Travel Nurse for New Grads: Is it Lucrative?

Travel nursing is an excellent career option for new grads to shoot for, and the good thing is that there’s plenty of space in this industry as many nurses are retiring or leaving. The American Nurses Association expects there will be more than 100,000 registered nursing jobs available annually by next year.

With the degree in your hand and the eagerness to put it into use, travel nursing can be one of the best ways possible. But of course, once you hear about something new (or something that you know little of), you want to be sure before making a decision.

This article has answers to every confusion and every question that you have possibly thought about up till now. So, let’s begin with a simple question.

Is it Possible to Begin Travel Nursing Right After Graduating?

This probably doesn’t seem possible to you.

And yes, that is what I expect. Every job obviously requires experience, but to tell you the truth, during the COVID-19 Pandemic travel nursing didn’t. Taking up travel nursing as a career only within a few months after your convocation was not a dream or imagination. It was a reality, you really could do that.

In normal circumstances it’s true that at least two years experience was required by almost all healthcare facilities, but the great news is that this is not always the case anymore.

There are hospitals which have started to give opportunities to nurses who have just stared their career. In fact, there are a few travel nurse agencies still hiring new grads. Most agencies are not but this method was tested during COVID and may reappear as the nursing labor shortage increases.  You must stay in touch with agencies to learn more.

The answer to how is quite simple: maintain your contact with agencies through social media and job forums directed towards healthcare platforms.

Alternatively, you can get your name running for a travel nursing career through recruiters. This will help to coordinate your travel schedules with medical facilities searching to fill short-term positions close to home.

You can also join a career program providing mentorship from skilled nurses, career guidance and longer orientations.

Most nurses will still work on the floor for two years before beginning a travel career though.  This is helpful to you for the confidence and experience required to be successful.

Steps to Take Up Travel Nursing as A New Graduate

Obviously, you haven’t ever experienced the process of travel nursing before. This means that you’re most probably unaware of the road to travel nursing.

To clear the air out, I’ve got a concise list of where and how to start:

  • Get your nursing license and gain experience, if you in a compact state even better!
  • Complete the nursing certifications and apply to any agency. You can also work with a recruiter.
  • Pick your assignments
  • Go for a phone interview and sign a travel nurse contract if the interview is successful.

There you go, you’re all set to start your career now.

Why Travel Nursing Might Be the Best Option?

There’s a lot of double mindedness and doubt when starting off with your job after graduation.

But hang in there. I’ve got a list of incredible reasons to show you why taking up travel nursing early in your career is the best pathway.

Professional Flexibility

As a travel nurse, you have career aspirations and goals to reach. But does the hectic travel nursing career’s routine let you focus on their achievement?

Pretty much impossible. The tons of responsibilities on a nurse probably doesn’t even allow them to find any time for their families.

That’s just one of the misconceptions stopping you from taking up travel nursing. Because practically, this is not the case.

Taking up travel nursing will provide you with A LOT of professional flexibility. Your position as a travel nurse will vary to a great extent. From length to location to setting or basically everything which acts as a barrier to flexibility.

Here’s how it helps: You want to work for lesser weeks? You can. You want to work in some specific location? You can. And the best part here is that new locations let you meet more people. The more the people you meet, the wider your social circle and the broader your perspective.

You see, there’s so much that will go exactly the way that suits you. This will ease you and give you more confidence as a new travel nurse.

Personal Flexibility

This second aspect of flexibility is even more exciting.

Imagine you want to meet your family or there’s a really important event. You have to manage your job and your family gatherings together. Especially if you’ve just started off with your career that may be really draining and may seem impossible to some extent, right?

Here is where travel nursing will prove itself the best. Travel nursing allows you to coordinate your schedule with your private life schedule. You can take a break from your contracts whenever you want to.

Sometimes – although rarely – your patient might even be able to join you too. That might be an additional fun.

Make More Money

This is the part that convinces me that travel nursing is ideal: good money. This perk is aided by the ability to work more than the regular time on duty.

So, if you think you can work overtime, this is awesome news for you. Taking up travel nursing will prove to be a great boost to your income.

On average, a travel nurse’s salary is $3,000 per week. In fact, a travel nurse has the potential of making about $100K per year!

So, what this shows is that as a travel nurse, you will not have to worry about the expenses while travelling. You already have an extremely tiring and stressful routine and there can be nothing better than being independent from any financial restrictions.

And oh, I forgot to mention this: being a travel nurse gives you the chance to enjoy tax free housing stipends, insurance coverage, and loads of bonuses.

Develop Hobbies and Explore the Ideal Place to Live

While focusing on your career and job as a nurse, you might not find time to search for the best place to live in when you decide to settle down. This is exactly why you should choose travel nursing as your career.

Now you’re probably thinking how travel nursing will spare you time to look for the ideal place to live. Won’t it actually be harder to manage things?

The thing is, you don’t have to spare time for such things while travel nursing. This is because you’re already travelling. You’re living in different places – hot, cold, populated, remote – so you can eventually figure out which one suits you the most.

Plus, another convincing factor for travel nursing is that you can try things you’ve always wanted to do but never got the chance to. Surfing, ice skating, fishing – you name it.

International Travel Nursing – A Gold Mine

After graduating as a nurse, many of you probably want to work internationally.

But the question is how is that possible? Is travel nursing internationally actually even an option?

International travel nursing will require some patience. Once you get a license to work as a nurse in the U.S., you can work in any country you’d like to through opportunities for nurses to volunteer overseas. The only barrier you might face will be whether or not you can speak the local language of the country where you will work.  Also most countries will require experience first to qualify for their visa.  But if you have tenacity you can set your goals to head overseas!

The thrill about international travel nursing is that there will a variety of jobs you can take up. The patients will range from young to old. The diseases and conditions will vary to huge numbers. The salaries will also be different. It’s going to be an electric experience for sure.

International Travel Nursing: Still Unsure?

The commitment for international travel nursing may be at least 2 years long compared to the few weeks when working within your country.

But don’t worry, this article won’t leave any of your problem or confusion unsolved.

You can go for non-profit and charity organizations. They last for three to six weeks but you won’t be paid for it. Yet, you will get the chance to decide whether or not looking forward to international travel nursing is fit for you as a new grad.

Not Sure Yet of Which Career Path to Choose?

Right after your graduation, you have a lot of freedom and options at your fingertips. For many of you new grads, so many choices may lead to a lot of confusion.

At this point, travel nursing will once again, prove to be perfect.

“Uh, how does targeting travel nursing help you decide your career path?”

Let me give you an example. For instance, you’ve taken up a permanent assignment but later on you find it very difficult and boring. Now what, did all your hard work go down the drain? No, don’t worry. You can still change to the position which you find interesting and easy.

But this will not be possible as a full-time staff worker where you will have local responsibilities to deal with and internal labor shortages to overcome.

So, travel nursing is an awesome opportunity to make up your mind while earning.

Travel Nursing While Attending A Grad School

Being graduated doesn’t mean your studies have ended. The difference is that you get to choose whether or not you want to study further.

For those who are really ambitious and want to learn more, they’d likely join a grad school. Travel nursing may seem to be a hindrance while joining such an institution.

Honestly, that’s not the case. Travel nursing while being in a grad school will actually be really beneficial.

You’re Earning Money

This means you can easily pay for your tuitions and books. This means you’re earning and learning, together – a dream of every student. You might even be able to make up an amount that’s enough to pay off your student loan – another dream of every student.

Time Efficient

During the breaks in the assignments, you can easily focus on your studies without any time wastage. This ain’t gonna be the case if you’re trying to study with all the family distractions around.

Get Closer to Your Grad School

Travel nursing can give you the chance to find a place nearer to your graduate school. Ideally, you’ll be living near your college, studying, and making and saving money. A good start for sure.


Now you tell me: is being a travel nurse feasible?

Just like you, I’m convinced too that travel nursing is one great option for a career in nursing. It gives you good money and a chance to find your dream home – all while still flexible with family and career.

There’s no pressure of commitment and there’s a huge variety of the jobs you can do. This industry at the moment isn’t too saturated and there’s plenty of space for individuals who want to work. Ready to get started, come onboard!

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