The Ultimate Travel Nurse Guide to Fargo

The Ultimate Travel Nurse Guide to Fargo
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When I think about where I want to take a travel nurse assignment, Fargo isn’t what generally comes to mind.  I usually think big city, public transportation, etc.  However, the longer I do this, the more intrigued I am about lesser known destinations.  A city that has it all, but still maintains its down to earth charm, affordable housing rentals, and less traffic (there’s nothing worse than a long day at the hospital and then having to sit in traffic on the way home).  Not to mention, North Dakota is known to be one of the highest paying states for travel nurses in the US.  So when I got the opportunity to visit Fargo – I jumped on it.  I wanted to get a feel for just what it would be like to spend 13+ weeks as a travel nurse in Fargo.  And let me tell you, Fargo is where it’s at.  Below you’ll find the ultimate travel nurse guide to Fargo – everything you need to know about taking a 13+ week assignment.


If you’re planning on taking an assignment in Fargo, don’t miss checking out my Instagram page/highlight reel for more ideas and insider tips by searching “#ppinnorthdakota” and finding my highlight reel “Fargo-Moorhead”


Why Should You Choose Fargo for a Travel Nurse Assignment?

This may be surprising, but in my opinion there is no reason not to consider a travel nurse job in Fargo.  The hospitality in North Dakota is a dream (the midwest definitely does hospitality best), assignments in North Dakota are generally some of the highest paid assignments in the US, housing is affordable, it’s easy to get around without a lot of traffic, and on your days off – there’s so much to see and do in and around Fargo!

So, if you are looking for a high paying assignment, with affordable housing, in an underrated city – Fargo should be on your list.

By the way, you might notice Fargo being referred to as Fargo-Moorhead.  That’s because the two cities (Fargo in North Dakota and Moorhead in Minnesota) are closely tied together with the Red River running between them.


Best Time to Be a Travel Nurse in Fargo

North Dakota experiences all four seasons – hot in the summer, and cold in the winter.  I personally like to chase summer year round, so I would say it’s best to take an assignment in Fargo in the summer months.  Plus in the summertime there’s so much to do in Fargo!  Rent kayaks and kayak down the Red River, ride bikes through Lindenwood Park, see the Redhawks play baseball at Newman Outdoor Field, and even attend West Fargo Cruise Night!

If you do choose to take an assignment in Fargo in the winter months, there are still plenty of winter activities to enjoy.  You can go snowshoeing, cross country skiing, ice skating, and catch a hockey game at Sheels Arena.


Where to Live in Fargo




Resources/Neighborhoods to Live in

Fargo is what I would consider a medium sized city – in 2021 120,000+ people lived in Fargo, the largest population in North Dakota, and the 219th largest city in America.  In Fargo, there are 30 neighborhoods that are recognized, giving you plenty of choices when it comes to housing.

As for where to live in Fargo, my favorite area is downtown Fargo.  But with that being said, Fargo is easy to get around so no matter where you choose to live, your commute to work shouldn’t be too bad.  Other neighborhoods I’d consider (aside from downtown) are West Fargo, Horace Mann, and Clara Barton.

Browse my rental recommendations below…

In the past few years, tons of short-term housing accommodations have popped up in the US.  For a comprehensive list of housing resources, make sure to read The Best Housing Options for Travel Nurses.



Cost of Living in Fargo

It’s estimated that the cost of living for one person in Fargo (not including rent) comes out to about $1,100/month.  For reference, this is 26% cheaper than the cost of living in NYC, and according to Payscale, the cost of living in Fargo is 6% lower than the national average.  The median rent in Fargo is $1,141/month – with housing expenses being 17% lower than the national average.


Travel Nurse Salary in Fargo

There are tons of factors to consider when discussing what a travel nurse’s salary is.  These factors include (but are not limited to)…

  • Time of year
  • Unit need (the more desperate, the higher the pay)
  • Unit (specialized units generally pay higher than non-specialized units)
  • Cut that your recruiter takes
  • & more

In my opinion, to live comfortably in Fargo, I wouldn’t accept a contract less than $1,500/week.  Luckily, North Dakota is one of the highest paying states for travel nurses so hopefully you won’t have any trouble getting more than $1,500/week.


To better understand travel nurse pay, don’t miss:


Travel Nurse Jobs in Fargo

When searching for travel nurse jobs in Fargo, my biggest piece of advice is to find a recruiter that you trust and go from there.  When you’re working with a recruiter to be placed in Fargo, make sure that the company staffs in North Dakota and ask your recruiter if the company has had success placing other travelers in Fargo.  (This is where that trust aspect comes in!  DM me on Instagram if you’re looking for a trustworthy recruiter).


Transportation in Fargo – How to Get Around



I would highly recommend bringing a car to Fargo if you plan to take an assignment.  The city is spread out enough that you’ll need a car to drive places and public transportation is lacking.

If for some reason you don’t bring a car to Fargo, I recommend using Discover Cars to rent a car when necessary.



There is an airport in Fargo – Hector International Airport (FAR).  It’s the busiest airport in North Dakota with five airlines (Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, and United) servicing Fargo.  You can get direct flights in and out of Fargo from the following cities:  Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles (seasonally), Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, Orlando International (seasonally), Orlando-Sanford (seasonally), Phoenix-Mesa, Phoenix-Sky Harbor (seasonally), and St-Pete Clearwater International (seasonally).



Both Uber and Lyft operate in Fargo.  I recommend downloading both apps before arriving to the city.



There is public transportation in Fargo – the MATBUS which serves the communities of Fargo & West Fargo, North Dakota as well as Moorhead & Dilworth, Minnesota.  The MATBUS does not operate on Sunday, and you can view the schedule here.

The cost of the MATBUS is $1.50, and you can purchase multiple tickets at a discount.  For information on cost to ride, click here.


Hospitals in Fargo/Licensing in North Dakota

There are tons of great hospitals to work at in Fargo.  Sanford Medical Center (which has a level 1 adult trauma center), Sanford Children’s Hospital Fargo, Vibra Hospital of Fargo, Fargo VA Health Care System, and more.

If you have a compact license – you’re in luck!  North Dakota is part of the NLC (nurse licensure compact).  If you don’t have a compact license, you can apply for a North Dakota nursing license here.


For more on compact vs non-compact states, don’t miss…




Prioritizing Your Stay – What Should You Do in Fargo?

When I tell you that the amount of things there is to do in Fargo blew me away – I’m not lying.  There are so many great activities, bars, restaurants, and museums in Fargo!  You’ll have plenty of things to do during your 13+ week assignment.



Attend a Sporting Game – No matter what season you’re in Fargo, there’s an opportunity at all times of the year to attend a sporting game!  From hockey to baseball, Fargo has it all.

  • Baseball – Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks; view schedule here
  • Car Racing – Red River Valley Speedway; view schedule here
  • Hockey – Fargo Force; view schedule here
  • Horse Racing – North Dakota Horse Park; view events here
  • Roller Derby – FM Derby Girls; view schedule here
  • Wrestling – Below Zero Wrestling; view events here


Bluestem Center for the Arts – Bluestem is a 3,000 seat, outdoor theatre in Moorhead, Minnesota.  Tons of incredible artists come to perform at Bluestem each year so if you’re in town on a travel nurse assignment, I encourage you to check the schedule and try to make it to a show!  (When I was in Fargo I got to see Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats).

Pro tip:  Parking is free at the theatre but it fills up fast (and it’s hard to get in and out).  Another way to get to the theatre is by taking the shuttle from Murphy’s Bar or Legends Bar  in Moorhead for $10.


Bonanzaville USA – Located in West Fargo, this impressive museum teaches about the history of North Dakota and the life and history of Pioneers.  With 36 buildings on 12 acres of land, Bonanzaville gives a complete picture of life as a pioneer, how pioneers lived at the time, and challenges they faced.  The cost to visit (for adults) is $12 and I recommend planning to spend at least two hours exploring.

This is a mostly outdoor museum so plan accordingly for the weather!


Downtown Fargo – Downtown Fargo is truly a gem with tons of street art, bars, restaurants, and boutique shopping.  You’ll definitely want to check out the downtown area while you’re in Fargo.

  • For boutique shops… Botanical Brothers, Handpicked Goods, Mason Jar Boutique, Mint + Basil, Proper, The Nines Fargo
  • For drinks… Rosewild, Marge’s Bar, Nichole’s Fine Pastry
  • For eats… Little Brother, Marge’s Diner
  • For art… Art Alley (1st Ave N between 4th St & 5th St), Fargo Train Car (Corner of Main & Broadway), Greetings from Fargo (641 1st Ave N), Native Prairie Mural (19 8th St S); see an extensive list of murals here


Fargo Theatre – Another fun thing to do in Fargo is to catch a movie at the historic Fargo Theatre located downtown.  The theatre was built in 1926 and shows mainstream, independent, and foreign films.

You can see what’s playing at the theatre here.


Kayak Down the Red River – The Red River of the North is 550 miles starting in Breckenridge, Minnesota and ending in Lake Winnipeg in Canada.  It forms most of the border between North Dakota and Minnesota, and what better way to experience the river than by kayak?

You can rent kayaks (or canoes) for $10/hour.  There are two places to rent from:  Lindenwood Park Kayak Rentals (1905 Roger Maris Dr, 701-356-2106) or River Keepers Rental Shack (202 1st Ave N, Moorhead).  Rentals are available on a first come first serve basis and only operate seasonally.


Lindenwood Park – On a nice day, head to Lindenwood Park where you can have a picnic or explore the many walking and biking trails.  In the winter months you can still visit Lindenwood and cross country ski through the park.  (For more information on cross country skiing in Fargo, read this post).  Lindenwood is the largest park in Fargo, stretching for 92 acres and also crossing into Minnesota.

Pro tip:  If you’re in Fargo from June-September head to the Moorhead Farmers Market on Tuesday (3:30-6:30 pm) to pick up goodies and take to the park!


Red Wine River Trek – If you’re taking an assignment in Fargo during the warmer months, one thing you can’t miss is the opportunity to participate in the Red Wine River Trek.  This trek was started in 2019 with the goal to encourage guests to visit the wineries, ciders, and meaderies in the Red River Valley.  There are eight locations that participate (Bear Creek, Cottonwood Cider House, Dakota Vines, Maple River, Prairie Rose Meadery, Red Trail, Rock, and 4e Winery) and if you download this passport and visit each place, you can turn the passport in for a prize!


West Fargo Cruise Night – West Fargo Cruise Night is one of the more fun and unique activities I experienced in Fargo.  During Cruise Night (held on the third Thursday of June-September from 4:30-9 pm), hundreds of unique cars and motorcycles line up on Sheyenne Street from Main Avenue W to 7th Avenue West.  Not only can you browse the unique cars, but you can also stop into boutique stores and there are food vendors set up outside too!

Pro tip:  Don’t miss stopping in at Cookie Krums for ice cream and cookies!


For more things to see and do in Fargo, don’t miss:  10 Things to See & Do in Fargo, North Dakota



Bear Creek Winery – Bear Creek Winery is a beautiful escape just 20-minutes from downtown Fargo.  The property is huge with ponds, a golf course, vineyards, and tons of space both indoors and outdoors to sit and relax.


Brewhalla – At Brewhalla you can experience the Fargo food scene, brewery scene, and boutique shops all under one roof.  Brewhalla is a food and entertainment wonderland with everything from games for kids to a wine bar for adults.

Pro tip:  Don’t miss oysters at Mangata and gelato at Duchessa.


Junkyard Brewing Company – Located across the river in Moorhead, Junkyard Brewing is a small craft brewery specializing in new and experimental beer styles.  With indoor seating and a great patio, this brewery is a great choice year-round.


Little Brother – Little Brother is a delicious Asian fusion restaurant located in the heart of downtown Fargo.  The restaurant is pretty bare bones, focusing on the flavor of each dish (and it shows).  I’m partial to the bibmbap – it was delicious!


Luna – Located in a strip mall, Luna is one of those places that you pull up to and you wonder what all the hype is about.  Once you sit down and view the menu however, you’ll notice that you’re in for a treat.  Instead of basic pancakes you’ll be served banana pancakes with chocolate chip mascarpone and bourbon pecan syrup – everything on the menu is just a little bit more elevated than what you’d expect.  (I highly recommend Luna for breakfast).


Rosewild – Located in the Jasper Hotel in downtown Fargo, Rosewild is the perfect place to pop in at after a long day of shopping for a cocktail.  Sit at the bar and watch the bartender do their thing!


Sol Ave. Kitchen – Also located in Moorhead and connected to Junkyard Brewing, Sol Ave. Kitchen is an amazing street food restaurant with a midwestern twist.  I encourage you to start with a beer at Junkyard before moving over to Sol Ave. Kitchen for tacos and elote bravas.


Tati’s Mediterranean Saveur – Another restaurant that I wasn’t expecting much from (and was blown away) was Tati’s Mediterranean Saveur.  This Lebanese restaurant serves a mean hummus and the chicken shawarma is to die for.


If you’re on the fence about taking a travel nurse assignment in Fargo, I hope that this post has encouraged you to do so!  And if you’re heading to Fargo/already in Fargo for your next travel nurse assignment, I hope that this post helps guide you on the best things to see and do in the city.  If you have any questions, let me know in a comment below!


Travel Nurse Essentials


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If you’re looking for other ideas of where to be a travel nurse, check out these posts:


*Thank you to the Fargo-Moorhead tourism board for hosting me in Fargo.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.*


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Kylee is a NICU nurse passionate about making travel affordable and accessible to nurses. Inspiring nurses to travel both near and far, Kylee began Passports and Preemies in 2017 while volunteering in Skopje, North Macedonia as a way to reach nurses and advocate for the prevention of nurse burnout by traveling. Kylee has been a NICU nurse for 9 years and a travel nurse for 7 years. Since starting her career in travel nursing, she’s worked in six different states, 10 different hospitals, volunteered as a nurse in North Macedonia, worked as a nurse in Saudi Arabia, and has traveled to 45+ countries. Her favorite travel nurse assignment was in Seattle and her favorite destination is Georgia (the country). Kylee is the original creator of the “8 Day Vacay” – a vacation geared towards nurses who aim to take advantage of the potentially 8 days off between work weeks with no need to use PTO.

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