This month’s State Spotlight takes us to magnificent Minnesota! The North Star State is known for its natural beauty, abundance of lakes and outdoor activities, thriving cultural scene, incredible food, and mix of rural and urban areas. Read on to learn more about why Minnesota is a must-do state for Travel Nurses!
Travel Nursing in Minnesota
The North Star State is known for having oodles of Travel Nurse jobs at excellent healthcare facilities. Meanwhile, Minnesota also has an incredible array of things to do and experience on your days off — making it an all-around marvelous destination for Travelers.
Minnesota is home to about 140 hospitals — 13 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 Minnesota hospital, the famous Mayo Clinic in Rochester, which is nationally ranked in 15 adult specialties and seven children’s specialties, in addition to being ranked “High Performing” in one additional adult specialty and nine procedures/conditions. Rounding out the top five overall best hospitals in Minnesota are: Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, Mercy Hospital-Coon Rapids in Coon Rapids, and University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis.
U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 “Best States” list ranked Minnesota an impressive #2 overall, as well as #2 for quality of life, #4 for opportunity, #6 for infrastructure, and #7 for health care! Livability.com ranked Rochester, Duluth, Northfield, Edina, St. Paul, St. Louis Park, Moorhead, Shakopee, Eden Prairie, and Burnsville among some of the best places to live in Minnesota.
As for licensing, Minnesota is not a walk-through state, but it is a NURSYS state and has legislation pending to become a compact state. Click here for more, up-to-date info on licensing in Minnesota.
Minnesota Fast Facts
State Nickname: The North Star State
Capital: Saint Paul
Largest City: Minneapolis
National Parks: 5
State Parks: 75
National Historic and Natural Landmarks: 33
State Motto: “L’Etoile du Nord” — meaning “The Star of the North”
State Flower: Pink & White Ladyslipper
State Tree: Red Pine
State Gemstone: Lake Superior Agate
State Bird: Common Loon
State Grain: Wild Rice
State Fish: Walleye
State Sport: Ice Hockey
Minnesota was the 32nd state.
Many an iconic music act hails from Minnesota, including Prince, Bob Dylan, The Replacements, Lizzo, The Jayhawks, Soul Asylum, Atmosphere, and Hüsker Dü!
The Twin Cities — Minneapolis and Saint Paul — are home to one of the nation’s highest concentrations of Fortune 500 companies, including Target, General Mills, Best Buy, and Land O’Lakes.
Bloomington, Minnesota is home to the country’s biggest mall, the famed Mall of America — which has more than four miles of storefront footage!
Minnesota’s 38th governor (serving from 1999-2003) was former pro wrestler Jesse “The Body” Ventura.
The mighty Mississippi River starts in northern Minnesota’s petite Lake Itasca.
Furnace thermostats, grocery bags with handles, the Better Business Bureau, Greyhound Bus Lines, water skis, masking tape, Scotch tape, electronic autopilot, magnetic recording tape, Tonka trucks, cortisone, Bundt pans, snow blowers, black box flight data recorders, Twister, Nerf balls, NordicTrack, rollerblades, Sleep number beds, open heart surgery, pop-up toasters, Post-It Notes, and, of course, skyways were all invented in or originated in Minnesota!
Movies filmed in Minnesota include The Mighty Ducks, Jingle All The Way, Purple Rain, and Grumpy Old Men.
Minnesota is bordered by Canada, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Minneapolis’ famous skyway system is the largest continuous skyway network in the world, connecting 69-plus city blocks across eight miles.
Every August, the Minnesota State Fair — one of the biggest state fairs in the nation, also known as the “Great Minnesota Get-Together” — spans 10 glorious fun- and food-filled days.
Famous folks from or who’ve lived in Minnesota include Bob Dylan, Chris Pratt, Judy Garland, Jessica Biel, Garrison Keillor, Josh Hartnett, Walter Mondale, Vince Vaughan, Yaya Shahidi, Winona Ryder, Charles Schulz, Lindsey Vonn, Jessica Lange, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Mitch Hedberg, Dave Winfield, Jesse Ventura, Neil Gaiman, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, and, of course, Prince.
Minnesota has more miles of bike trails than any other state.
While one of its nicknames is “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” Minnesota technically has more than 11,000 lakes! (Nearly 12,000 in all.)
With this abundance of water, Minnesota has 90,000 miles of shoreline — beating out states like California, Florida, and Hawaii by a longshot!
Even though everyone knows how much Hawaii loves its SPAM, the iconic canned meat is actually manufactured in Minnesota.
In Minnesota there is one recreational boat for every six people.
Minnesotan baseball commentator Halsey Hal coined the term “Holy Cow” during a baseball broadcast.
Rochester, Minnesota is home to the world-famous Mayo Clinic.
Madison, Minnesota is known as the “Lutefisk capital of the United States.”
To Do & See in Minnesota
From Great Lakes to great grub, music, and more, Minnesota is one of the true jewels of the Midwest!
The state’s most iconic urban area is comprised of the “Twin Cities” of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The cities are a perfect blend of big-city culture and amenities alongside midwestern sensibilities and green spaces. If you find yourself on assignment (or day tripping) in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area be sure to check out the Walker Art Center & Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Guthrie Theater, Minnehaha Falls Park, Mill City Museum, Como Park, Fitzgerald Theater, Grand Avenue (perfect for shopping and lunch), the stunning State Capitol, the Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Mall of America, First Avenue, and Grand Rounds Scenic Byway. And don’t forget to take a stroll down Nicollet Mall, a pedestrian-friendly area with great restaurants and music venues where you can pose alongside the iconic Mary Tyler Moore statue.
Minnesota is also home to many charming smaller towns that can transport visitors with their classic “Main streets,” Victorian homes, cute boutiques, cozy cafes, and more. Some of the North Star State’s best smaller towns to explore include Ely, Excelsior, Stillwater, Red Wing, Grand Rapids, Henderson, Nisswa, Fergus Falls, Park Rapids, Bemidji, Harmony, Little Falls, Blue Earth, and Grand Marais.
Sports fans will be happy to cheer on the home team, including North Star State pro teams like the Twins, Vikings, Wild, Timberwolves, Lynx, United FC, Whitecaps, and Wind Chill. With its many lakes and rivers, Minnesota is home to many watersports and also has a some pretty great golf courses (the state has hosted many USGA championships, and the Walker, Curtis, and Ryder Cup). Additionally, from city bikes lanes to rugged mountain paths — and everywhere in between, Minnesota is known for being a super bike-friendly state.
From the cozy winter months around the fireplace to lakeside summer days, Minnesota is a state that likes to eat! With an abundance of culinary influences, Minnesota is known for iconic faves like Swedish meatballs, wild rice soup, hot dish (you may know it as a casserole), artisan bread (the Twin Cities were once the “Flour Milling Capital of the World” after all), lefse, smoked fish, fresh walleye, Vietnamese fare like Pho, cheese curds, tater tots, krumkake, lutefisk, venison, booya, gravlax, fried food on a stick (a state fair standard!), and the famous Juicy Lucy burger with its molten cheese center. Wash it all down with an ice-cold Surly craft beer, Bloody Mary, or Caribou Coffee and you’ll be living like a true Minnesotan!
When it comes to outdoor adventure, Minnesota is chock full of opportunities for biking, hiking, fishing … oh, and you probably heard, they have plenty to do on the water, between the state’s rivers and 11,000-plus lakes! Be sure to explore the North Shore state parks which boast many beautiful waterfalls, forest trails, and views of Lake Superior. You also want to check out Itasca State Park, the Boundary Waters, Voyageurs National Park, Split Rock Lighthouse, Gunflint Trail, Mystery Cave State Park, Jay Cooke State Park, Great River Bluffs State Park, Interstate State Park, Spirit Mountain, Minneopa State Park, St. Croix Scenic Byway, and many more of Minnesota’s beautiful natural wonders.