If you’re a registered nurse looking for a place with tons of outdoor activities, lots of professional opportunities, historic charm, and plenty of modern amenities, then take a good look at beautiful Vancouver, Washington. Despite its often-rainy climate, this metropolis of just 193,000 residents consistently ranks high among America’s best cities to live in, and for good reason. It’s surrounded by the remarkable beauty for which the Pacific Northwest is famous, it’s environmentally friendly with good livability scores, there’s no state income tax, and there are plenty of highly rated hospitals and healthcare facilities where you can advance your career.
Located on the north bank of the Columbia River, right on the border with Oregon, Vancouver may be the 4th largest city in the state of Washington but it is often considered a suburb of nearby Portland, Oregon: the two together represent the 25th largest metropolitan area in the country. With two cities just ten minutes apart, the choice of which state to work in is a question of preference of employer – and for registered nurses there are plenty of great options. Many choose PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, one of U.S. News & World Report’s top hospitals in the state of Washington, but there are also plenty of great options among the area’s clinics, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, private practices, schools, and more.
Your career as a nurse is rewarding, but it can also be challenging. It is important to find the right setting that lets you flourish professionally while also enjoying your life outside of the care setting. Vancouver, Washington offers registered nurses both.
- Vancouver, Washington’s Healthcare Facilities Truly Care
Washington is a great place to be a registered nurse. Hospitals are among the area’s top employers, and they know the importance of high quality healthcare for the area’s residents. Following the pandemic crisis, healthcare facilities throughout the state have become aware of the stress that was placed on their healthcare staffs, and have worked hard to improve work conditions and demonstrate how much nursing professionals are valued. Recent legislation has introduced workers’ compensation insurance coverage for nurses with post-traumatic stress disorder, and additional laws are under consideration that would expand the workforce, improve pay, and provide more training opportunities. Nursing schools are also being expanded to encourage more people in the state to become nurses, and there is also talk of joining the nursing compact to allow out-of-state nurses to relocate more easily.
- Vancouver Offers Stunning Views and Amazing Outdoor Activities
Positioned between the shadow of the Cascade Mountains and the Columbia River, adventurers, outdoor enthusiasts, and people who just enjoy the beauty of nature will find something to do year-round in Vancouver. The Waterfront River Trail is inviting for people of all abilities, and the entire area abounds with scenic trails and lakes for hiking and strolling, kayaking, and fishing. Cyclists and mountain bikers will find the city streets friendly and the mountain trails a challenge, while during the winter you can enjoy snowshoeing on Mt. St. Helens, skiing and snowboarding on Mount Hood, and the remarkable Timberline Lodge Ski Area that offers summertime skiing, biking and hiking.
- Vancouver’s Culinary and Craft Beer Scene are Both Fantastic
Vancouver is a food lover’s town. Whether you’re in the mood for a gourmet food truck experience, an expertly-crafted pour-over at one of the town’s iconic coffee shops or roasters, there’s always something fantastic and inviting to indulge in. Of course, if you’re more of a cook-it-yourself type, you won’t want to miss shopping for your own fresh produce at the phenomenal farmer’s market. Whatever you do, make sure to make time to explore the city’s diverse selection of restaurants.
Vancouver’s residents also enjoy great options for drinking locally – the craft beer culture in Vancouver has won its share of awards, and is especially appreciated when combined with the city’s many live music concerts and festivals. Finally, Vancouver’s proximity to the Willamette Valley means immediate access to some of the best wines — and wineries — in the country.
- Economic Advantages of Living in Vancouver
Living in Washington offers multiple advantages, including the luxury of avoiding having to pay state income tax. Though the state has a high sales tax and can get pricey, Vancouver’s cost of living is measurably lower than is true of the rest of the state or of Portland, which is right across the river. Housing is more affordable, and the average salary in the city is significantly higher than is true of the rest of the nation. Family members looking for a job in Vancouver will benefit from a big increase in recent job creation, and though healthcare institutions like PeaceHealth and Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center are among the city’s largest employers, Vancouver is noted for being among the most welcoming cities in the nation for small businesses.
- Vancouver, Washington Offers a Superior Quality of Life for Registered Nurses
There are so many little things that make a city a great place to live. While the access to nature, great food, and abundant opportunities are among Vancouver’s most commonly-mentioned attributes, it’s important to remember all of the other things that add to your quality of life. Vancouver is a walkable, bike friendly city that offers an impressive public transit system, access to Portland International Airport, and Amtrak. The area is home to multiple excellent institutes of higher learning, including Washington State University at Vancouver, Clark College, and the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics. Add to that the excellent public schools for kids in Kindergarten through 12th grade!
People who live in Vancouver take tremendous pride in their civic-mindedness and commitment to the environment and green living, and many have joined organizations that are working to minimize food waste and conserve resources. The town has a modern feel, but also has a romantic place in American history as one of Lewis and Clark’s campsites on their westward journey. You’ll find plenty of reminders of the Indigenous Peoples who once lived here, a remarkable wildlife refuge where you can visit local fauna, and a thriving arts and music community.
If you’re considering a move to Vancouver and would like information on the area’s registered nurse opportunities, start with Incredible Health. Our job search page connects you directly with local hiring managers and their teams and matches you to multiple job prospects.