Nursing Life

Travel Nursing in Rural and Remote Areas

Are you looking to get out of the city and try nursing in a more rural or remote location? Working in 9 Provinces and Territories across Canada, Select Medical Connections offers a variety of placements in unique rural locations.

May 15, 2023

Are you looking to get out of the city and try nursing in a more rural or remote location? Working with Health Authorities in 9 provinces and Territories across Canada, Select Medical Connections offers a variety of placements in unique rural locations for our travel nurses. We also offer opportunities for nurses to work in remote locations, more isolated from city centers.

It’s important to note that we do not consider rural and remote locations to be the same. While everyone recognizes remote locations as distant and far removed from urban centers, rural locations are more difficult to pinpoint. There are inevitably personal nuances to what one nurse might consider rural compared to another. For the sake of this blog, we are grouping these locations so you can understand the general scope of considerations.

In our experience, rural and remote locations offer unmatched opportunities for adventure and once-in-a-lifetime work placements. But they aren’t for everyone… To help travel nurses navigate this important planning decision, here’s what you should consider when it comes to these contracts.

1. A Rural and Remote Retail Environment

Depending on the location of your contract, you may not be able to access your essential items very easily. For example, travelling to retail shops could be challenging, and online deliveries could be slow or impossible. Additionally, the price of products you are accustomed to could be more expensive. Our advice is to do a quick Google Maps search to understand the retail climate of your new post. That way you can see what stores are near your location and if essential items are difficult to get at your destination. You can be sure to prioritize bringing them or decide ahead of time that you are going to live without them. Either way, you are informed and not surprised upon arrival.

2. Expect to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Being a travel nurse means moving to a new community – urban, rural, or remote! It necessarily involves saying goodbye to your friends and family to live somewhere new. Adjusting to new surroundings and new co-workers can be overwhelming without the comforts of home. In more rural settings, finding your space can take more time. The team might feel smaller, your home might feel different. We’re here to tell you “that’s ok.” The reality is these changes come with incredible opportunities for you to try new things and make new friends. In the end, those experiences will far outweigh the awkward conversations and uncomfortable feelings that exist when you are settling in somewhere new. So make sure that you take the time to introduce yourself to people in your new community and don’t forget to make the most of the adventure ahead of you.

3. Opportunities for Your Nursing Career

Many travel nurses use rural contracts as a learning experience to develop their professional skills. Smaller facilities may allow you to do more as a nurse than ever before. In remote locations, the community may lean on your skills in new, or more challenging ways. Before you commit to your first rural or remote contract, it’s important to ask yourself if you are up for that challenge.

As a nurse, various contracts may require specialized training, including de-escalating aggression. San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training is also incredibly important for nurses who work directly and indirectly with Indigenous people. Expanding your skillset is always a wise investment, and while on the road, travel nurses can take advantage of online courses to develop their abilities. In rural or remote areas, you can find postings that offer challenges, additional training, or promote learning. So why not seize these opportunities for growth?

4. Unforgettable Outdoor Adventure

When travel nursing in rural and remote locations, prepare yourself to spend time outdoors. It’s the best way to ensure you get the most out of your new contract. Packing for the climate is key here. That way you can venture out on your off days, rain or shine (or snow!), and look forward to being amazed by your new surroundings…hello, epic selfie;) Whether you love taking long walks in the forest, or trying heli-skiing for the first time – there will certainly be something for you to enjoy outside. Just be sure to download your podcast or playlist before heading out…as cellphone reception can be spotty.

5. Expect Self Learning

If you haven’t guessed it yet, all of the above-mentioned opportunities lead to the greatest one of all…Learning more about yourself. Maybe you’ll learn to live without something you thought you couldn’t, or discover a new way to approach a work challenge or develop a greater capacity for cultural awareness. It could be that you learn how to enjoy spending time by yourself or train to climb a mountain that you never thought possible. The opportunities for self-discovery are endless while you are travel nursing, and even more in rural and remote communities. Just remember to practice some self-care along the way. Adventures can be taxing – and you can only seize those moments by taking care of yourself before and after them.

There is a special kind of beauty that goes hand in hand with a rural travel nursing contract — a small-town atmosphere, new culture and traditions, exploring somewhere you likely would never see otherwise, and a community that heavily relies on your skills as a nurse.

There’s something so unique and special about your first rural travel nursing contract, but it’s important to be prepared. Learn more about the benefits of travel nursing.

Fall is a wonderful time to explore Canada! The summer holiday rush is over, the temperatures are cool but not too cold, and there are lots of fun events happening all across the country.

For nurses, fall is a time of reflection and renewal. It’s a great season to take stock of your career goals and start thinking about what you want to accomplish in the year ahead. For travel nurses looking for an exciting change of scenery, now is the time to start planning your fall contract. 

Here are our top 10 reasons to say ‘yes!’ to travel nursing this fall:

1. Colours Pop Across Canada

September and October pop with colour like no other season in this country.  It’s the perfect time to explore some of Canada’s most beautiful landscapes! From the prairies to the northern forests, there are plenty of places to appreciate the changing colours of the leaves. In Nova Scotia, the Cabot Trail boasts almost 300 kilometres of epic mountain and sea views with autumn foliage. So why not get out and explore Canada this autumn? You’ll be sure to appreciate the beauty of this country like never before.

2. High Demand Means Even Better Pay

With hospitals overrun and staff stretched thin, Canada is experiencing a nursing shortage like never before. One outcome of the current shortage presents a unique pay opportunity for contract nurses. While travel nurses have always enjoyed higher-than-average pay rates, some Canadian Health authorities are responding to staffing challenges by offering higher-than-ever pay rates this fall. If you have ever thought about a career in contract nursing, now is the time to act. With demand and pay rates rising, there has never been a better financial incentive to enter this essential and rewarding field.

3. Fall = Best Tourist Season

One of the best things about travelling in Canada in the fall is that it’s a fantastic time to be a tourist. Even though the weather remains spectacular, the bugs are gone, families are back on their school routine, and crowds are down. This means you’ll have all the opportunity and more space to enjoy popular attractions and sights. It also means you can take advantage of reduced prices on activities and accommodations for your day-off adventures.

4. Canadian Communities are Calling

Nurses play a vital role in keeping all Canadian communities healthy. The current labour shortage is putting immense pressure on the healthcare system, and it’s having a ripple effect across the country. Urban hospitals are struggling to keep up with the demand for care, and rural communities are especially feeling the effects. Smaller, more remote communities in Canada don’t have the benefit of a large pool of nurses to draw from, so peer support in those locations is essential. As a travel nurse, giving back by helping out in small communities can make a big difference. Not only is this a great way to experience more remote locations in Canada, but it also provides a valuable career opportunity to build your skills. Remember, giving back feels good and it can add a strong sense of well-being that can really contribute to your self-care.

5. Try Friendsgiving!

Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up on October 9, 2023. And what better way to celebrate your new friends than by having a Friendsgiving this year? Friendsgiving is a relatively new tradition where you get together with your friends instead of your family for Thanksgiving. It’s the perfect way to enjoy all the best parts of the holiday – the food, the drink, the company – without any stress that can come with spending time with relatives. So if you’re feeling adventurous this year, consider travel nursing and having a Friendsgiving. You may just find it’s the best Thanksgiving you’ve ever had.

6. Fall Packing – No Winter Boots, Yet!

Fall is a great time to travel in Canada because you can still pack light. With sweater weather in full effect, no snow boots or winter parkas are required, and the carry-on luggage goal can still be achieved… This makes packing for your fall contracts more convenient than most seasons and, more importantly: less hassle.

7. Fall Festival Fun

Summer doesn’t have all the festival fun…there are tons of fall festivals and events to discover across Canada! From the Jasper Dark Sky Festival to the Celtic Colours International Festival, there is something for everyone. Experience the best of the warm weather before winter sets in! With so many festivals to choose from, you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for you. So get out there and start exploring all the exciting festivals around your next contract location.

8. Harvest Season

Fall is an exciting time for foodies in Canada. Farms across the country are harvesting their crops, and local markets are full of fresh, delicious produce. This is the time of year to discover all the best that Canadian agriculture has to offer. From apples and pumpkins to squash and potatoes, there is something for everyone to enjoy. So if you’re looking for a taste of the season, you can look forward to a fantastic foodie experience on your next travel nursing contract. Bon appetit!

9. Perfect Hiking Weather

Fall is the perfect season to get outdoors and explore Canada’s spectacular hiking trails. Our nurses love to take advantage of beautiful weather and an opportunity for self-care. September-October weather across Canada consistently delivers dry, cool, and sunny days…perfect for hiking. The fresh air and exercise are good for physical and mental health, and the popular pastime helps nurses recharge from their stressful job. In a fast-paced and demanding profession, it is essential to prioritize healthy habits that avoid burnout. Fall is full of great weather for getting outside and enjoying nature. So if you’re looking for a new way to find balance with your career, fall may be the perfect season to try something new.

10.  All the Year-Round Benefits Still Apply

There are tons of personal and professional benefits to travel nursing, regardless of the season. When nurses choose to step outside of their comfort zone with contract nursing, they commit to life-changing adventures and take their career into their own hands. The end of summer is always bittersweet. We reluctantly say goodbye to long days at the beach and evenings spent outdoors, but there is also a sense of excitement in the air as we start to think about the possibilities of fall. Forget New Year’s Resolutions!

Now is the perfect time to start planning for your future and making your dreams come true. If you’ve been considering a travel nursing contract, you should seize the opportunity this fall and make this your best year yet!

Interested in a new adventure? When you fill out our short online inquiry form, one of our Career Consultants will be in touch to help you design your dream life. Itching to talk to someone right away? Contact us by phone, toll free at 1-877-525-3870  Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. PST, or by email us anytime at