Massachusetts is a healthy place to work and play, and a great place to gain valuable nursing experience.
Massachusetts recently ranked #9 in the U.S. News and World Report’s list of Best States. This four-season state was #2 in the nation for healthcare and education and #4 in the crime and natural environment categories.
Massachusetts takes pride in the fact that it has the lowest uninsured rate and lowest average unsubsidized premiums in the country. National rankings reflect the health of Massachusetts’ citizens. Sharecare’s 2021 Community Well-Being Index ranked Massachusetts the healthiest state in the nation and the state ranks in the top five states in the nation for its infant-child-maternal mortality rate.
Let’s take a look at what Massachusetts—and Boston in particular—have to offer the travel nurse looking for adventure and career advancement.
A Four-Season Playground
Massachusetts is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Boston harbor, the coastline, and the state’s many lakes offer water activities such as boating, fishing, camping, and beach bathing. A short drive away, western Massachusetts provides opportunities to enjoy nature activities year-round, such as hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and kayaking.
Sports and Cultural Mecca
If you crave sports, Boston is home to no less than four major league sports teams, making this area a mecca for sports junkies. The Red Sox, the Celtics, the Bruins, and the New England Patriots all call this area home. TD Garden, Fenway Park, and Gillette Stadium in nearby Foxborough also host big-name concerts such as Maroon 5, Aerosmith, Eagles, and Michael Buble.
Do you enjoy theater or opera? Orpheum Theater, built in 1852, is one of the oldest theaters in the U.S. Be sure to check out Cutler Majestic Theater at Emerson College, the Citizens Bank Opera House, and the Wilbur for local opera, dance, comedy acts, and musicals, as well as Broadway hits.
Pick Your Favorite Neighborhood
Boston is a city known for its distinct districts, or neighborhoods. While there are many neighborhoods in the city, let’s take a closer look at some favorites.
South Boston is home to the Seaport District, one of Boston’s most booming neighborhoods. The Seaport District overlooks Boston Harbor and offers contemporary restaurants, bars, shops, and hotels with a new-age vibe.
Traditional South Boston, or “Southie”, is another great neighborhood that’s steeped in Irish-American heritage, but is not above putting modern touches on its new restaurants and shops. Plus, it’s home to the famed St. Patrick’s Day Parade each year.
The Long Wharf District, once the center of Boston’s shipping trade, houses the New England Aquarium as well as restaurants offering outdoor dining. It’s the perfect place to have sushi while overlooking the harbor.
The North End is known as old-school Boston. Think traditional Italian culture, festivals, brick eateries, bakeries, cannolis, fine dining, and strolling on cobblestone streets. You can’t go wrong!
Chinatown, reminiscent of New York’s Chinatown district, offers authentic Chinese restaurants and is the cultural heart of Boston’s Chinese community. Home chefs can visit Chinatown’s food markets and bakeries for the real deal Chinese ingredients, and the dim sum palaces are perfect for gathering with friends for a tasty meal.
The Back Bay, a protected historic district, maintains a prestigious, upscale reputation and is home to the Boston Common, a historic site dating from 1634 that is now a modern-day nature playground. A Revolutionary War gathering site for both British and American troops, Boston Common is now a relaxing park offering a scenic shade in the summer and ice skating in the winter, along with large green spaces perfect for a mid-week relaxation break.
There are many opportunities for short vacations originating from Boston and other areas of Massachusetts. Head west into the countryside and enjoy the fall colors, spring blooms, cool lakes, skiing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, and hiking.
Itching to see a castle but don’t want to spring for a trip to Europe? Visit Hammond Castle in Gloucester. Built by a scientist and perched on a bluff that sits high above the Atlantic Ocean, this medieval-style castle includes a pipe organ that took 10 years to build.
The White Mountains in New Hampshire and the Green Mountains in Vermont offer even more opportunities for mountain adventures such as skiing and hiking.
If you’re not a skier, you might prefer a road trip to some of the many historic sites within easy reach of Boston, or even to southern Maine for some fresh-off-the-boat lobster.
Newport, Rhode Island boasts the Revolutionary War-era Fort Adams which was in use from the late 1700s until 1950. If you enjoy architecture and large, elegant houses, the Newport mansions of the rich and famous will keep you busy for days. These Romanesque revival-style mansions belonged to the major players of the 19th century gilded age, including the Vanderbilts and Astors.
Opportunities in Healthcare
Boston and the state of Massachusetts are home to many of the top hospitals in the nation. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute are only some of the many world-class teaching hospitals in Boston. Contributing to the success of these healthcare institutions are several prestigious medical schools and universities, such as Harvard, Boston University, Tufts University, Northeastern University, and Boston College.
Boston continues to build an impressive resume of healthcare innovations, such as the smallpox vaccine, the first surgical procedure using anesthesia, lab-grown skin for burn victims, and in the area of cancer research.
Nurses looking to expand their knowledge and professional network look to Boston as a top-tier job prospect. There is no end to the choice of specialties in Boston hospitals, including medical-surgical, ER, ICU, stepdown, OR, L&D, NICU, and PICU.
Hospitals in other parts of the state offer similar specialties in large facilities, such as Berkshire Medical Center, a teaching hospital in Pittsfield, MA. Located in western Massachusetts, Pittsfield has a thriving arts community and is close to skiing, boating, and ice fishing attractions.
Boston and the state of Massachusetts truly offer something for everyone. Whether you choose the vibrant city of Boston or one of Massachusetts’ rural areas, I can’t wait to introduce you to the best city and state for a balance of stimulating work and invigorating play.
Photo Credit: Canva
by Trevor Parvin, National Recruiter, Planet Healthcare