Career transition can be a big step. And if you are thinking about making a change towards a career that opens up a world of opportunities, then travel nursing might be just for you. Travel nursing is a highly valued and well paid career that makes it possible for you to see new places, meet new people, and experience different cultures while offering exceptional care to patients. You’ll also get a nice paycheck and plenty of time off to enjoy your new surroundings. What’s more, you can help people and make good money doing it! It’s a job where your skills are always in demand, no matter where you go.
If you’re an experienced nurse looking for a new challenge and an exciting career path, travel nursing may be for you. There are tons of opportunities for training and education. You get to choose which state you work in, what kind of facility you work at, and—best of all—how long you stay there.
However, if you are still concerned about getting started as a travel nurse, we’re here to help with everything you need to know before beginning this exciting journey! We’ve put together the top reasons to become a travel nurse—and why nurses love this job so much!
Flexibility of Schedule
Travel nursing assignments typically last between 8 and 13 weeks. This means you can be flexible when it comes to scheduling assignments. For example, if you want to take a three-month break between contracts or take off during the holidays for a family vacation, you can do so without worrying about job stability or meeting a minimum requirement for hours worked.
Scenery, Culture, and Lifestyle
Travel nurses get to experience new cities and cultures, which is often something that can’t be matched in traditional nursing jobs. For example, if you enjoy the beach, you can take a contract on the coast or in Hawaii. If you love warm weather, you might choose a contract in southern California or Texas. If you prefer snow-covered mountains and ski slopes, consider an assignment in Colorado or Utah.
You also have the option of working in smaller or larger cities and exploring their culture, depending on your preference. On your off days, you can explore the surrounding areas, hit local restaurants and vendors, and meet new people along the way. Travel nurses also tend to experience less stress since they aren’t staying in one place for extended periods of time. For some people, this can make all the difference when it comes to job satisfaction and quality of life.
Chance To Switch Up Your Routine
One of the main reasons nurses choose to become travel nurses is the opportunity to work in different environments. Working in one hospital, clinic, or nursing home for years can lead to boredom and burnout, but travel nursing offers a chance to switch up your routine and escape your daily grind.
Socialization and Networking
Networking is another huge perk of travel nursing. You never know who you’ll meet on the job. Whether it’s an orthopedic doctor or a neurologist, you’ll be working alongside many new physicians as a travel nurse. This gives you the opportunity to learn how they treat patients and what their bedside manner is like.
Additionally, it gives you an opportunity to network and make contacts in other healthcare fields that can help further your career. The connections you make could lead to other job opportunities down the road. And even if they don’t, you will have made friends around the country (or even the world) that you can visit during your time off when you go back to being a regular traveler!
Salaries & Benefits
Travel nurses earn competitive salaries that are generally higher than those for staff nurses in traditional situations. In addition to competitive pay rates, most travel nursing companies offer medical benefits packages that include tax-free housing stipends or paid housing, travel reimbursement, bonuses, and 401Ks. Though pay packages differ from company to company and state to state, it’s not uncommon for experienced travel nurses to earn more than $100,000 in gross annual income.
Travel nursing offers many opportunities for career development and advancement. It provides valuable experience working in different hospitals and clinics under varying management styles with diverse patient populations. Travel nursing also allows you to learn new skills while building your resume and network of professional contacts.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How many days a week does a travel nurse work?
Generally, you can expect to work between 36 and 40 hours per week. This is a bit less than the typical full-time nurse might work but more than the average part-time nurse.
Each travel nursing company has its own style of scheduling. Some will want you to work three 12-hour shifts each week or four 10-hour shifts. Others may prefer you to work five 8-hour shifts. You’ll get to know your preferences pretty quickly, so don’t be afraid of speaking up for what works best for you!
- What are the cons of working as a travel nurse?
There are some drawbacks to working as a travel nurse. For example, if you have a family, it can make it difficult to uproot them several times per year. Also, travel nurses are often away from their friends and family for long stretches of time. However, there is an upside: You make new friends wherever you go! Another downside is that as a travel nurse, you are not guaranteed full-time employment, but that’s just a given!
Some nurses even report that, because they spend their time in hospitals, they do not get much time out in the town where they are living and therefore do not get the full experience of living in a new place.
- What if I don’t love my travel nursing assignment?
Travel nurses are typically assigned 13-week contracts and then have the option to extend them or go somewhere else. If you don’t enjoy where you’re placed on an assignment, then speak with your recruiter immediately. He or she will try to work with the hospital and/or agency to find a better fit for your needs.
- What type of insurance should I get as a travel nurse?
You need to be sure that you are covered fully both on your personal and professional side. There are a few different important insurance types to consider.
- Health Insurance
You’ll want to make sure that your health, vision, and dental coverage are up to date before taking a travel nursing job. The agency that you work with should provide you with health insurance and worker’s compensation if you are ever injured on the job. It’s also a good idea to look at your own insurance plan just in case you can get better coverage at a lower cost.
- Travel Insurance/Flight Insurance
If something happens during the course of your travel, such as your flight being canceled or delayed past your scheduled time of arrival for your assignment, then a travel insurance policy will cover any costs associated with the delay. Your recruiter will typically help book you an accommodation until you can make it to the assignment.
- What will my contract cover? Will it cover housing, meals, and travel expenses?
The nature of your contract will vary depending on the agency. Some agencies cover all your expenses, while others require you to pay for them out of pocket and then reimburse you. We suggest looking at the fine print in addition to the details of what is covered. You also need to know how much time you have to submit your receipts for reimbursement.
Travel nursing has been cited as being a “dream job” for many nurses. For the most part, you travel by yourself to another city for a few weeks. There, you will work at a hospital and get to know the area really well. You’ll go on adventures, see beautiful sights, and meet tons of new people. So yes, you will love working as a travel nurse because of all the amazing things you will get to experience while also making a good amount of money doing so. It truly is an incredible job, one that you will never regret taking up!