Emily Bryant MSN, RN
Emily Bryant MSN, RN
June 19, 2023 - 6 min read

Travel Nursing in Minnesota | Top Paying Specialties & Cities 2023

Travel Nursing in Minnesota

The “Land of 10,000 Lakes” might be your next destination to take a travel contract if you have a strong sense of adventure, a desire to work at some great hospitals, and the desire to dive into a warm and welcoming culture. This state has everything to offer from outdoor activities to big city entertainment with the charm and comfort of a small Midwestern town. No matter what season you choose to visit this state, you can still find activities to participate in and arts and culture to envelop your free time.

With the Twin Cities’ large population and diversity, there are many options for travel contracts. Whether you have a unique specialty or work in the mainline nursing industry, this state has plenty to offer with its range of cities and rural towns. Currently, there is a wide range of jobs posted that are grossing over $3,000 a week for a 36 hour/week contract.

Looking for travel nurse assignments in Minnesota? Speak with a recruiter today!

How Much Do Travel Nurses Make in Minnesota?

In a world where travel nursing pay varies so greatly and so quickly, Minnesota continues to pay nurses an average of $2,309 a week according to Indeed.com. As always, this number highly depends on the specialty, location, and designated amount of hours worked per week. Compared to the rest of the country, Minnesota is offering mid-range weekly pay which aligns well with their average cost of living. The highest-paying cities in Minnesota according to Indeed.com are listed below.

  • St Louis Park, MN – $2,728/week
  • Duluth, MN – $2,588/week
  • Minneapolis, MN – $2,561/week
  • St. Paul, MN – $2,381/week
  • Hastings, MN – $2,251/week

Highest Paying Specialties in Minnesota

One of the great things about travel nursing in Minnesota is that the state houses one of the most world-renowned hospital systems, the Mayo Clinic. There is also a handful of other large hospital systems that provide many options for nursing specialties to search for jobs. As always, specialty units typically have a higher demand and thus pay better. As of the summer of 2023, these are the top-paying specialties based on current contracts for a 36-hour week.

Looking for open travel nurse assignments? Speak with a recruiter today!

Top 5 Hospitals in Minnesota

Out of the 139 hospitals in the state, 11 met US News’ high standards, and they ranked them in order of their quality. The following are the top five ranked hospitals in Minnesota.

1. Mayo Clinic

  • Location: Rochester, MN
  • Nationally Ranked: 14 Specialties and 10 Pediatric Specialties
    • Cancer – #3 in Nation
    • Cardiology and Heart Surgery – #2 in the Nation
    • Diabetes and Endocrinology – #1 in the Nation
    • Ear, Nose, & Throat – #6 in the Nation
    • Gastroenterology & GI – #1 in the Nation
    • Geriatrics – #4 in the Nation
    • Neurology and Neurosurgery – #6 in the Nation
    • Obstetrics and Gynecology – #2 in the Nation
    • Orthopedics – #2 in the Nation
    • Psychiatry- #7 in the Nation
    • Pulmonary and Lung – #1 in the Nation
    • Rehabilitation- #6 in the Nation
    • Rheumatology – #4 in the Nation
    • Urology – #1 in the Nation
    • Neonatology – #33 in the Nation
    • Pediatric Cancer -#37 in the Nation
    • Pediatric Cardiology – #40 in the Nation
    • Pediatric Diabetes – #42 in the Nation
    • Pediatric Gastroenterology – #48 in the Nation
    • Pediatric Nephrology – #50 in the Nation
    • Pediatric Neurosurgery – #32 in the Nation
    • Pediatric Orthopedics- #16 in the Nation
    • Pediatric Pulmonology – #45 in the Nation
    • Pediatric Urology – #14 in the Nation
  • High Performing: 26 Procedures/Conditions

2. Abbott Northwestern Hospital

  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
  • Nationally Ranked: 1 Specialty
    • Neurology and Neurosurgery – #40 in the Nation
  • High Performing: 7 Specialties & 18 Procedures/Conditions

3. CentraCare – St. Cloud Hospital

  • Location: St. Cloud, MN
  • Nationally Ranked: 2 Adult Specialties
    • Cardiology and Heart Surgery – #30 in the Nation
    • Pediatric Urology – #39 in the Nation
  • High Performing: 2 Adult specialties and 16 Procedures/Conditions

4. Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital

  • Location: St Louis Park, MN
  • High Performing:14 Procedures/Conditions

5. Essential Health – St. Mary’s Medical Center

  • Location: Duluth, MN
  • High Performing: 12 Procedures/Conditions

Cost of Living for Travel Nurses in Minnesota

The cost of living in Minnesota ranks in the “very average” category when compared to the rest of the country. As a matter of fact, it actually is ranked at number 26 in cost of living from a 2022 survey which makes it quite literally right in the middle compared with the rest of the 52 states. Everything from housing, food, utilities, and basic costs of living rank right in the middle in terms of average cost.

If you plan on taking a travel contract in one of the bigger cities, you can always expect to pay more for housing than you would in the rural cities. Currently, an unfurnished 1-bedroom apartment in a city center will cost around $1,286 per month in rent as opposed to $1,051 in a more rural area of the state. Public transportation is available in large cities, but since most of the state is not in the city and many travelers will go out and explore, having your own vehicle will be important. The average gas price for the state right now is $3.47/gallon.

Pros & Cons of Travel Nursing in Minnesota

Pros of Travel Nursing in Minnesota

  • There is never a lack of things to do in this state. With more than 10,000 lakes (some claim 11,842 as the actual number), this state has a plethora of water sports you can try on your days off.
  • Minnesota is a sports fanatic’s dream with 6 professional sports teams. This means there will be local games to attend in person or to watch at a local sports bar no matter what the season is.
  • They have a rich music and food scene that has been noted by many world-renowned chefs. They also host tributes to some of their local artists who have become famous, including the Prince Museum.
  • The cost of living is reasonable, which in today’s economy is having more and more of an impact.
  • You will experience classic Midwestern hospitality. People are warm and friendly, and it can be extremely easy to make new friends in a state like Minnesota.

Cons of Travel Nursing in Minnesota

  • Winters can be extremely cold, windy, and hard. Subzero temperatures are normal, and puffy layers are a must. If you aren’t a fan of the cold, definitely don’t come to Minnesota in the winter.
  • Although it is filled with many lakes, there is very minimal elevation gain or loss in this state. If you are searching to hike your next big peak, Minnesota will be a hard sell to keep your hiking legs in shape.
  • Summers can be hot, muggy, and full of bugs. If you aren’t used to sticky humidity, consider traveling to Minnesota during the shoulder seasons.
  • The tax bracket for this state is higher than the average. So although you will be saving on some of the cost of living items, you could be paying more to the state at the end of the year.
  • Traffic and road construction can be a major factor in your daily life. If you live near the Twin Cities, traffic has been known to be as bad as in Los Angeles at times. And, due to the limited amount of time to fix the damage caused by all of the ice in the winter, construction can take over roads all across the state.

Things To Do on Your Days Off

With lots of lakes and state parks to explore, there is always something you can be doing outdoors. Take some coworkers up on their invitation to go to the lake and learn new skills like wakeboarding, water skiing, or just simple tubing. And, you can’t take a travel contract in Minnesota without going to the Mall of America at least once. With miles of stores and 8 roller coasters, this is a must in your day-off adventures.

Depending on the season, you should make sure to enjoy going to a Twins, Vikings, or even Minnesota Wild game. If you don’t want to go to them in person, there are plenty of diehard fans who would make watching the games at a local pub even more enjoyable. If sports aren’t quite your fancy, then take a day trip and go explore some of the beautiful natural wonders like Split Rock Lighthouse or Gooseberry Falls State Park. There are plenty of wonderful sights to see, and local museums and treasures hidden around this state.

Why Minnesota?

Minnesota might not be the first state that comes to mind when you think of your next travel contract. But if you choose the right time of year depending on your weather preference, it can lead to an incredible experience. With a very average cost of living, you can still make a pretty penny while traveling here. And, you can have a handful of opportunities to choose from since there are several major cities in this state. Start preparing your “you betcha”s and see what this Midwestern state has to offer.

Whether you’re looking for travel nurse assignments near you or far away, you can speak with a recruiter today to find the best fit for you!

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