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4 really wild travel nurse jobs to inspire your daydreams

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What is travel nursing?

Imagine a nursing job opening that comes with its own travelogue. That's what you'd find looking for travel nurse positions in Hawaii, a tantalizing bit from American Traveler asking you to "spend days lounging on white sand beaches, snorkeling with sea turtles, and hiking to waterfalls. You'll never want to leave!"

» RELATED: The perfect prescription for burnout? Travel!

Typical workers can only dream of leaving their ordinary job in a humdrum city and making a living in a vacation spot. Nurses, though, can make it happen via the wonders of the travel nurse career path. But just because you couldn't, or wouldn't, ever leave your current situation doesn't mean you can't dream. And it's a boost to the old ego to realize having nurse credentials means you really could sponsor yourself to a few months of working-vacation in the land of ski slopes or sandy beaches. Need a little help populating this daydream? Here are four pretty wild travel nurse openings for inspiration:

Hilo area, Hawaii

Listing source: American Traveler 493990

Cath Lab Travel Registered Nurse (RN), 13 weeks, variable 8 hours, start date ASAP, "higher than average pay" and free private housing or generous housing allowance.

The travel aspect: "Spend the winter months watching migrating humpback whales, or swim with the dolphins during the summer. Every island has its share of fusion restaurants and roadside eateries with oceanfront views," according to American Traveler.
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Estes Park, Colorado

Listing source: Trustaff 440105

Operating room Registered Nurse, 13 weeks, 8-hour days, $1,800 per week

Travel aspect: "Known as The Centennial State, you'll find incredible skiing, hiking, and mountaineering in Colorado. With cutting-edge facilities such as University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services in Colorado Springs, Colorado provides a vibrant environment for healthcare professionals to work, learn and grow. Outside of work, you'll find Rocky Mountain National Park, Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak and a multitude of enticing natural and cultural attractions," according to Trustaff.

As for Estes Park specifically, Denver.org says it's a "base camp to Rocky Mountain National Park...with a year-round calendar of events, amazing outdoor adventures, real wildlife and a variety of shopping and dining - all within minutes of unique mountain lodging."

» RELATED: Why nurses should ask for mental health days—and what to do with them

Neptune, New Jersey

Listing source: Fastaff 116750

Labor & Delivery RN night shift, 6 weeks, 48 hours per week, $72 per hour ($108 overtime), weekly pay $3,744

Travel aspect: The fantasy element here is mostly the weekly pay, but the job does offer potential travel benefits since Fastaff reports it "will provide costs for housing during the length of your assignment, as well as airfare or mileage to and from the city of the assignment at the start and end of the assignment."

And Neptune itself conjures up a small-town seashore dream. It's known as the "Crossroads of the Jersey Shore." It's also quite close to Ocean Grove, which Neptune's township website describes as follows: "New Jersey's finest year-round family seashore resort, this square mile of natural beauty has welcomed and delighted vacationers, including U.S. presidents, for over a century. On Ocean Grove's tree-lined streets is the largest assemblage of authentic Victorian architecture in the nation."

New Orleans, Louisiana

Listing source: NurseFly Travel Nursing with AHS Staffing 6582926

Progressive Care Unit RN, 5 weeks, 36 hours per week on 12-hour night shift, $1,562 per week

Travel aspect: "Laissez les bons temps rouler! In New Orleans, the good times are perpetually rolling down Bourbon Street, which, thanks to the city's annual Mardi Gras celebration, has quite a party animal reputation. Once you've soaked up the scenery of the historic French Quarter, tour the elegant Garden District and meet the colorful characters of Frenchmen Street. Experience the city's supernatural vibe at the Voodoo Museum or by taking a guided ghost or vampire tour through taverns, alleyways, and cemeteries," according to NurseFly.

Just for today, ignore the fine print:

Note that these are all oversimplified dream travel nurse jobs. No one's going to mention the high cost of living that can often overwhelm those sweet travel perks in tourist destinations, for example, or the many certifications and state licenses that could be involved. Not today, anyway. This time out is just for dreaming of the possibilities you have earned along with your nursing qualifications.

And as for the rest of that travelogue from American Traveler's "RN section," here's what they had to say about what nurses could see and do during a Hawaii travel nurse gig: "From watching the monster waves of Oahu's North Shore to exploring two of the world's most active volcanoes and their stunning lava formations, travelers quickly discover why Hawaii is the ultimate island paradise. T-Rock diving in Waimea Bay is a great activity for our daring travelers, while snorkeling in and around the reefs or hiking through island jungles is ideal for our more conservative outdoor adventurers."

If it's time to stop daydreaming and get back to your own job, take this thought with you: You may work somewhere ordinary now, but because you have nursing credentials, that could change at any moment.

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