Brandy Pinkerton RN
Brandy Pinkerton RN
July 24, 2023 - 9 min read

Travel Nursing in Utah | Top Paying Specialties & Cities 2023

Utah, the Beehive State, is a treasure trove of exhilarating activities and breathtaking landscapes that cater to every adventurer’s desires. From jaw-dropping national parks to thrilling outdoor adventures and unique cultural experiences, Utah offers an array of fun-filled activities for visitors and residents alike.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, adrenaline junkie, or history buff, there’s something for everyone in the diverse playground that is Utah. Utah is known for its breathtaking natural beauty that captivates its visitors with its diverse landscapes.

The state’s five national parks, including Zion, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Arches boast stunning red rock formations, towering cliffs, and otherworldly scenery. Utah is also renowned for the Great Salt Lake, an enormous saltwater lake that offers unique recreational activities.

The state’s outdoor recreation possibilities are endless, with exceptional skiing and snowboarding in the winter to activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing in the summer. Utah’s strong Mormon heritage is another defining aspect with historical sites and landmarks for you to explore.

Utah is home to several renowned healthcare facilities. Therefore, nurses taking travel assignments in Utah can gain valuable experience in these reputable institutions, contributing to their professional growth and development.

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

How Much Do Travel Nurses Make In Utah?

The salary of travel nurses in Utah can vary based on factors such as experience, specialty, location, and the specific travel nursing agency or facility. On average, travel nurses in Utah can expect competitive compensation that aligns with national averages.

According to Zip Recruiter, the average annual pay for a travel nurse in Utah is $96,498 a year. That works out to be approximately $46.39 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,855/week or $8,041/month. Utah ranks number 28 out of 50 states nationwide for travel nurse salaries. Depending on your specialty, supply and demand, and location, you may even be able to find a higher-paying assignment.

Based on information from and travel nurses can make up to $2045 a week while traveling in Utah. The highest-paying cities are as follows:

West Valley City$51.14$2,045$8,864
Park City$49.05$1,961$8,501
St. George$48.47$1,938$8,401

Highest Paying Specialties in Utah

  • Cath Lab: average of $2748/week
  • OR: average of $2627/week
  • ICU: average of $2250/week
  • Med Surg: average of $2200/week

Find travel nursing assignments by speaking with a recruiter today!

Top 5 Hospitals in Utah

Utah is home to several reputable hospitals and healthcare facilities that offer opportunities for travel nurses. These hospitals are just a few examples, and there are other healthcare facilities throughout Utah that may also provide excellent opportunities for travel nurses. It’s recommended to research specific hospitals, their specialties, and the areas they serve to find the best fit for your skills and preferences.

1. University of Utah Hospital (Salt Lake City):

The University of Utah Hospital is a renowned academic medical center and the flagship facility of the University of Utah Health. It is consistently ranked among the top hospitals in the nation for its exceptional patient care, research contributions, and specialized services across various medical fields. It offers advanced care in state-of-the-art facilities with specialties such as cardiology, oncology, neurology, orthopedics, transplantation, and trauma care.

2. Intermountain Medical Center (Murray)

Intermountain Medical Center is the largest hospital in Utah and is part of the Intermountain Healthcare system. It is recognized for its advanced medical technology, comprehensive range of services, and high-quality patient care. The hospital has earned numerous accolades for specialties such as cardiology, neurology, and orthopedics.

3. Primary Children’s Hospital (Salt Lake City)

Primary Children’s Hospital is a renowned pediatric hospital affiliated with the University of Utah Health. It provides specialized care for children with complex medical conditions and is known for its expertise in pediatric cardiology, oncology, neurology, and other pediatric specialties. The hospital is consistently recognized as one of the top children’s hospitals in the country.

4. LDS Hospital (Salt Lake City)

LDS Hospital, part of the Intermountain Healthcare system, is known for its comprehensive medical services and high-quality care. It has a strong reputation for its cardiac and heart surgery programs, as well as its expertise in other specialties such as orthopedics, neurology, and oncology.

5. McKay-Dee Hospital (Ogden)

McKay-Dee Hospital is a leading healthcare facility in Northern Utah. It offers a wide range of medical services and is particularly known for its cardiovascular care, including heart surgeries and interventions. The hospital has consistently received recognition for its clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Cost of Living for Travel Nurses in Utah

Utah is ranked number 32 out of all states in overall healthcare access and affordability according to It offers a relatively affordable cost of living compared to many other states.

The cost of housing, in particular, is generally lower than the national average, although it can vary depending on location. Urban areas like Salt Lake City and Park City tend to have higher costs, while smaller towns and rural areas generally offer more affordable options.

Renting an apartment or home in Utah can range from moderately priced to higher-end options, with rates influenced by factors such as size, location, and amenities. Median rents in Salt Lake City run $1,784 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,367 for a two-bedroom. Healthcare costs are also a significant budget factor. Other aspects of the cost of living in Utah, such as groceries, healthcare, transportation, and utilities, generally fall in line with or slightly below national averages. While these costs can fluctuate depending on personal preferences and lifestyle choices, Utah’s overall cost of living remains relatively manageable, providing residents and travelers with a good balance between affordability and quality of life.

MIT estimates based on the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found the typical cost of medical services for a single, full-time employed adult in Salt Lake City is approximately $2,512 a year. Transportation costs in Utah amount to around $4,900 a year. Food costs $3,792 a year on average for a single resident of Utah.

When considering a travel assignment, understanding the cost of living in the destination is crucial for effective financial planning. Utah’s relatively affordable cost of living can be advantageous for travel nurses, as it may allow for a higher proportion of their income to be saved or allocated towards other financial goals.

Pros and Cons of Travel Nursing in Utah

Pros of travel nursing in Utah:

  • Utah is included in the NLC, the nation’s Nurse Licensure Compact. What does this mean for travel nurses? It means if you have a valid nursing license from another state in the NLC, you don’t need to acquire a Utah license to legally work as a travel nurse in the state.
  • Natural Beauty: Utah’s stunning natural landscapes are a major attraction for visitors. The state is home to breathtaking national parks, majestic mountains, scenic canyons, and picturesque lakes. Outdoor enthusiasts can indulge in activities such as hiking, skiing, fishing, and camping on their days off. The abundance of natural beauty creates opportunities for adventure and exploration.
  • Strong Sense of Community: Utah is known for its strong sense of community and friendly residents. The state embraces a culture of kindness, inclusiveness, and neighborly support. The close-knit communities foster a sense of belonging and offer a supportive environment for families, individuals, and newcomers. As a travel nurse, having a strong sense of community can help you quickly adjust to your new assignment.
  • Excellent Education: Utah places a strong emphasis on education. The state boasts reputable universities, including the University of Utah and Brigham Young University, along with excellent public and private school systems. Students have access to quality education, and the state consistently ranks well in education-related indicators. If you are considering continuing your education as a nurse, this may be a super appealing quality to you.
  • Low Crime Rates: Utah has relatively low crime rates compared to national averages, contributing to a sense of safety and security which is super important as a travel nurse. The state’s commitment to public safety helps create a peaceful living environment and provides peace of mind for residents.

Cons of travel nursing in Utah:

  • Limited Diversity: Utah has a relatively homogenous population, which can result in a lack of ethnic and cultural diversity compared to more cosmopolitan areas. This can limit exposure to different perspectives and cultural experiences for those seeking a more diverse community.
  • Weather Extremes: Utah experiences a range of weather extremes throughout the year. Winters can be cold with heavy snowfall, particularly in mountainous regions, which may not be appealing to everyone. Additionally, summers can be hot and dry, with temperatures often exceeding 90°F (32°C) in some parts of the state.
  • Conservative Culture: Utah has a conservative culture and is heavily influenced by the dominant presence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). This religious influence can affect aspects of daily life, including liquor laws, limited Sunday business hours, and certain social norms. Individuals who don’t align with conservative values or seek a more liberal environment may find it less accommodating.
  • Limited Nightlife and Entertainment Options: Utah’s conservative culture and liquor laws can limit the availability of nightlife and entertainment options, particularly in comparison to larger metropolitan areas. The state’s emphasis on family-oriented activities may result in a relatively quieter social scene, which may not suit those seeking vibrant nightlife or extensive entertainment options.

Fun Things To Do on Your Days Off

  • Explore the Mighty National Parks: Utah boasts five stunning national parks—Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion—each offering its own distinct wonders. Hike among towering sandstone arches in Arches National Park, marvel at the mesmerizing hoodoos in Bryce Canyon, go white-water rafting in Canyonlands, discover the geological wonders of Capitol Reef, or embark on epic hikes and soak in the majestic views in Zion. These parks offer endless opportunities for outdoor adventures and unparalleled natural beauty
  • Experience Winter Wonderland: Utah’s renowned ski resorts are a paradise for winter sports enthusiasts. With “The Greatest Snow on Earth,” ski destinations like Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley, and Snowbird provide exceptional skiing and snowboarding experiences. Enjoy thrilling downhill runs, take in the breathtaking mountain vistas, and indulge in après-ski relaxation at cozy lodges. Winter in Utah is a time to embrace the invigorating outdoors and relish the beauty of snow-covered landscapes.
  • Embrace Outdoor Adventures: Utah’s diverse terrain invites adventurers to explore its boundless outdoor activities. Embark on scenic hikes in the Wasatch Mountains, ride mountain bike trails in Moab’s iconic red rock landscapes, go rock climbing in Maple Canyon, or embark on exhilarating off-road ATV rides in the sand dunes of Little Sahara. Utah’s abundance of state and national parks, forests, and lakes offer endless opportunities for camping, fishing, boating, and wildlife spotting.
  • Uncover Cultural Gems: Utah’s rich history and vibrant culture offer a range of unique experiences. Visit the Temple Square in Salt Lake City, the spiritual heart of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and explore its magnificent architecture and beautiful gardens. Delve into the state’s pioneer heritage at the Brigham Young Historic Park or the This Is The Place Heritage Park, where you can step back in time and experience pioneer life. Attend cultural festivals, art exhibits, and musical performances that celebrate the diverse traditions and talents of Utah’s communities
  • Indulge in Culinary Delights: Utah’s food scene is thriving, offering a mix of culinary experiences that cater to every palate. From gourmet restaurants in Salt Lake City to farm-to-table eateries in scenic mountain towns, there are plenty of options to satisfy your taste buds. Don’t miss the chance to sample local delicacies like Utah’s famous fry sauce or savor delicious cuisine from around the world at the eclectic food truck gatherings that take place in various cities.

Why Utah?

Utah beckons adventure seekers, nature lovers, and culture enthusiasts with an abundance of exciting experiences. Whether you’re marveling at natural wonders in the national parks, tackling thrilling outdoor activities, immersing yourself in the state’s rich history, or indulging in its culinary delights, Utah promises unforgettable memories. Embark on your own Utah adventure as a travel nurse and discover the fun and excitement that awaits you in this remarkable state. Utah is an appealing place to take a travel assignment and a great place to live offering a combination of natural beauty, a welcoming community, outdoor recreation opportunities, and a high quality of life!

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