How To Become A Travel Nurse

how to become a travel nurseHow Becoming A Travel Nurse Could Change Your Life

For a Travel Nurse, the world is a big place. There are very few jobs that allow you to so many parts of this big world.  A travel nurse is one of the few jobs where exploring and traveling are actually part of your job description. The nursing professionals that choose this career path travel from assignment to assignment, usually spending between eight weeks and one year at each hospital. With competitive salaries, paid housing, freedom and flexibility, becoming a Wandering Nurse can help you live the life you have always dreamed of. If you love the idea of an ever-changing job environment that allows you plenty of time to discover new places, you might want to consider a job as a traveling nurse.

Explore Places You’ve Always Wanted to Visit As A Travel Nurse

As a travel nurse, you can expect to be in fairly high demand. This means that you will likely have a large array of great cities and excellent facilities to choose from. Often, hospitals will need more nurses because of a temporary population increase, perhaps due to the season. An example might be the increased amount of people visiting a warm place like Florida during the winter months.
Once you sign up with an agency, you can search for opportunities just about anywhere. You might just find a position in a place you have always dreamed of going. If you want to have a greater selection of places to choose from, consider working with a larger agency that may be able to offer more positions in a wider variety of locations. Make sure to get your license to practice nursing in the location you select. Depending on the exact place, you may be able to get a multi-state license that will let you work in several different locations without having to get a license for each one.

Take Friends or Family Along

Traveling is always more fun if you have a companion or someone close to you who can experience new cultures with you. Imagine how much more enriching and enjoyable your life as a wandering nurse would be if you had your best friend, spouse or child along for the ride. If you have a friend or close family member who is also a nurse, you might be able arrange to travel together.  You may live in the same apartment or building and work together at a hospital. Having a companion with you can make traveling more fun and help you feel grounded even when your surroundings are constantly changing. If you are worried that being a travel nurse would take away family time, you can rest assured that it will actually let you spend plenty of quality time with your family. Better yet, the people you take with you will share the same memories, and you will be able to reminisce about the good times you had for years and years to come.

Travel Other Places During Your Time Off

As a travel nurse take advantage of visiting the area surrounding areas.  You can even visit other cities and states nearby. If it has always been your dream to visit all 50 states, you could do it as a travel nurse.  Take advantage of your down time. While the places you travel to are up to you, one thing is for sure: being a traveling nurse will be an unforgettable experience where you gather memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Shop Around for Your Perfect Location

One great thing about being a wandering nurse is that you do not have to wander forever. During your travels, you may find a city that is perfect for you to settle permanently. You could find a hospital that is the ultimate culture fit. Sometimes, hospitals have this outcome in mind when they hire temporary travel nurses. A temporary stay is kind of trial period to see if the nurse will fit in long term. As a travel nurse there is an opportunity to try many different situations on for size. If you have a free spirit nature and a tendency to experience wanderlust try travel nursing on for size. You can experience many different atmospheres without settling down prematurely.

Do More With a Competitive Salary

Compared to non-traveling nurses, a wandering nurse can expect to make a good deal more as far as compensation. In addition to that, housing is often paid for, and your particular situation may include an allowance for travel. The increased salary and reduced housing costs can allow you to get more from your time as a travel nurse.  It may also give you access to experiences you might not otherwise have. The extra money comes in handy as you explore the culture of a new place. This will allow you to save some money that you can use for future travel experiences. If you want to save money while having once-in-a-lifetime experiences, travel nursing may be the way to go.

If you believe life is too short to stay in one place, you may be a wandering nurse at heart. Consider travel nursing if you value freedom, excitement and new experiences. If you are a nurse with an unstoppable travel bug, travel nursing might just be the perfect job for you. Find an agency, complete the required forms, find your travel companions and you are on your way,  You will find an exciting and always-changing life of a travel nurse. The only decision left to make is what amazing place you want to travel to first.

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Cheryl Roby, RN

Cheryl J. Roby is a retired RN and US Army Nurse Major. She has over 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 once to South Korea. Her medical training began during the Vietnam era when trained as an army medic. She went on to train as an OR tech and then as a LVN/LPN. She completed nursing school and was direct commissioned into the reserve Army Nurse Corp. nurse. 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 working in other medical facilities. During her career she spent years as an OR nurse, Occupational Health Nurse, Hospice Nurse, Forensic Nurse, Nurse Case Manager for developmental disabilities, Parish Nursing as well as being a Nurse Entrepreneur.