Jun 07, 2024

Exploring the Spectrum: Rural vs. Urban Assignments for Travel Healthcare Professionals

As a travel healthcare professional, the choice between rural and urban assignments can shape your career and personal experiences in unique ways. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or just beginning your journey, understanding the differences, positives, and potential drawbacks of these environments can help you make informed decisions that align with your goals and preferences.

Rural Assignments


  1. Community Connection: Rural healthcare settings often foster close knit communities. You’ll likely develop strong bonds with your patients and colleagues, creating a sense of family and fulfillment that’s hard to match in larger settings.
  2. Scope of Practice: In rural areas, healthcare professionals often wear many hats. This broad scope of practice can enhance your skills and provide valuable experience in a variety of medical situations, from emergency care to routine check-ups.
  3. Cost of Living: Generally, rural areas boast a lower cost of living. Housing, groceries, and other essentials are often more affordable, allowing you to save more or enjoy a comfortable lifestyle on a budget.
  4. Natural Beauty: Many rural assignments offer breathtaking landscapes and outdoor activities. If you enjoy hiking, fishing, or simply the tranquility of nature, rural assignments can be a perfect fit.


  1. Limited Resources: Rural healthcare facilities may have fewer resources and less advanced technology compared to urban hospitals. This can sometimes limit your ability to provide the highest level of care.
  2. Decreased Networking: Networking opportunities and professional development options may be less readily available due to the smaller healthcare community.
  3. Personal Life: Social and cultural amenities might be limited. If you’re used to the hustle and bustle of city life, adjusting to a quieter, more secluded environment can be challenging.

Urban Assignments


  1. Advanced Facilities: Urban healthcare centers often have cutting edge technology and a wide array of specialties. You’ll have the opportunity to work with the latest medical advancements and a diverse patient population.
  2. Professional Growth: Cities usually offer more networking opportunities, professional development workshops, and conferences. You can build connections with a broader community of healthcare professionals.
  3. Cultural and Social Life: Urban areas are rich with cultural activities, dining options, entertainment, and social events. This can lead to a vibrant personal life and numerous opportunities for relaxation and fun outside of work.
  4. Diverse Patient Population: Working in an urban environment exposes you to a varied patient demographic. This diversity can enhance your cultural competency and improve your ability to provide care to people from all walks of life.


  1. Cost of Living: The cost of living in cities is generally higher. Housing, transportation, and daily expenses can quickly add up, potentially impacting your savings and financial goals.
  2. Work-Life Balance: The fast paced nature of urban healthcare settings can lead to longer hours and increased stress. Balancing work with personal time may require extra effort.
  3. Competition: Urban assignments might be more competitive, both in terms of securing positions and within the workplace. Standing out and advancing your career can be more challenging in a larger, more competitive environment.

Making the Choice

Choosing between rural and urban assignments depends on your professional goals, personal preferences, and lifestyle aspirations. Here are a few tips to help you decide:

  1. Assess Your Goals: Consider what you aim to achieve in your career. Are you looking to broaden your skill set, focus on a specialty, or network with other professionals?
  2. Evaluate Lifestyle Fit: Think about where you thrive personally. Do you enjoy the quiet and close-knit nature of rural life, or do you prefer the vibrancy and pace of city living?
  3. Consider Logistics: Factor in the practical aspects, such as cost of living, proximity to family and friends, and availability of amenities that are important to you.
  4. Seek Advice: Talk to your Aequor recruiter. They may be able to connect you with other travel healthcare professionals who have experience in both settings. Their insights can provide valuable perspectives that you might not have considered.

Both rural and urban assignments offer unique experiences and opportunities for travel healthcare professionals. By weighing the positives and drawbacks of each, you can make an informed decision that enriches your career and personal life. Remember, the beauty of travel healthcare is the flexibility it offers—if one setting doesn’t fit, you can always explore another. Aequor’s dedicated recruiters are ready to guide you on every step of your travel healthcare journey. Visit our job board to browse our current locum tenens, travel nursing and allied travel positions, and get connected with an Aequor recruiter today.

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