This month’s State Spotlight takes us to lovely Louisiana! The Bayou State is known for its incredible culture and food, unique landscape, and wealth of great Travel Nursing jobs. Louisiana has a unique cultural footprint, fascinating history, exciting cities, and so much more for you to explore while on assignment. Read on to learn more about why Travel Nurse assignments in The Bayou State are a great way to let the good times roll — or, laissez les bon temps rouler, as the local say!
Travel Nursing in Louisiana
Louisiana is a fantastic playground for Travelers! In The Bayou State — or The Pelican State, as it’s alternately known — you have access to tons of great career opportunities at Traveler-friendly hospitals, as well as the chance to build your resume and your healthcare skill set.
Louisiana is home to more than 200 hospitals — 5 of which meet high enough standards to be ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s 2018/2019 Best Hospitals list. That includes their #1-ranked Louisiana hospital, New Orleans’ Ochsner Medical Center, which is nationally ranked in four specialties, in addition to being ranked “High Performing” in six adult specialties and four procedures/conditions. Rounding out the top five overall best hospitals in Louisiana are: Shreveport’s Willis-Knighton Medical Center, Baton Rouge’s Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Metairie’s East Jefferson General Hospital, and Lafayette’s Lafayette General Medical Center.
U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 “Best Places to Live” list includes both Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and Livability.com cites the state’s food, music, sports, culture, and more as top reasons to move to Louisiana. In fact, U.S. News & World Report also ranked New Orleans #2 among “Best Foodie Cities in the USA.”
As for licensing, Louisiana is a walk-through state and a NURSYS state, but it is not currently a compact state. Click here for more, up to date info on licensing in Louisiana.
Louisiana Fast Facts
State Nickname: The Bayou State or The Pelican State
Capital: Baton Rouge
Largest City: New Orleans
National Parks: 5
State Parks: 20
National Historic Landmarks: 54
State Motto: “Union, Justice, and Confidence”
State Flower: Magnolia
State Tree: Bald Cypress
State Bird: Brown Pelican
State Symbol: Fleur-de-lis
State Crustacean: Crawfish
State Reptile: Alligator
Louisiana was the 18th state.
At eight feet below sea level, the city of New Orleans is home to Louisiana’s lowest point and the nation’s second-lowest point.
Because it is a word-for-word translation, the iconic phrase “Laissez les bons temps rouler” is not grammatically correct in French.
Louisiana’s state bird, the Brown Pelican, was endangered from 1970-1990.
The first ever operatic performance in the nation was in New Orleans in 1796.
The binocular microscope, craps, fried turkey, Smoothie King, poker, The Higgins Boat, Venetian blinds, zydeco music, dental floss, cotton candy, movie theaters, Tabasco, bananas foster, America’s first cocktail — the Sazerac, and, of course, jazz were all invented in or originated in Louisiana!
It’s estimated that Louisiana is home to two million wild alligators and another 300,000 on alligator farms.
At 450-feet tall with a whopping 34 floors, Louisiana has the nation’s tallest state capital.
Louisiana does not have counties like all the other states. Instead, they have parishes.
Canal Street was at one point meant to be an actual canal connecting Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River.
Every year approximately 1.4 million people go to Mardi Gras.
The Sazerac and the Hurricane are two popular cocktails invented in New Orleans.
New Orleans’ historic Treme neighborhood was one of the first places in the U.S. where free people of color were able to purchase and own their own property.
While New Orleans is famous for being the birthplace of jazz, no one knows exactly where and when the art form was invented. Many historians believe it originated in Congo Square — the first place in NOLA where African slaves could congregate — and later developed in the Treme and Storyville neighborhoods.
In addition to jazz, Cajun and zydeco music were also invented in Louisiana.
Famous folks from or who’ve lived in Louisiana include Ellen DeGeneres. Resse Witherspoon, Tyler Perry, Louis Armstrong, Harry Connick Jr., Tim McGraw, Fats Domino, Ali Landry, James Carville, Jerry Lee Lewis, Lil Wayne, Frank Ocean, Bryant Gumbel, Kevyn Aucoin, Donna Brazile, Branford Marsalis, Randy Jackson, DJ Khaled, Cokie Roberts, Anne Rice, Huey Long, Paul Prudhomme, Truman Capote, Mahalia Jackson, and Britney Spears.
LSU’s colors were originally blue and white but were changed to Mardi Gras’ purple, gold, and green color scheme to be more representative of Louisiana.
The Atchafalaya Basin is the nation’s largest river basin, stretching over more than one million acres and spanning about 140 miles.
Louisiana was named in honor of France’s King Louis XIV.
Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is the world’s longest continuous bridge over water spanning nearly 24 miles.
Baton Rouge is the only place outside of the original 13 colonies where an American Revolution battle was fought.
Tabasco sauce made in Louisiana holds the second-oldest food trademark in the United States patent office.
To Do & See in Louisiana
From unique geography to singular cities, The Bayou State has so much for Travelers to do and see — and eat and drink! The state presents oodles of opportunities to embrace culture, music, food, history, and so much more — making Louisiana an incredible spot for your next Travel Nurse adventure!
For city lovers, The Bayou State’s largest cities include New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Lafayette, and Lake Charles. New Orleans is considered the state’s crown jewel by many Travelers — after all, where else can you visit The Tree of Life and the Museum of Death?! Some of the iconic city’s must-sees include the French Quarter, Jackson Square, Garden District, Frenchman Street, Aquarium of the Americas, Lake Pontchartrain, Preservation Hall, Louis Armstrong Park, Napoleon House, St. Louis Cemetery #1, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park, and so much more. Take a historic streetcar ride, sip coffee and nibble on beignets at Café Du Monde, enjoy some street jazz — iconic experiences are around every turn in this incredibly unique and vibrant city. Large events like Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival always bring the party as well.
Outside of the capital city, you’ll want to check out urban adventures and other attractions like the Louisiana State Capital (the tallest in the nation!), the original state capital (which looks like a castle!), Magnolia Mound Plantation, R.W. Norton Art Gallery, USS Kidd, the Sallier Oak tree, Fort Proctor, the Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum, Avery Island Tabasco Museum and Factory, Fort St. Phillips, Jungle Gardens, and so many more.
Louisiana has also been dubbed the Sportsman’s Paradise due to its many great activities in the great outdoors. Golfing is big here, as is hiking, kayaking, fishing, sailing, kayaking, and swamp basin tours. For natural beauty check out the Longleaf Scenic Byway, Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge, Creole Nature Trail, Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge, Chicot State Park, Tammany Trace, Jean Lafitte National Historic Park, and Barataria Preserve Wetlands Trail, to name a few.
Famished after all that activity? Louisiana is one of the best foodie destinations in the nation! Louisiana has incredibly distinct cuisine due in large part to its various cultural influences. While on assignment in Louisiana enjoy iconic faves like beignets, po’boys, muffaletta, king cake, crawfish etouffee, gumbo, boudin, andouille, jambalaya, pralines, yakamein, blackened fish, cracklins, red beans & rice, turtle soup, shrimp & grits, bread pudding, bananas foster, maque choux, pain perdu, and chargrilled oysters. Wash it all down with an ice-cold Abita or Sazerac and you’ll be living like a true Louisianan!