Living and Working as a Nurse in Philadelphia

One of the most historically fascinating cities in the United States, Philadelphia is home to some of the best hospitals in the country. Some of the best nursing jobs in Philadelphia can be found at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital, Albert Einstein Medical Center and Fox Chase Cancer Center, which are all well-rated by  US News and World Report, and all have high-ranking specialties.

Many Philadelphia nursing jobs are in hospitals located on Broad Street, including Hahnemann University Hospital and Temple University Hospital. Pennsylvania Hospital (Penn Medicine) and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital are also located right downtown.

Nurses working in the Philadelphia area have salaries that are high as the cost of living is also fairly high.  Staff RNs average about $69,000 per year. Licensed practical nurses average about $43,000 per year, with CNAs averaging just over $30,000 in annual pay. All figures are from Salary.Com for 2012.

For travel nurses visiting the city, there are all sorts of places of interest to see and experience, from the Betsy Ross House to Fort Mifflin to the African American Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art. Plus, there’s the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts, the Penn Museum – University of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Franklin Institute. Sports enthusiasts will surely enjoy watching the Phillies, the 76ers, the Eagles and the Flyers, but also a pilgrimage to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and its famous steps (Sylvester Stallone, as Rocky, ran up them). History buffs will have fun checking out the Edgar Allan Poe National Historical Site and the Declaration House, or strolling around Independence Hall – or taking a trip west to see the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, which is about an hour and a half away.

Whether residing in Philadelphia or visiting as a travel nurse, getting around is not too bad, as the center of the city is laid out in a grid. Many of the downtown streets are named after trees, including Chestnut, Locust and Walnut. Interstate 676 cuts across east-west. Route 76 (the Schuylkill Expressway) curves to the west around the Schuylkill River) and Interstate 95 curves to the east, near the Delaware River. Bridges crossing the Delaware are, from north to south, the Betsy Ross, the Benjamin Franklin and the Walt Whitman.
Philadelphia travel nursing jobs are often in the downtown area, which is where a lot of the streets named for trees are, along with Broad Street and some numbered streets.

Another popular transportation option in Philadelphia is the comprehensive public transportation system. SEPTA (the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) consists of trolleys, buses and regional rail. Because parking in the city can often be difficult or expensive, public transportation can sometimes be the only viable option. The Broad Street line cuts right across the downtown area. The Norristown High Speed Line travels out of town to the main line area (close to Route 30).

Housing is more expensive the closer you get to the center of things. Prices can be very high in affluent bedroom communities such as Haverford and Bala Cynwyd. Prices are a bit lower to the southeast, in areas such as Upper Darby. According to Trulia, the market is in flux, with outer neighborhoods experiencing some price reductions in early 2013. Apartment living can be in modern townhouses or old historical buildings. To escape high prices, some people commute in from as far away as Gloucester, New Jersey and even northern Delaware.

Educational opportunities are plentiful, as Philadelphia is home to a concentration of great colleges and universities. Nursing programs are available at (among others) the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, Drexel University, Community College of Philadelphia, Temple University, Thomas Jefferson University, Holy Family University and Philadelphia University.

Philadelphia – it’s a lot more than the Liberty Bell.

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