9 Benefits Of Becoming A Travel Nurse

9 benefits of becoming a travel nurse

If you are thinking about becoming a travel nurse, you need to know about all of the great travel nurse benefits that come with the opportunity. Why be a travel nurse? What will it do for you? Here are the amazing benefits that you can enjoy if you decide to take the plunge.


Of course, one major benefit of being a travel nurse is that you will get to travel. They can find nursing jobs around the United States to apply for and travel to virtually any location you might want to travel to. Have you ever wanted to lay on the beaches of Hawaii or check out the shops in small east coast towns?

Have you ever wanted to spend your weekend snowboarding but don’t live anywhere near the mountains? Being a travel nurse is like constantly being on a working vacation. You get to spend your days doing what you love and you time off seeing the sights. You will make new friends and lifelong memories.

Free, Free, Free

Travel nurse | get free transportation, food, housingIf you want to see dozens of locations around the country, that would be costly to do on your own as a vacation. Why become a travel nurse? Because most expenses are paid by the travel agency.

Top travel nursing agencies pay for transportation, housing, and even give you money for food. You don’t have to worry about paying for hotels, buying plane tickets, and having that extra money for food and fun. The only thing you have to pay for is your fun.

High Pay Potential

As a travel nurse, you will most likely show up on the job receiving a higher pay than most of the permanent employees on staff. You are traveling to these locations because they have a high demand for nurses. Therefore, they will pay top dollar to attract them.

Your higher wage also has to do with the stress and hassle of traveling. While some jobs will last up to six months, some can be as short as eight weeks. If you are doing a shorter job, you will likely receive higher pay. Traveling nurses average pay is of about $75,000 per year and $40 per hour.


Trave nurse contract and referral bonusContract bonuses and referral bonuses are both something that you can look forward to. While not all agencies and contracts pay out bonuses, some will pay a hefty sum to get you to sign.

Contract bonuses can range anywhere between $500 and $8,000. Depending on the company, you will receive your bonus up front or after you have completed your contract.

Once you have years of experience under your belt, you might even be able to negotiate bonuses. As for referrals, many companies will pay around $1,000 for you to refer other nurses. As soon as they sign their first contract, your referral bonus will be on its way.

Flexible Schedule

Why become a travel nurse? Because your schedule will be more flexible than ever. If you want to go to a beautiful location for six months or you only have three months to spare, you can apply for jobs that meet your needs. If you want to be home for a while to catch up with old friends or attend some functions you’re expected to be present for, you can take as much time off as you want before you apply for your next traveling nurse job.

When summer hits, apply for a nursing job in Alaska if you’re sick of the heat. When winter hits, apply for a stent in Florida if you need the sand in your toes. You can do whatever you want as long as you complete the contracts that you sign.

Medical Benefits

Travel nurse medical benefitsYou aren’t working for a specific hospital, so how do medical benefits work? You don’t have to worry about getting sick or breaking off a tooth on your lunch break. The agency that you are traveling for will have full medical and dental benefits for you.

They will supply you with professional insurance as well. You won’t have to worry about any malpractice incidents while you’re on a job. Your agency has you covered.


When you work in new hospitals in new states, you need new uniforms and new certifications. That can get expensive if you are doing several per year. Nurses need to be licensed in the state that they are working in; therefore, you will need to get reciprocity in the state you want to travel to.

Some states will give a temporary license while waiting for clearance but some can take weeks to get a license so you need to check before you travel. Most agencies will reimburse you for the cost of your new license after once you are licensed.  Some agencies will reimburse you for uniforms as well.

If reimbursement is important to you, make sure you know their reimbursement policy before you sign with an agency. Some might reimburse you for everything while others might not reimburse you for anything.

Retirement Plans

Travel nurse retirement plan Being a nurse is a tough job, and when you reach retirement age, you need to be able to settle down and worry about nothing. Why become a travel nurse? Because you will pay into your future and relax in your golden years. Most agencies offer a 401k plan when you travel for them.

Since you aren’t paying for travel or housing, you can put a lot of money aside into your 401k. If you manage to snag some of those high paying bonuses, you can stick those into your 401k plan too. With that kind of money, you could have the highest paying 401k of anyone you know.

Develop Skills

The best part of traveling around the country as a travel nurse is the ability to work at a variety of different hospitals. Hospitals like Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General, and the UCLA Medical Center are four of the best hospitals in the entire country. If you’re stuck in a small town, learning from a small town hospital, you can learn a whole new skill-set by traveling to one of the most prestigious and well-funded medical facilities in the USA.

Don’t miss out on an amazing opportunity like being a travel nurse. You will get to see the country, learn from the best, and make incredible money while doing it.

Find an agency, and talk to the recruiters about how to get started.

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Cheryl Roby, RN

Cheryl J. Roby is a Registered Nurse and retired US Army Reserve Nurse Major. She has more than 30 years of nursing experience and 26 years of military experience in the Army Nurse Corp. During her nursing career, she has traveled as part of her military experience visiting many of the 50 states and to South Korea. She was trained as an Army Medic during the Vietnam era and later as an OR tec. She went on to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and then completed her nursing training as a Registered Nurse. She was then commissioned as an officer in the Army Reserves. She appreciated the challenge of working in various specialties and expanding her clinical and professional skill sets. Her time in the Army Reserves and California National Guard gave her the opportunity to travel to most of the 50 states and work in other medical facilities. During her career, she had the opportunity to work in several specialties to include, OR, Occupational Health, Hospice, Sexual Assault Team, Forensic/ Correctional Nurse, Nurse Case Manager for developmental disabilities, Parish Nursing as well as a Nurse Entrepreneur.

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