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State Spotlight: Missouri

Night view of the arch in the St. Louis skyline

Travel Nurse jobs abound in The Show-Me State, where adventure also awaits!

From cool caves to serene parks to exciting city centers, The Show-Me State is such a grand place to spend the summer that this month’s State Spotlight takes us to Missouri. As one of Missouri’s favorite sons, Mark Twain, famously said: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Travel Nursing in Missouri        

State of MissouriMissouri is a wonderful state for Travel Nursing — with its great, central location, loads of activities and attractions in the state/region, and plenty of excellent healthcare facilities to call home for 13 weeks at a time.

According to Health.MO.Gov, Missouri is home to 164 hospitals and medical centers, including St. Louis’ Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University, which U.S. News & World Report ranked as the #1 hospital in Missouri, and which is nationally ranked in 12 specialties. Rounding out the top five hospitals in Missouri are: St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Boone Hospital Center in Columbia, Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis, and Mercy Hospital Springfield in Springfield.

Additionally, Children’s Mercy Kansas City and St. Louis Children’s Hospital-Washington University are both nationally ranked in 10 children’s specialties.

As for licensing, Missouri is a walk through state, a compact state, and a NURSYS state! Click here for more info on licensing in Missouri.

To Do & See in Missouri

Nelson Atkins Art Museum in Kansas City

Larger than life shuttlecocks outside the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum in Kansas City.

The Show-Me State has so very much to show you, with its unique blend of urban hotspots and rural retreats! Get ready to dig into some delectable BBQ, kick back lakeside, explore unique landscapes, get down with some blues tunes, and rock out your latest Travel Nurse adventure.

St. Louis and Kansas City are the state’s top urban spots, and each one has its own unique flair and offerings.

KC boasts great museums with the amazing Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, American Jazz Museum, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Harry S. Truman Presidential library and Museum, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, National World War I Museum and Memorial, Arabia Steamboat Museum, and more. Shoppers and fashionistas will want to flock to the famous Country Club Plaza, Zona Rosa, Crown Center, and Town Center Plaza. Daredevils will want to spend some time at Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun amusement parks. Kansas City is also home to hundreds of fountains to behold!

Kauffman-Stadium-4124

Cheer on the Royals at Kauffman Stadium!

In St. Louis you can see and visit the famous Gateway Arch, the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, Missouri History Museum, St. Louis Zoo, Forest Park, Cahokia Mounds, Missouri Botanical Gardens and so much more. My St. Louis favorite to-do is the eccentric City Museum! There’s nothing quite like this strange, wondrous place filled with whimsical structures for climbing and viewing, thrilling 5-story and 10-story slides, indoor caves, and all kinds of strange nooks and crannies to explore.

City Museum

St. Louis’ City Museum is an oddball wonderland!

Missouri was the first place in the United States to host the Olympic Games, when the 1904 Summer Olympics were held in St. Louis. Fittingly, sports fans will love the opportunity to check out one of Missouri’s pro sports teams, which include the Kansas City Chiefs, 2015 World Series champs the Kansas City Royals, Sporting Kansas City, St. Louis Blues, and St. Louis Cardinals. Missouri is also home to a ton of great college and minor league football, soccer, baseball, ice hockey, tennis, and more.

With a unique blend of German, French, Italian, and other influences, Missouri has an awesomely unsung culinary scene. Additionally, the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis alone is well known for the introduction and/or popularization of TONS of great food faves like hot dogs, iced tea, club sandwiches, cotton candy, and even the beloved ice cream cone!

Kansas City-style barbeque is known for being some of the best in the country!

Kansas City first comes to mind when most people think of Missouri’s solid rep for mouthwatering BBQ, but truth be told, you’ll find amazing ribs and burnt ends statewide. My personal favorite in KC is Joe’s — go to the original gas station location and be prepared for a well-worth-it wait or go in between peak meal times to avoid the mega lines. Other famous BBQ joints in KC include Arthur Bryant’s, Gates, and Jack Stack. Throughout the rest of Missouri, you can get a great BBQ fix at Wabash BBQ in Excelsior Springs, Shotgun Pete’s in Columbia, Missouri Hick BBQ in Cuba, Bogart’s Smokehouse in St. Louis, Hickory Log in Dexter, and Big R’s in Joplin.

St. Louis-style pizza is beloved in Missouri and characterized by having a thin, crispy crust, cut into squares, and is often topped with provel cheese. What’s provel cheese? Another of Missouri’s iconic foods, provel is a white processed cheese combo of Swiss, cheddar, and provolone cheeses that melts very easily and is most popular in St. Louis.

city of fountains

Kansas City has thousands of gorgeous fountains!

To go with your pizza, how about some delicious toasted ravioli dunked in marinara? Missouri made ravioli even better by frying it to crispy perfection. As the state that pioneered toasted ravs, you will want to be on the lookout for lots of creative versions of this toasted treat throughout the state. For example, Salt + Smoke in St. Louis makes a version filled with chopped, oak-smoked burnt ends, sprinkled with garlic and herbs, and served with a white barbecue sauce for dipping.

With the Anheuser-Busch brewery being founded in St. Louis in 1852, it’s really no surprise that Missouri continues its tradition of stellar suds. Brewers like Mother’s Brewing Company, 4 Hands Brewing Co., Boulevard Brewing Co., Perennial Artisan Ales, Schlafly Beer, and many others are actively keeping the tradition alive.

Lake Ozarks

MO loves its water-based activities at spots like the gigantic Lake of the Ozarks.

Other famous Missouri eats include Red Hot Riplets, gooey butter cake, slingers (a breakfast hangover cure staple with eggs, hamburger, hash browns, and chili), pork steak, Ted Drewes frozen custard, deep dish apple pie, and the St. Paul sandwich (egg foo young with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and may on white bread). Wash it all down with one of Missouri’s great craft beers from Boulevard or Abraxas and you’ll be living your best life like a true Missourian!

Most people don’t realize that Missouri’s diverse landscape includes facets like plains, mountains, rivers, and mountains. There’s a ton of freshwater in Missouri, including the famous Lake of the Ozarks, nicknamed “The Magic Dragon” for its shape. Lake of the Ozarks is Missouri’s largest reservoir, stretching across four counties! Water and swimming enthusiasts will also enjoy Table Rock Lake, Creve Couer Lake, Stockton Lake, Mark Twain Lake, Lake Taneycomo, and many others. Despite its heartland location, Missouri loves water-based sports and activities like river floats, water skiing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, boating, and more.

MO Caves

Missouri has more than 6,400 caves!

Missouri is also famous for its 6,400+ caves, including many show caves where visitors can explore. Fantastic Caverns offers tram tours of the underground caverns, and other great cave experiences can be found at Jacob’s Cave, Marvel Cave, Bridal Cave, Talking Rocks Cavern, Mark Twain Cave and Cameron Cave, Meramec Caverns, and many others.

In addition to the Show-Me State’s 12 National Parks, Sites, and Trails, outdoor enthusiasts will love the Missouri state park system, which boasts 91 state parks and historic sites. In fact, Missouri is consistently ranked as having one of the country’s top four state park systems! In addition to the beautiful Ozark Mountains, you’ll want to check out the Mark Twain National Forest, the 240-mile long Katy Trail, Ozark National Scenic Riverways, and many other outdoorsy places!

In keeping with the City Museum’s rep for lovable oddness, other offbeat attractions in Missouri include Ha Ha Tonka Castle Ruins, Devil’s Icebox, KC’s Giant Bookshelf, Jesse James Home Museum, Boathenge, the World’s Largest Rocking Chair, Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum, The Pony Express National Historic Trail and Museum — and don’t forget famous attractions like Silver Dollar City and the showy, live music-filled town of Branson!

Plus, in addition to the state’s many exciting sights and attractions, with a whopping eight bordering states, Missouri provides plenty of chances to adventure into neighboring states and destinations throughout the Midwest and the South, depending upon where you’re situated.

Missouri Fast Facts

hand holding an ice cream cones

You’ve got Missouri to thank for waffle cones!

State Nickname: The Show-Me State

Capital: Jefferson City

Largest City: Kansas City

National Parks, Sites, and Trails: 12

State Parks and Historic Sites: 91

State Motto: “Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law.”

State Flower: Hawthorn

State Animal: Missouri Mule

Missouri is the 24th state.

Waffle cones, 7UP, Lear jets, iced tea, Dr. Pepper, monster trucks, microchips, the 8-track stereo, ragtime music, and instant pancake mix were all invented in Missouri or by Missourians.

St. Louis, Missouri was the first American city to play host to the Olympic Games in Summer 1904.

MO Famous peeps

Tons of interesting folks are from The Show-Me State, including Chuck Berry, Jon Hamm, Sheryl Crow, Mark Twain, and many others.

Missouri was the first state situated entirely west of the Mississippi to be admitted to the Union.

If you love Europe, you’ll love Kansas City. KC was constructed with the vision that it would have “more boulevards than Paris and more fountains than Rome” — so it has tons of both!

The George Washington Carver National Monument outside of Diamond was the country’s first national monument that honored a non-president and the first honoring an African-American.

 

Chillicothe, Missouri was home to the first bread slicing machine.

At eight, Missouri ties with Tennessee as the state with the most bordering states. Missouri’s neighbors are Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

Missouri features more than 6,400 caves. In Richmond, Missouri, you can even visit The Cave Restaurant and Resort where you can dine inside a cave!

The world’s largest rocking chair can be found in Fanning, Missouri.

Beard

Woah! Missourian Valentine Tapley grew a 12-foot, six-inch beard out of political spite!

Famous folks from Missouri include Brad Pitt, John Goodman, Mark Twain, Dick Van Dyke, Jon Hamm, Jenna Fischer, Sheryl Crow, George Washington Carver, Jesse James, Yogi Berra, Molly Brown, Josephine Baker, Vincent Price, Maya Angelou, Chuck Berry, Ellie Kemper, Don Cheadle, Langston Hughes, Kevin Kline, Kevin Nealon, Shelley Winters, Ginger Rogers, Edwin Hubble, Misty Copeland, Kate Spade, Eminem, Harry S. Truman, and Redd Foxx.

Missouri Democrat Valentine Tapley pledged he’d never shave his beard again if Abraham Lincoln was elected president. After Abe was inaugurated, Tapley kepy his promise and didn’t shave for a whopping 50 years! He died in 1910 with a beard that was 12 feet & six inches long.

In 1865 Missouri was the first state to free its slaves.

Search Travel Nursing jobs now and find your dream gig in Missouri!

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Sarah Wengert, a creative content writer for the amazing Medical Solutions based in Omaha, Nebraska. While I'm not a Travel Nurse, I love to travel and I truly appreciate the hard, important work that nurses do. I'm very happy to represent a company that cares so much about its people. Thanks for reading!