Since February is undoubtedly the month of love, and everybody knows that “Virginia is for Lovers,” February’s State Spotlight takes us to the very cool state of Virginia! The Old Dominion State is a wonderful option for Travelers, with its abundance of Travel Nurse job opportunities, Traveler-friendly facilities, and an amazing assortment of things to do, see, and experience throughout the region on your days off. Read on to find out why so many Travel Nurses fall head over heels for Virginia!
Travel Nursing in Virginia
Virginia sits adjacent to our nation’s capital in a busy region that means lots of jobs for Travel Nurses. The Old Dominion State consistently has lots of really great job opportunities for Travelers where they can build their skills and resume, while also having some seriously life-changing experiences on their days off. Virginia has everything from cute, quaint towns to big city excitement to offer Travelers.
Virginia is home to nearly 130 hospitals — 19 of which meet high enough standards to be ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Hospitals list. That includes Charlottesville’s University of Virginia Medical Center, which U.S. News & World Report ranked the #1 hospital in Virginia. Rounding out the top five overall best hospitals in Virginia are: Norfolk’s Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Roanoke’s Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Richmond’s VCU Medical Center, and Lynchburg’s Centra Lynchburg General Hospital.
In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Virginia the #11 overall state on their first-ever “Best States” list, based on criteria including economy, education, government, healthcare, crime & corrections, infrastructure, and opportunity. The report also ranked Virginia #2 among the top states for government, #11 for opportunity, #10 for education, and #25 for healthcare.
Virginia is also known for having some great cities to call home — for an assignment or two! Livability named Charlottesville the #5 Best Place to live in 2017 and National Geographic named it among the Best Small Cities in the U.S. Roanoke is a seven-time All-America City, per the National Civic League, and Livability also named it among 2018 Best Affordable Places to Live.
As for licensing, Virginia is not a walk-through state, but it is a NURSYS state and a compact state under the new Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact! Click here for more info on licensing in Virginia.
Virginia Fast Facts
State Nickname: The Old Dominion State
Largest City: Virginia Beach
National Parks: 22
State Parks: 37
National Historic Landmarks: 121
State Motto: “Sic Semper Tyrannis” meaning “Thus always to tyrants”
State Flower and Tree: Dogwood
State Fish: Brook Trout
State Shell: Oyster
State Bird: Cardinal
Virginia was the 10th state.
Chapstick, streaking, U.S. patent grants, the modern microphone, over the counter enemas and laxatives, the first successful electric streetcar, the first fraternity, the mechanical reaper for grain, the Smallpox vaccine needle, the first law school, and swivel chairs were all invented in Virginia.
No wonder Virginia is for lovers! The 1987 fan favorite film Dirty Dancing was filmed almost entirely at Pembroke, Virginia’s Mountain Lake Lodge, which still offers a “Dirty Dancing Package” for fans and has a stone monument to Patrick Swayze.
Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in America and was also Virginia’s original capital.
Virginia is dubbed the “Mother of Presidents” because it’s produced more U.S. presidents than any other state. The eight U.S. presidents born in Virginia are: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson.
In colonial Virginia, many elections were decided by which candidate provided voters with the most free food and alcohol. It’s estimated that when he ran for a seat in the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1758, George Washington provided nearly a half-gallon of alcohol to each voter!
Thomas Jefferson’s historic home, Monticello, is the nation’s only private home to be named a United Nations World Heritage site.
Although there’s no proof of hobbit heritage, in 1634, Virginia was the only colony that was divided into shires. A few years later, the shires were rechristened as counties.
Virginia is also sometimes known as “the birthplace of a nation” since the American Revolution ended in Yorktown with the surrender of British General Cornwallis.
Kentucky and West Virginia were created out of sections of Virginia.
Virginia was named for Elizabeth I, England’s “Virgin Queen.”
Founded in 1693, Williamsburg’s College of William and Mary is the nation’s second-oldest college. (Harvard is the oldest.)
The first peanut crop in the U.S. was grown in Virginia.
More than 2,200 of the 4,000 battles fought in the Civil War were fought in Virginia.
The Pentagon in Arlington is the world’s largest office building, with twice the office space of the Empire State Building.
More Pentagon trivia: The Pentagon has some 68,000 miles of internal telephone lines — enough to stretch from Florida to Washington state more than 22 times!
Famous folks from Virginia include Katie Couric, Rob Lowe, Gabby Douglas, Warren Beatty, Wanda Sykes, Ella Fitzgerald, Jason Sudekis, Pharell, Arthur Ashe, Patsy Cline, Wayne Newton, Aimee Mann, Neko Case, June Carter Cash, Pocahontas, George Washington, Missy Elliott, Sandra Bullock, George C. Scott, and Shirley MacLaine, Patton Oswalt, and Tom Wolfe.
At 301 acres, Colonial Williamsburg is the largest living history museum in the world.
North America’s first Thanksgiving was held in 1619 in Virginia.
Native American tribes that lived in Virginia included the Cherokee, Powhatan, Manahoac, Meherrin, Monacan, Nahyssan, Nottaway, Occaneechi, Saponi, Shawnee, and Tutelo.
Tobacco is Virginia’s biggest cash crop and the industry employs many Virginians.
Wild ponies roam the islands of Chincoteague and Assateague off the coast of Maryland and Virginia, and have done so for centuries.
At 18 miles. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is the largest bridge-tunnel complex in the world.
Virginia is known as the Internet Capital due to estimates that 70 percent of all internet traffic happens via Virginia data centers.
To Do & See in Virginia
Virginia is known for its incredible natural beauty, multitude of historical sites, and proximity to many east coast hotspots. There’s a ton of great activities to do and beautiful, awe-inspiring things to see there!
On the urban tip,Virginia’s largest cities include Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Richmond, Newport News, and Alexandria — offering all kinds of great entertainment, dining, shopping, art, culture, nightlife, and more.
History abounds throughout the Old Dominion state and history buffs will absolutely love it here. Visit sites like Colonial Williamsburg, Monticello, Mount Vernon, the Richmond State Capitol, the Jamestown settlement, the Yorktown battlefield, Arlington National Cemetery, Tomb of the Unknowns, and so many others for intriguing glimpses into our nation’s history.
Virginia Beach is the perfect place for lovers of sand, sun, and fun! Just east of Norfolk this expansive stretch of beach also boasts amusement parks, a boardwalk, and all kinds of beachy fun. Check out the Ocean Breeze Water Park, Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Museum, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum, Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, and so much more!
Virginia is also known for some downright delicious cuisine like peach cobbler, apple pie, Brunswick stew, Chesapeake Bay crabs, deviled eggs, homegrown peanuts, apple butter, stone-ground pancakes, oysters, ham biscuits, and Smithfield county ham with all the fixins like greens, black-eyed peas, and cornbread. Wash it all down with a fine glass of fabulous, regional Virginia wine and you’ll be living like a true Virginian!
Outdoorsy adventurers will love that Virginia has everything from beaches to mountains to lakes and more, with a generally fairly temperate climate. Virginia’s abundance of fishing, boating, hiking, biking, kayaking, golfing, and many other outdoors activities are sure to satisfy. Don’t miss out on the Appalachian Trail, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah Caverns, False Cape State Park, Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, James River, and so much more!