What to Expect: Travel Nursing Jobs in Michigan
Ever thought about travel nurse jobs in Michigan? While the Great Lakes State might not be on everyone’s bucket list, we can safely say that there’s something for everyone in Michigan. Travel nursing jobs can range from urban areas such as Detroit, to small towns like St. Joseph, to suburban areas like Saginaw and Livonia. If you’ve never considered travel RN jobs in Michigan, think again.
With over 10 million people, Michigan is the 10th largest state by population, and also the 11th largest by area. It’s biggest city is Detroit and almost half of the country’s population lives in metro Detroit, making it the 14th biggest metro area in the United States. We know Detroit was big, but who knew it was that big? Other than the people of Michigan, we mean.
The weather in Michigan greatly depends on where you’ll be staying. In much of the Lower Peninsula, summers are hot and winters are cold. In the northern part of the Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula, the climate is more severe with shorter, warm summers and longer winters that can be very cold. Depending on the area, the high temperature in the winters can still be below freezing from December to February. Brrr.
Because of the Great Lakes, some areas can get as much as 160 inches of snowfall a year. If you’re coming in the winter, you’re definitely going to want to pack warm clothes and some good snow boots. Also, before you consider travel nursing in Michigan, make sure that you have decent tires on your car. You may not need dedicated snow tires, but definitely check that you have good, all-weather tires.
What would bring someone to Michigan? This state’s population mean that people working for travel nurse agencies in Michigan have options when they’re flying into Detroit. The Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, often called Detroit Metro or DTW, has six runways, two terminals and 129 gates. The airport has service to 30 international cities and 39 states. This means if you’re looking for a quick getaway during your assignment, or if you want to head out on vacation right after finishing up your assignment as a travel nurse in Michigan, you have a lot of options. Both Delta and Spirit have hubs at DTW, which gives you a lot of choice as a traveler.
Hospitals in Michigan
There are hundreds of hospitals in Michigan and over 20 of them have been named to the U.S. News and World Report’s list of the top hospitals in the country. The best hospitals in Michigan include:
- University of Michigan Health-Ann Arbor
- Beaumont Hospital-Royal Oak
- Beaumont Hospital-Grosse Pointe
- Beaumont Hospital-Troy
- Henry Ford Hospital
- Spectrum Health-Butterworth and Blodgett Campuses
- Munson Medical Center
- St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Hospital
- Bronson Methodist Hospital
- Ascension Providence Hospital-Southfield
- Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital
- Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals
- McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital
- Mercy Health St. Mary’s Campus
- Ascension Borgess Hospital
- Ascension Genesys Hospital
- Beaumont Hospital-Dearborn
- Covenant Healthcare Saginaw
- St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital
- Ascension St. Joseph Hospital
- McLaren Flint Hospital
While many of these hospitals are in the Detroit area, you can find top-ranked Michigan hospitals throughout the state if a big city isn’t your thing. Ann Arbor, for instance, where the University of Michigan Health-Ann Arbor is located, is about 45 minutes southwest of Detroit and nationally ranked in 13 specialties and 9 children’s specialties. Other top hospitals outside of Detroit are located in Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Kalamazoo, Petoskey, Grand Blanc and Saginaw. With so many of Michigan’s top hospitals in a variety of locations, there are sure to be travel nursing jobs in Michigan for everyone.
Michigan Travel Nurse Pay & Contracts
Like everywhere else, the pay for Michigan travel nurse jobs can vary by facility, specialty and even time of year. Before you sign a contract, work with your recruiter to understand exactly what your contract includes. Things like pay, reimbursements, time off and even which shift you’ll be working should all be spelled out in your contract.
Getting a License for Travel Nursing Jobs in Michigan
Unfortunately for travel nurses trying to get a contract in Michigan, the state does not participate in the Nurse Licensure Compact. This means that if you want to work as a traveler in Michigan, you’re going to have to do a little extra work in order to get your license. First, you need to have an active, unencumbered license in another U.S. state and have been initially licensed by taking the NCLEX. The Michigan Board of Nursing will also verify your license and needs to be submitted directly by the licensing agency of the state your license is from. It can take up to six weeks to receive your Michigan nursing license so make sure you leave yourself enough time if you’re planning on taking an assignment in Michigan.
Things to Do in Michigan
With the Great Lakes, Michigan is an outdoor lovers dream. There are 20.3 million acres of forests, four national parks, 103 state parks and rec areas. There are more than 1,300 miles of mountain bike and bike trails, and the second highest number of ski areas in the entire country—who would have thought? Interested in other snow sports? Michigan has 6,500 miles of snowmobile trails so if you’re there in the winter, take a few days and take full advantage of the snow.
If you’re there in the summer, mountain biking, snorkeling and golfing are big hits with the locals. Michigan has more than 650 public golf courses and plenty of beach towns running along the Lake Michigan coastline. If you’re up north, don’t miss Mackinac Island State Park and Arch Rock. On Mackinac Island, no cars are allowed and most people arrive by ferry boat. When on the island, there are horse drawn carriages to take you around to all the different sights and attractions. The island is full of history coming to life—you can tour Biddle House, with the Mackinac Island Native American Museum, the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park and Fort Mackinac. Don’t miss out on this unique experience!
If you’re a sports lover, you’re in luck too. Detroit is home to the Tigers, an MLB team, the Lions, an NFL team, the Red Wings, an NHL team and the Pistons, an NBA team. There are also more than 50 smaller sports teams, ranging from roller derby, women’s football, American Basketball Association teams and minor league baseball teams. If you’re a college sports fan, you can find teams from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University in the Big Ten and if you have a chance to experience Big Blue in person, you should. Smaller Division I schools include Central Michigan University, University of Detroit Mercy, Eastern Michigan University, Oakland University and Western Michigan University. There are also nearly 20 other Division II and III schools throughout the state.
If music is your thing, you can’t miss out on a visit to the Motown Museum. The museum was founded in 1965 by Esther Gordy Edwards, the sister of Motown executive Berry Gordy. The museum has a deep history of Motown music, including Studio A, Hitsville U.S.A. and a large collection of Motown photos, artifacts and memorabilia and is in the same home that Berry Gordy purchased in 1959 and converted into a recording studio. Don’t miss checking out the Motown piano, a 1877 Steinway and Sons piano that was used by Motown musicians from 1967-1972. In 2011, during a tour of Detroit, Paul McCartney asked to play the piano and discovered it was no longer in playing condition. He paid for the piano’s restoration in 2012 and played it later that year with Berry Gordy at a charity event.
Places to Eat in Michigan
Michigan has a huge variety of restaurants throughout the state, which made it hard to find just a few of our favorites. If you’re on assignment in Michigan, we’d love to hear about your must-not-miss spots.
If you’re looking for an amazing deli, don’t miss Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor. This half sandwich shop, half grocery store has a variety of sandwiches, like a traditional Reuben, a corned beef and chopped liver sandwich on rye bread, a corned beef and pastrami and so much more. The deli has sides like latkes, baked knish, roasted cauliflower, Asian garden noodles, cole slaw and macaroni salad. Although there’s only one location of Zingerman’s, it’s definitely one you should check out while you’re in the area.
If BBQ is what you’re in the mood for, check out Slows BBQ. With permanent locations in the Corktown neighborhood in Detroit and Grand Rapids, a to-go spot in Midtown, a food truck and even two concession stands in Ford Field, you have lots of options when you have a craving for BBQ. Slows is known for its smoked pulled pork with Carolina style sauce, but also offers other options like smoked pulled chicken, beef brisket and even a plant-based option for vegetarians. Sides include mac n cheese, smoked beans, sweet potato mash and fries. Slows is also known for its extensive craft beer list so come thirsty.
Looking for authentic Mediterranean food? Head to Dearborn and Al-Ameer. Find specialties like chicken shawarma, hummus, roasted lamb, shish kababs, tabbouli salad, falafel and baba ghanouge. The restaurant also has specials each day, as well as seasonal specials during Ramadan. Al-Ameer has been a family oriented restaurant since 1989, serving the people of Dearborn and Dearborn Heights.
If you’ve been curious about Detroit-style pizza, step on over to when it was invented—Buddy’s. Detroit style pizza might not be as well-known as Chicago deep dish or New York pizza, but you shouldn’t miss it if you’re in Michigan. The crust is thick with a crunchy bottom, while the top is overloaded with melted cheese. Buddy’s even uses its own proprietary blend of cheese, which is a crumbled Wisconsin brick cheese. Buddy’s has been serving pizza since 1946 and has locations throughout Michigan.
Finding Housing for Michigan Travel Nurse Jobs
Finding housing when you’re working travel nurse jobs in Michigan can be challenging or easy, depending on where you are. Bigger cities, like Detroit, Ann Arbor or Grand Rapids can have plenty of housing, though it can be expensive depending on the time of year. Check into an extended stay hotel, an Airbnb or even renting a room in someone’s home if you’re staying in a big city. Though make sure to ask about commute times before you sign a lease, especially if you’re in Detroit. The commute times can be deceiving, so don’t just ask about distance from the hospital.
Small communities might have fewer housing options, though you won’t have to worry as much about the traffic situation. If you’re going to be working in a small town, make sure you look into housing before you sign a contract, or at least talk to your recruiter to see if they have any options and ideas for you. Most recruiters will have a few ideas or they can reach out to their network to see if other travelers have a suggestion on where you can stay.
Is a travel nurse assignment in Michigan right for you? If so, chat up a Triage recruiter to see what your options are in the Great Lakes State.