Benefits Of Being A Travel Nurse

benefits of becoming a travel nurseHave you been thinking about becoming a travel nurse? There are many good reasons why you might prefer it to traditional nursing jobs. The nursing profession is always in high demand, and in many areas, there are not enough nurses to meet the needs of the community. In order to fill that gap, many hospitals and medical providers turn to nursing agencies to find qualified staff or short-term needs or for permanent positions. If you are looking for a position that offers you more freedom, travel nursing is worth exploring as an option.

See the Country

Are you interested in experiencing life in different regions of the nation? Maybe you are not ready to settle down in one area yet, or perhaps you don’t know where exactly to put down your roots. Travel nursing jobs are an ideal way to explore different regions without a lot of the risk of a permanent move. You make the choice of where you want to go, and since nurses are needed in every area, you might be surprised at all of your options. Travel nurses work in urban areas as often as they do rural, under served communities. The arrangement works well for hospitals because they can fill jobs based on census or busy seasons without taking on full-time staff that they may not need year-round.

More Flexible Than You Knew

Assignments range from short-term fill-ins to lengthier employment cycles. You don’t have to make a long commitment if you don’t want one. The average interval of a travel nursing job is about 13 weeks.  This gives you the right amount of time to really experience life in one location. Often, the hospital or other medical provider will extend an assignment if both of you are happy with the arrangement. If you find you like where you are, you may have the option of staying longer. If that town just isn’t for you, well, another opportunity is just weeks away. You can even schedule vacations between assignments if you need a break.

Show Me the Money

Temporary positions usually pay below the standard salary for full-time employment, which is why many people don’t consider them an option. As a travel nurse, however, you typically earn more than a permanent employee. Overtime is also an advantage, with time and a half or double time available, depending on the circumstances. Many assignments also offer bonuses which may be paid at the completion of the time commitment or a portion at the onset with the remainder received when the position ends. Bonuses do range a bit according to agencies or areas, so it’s up to you to ask about it before you agree to work.

Bells and Whistles

Another advantage of being a travel nurse are the excellent benefits. Most travel nursing agencies offer medical and dental insurance and 401K plans to their employees.  Housing allowances and travel or relocation expenses are a big plus. Once you choose an assignment, you will not have the added burden of paying to move from place to place. Your agency helps cover those costs by offering you a monthly stipend for housing.  They may find you a residence for your stay as an option.  Ask about those arrangements before you sign anything, as you may be obliged to room with another nurse who is also in that location. You may be able to get part or all of your state license fees and continuing education requirements covered by your agency.  This will make the idea of moving to different locations more attractive and feasible.

Adventure Awaits

The shortage of qualified nurses across the country is not expected to improve in the foreseeable future.  Now is a great time to become a travel nurse. Check travel nursing agencies to see what locations are available and what benefits they offer. Consider your many options to increase your skills, continue your education, and travel to new locations. Expand your horizons while providing excellent medical care to areas that need and appreciate what you do. Travel nursing can be a life-changing experience, so take advantage of this unique work opportunity.

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.
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