GHR Education Quick Apply GHR Live!

A Guide to Travel Nursing in Philadelphia

June 13, 2024

Travel nursing offers healthcare professionals like you the chance to discover the USA, one state at a time, while gaining invaluable work experience. If you're considering your next adventure, look no further than Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—a vibrant city brimming with history, culture, and opportunity for registered nurses. 

Whether you’re a veteran travel RN or embarking on your first out-of-state assignment, getting to know Philadelphia is essential before moving. This guide will explore everything from salary expectations to must-see attractions, ensuring you’re fully prepared to make the most of your time in the City of Brotherly Love. 


Table of Contents 


Why Choose Philadelphia for Travel Nursing? 


Travel nursing in Philadelphia provides you with a wide range of opportunities. Some of the most appealing aspects of working in Philly include: 

Leading Healthcare Facilities and Job Opportunities 

Philadelphia is home to many leading healthcare facilities, from large hospitals and research institutions to specialized clinics and long-term care centers. You can find full-time, part-time, and PRN travel nursing positions that fit your desired specialty, including: 

  • Home Health 
  • Telemetry 
  • ICU 
  • Medsurg 
  • OR 
  • ER 
  • Case management 
  • Skilled Nursing & Rehab 
  • Pediatrics 

Whether you specialize in emergency care, pediatrics, oncology, or any other field, you can find rewarding healthcare staffing opportunities throughout Philadelphia. Keep in mind that travel assignments are available to all healthcare workers, not just nurses. If you’re an imaging tech, physical therapist, social worker, or any other healthcare professional, you’ll likely find a wealth of opportunities for travel assignments in Philadelphia. 

Rich History and Cultural Significance 

Philadelphia is steeped in American history and represents the birthplace of our great nation. While in the city, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the past while living and working in state-of-the-art facilities. From the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall to historic neighborhoods like Old City, there’s always something new to explore. 

Diverse and Vibrant Community 

One of the greatest perks of living in Philly is its vibrant community. The city is a melting pot of cultures, with a diverse range of neighborhoods offering unique experiences and perspectives. 

You’ll see the trickle-down impacts of this diversity every time you go out to eat at a local restaurant, attend a festival, or participate in community events. When you take a health job in Philadelphia, you’ll find enrichment on both a personal and professional level. 

Explore Nursing Jobs in Philadelphia with GHR


Travel Nurse Salary in Philadelphia 


Now that you know what sort of job types and activities are available in Philly, it’s time to get to one of the most important questions on your mind: “How much do travel nurses make in Philadelphia?” Here’s what you need to know. 

Average Salary for Travel Nurses in Philadelphia 

According to Indeed, the average travel nurse salary in Philadelphia is approximately $2,199 weekly. On the low end, RNs can make as little as $1,585 weekly, but this figure likely includes data from part-time positions. On the high end, you could earn over $3,000 per week. 

Factors Influencing Salary 

Generally, your earning potential as a travel RN will boil down to three factors: certifications, experience, and job title. On the one hand, you could potentially earn more if you: 

  • Hold an in-demand certification, such as advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) 
  • Have plenty of experience 
  • Work in a specialty that’s experiencing a shortage 

On the other hand, part-time roles and those that require fewer certifications will likely pay less. 

How Philadelphia Nurse Salaries Compare to National Averages 

Indeed reports that Philadelphia travel nurse salaries are on par with the national average. However, it’s important to carefully read job descriptions and speak to your nursing recruiter to ensure you are notified of top-paying positions in your specialty. 

Tips for Negotiating Contracts and Maximizing Earnings 

Before you accept a position, carefully review the job details, especially the information concerning compensation. First, research available jobs and the typical salary range for your experience level and specialty. You can also obtain additional certifications to make yourself a more appealing candidate. 

Also, keep in mind that you can negotiate certain contract details to maximize your earning potential, such as by requesting a salary bump based on your experience and professional background. Alternatively, you can ask the employer to provide a per diem for food expenses or a monthly stipend to assist with housing costs. 

Most importantly, be flexible. Healthcare organizations often turn to travel nurses when they have fluid staffing needs. If you are willing to adapt, you might earn a higher pay rate. For instance, suppose a recruiter tells you they have needs at two of the organization’s facilities. Your willingness to bounce between the two would likely warrant better compensation.

Explore Nursing Jobs in Philadelphia with GHR


Housing Options for Travel Nurses in Philadelphia

Securing housing represents one of the most stressful parts of travel nursing in Philadelphia or any big city. Fortunately, finding a place to live can be easier than you might expect. Here are a few factors to consider: 

Short-Term Rental Options 

Short-term rentals can help you avoid the contracts and lease termination fees associated with traditional rentals. While the rental rates might be slightly higher, some property owners will offer discounts for extended stays. On that note, be honest about how long you will be in Philly and see if they will allow you to book the place for the full 8–12-week contract. 

Safe and Convenient Neighborhoods 

After you’ve decided how you’ll rent (e.g., short-term vs. traditional lease), it’s time to find a convenient neighborhood. Prioritize proximity to the facility you’ll be working at, easy access to shopping, and safety. 

There aren’t any one-size-fits-all options here. Philadelphia is huge, so you’ll have plenty of neighborhoods to choose from. Just make sure to do your homework so you can find somewhere you’ll feel comfortable staying for multiple weeks. 

Tips for Finding Affordable Housing 

Finding affordable housing has become easier than ever, thanks to apps like Airbnb and VRBO. Use these and other online resources to find a fully-furnished rental property. You can also connect with other travel nurses through social media groups or forums. Ask for recommendations and tips on housing in Philly. 

If you know another person who is taking a travel assignment with you, consider sharing a rental with them. Splitting up the rent will significantly reduce your housing expenses and ease the social stress associated with moving to a new city. 

For more insights, check out our guide on how to secure housing for your travel assignment

Explore Nursing Jobs in Philadelphia with GHR


Commuting Tips for Travel Nurses in Philadelphia

After you’ve sorted out the housing situation, it’s time to figure out how you’ll get around. Here are a few options: 

Public Transportation Options 

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is one of the largest transit systems in America. SEPTA serves the entire Greater Philadelphia area, which includes five different counties. It also connects to transit systems in New Jersey and Deleware, meaning you’ll have no problem commuting around the city and exploring neighboring states on your days off. 

Parking and Car Rental Information 

If you can’t find housing near the healthcare facility you’ll be working at, you may need to rent a car. Renting a vehicle for multiple weeks can be incredibly expensive. The good news is that there are some alternatives. For instance, you can use a car rental app like Turo to get access to a vehicle for short periods. 

Explore Nursing Jobs in Philadelphia with GHR


Local Attractions and Activities in Philadelphia

Most full-time travel nurse jobs consist of three or four 12-hour shifts. Part-time assignments may have you working just two 12-hour shifts. Either way, you’ll have plenty of downtime to get out and explore Philly. Below are some things to do and places to see. 

Historical Landmarks 

Philadelphia has no shortage of historical landmarks, including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Betsy Ross House. Exploring these sites can create memories that will last a lifetime. 

Popular Museums and Galleries 

Philly has several iconic galleries and museums. Some of the most highly recommended include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, and the Franklin Institute. Each has something unique to offer, so make sure to visit them during your stay. 

Outdoor Activities and Parks 

If you prefer getting outside and taking in the fresh air, you’ll have plenty of destinations to enjoy in Philadelphia. Fairmount Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country. It has several trails for biking or hiking. The Schuylkill River Trail runs along the Schuylkill River and spans roughly 120 miles. 

Dining and Nightlife 

While Philadelphia is famous for its cheesesteaks, that’s far from the only delectable food it has to offer. You’ll find a rich array of international cuisines, iconic food trucks, and gourmet restaurants throughout the city. There are also plenty of bars and live music venues to unwind at after a series of 12-hour shifts. 

Explore Nursing Jobs in Philadelphia with GHR


Tips for a Successful Travel Nursing Assignment in Philadelphia 

Here are a few more tips to make sure your travel nursing assignment in Philly is one you’ll never forget.

How to Prepare for Your Assignment 

Don’t wait until a couple of days before your start date to prepare for the transition to Philly. Be proactive and learn about the healthcare facility where you will be working. Ensure all of your licenses and certifications are up-to-date. Otherwise, you could experience work delays or even have your contract terminated. 

Make sure to pack smart. Bring the essentials, but also be prepared for seasonal weather changes. This is especially important if you aren’t accustomed to areas with harsh winters. 

Adjusting to a New Workplace Environment 

Adapting to new jobs in any field can be challenging, but acclimating yourself to a travel RN position in a brand-new city is especially tough. Therefore, you should take full advantage of any orientation or training sessions the employer offers. 

Remember, other nurses can be your best ally during the acclimation process. Network with other travel RNs and full-timers at the facility where you’ll be working. Connecting with other healthcare professionals will give you a support system while in town. 

Making the Most of Your Time Off 

How you spend your days off will greatly impact your overall experience. Take the time to visit local attractions, neighborhoods, and cultural sites. 

Additionally, find a place where you can unwind, and make it a routine to visit that location during each set of off days. Your happy place can be a fitness center, cafe, park, or anywhere else where you feel at peace. 



Ready to Start Travel Nursing in Philadelphia? 

Travel nursing in Philadelphia can be incredibly rewarding. Most facilities pay well, there are opportunities for every specialty, and the city has a rich culture. 


If you are ready to find new jobs in Philly, GHR Healthcare can help. We connect traveling RNs and healthcare professionals with existing opportunities across the nation, including in the heart of Philadelphia.


Explore Nursing Jobs in Philadelphia with GHR


Search, manage, and apply to healthcare jobs across the US.

With GHRLive!, your career is in your hands. Literally.


Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge.svg.png google-play-badge.png

Subscribe to GHR's Blog Newsletter

Your submission was successful.

Thank you for subscribing — we'll be in touch!