PRN Nursing Jobs in Washington State: Ultimate Guide [2024]

Want to pick up high-paying PRN jobs in Washington? Nursa is a marketplace that connects nurses and CNAs with shifts near them.

Natural beauty. Wine. Grunge music. Healthcare and technology hub. Home of Starbucks. What's not to love about Washington? 

Are you a nurse or nursing assistant seeking an enriching career path in the Evergreen State? This guide is tailored specifically for nursing professionals who are considering or are already working in Washington. We will be providing invaluable insights into the thriving healthcare ecosystem, PRN nursing jobs, remarkable hospitals in Washington, and the unique experience of living in this Pacific Northwest gem.

Table of Contents

The demand for skilled nurses in the state continues to rise, driven by a growing and diverse population—including an aging demographic—that amounts to over 7.9 million residents in 2023. This demand ensures a steady stream of WA nursing jobs across various specialties, making the state an attractive destination for nurses at all stages of their careers. Whether you're an entry-level or a seasoned Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), or Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) eager to embark on a fulfilling journey, Washington has something remarkable to offer you.

Some of the Best RN Nursing Schools in Washington 

In order to choose the best nursing program, you should consider factors such as the location, cost, accreditation, and reputation of the school. However, one of the best ways to determine the quality of an educational program is by its first-time National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) results. According to the Washington Nursing Commission 2023 report, the following are the top 10 schools for RNs based on the highest first-time NCLEX-RN pass rates: 

Schools for RNs Pass rates
Pierce College, Puyallup 97.53%
Bellingham Technical College, Bellingham 95.60%
Gonzaga University, Spokane 95.05%
Tacoma Community College 94.90%
Skagit Valley College, Mount Vernon 94.20%
Northwest University, Kirkland 94.16%
Whatcom Community College, Bellingham 93.00%
Olympic College, Bremerton 92.80%
Walla Walla University, College Place 92.61%
Bellevue College, Bellevue 91.90%

Once you pass your exam, the Washington State Board of Nursing will be in charge of processing your license application. 

Healthcare Centers across Washington State

While Seattle and Spokane house some of the state's largest medical centers, nursing opportunities in Washington extend far beyond these urban centers. The state is dotted with healthcare facilities, clinics, and nursing homes, ensuring that nursing professionals can find positions that match their interests and career goals. Whether you're drawn to the bustling healthcare scene of a major city or the close-knit community of a rural healthcare center, Washington has something for everyone.

How Much Do Nurses in Washington Make?

Understanding the financial aspects of pursuing a nursing career in Washington is essential. As of the latest available data, the minimum wage in Washington State is approximately $15.74 per hour, but compensation for nurses varies based on factors such as experience, location, and specialization. Let's delve into the average annual income for different nursing roles in the state:

It's worth noting that these figures represent average salaries and can vary depending on factors such as the city or region of employment, years of experience, and the healthcare facility's size and type, meaning that different pay offerings could be found if you work in a nursing home or in some of the clinics in WA. In the next table, you can see some variations in average income across cities:

Cities Average CNA Salary Average LPN Salary Average RN Salary
Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue $44,520 $73,510 $105,540
Battle Ground, Camas $44,000 $69,170 $111,610
Tumwater, Olympia $41,760 $67,960 $97,540
Ana Cortes, Mount Vernon $41,190 $66,420 $95,410
Spokane, Spokane Valley, Colfax $38,640 $65,050 $98,090
Aberdeen, Port Angeles, Raymond $40,540 $64,830 $97,150
Richland, Pasco, Prosser $37,350 $64,550 $89,370
Yakima $38,730 $63,720 $89,400
Colfax, Goldendale, Othello $39,570 $62,140 $93,450
Wenatchee $37,170 $60,880 $93,680
Clarkston $35,530 $48,250 $79,470

Table was created based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Most recent data as of September, 2023)

As you can see in the table above, cities such as Seattle, Tumwater, Olympia, Battle Ground, and Camas tend to offer nurses higher compensation. 

What Is the Cost of Living in Washington?

Are you looking for a living in Washington cost calculator? Although the cost of living can vary significantly depending on your location within the state and the number of members in your household, the living hourly wage for a single adult in the state is $19.58. The living wage is the amount an individual must make per hour at a full-time job in order to cover basic living expenses.

The Cheapest Cities in Washington

You may be wondering if a factor to consider when relocating to a city may be a lower range of expenses, so we have listed the 15 cities with the lowest living hourly wages in Washington:

Cities Living hourly wages
Republic, Keller, Torboy $14.90
Othello, Ritzville, Hatton $15.60
Centralia, Morton, Toledo, Winlock $15.72
Spokane, Spokane Valley, West Plains $15.76
Benton City, Prosser, Richland $15.77
Kelso, Vancouver, Hillsboro $15.79
Belfair, Grapeview, Shelton $15.94
Wiley City, Sunnyside, Grandview $16.23
Walla Walla $16.44
Anacortes, Burlington, Mount Vernon, Sedro-Woolley $16.90
Whatcom, Sehome, Bellingham, and Fairhaven $17.30
Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater $18.05
Bremerton, Silverdale $19.01
Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue $21.48
Auburn, Arlington, Shoreline, Snohomish, Marysville, Monroe $22.77

Source: Glasmeier, Amy K. Living Wage Calculator. 2023. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. https://livingwage.mit.edu.

How Many Nursing Professionals Are in Washington?

Here is an overview of the number of nursing professionals in various roles actively working in the state:

  • RN Jobs in Washington: 64,920 
  • CNA Jobs in Washington: 28,270  
  • Local Travel Nursing Jobs in Washington: 6,430

These numbers underscore the presence of nursing professionals in Washington State, reflecting the demand for healthcare services and the state's commitment to providing accessible and high-quality care to its residents. The diverse roles within the nursing field cater to a wide range of healthcare needs, from acute care in hospitals to long-term care in nursing homes.

How to Apply for Insurance in Washington 

For per diem nurses or nurses who work as independent contractors without a traditional employer, obtaining health insurance in Washington State can be a different process than obtaining employer-sponsored coverage. Here are steps and options to consider:

  • Washington Healthplanfinder (Health Insurance Exchange): The Washington Healthplanfinder is the state's health insurance exchange where individuals and families can purchase health insurance plans. 
  • Premium Subsidies and Cost Assistance: When you apply for coverage through the Healthplanfinder, you may be eligible for premium subsidies based on your income and household size. These subsidies can help lower your monthly premium costs and out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Documentation and Personal Information: When applying for health insurance, you will need to provide personal information, including your name, date of birth, Social Security number, income details, and information about your household members.

Whether you are looking for RN, CNA, or LPN jobs in Washington, be sure to explore your options, understand the enrollment process, and stay informed about any changes in healthcare policies or regulations before you apply for nurse jobs in Washington.

Washington State's Fascinating Fun Facts

While Washington State is renowned for its natural beauty and thriving healthcare sector, it also boasts a rich tapestry of history and culture that may surprise you. Here are some intriguing fun facts that shed light on the state's unique heritage:

  • Aviation Marvels: Seattle, famously known as the "Jet City," played a pivotal role in aviation history. The Museum of Flight, located in Seattle, is the largest independent, non-profit air and space museum in the world. 
  • Volcano Wonderland: Washington is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and is home to several volcanoes, including Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens. 
  • Coffee Culture Capital: Seattle's coffee culture is renowned worldwide, and the city is the birthplace of Starbucks, one of the most recognizable coffee chains globally. 
  • Goldendale Observatory: The Goldendale Observatory State Park is home to one of the nation's largest public telescopes, offering stargazing and educational programs. In 2017, Goldendale was a prime viewing location for the total solar eclipse, drawing visitors from around the world.

Weather and Geographic Diversity 

Washington State's geographical and climatic diversity are among its most captivating features, offering a range of experiences and climates for residents and visitors alike. From the western coastal regions to the eastern plains, each city in Washington has its own unique weather patterns and geographic attributes. Let's explore the weather and geography of some notable cities across the state.

If you are interested in Western Washington, here are some cities to visit:

  • Seattle: Seattle is known for mild, rainy winters and warm, dry summers. The city is surrounded by lush forests and has easy access to Puget Sound.
  • Edmonds: Situated on Puget Sound, Edmonds shares a similar climate with Seattle. Residents here enjoy beautiful waterfront views and a maritime atmosphere.
  • Mount Vernon: Nestled in the Skagit Valley, Mount Vernon experiences the same maritime climate as Seattle and Edmonds. It's renowned for its vibrant tulip fields during the spring.
  • Snoqualmie: Located in the Cascade foothills, Snoqualmie enjoys a mix of rainforest and mountain climates. It's famous for Snoqualmie Falls, one of the state's iconic natural attractions.

If you are wondering what the appeal of Eastern Washington is, here is what you need to know:

  • Pasco: Situated in the southeastern part of the state, Pasco experiences a semi-arid climate with hot summers and cold winters. It's part of the Tri-Cities region, known for its vineyards and wineries.
  • Yakima: Known as the "Palm Springs of Washington," Yakima boasts a desert-like climate with hot summers and cold winters. The region is a major agricultural center, particularly famous for its apples and wine grapes.
  • Wenatchee: Nestled in the foothills of the Cascades, Wenatchee experiences a semi-arid climate. It's often called the "Apple Capital of the World" due to its apple orchards.

If you are inclined to move to Central Washington instead, here are some cities to consider:

  • Richland: Located in the Tri-Cities area, Richland shares Pasco's semi-arid climate. It's home to the Hanford Site, a former nuclear production facility.
  • Cle Elum: Situated in the Cascade Mountains, Cle Elum experiences a mountain climate with cold, snowy winters and warm summers. It's a gateway to outdoor activities like hiking and skiing.

If a marine climate draws you in, perhaps Coastal Washington is better suited for you. Here is where to go:

  • Aberdeen: On the Pacific Coast, Aberdeen has a marine climate with mild, wet winters and cool summers. The coastal region offers stunning ocean views and recreational opportunities.
  • Raymond: Also on the coast, Raymond experiences similar coastal climate patterns as Aberdeen. It's known for its proximity to Willapa Bay, a haven for oyster farming.

If you are passing through or living in Southwestern Washington, here are the cities to visit:

  • Vancouver: Located in the southwestern part of the state, Vancouver enjoys a temperate climate with mild, rainy winters and warm, dry summers. The city is adjacent to the Columbia River and is known for its natural beauty.
  • Camas: Near Vancouver, Camas shares the same climate. It's nestled along the Columbia River Gorge, providing residents with picturesque scenery.

Washington State's geographical and climatic diversity ensures that there's something for everyone, whether you prefer coastal living, mountain adventures, or vibrant city life. Each city offers a unique blend of weather and geography, contributing to the state's rich tapestry of experiences.

Exploring the Social Scene in Washington State

Washington State offers a diverse range of social activities that cater to every interest and lifestyle. Whether you're a foodie, an outdoor enthusiast, an art lover, a weekend road tripper, or a family looking for quality time together, you'll find plenty of options to enjoy. 

Here's a breakdown of the social scene in Washington, catering to different interests and hobbies.

Food and Drinks 

  • Wine Enthusiasts: Walla Walla is renowned for its thriving wine industry, boasting numerous wineries and tasting rooms. Enjoy wine tours, sample exquisite vintages, and savor farm-to-table dining in this picturesque region.
  • Seafood in Olympia: Olympia, the state capital, offers a delightful seafood scene. Visit local restaurants for freshly caught oysters, salmon, and Dungeness crab.
  • Washington State Fair: Puyallup is home to the Washington State Fair, one of the largest fairs in the nation. It features concerts, rides, agricultural exhibits, and delicious fair food.

Outdoor Life

  • Hiking in North Bend: North Bend is a paradise for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Explore the Snoqualmie Valley Trail, Mount Si, and Rattlesnake Lake for stunning vistas and outdoor adventures.
  • Outdoor Paradise: Arlington is surrounded by natural beauty, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The nearby Cascade Mountains offer hiking, skiing, and stunning vistas.
  • Lakeside Retreat: Gig Harbor, nestled along the Puget Sound, provides a serene lakeside setting for boating, kayaking, and waterfront dining.
  • Beach Days in Ocean Shores: Ocean Shores offers miles of sandy beaches along the Pacific Ocean, perfect for beachcombing, kite flying, and water sports.
  • Community Spirit: Spokane Valley fosters a strong sense of community with local events, farmers' markets, and outdoor activities that bring neighbors together.
  • Boating and Fishing: Clarkston is a gateway to the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, known for its boating, fishing, and jet boat tours.

Arts & Culture

  • Performing Arts: Spokane's vibrant arts scene includes the historic Bing Crosby Theater, where you can enjoy live performances, concerts, and theatrical productions. So, if you are a theater aficionado, start looking for jobs in Spokane.
  • Tacoma's Arts and Events: Tacoma is known for its artsy vibe, with galleries, theaters, and the Tacoma Dome hosting concerts and entertainment.
  • Battle Ground Music and Festivals: The city hosts the "Battle Ground Harvest Days" and "Old Town Battle Ground Music in the Park" events, showcasing local talent and fostering community spirit.
  • Salmon Days Festival: Issaquah hosts the annual Salmon Days Festival, celebrating the return of salmon to nearby streams. It's one of the state's largest cultural festivals.
  • Cultural Heritage: South Bend is steeped in Native American and pioneer history. It's home to the Willapa Heritage Center, preserving and sharing local cultural heritage.

Weekend Road Trips

  • Exploring the Olympic Peninsula: Take a road trip to Port Angeles and Forks on the Olympic Peninsula. Explore Olympic National Park's rainforests, rugged coastline, and scenic trails.
  • Eastern Washington Adventures: Head east to Walla Walla and enjoy wine tasting, visit the historic town of Colfax or explore the Palouse Falls State Park for incredible landscapes.

Family Life

  • Family Fun in Bellevue: Bellevue offers family-friendly activities like the KidsQuest Children's Museum and the Bellevue Botanical Garden, perfect for parents and children alike.
  • Educational Adventures: Explore the Imagine Children's Museum in Everett, where kids can engage in hands-on learning experiences and interactive exhibits.
  • Parks and Playgrounds in Federal Way: Federal Way's parks, like the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden and Celebration Park, offer playgrounds and green spaces for family picnics and outdoor fun.
  • Aerospace Hub: Renton is home to Boeing's Renton Factory, where the iconic 737 aircraft is manufactured, making it a vital part of the aerospace industry and perfect for a visit with the kids.

From sipping wine in Walla Walla to hiking in North Bend and from exploring galleries in Tacoma to family outings in Bellevue, in Washington, you can find something for all interests and diverse opportunities to create memorable social experiences. Make sure you are searching for shifts at medical centers in Washington to join all this fun. 

Seattle: The Emerald City's Allure

Seattle's magnetic appeal lies in its blend of natural beauty, tech innovation, cultural richness, and healthcare opportunities, which all make Seattle a highlight city for the state. Here's a closer look at what makes Seattle such a captivating destination.

  • Pike Place Market: A quintessential Seattle experience, Pike Place Market is a bustling hub of fresh produce, artisan crafts, and lively street performances. Don't forget to snap a photo with the famous Pike Place Fish Market fishmongers.
  • Space Needle: Iconic and unmissable, the Space Needle offers panoramic views of the city and Puget Sound. Dine at the rotating SkyCity Restaurant for a memorable culinary experience.
  • Museum Exploration: Seattle boasts world-class museums, including the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), and the Museum of Flight. Dive into music, art, and aviation history.
  • Tech Hub: Seattle is a global tech powerhouse, with companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and numerous startups calling it home. The city's tech sector fuels innovation and job growth.
  • Music Scene: Seattle's music heritage is legendary, from grunge icons like Nirvana to a vibrant contemporary music scene. Explore live music venues and festivals to witness the city's musical prowess.
  • Craft Breweries: Seattle's craft beer scene is vibrant, with numerous breweries and brewpubs. Explore the Ballard neighborhood, known as the "Brewery District," and discover a wide variety of craft beers.

Whether you're drawn to its stunning landscapes, thriving job market, or vibrant arts scene, you can start looking for Seattle nursing jobs and take a leap to advance your career.

Vancouver, Washington: A Hidden Gem 

Nestled in the scenic Pacific Northwest, Vancouver, Washington, is a charming city with its own unique allure. You must wonder why Vancouver is worth mentioning, and we are here to tell you.

  • Outdoor Adventures: Explore the natural beauty of the region at the nearby Columbia River Gorge, offering hiking, waterfalls, and windsurfing opportunities. Vancouver Lake and Lacamas Lake Regional Park provide serene settings for boating, picnicking, and birdwatching.
  • Fort Vancouver National Historic Site: Step back in time at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, where you can explore a reconstructed 19th-century fur trading post, watch historical reenactments, and learn about the region's rich history.
  • Vancouver Waterfront: The newly revitalized Vancouver waterfront is a thriving hub for dining, shopping, and entertainment. Enjoy waterfront views, dine at local restaurants, or take a stroll along the scenic esplanade.
  • Healthcare Hub: Vancouver is home to several prominent medical centers and healthcare facilities, making Vancouver a vital healthcare hub in the region; some notable institutions include PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center and Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center. If you are looking for hospitals in Washington, this city offers a variety of options.
  • Family-Friendly Atmosphere: Vancouver's welcoming and family-oriented community is evident in its numerous parks, schools, and family-focused events and activities.

Nurses and assistants seeking rewarding career opportunities can explore nurse jobs in Vancouver, Washington, and take advantage of the city's vibrant healthcare landscape. 

Is Washington State the Right Fit for You?

The Pacific Northwest is a region teeming with opportunities for nurses and nursing assistants, each city offering its own unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and healthcare excellence. It's a place where you can advance your nursing career while enjoying a high quality of life surrounded by breathtaking landscapes.

The healthcare centers in Washington State continue to grow, creating a demand for skilled nursing professionals. If you are interested in working in Washington or already live there, you'll find a wide range of opportunities in hospitals, clinics, and medical centers throughout the state.

Beyond the professional prospects, Washington's natural wonders, cultural attractions, and welcoming communities make it an ideal place to call home. Whether you're exploring the diverse social scene, savoring local cuisine, or embarking on outdoor adventures, living in Washington State has a wealth of experiences waiting to be discovered.

Explore Washington State's cities applying for per diem shifts with Nursa, create lasting memories, and seize the abundant opportunities that await you in the Pacific Northwest.

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Registered Nurse RN - Skilled Nursing $64.79 per hour
RN
Date
February 23, 2024
Hourly
$
65
Est. Total
$
1312
View Shift
22:30 - 18:45
Garden Village
Registered Nurse RN - Skilled Nursing $68.78 per hour
RN
Date
February 25, 2024
Hourly
$
69
Est. Total
$
1100
View Shift
22:30 - 14:30
Garden Village
Registered Nurse RN - Skilled Nursing $68.78 per hour
RN
Date
February 24, 2024
Hourly
$
69
Est. Total
$
1100
View Shift
22:30 - 14:30
Garden Village

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