What to Expect: Travel Nurse Jobs in Texas
Everything’s bigger in Texas, or so they say. If you’ve considered taking a travel job in the Lone Star State, you’re in luck because there are hundreds of hospitals that offer travel nursing jobs in Texas. Learn more about the state, plus how Texas travel RN jobs can benefit your career. Even if you’ve never considered a travel nurse job in Texas before, you might be surprised at what you can find in the Lone Star State.
Whether you’re looking for a big city or a rural retreat, Texas likely has something for you. Geographically, Texas is the second largest state in the U.S., behind only Alaska. Twenty-nine million people call Texas home and Texas is experiencing an incredible amount of growth in the past two decades. Four of the country’s top 30 metro areas are located within Texas: Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Austin and nearly 20 million people live in these four metropolitan areas. Whoa.
If you’re thinking of traveling while you’re in Texas, you’re in luck. Texas has a number of larger airports, including 12 international airports in Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Dallas/Fort Worth, Del Rio, two in Harlingen, Houston, Laredo, Lubbock, McAllen, Amarillo and San Antonio. This means that flights can be less expensive since you won’t have to worry about a connecting flight in some cases. Also, depending on where in Texas you’re in, you can drive to Mexico, or other states like Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma or New Mexico within a few hours. Beware though—Texas is a huge state and driving across it can take anywhere from 12-14 hours.
If you’re considering becoming a travel nurse, Texas is hot. Average high summer temperatures are in the high 90s, with summer lows still in the 70s in much of the state. Winters are mild, with average highs in the 50s-60s and lows in the 30s-40s. Though rare, parts of Texas can experience winter storms, mostly in the form of ice instead of snow. Because snow and ice are rare, Texas doesn’t have a fleet of sand trucks and snow plows, meaning residents often need to hunker down at home and wait for the weather to change. If you’re considering Texas travel nurse jobs in the winter, know that there is a possibility of storms and weather concerns and consider finding housing close to the hospital.
What would bring someone to Texas? That’s as personal and varied as Texas itself. The Lone Star State is known for its gorgeous fields of bluebonnets, often found along interstates and highways throughout the state. If you have a chance to stop and snap a few photos of yourself in the middle of a bluebonnet field, know that you’re in good company—this is a Texas tradition. Families trek out to these bluebonnet fields every year to snap a few photos of themselves and their kids as they grow.
Hospitals in Texas
There are hundreds of hospitals in Texas, from top-tier medical facilities to small, community hospitals. Major, nationally recognized hospitals in Texas include:
- Houston Methodist Hospital
- UT Southwestern Medical Center
- Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center
- Baylor University Medical Center
- Baylor Scott and White Medical Center-Temple
- Memorial Hermann Hospital
- Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital
- St. David’s Medical Center
- Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin
- Christus Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler
- Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital
- Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center
- Methodist Hospital-San Antonio
- Parkland Health-Dallas
- Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
- Baptist Medical Center
- Covenant Medical Center-Lubbock
- Medical City Dallas
- Methodist Dallas Medical Center
- Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest
Most of these hospitals are located within Texas’ biggest cities, like Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Fort Worth, but others are in smaller towns like Temple and Tyler. If you’re looking for a big city experience or want to spend some time in a smaller town, TX travel nurse jobs ensure that there’s someone for everyone.
Texas Traveling Nurse Pay & Contracts
Like everywhere else, the pay for Texas travel nurse jobs can vary by facility, specialty and even time of year. Before you sign a contract for traveling nurse jobs in Texas, 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 a contract for travel nurse jobs in Texas.
Getting a License for Texas Travel Nursing Jobs
Before you can take travel nursing jobs in Texas, you’re going to need a license. Lucky for nurses, travel nursing in Texas is easier because Texas is a part of the Nurse Licensure Compact. This means that if your nursing license is issued from a compact state, Texas will accept the license without any additional paperwork. Wondering if your state is a part of the NLC? Thirty-seven states currently participate.
But what if your license is from a different state—what does this mean for travel nursing? Texas requires nurses from a non-compact state to go online and complete a verification requests from NURSYS. If your license is from a state that doesn’t participate in NURSYS verifications, there is a special BON form that you need to complete and send to Texas. Texas currently says that the processing time is just 15 business days, but give yourself a little more time to make sure you have your license before your assignment starts.
Things to Do in Texas
Looking for things to do in your off time during your Texas nursing assignment? You’re in luck. Are you a sports fan? You’ve got plenty of choices. Baseball your thing? Check out the Texas Rangers or the Houston Astros. Football? Check. There’s the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys. Basketball? You’ve got the San Antonio Spurs, the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA and the Dallas Wings in the WNBA. Soccer? Austin FC, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo all compete in the MLS, while the Houston Dash competes in the NWSL. Lastly, even though you’re in the middle of Texas, there’s still an NHL team in Dallas, the Dallas Stars.
Sports not your thing? Don’t worry. History buffs shouldn’t miss the Texas State Capitol, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the Waco Mammoth National Monument, the USS Lexington Museum, the National Museum of the Pacific War and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
Animal lover? Texas has you covered there too. Three of Texas’ zoos have been featured on USA Today’s 10 best zoos in the U.S. list in the past couple years so if you’re in Fort Worth, Dallas or Houston, check out the zoo. The Dallas World Aquarium has a full rainforest inside with manatees, otters, sloths, penguins, turtles and crocodiles. Who knew there was a rainforest in the middle of the city?
Places to Eat in Texas
It’s hard to recommend places to eat in Texas because it’s so big, but definitely check out these staples: Texas barbeque and Tex Mex.
If you’re in Dallas/Fort Worth, take a trip to nearby Roanoke for Babe’s Chicken Dinner House. The original restaurant location is a 100-year-old warehouse and only serves fried chicken and chicken fried steak. Although other locations have an expanded menu, visitors to DFW should experience the original location. Another must-not miss is Cattlemen’s in the Fort Worth Stockyards. It’s an old-school steakhouse so don’t expect a lot of frills, but you can expect a great meal and great service. In Dallas, check out Louie Mueller BBQ. This second generation BBQ joint earned an America’s Classic Award by the James Beard Foundation in 2006 and it hasn’t missed a beat since.
In Houston, you can’t miss Ninfa’s on Navigation. It’s rumored that this is where fajitas were invented, by Ninfa herself. Although she passed away more than 20 years ago, Ninfa’s chefs are still making her fajitas her way. It’s said that Ninfa’s is the “Best Mexican Food in Texas Since Texas was in Mexico.” You’ll have to let us know if you agree. While Cattlemen’s in Fort Worth is a steakhouse you can wander in off the street in, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Houston is a little more upscale. It’s got one of the best wine lists in the state and all the steaks are aged in-house.
If you’re in the Austin area, don’t skip Green Pastures Restaurant. The foods are locally-sourced with homemade appetizers, desserts, bread and soups. And here’s a fact for you. Green Pastures Restaurant was the first fully integrated fine dining restaurant in the United States. In San Antonio, check out Mi Tierra, a full service restaurant that opened in 1941 with just three tables. Eight decades later, Mi Tierra is famous for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and cocktails. Want to eat after a night shift? Mi Tierra’s got you—it’s open 24 hours a day.
Finding Housing in Texas
Finding housing when you’re working travel nurse jobs in Texas can be challenging or easy, depending on where you are. Bigger cities, like Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston 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. These cities in Texas have a large population base and commuting can be difficult with the number of cars on the road every day.
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 Texas right for you? If so, chat up a Triage recruiter to see what your options are in the Lone Star State.