By Christine Whitmarsh, RN, BSN
Aloha travel nurses! What is the only downside of a travel nursing job in Hawaii? There’s too much to do on your days off! Whether you catch a wave, catch some rays or catch a scenic helicopter ride over some of the world’s most gorgeous scenery, it’s difficult to accurately characterize a travel nursing assignment in Hawaii as “work.” The Hawaiian Islands are technically in the tropics but, thanks to the constant easterly trade winds, residents and visitors avoid the humidity. Temperatures on the islands hover in the 80’s year round, making it one of the world’s top tourist destinations in the summer and wintertime alike.
Quality health care is needed by the tourists, residents and the 1.3% of the state’s total population that is made up of military personnel. As of May 2007, the average RN salary was $74,220 (keep in mind that travel nurses usually earn above average salaries for assignments). The Hawaii Workforce Informer projected a 16.3% increase in the number of nurses needed from 2008 to 2009. The greatest projected increase was in nursing and residential care facilities, undoubtedly due to the aging population of patients in Hawaii and across the country. Of all the islands, Oahu has the densest population (one million residents in 597 square miles) and therefore the most staffing needs.
On a much smaller scale in comparison, Hawaii has implemented some of the same health care system goals the current administration dreams of making reality on a national scale. 95% of Hawaii’s residents are ensured, due to the policy requiring employers to insure any employees working 20 hours per week or more. The state also boasts an emphasis on preventative health care that keeps medical costs in check.
Hawaii nurse licensing questions: http://hawaii.gov/dcca/areas/pvl/boards/nursing
Christine Whitmarsh is a Registered Nurse with a BSN from the University of Rhode Island. She is a freelance health journalist and medical writer and a contributor to Travel Nurse Source and Allied Travel Careers.