often called the “Big Island.”
Hawaii is the eighth smallest state by land, but ranks 13th by population density. That’s a lot of folks packed into those islands. Two thirds of people live on O’ahu and the state’s capital Honolulu is located there. Although there are eight islands, only six are available to locals and tourists. Ni’ihau is a private island with restricted access, and Kaho’olawe is completely restricted, and people are not allowed on the island. Kaho’olawe is a former military base and anyone who attempts to enter the island is subject to being arrested. Additionally, there may be unexploded mines so it’s best to stay away from Kaho’olawe.
Although Hawaii is a tropical island climate, the temperature and humidity levels are likely more moderate than you expect. Summer temps range from 75-88 in the summers and 65-83 in the winters. Some mountains can even experience snow in the winter months, though only at elevations over 13,000. If you’re there from October-April, expect some rain as that’s the area’s wet season.
Most people think Hawaii and immediately think paradise. And they’re not wrong. Most people have probably seen television and movies when new visitors are greeted with a flower lei and a cold drink immediately upon checking into a hotel or getting off an airplane.
There are about 750 total miles of ocean coastline so if your off-hours include spending time on a beach, you’re in luck. However, that’s not all there is to do in Hawaii. There are two National Parks on the islands, Haleakala National Park on Maui and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Hawai’i. Additionally, there are three national historic parks:
- Kalaupapa National Historical Park, which was the site of a former leper colony
- Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park
- Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park
If you want the chance to see endangered species, you’ll find them in Hawaii. The Haleakala National Park has more endangered species than any other national park in the United States. The kiwikiu bird is critically endangered and there are thought to be less than 200 of them left.
If you’re a golf fan, there are more than 70 courses packed into those islands. You’ll find everything from world-famous courses that are one the PGA tour like Turtle Bay Resort, Ko Olina Golf Club, a course built in the late 1800s and even one that requires no reservations—all you do is show up and play.
Becoming a Hawaii Travel Nurse: Hospitals in Hawaii
Because of the location, Hawaii’s hospitals are on the smaller side with about 2500 staffed beds spread out over 14 different facilities. There is only one Trauma I hospital, The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu. Seven others are Trauma III and the Tripler Army Medical Center is a Trauma II center. Despite the small number of hospitals, there are Hawaii travel RN jobs available. However, there’s a lot of competition for these jobs because everyone wants to go to Hawaii, so you’ll need stay in contact with your recruiter if when you’re looking for travel nurse jobs in Hawaii.
Travel Nurse in Hawaii: Pay & Contracts
Like everywhere else, the travel nurse salary in Hawaii can vary by facility, specialty and even the time of the year. How many people do you think want to find travel nurse jobs in Hawaii in the winter? A. Lot. When you’re looking for travel nurse assignments in Hawaii, you need to move quickly. A lot of people want to go to Hawaii, just for the experience, even though the cost of living is high and travel nurse Hawaii salary may not fully compensate, considering the cost of housing. If you’re interested in travel RN jobs in Hawaii, be patient and stay in touch with your recruiter throughout the process.
Getting a Nursing License for Hawaii Travel Nurse Assignments
Getting your nursing license for Hawaii travel nurse jobs can take a while. Hawaii is not a part of the Nurse Licensure Compact so you’ll need to apply individually before you can work in Hawaii. The process can take up to 45-60 business days so you should start the application process at least three months before you want to take a travel assignment in Hawaii. Fees vary according to the time of year you apply and you’ll also need fingerprints, a copy of your license and your transcripts before you can take a job travel nursing in Hawaii.
Things to Do in Hawaii
The islands are full of things to do and see during those days you’re not on the clock. While this list doesn’t include even 10% of what there is to do in Hawaii, we’ll get you started.
Diamond Head is a volcanic crater located along the southern shore of Oahu. The hike to the top is challenging, but worth it so if you’re taking part in the 52 Week Challenge, it’s a great one to do. The trail is paved and well-marked with rest stops with benches along the way if you need to take a break or catch your breath before continuing your journey up this steep hillside. The best part about hiking Diamond Head? You get an amazing view at the end!
Of course, Hawaii isn’t Hawaii without the beach. Waikiki Beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Hawaii and it’s a great place to people watch. If you’re the adventurous type, catch a few waves because Waikiki is known for its great surfing. Don’t miss out on the sunset through—we’ve heard they’re spectacular.
If you’re a history buff, you can’t miss Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. The memorial commemorates those who died when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Remains of the battleship USS Arizona are below and you can actually walk down (or take an elevator) to a dry dock where there’s a list of everyone who was killed in the attack. Also nearby is the Battleship Missouri Memorial, a museum built around an old U.S. Navy battleship. The battleship saw action in WWII and the Korean War.
Places to Eat in Hawaii
If you want to experience the culture and traditions of Hawaii, then a luau is the perfect place to start. A traditional Hawaiian feast served with hula dancing and music, luaus have been around for hundreds of years. They’re held frequently throughout the islands so it’s possible to find one to fit your schedule. Food can be traditional poi or poke, but others may have a more modern menu. However, all have entertainment with hula dancers who perform during dinner and afterwards when it gets dark outside.
Looking for a sit down restaurant in downtown Honolulu? Look no further than The Pig and the Lady. The menu is distinctly Vietnamese, with bahn mis, pho and nuong noodle salads. The restaurant even has a food stand with weekly specials at farmer’s markets throughout the island of Oahu. Check out their website for the most current schedule.
If you’re in Haleiwa or Kaneohe, check out Haleiwa Joe’s. The restaurant offers both seafood and land favorites such as braised short ribs, teriyaki top sirloin, coconut shrimp and multiple fish dishes. The menu pictures on Haleiwa Joe’s website are full of bright color and delicious, fresh dishes. The restaurant doesn’t accept reservations so locals recommend that you get there early unless you’re prepared for a lengthy wait.
Finding Housing and Rental Cars in Hawaii
Finding temporary housing in Hawaii can be a challenge at times, because there are so many people living on the islands and a strong tourism industry. What housing is available can be expensive. Some people choose to live in a hotel, while others find an Airbnb or even share with a travel buddy to cut down on expenses.
Many folks choose to rent a car or find a location within walking distance to work because shipping a car to Hawaii can be pricy. It can cost at least $2000 to ship a vehicle one way, but rental cars can also be expensive. Turo is becoming more popular, but that’s also expensive.
Is Hawaii where you want to be? If so, check with a Triage recruiter and talk about travel nurse jobs today.