Travel Nursing 101: All About Being a Travel Nurse

travel nursing 101 - the benefits of being a travel nurse

I’ve wanted to work in the medical field for as long as I could remember. After high school, I applied for nursing school, attended, and received my RN. This is the reason for writing my first post as Travel Nursing 101.

I work at a hospital in my home town. It’s a nice hospital, but I never thought I’d stay in this small town forever. While I was looking for a way to get out of town and try someplace new, I found out about being a travel nurse. Who knew that being a nurse could allow you to see new places? If you’re interested in seeing new places, travel nursing might be a great fit for you.

What is a Travel Nurse?

As a travel nurse, you apply for travel jobs around the country. Once you find a travel nurse agency and a recruiter they will provide a list of openings you can apply for. Although there might only be a few different openings at one given time, there are locations that open up all over the country. When you travel to that location to work, you will stay between two and six months depending on what the job specifies.

Travel Nursing Benefits

The most obvious benefit of being a travel nurse is that you get to travel. If you’re tired of the same sights in the same town that you have nothing to stay for, you can finally see the country. Other than traveling, what else does it have to offer?

Monetary Benefits

Travel nurse - monetary benefitsMonetary benefits are also a big part of being a travel nurse. Nurses make at least $40 an hour while traveling. If you don’t mind traveling often, you can choose jobs that need people for less than 13 weeks and make even more money to compensate for the hassle.

The company that you apply through for the positions is technically your employer. They will provide you with medical, dental, and professional liability insurance. You will also receive a 401k retirement plan and vacation pay.

Personal services

Another great benefit is the personal services. You won’t be thrown into your new location with no one to reach out to. The travel company has someone on staff 24 hours a day to help you with any problems or questions. Whether you want to travel to a specific location, extend your stay at your current location, or are just confused about where you are supposed to be going, there is always someone to address your concerns.

Housing & Travel

The housing and travel is probably your main concern when it comes to being a travel nurse. Do you have to buy a plane ticket and pay high costs at a hotel every time you travel? Absolutely not! The travel nurse company has its own travel agency and will supply you with all of the accommodations.

Once you are approved for a job, the company will purchase your plane ticket and set you up with free, private housing. The housing is completely furnished and includes all of the amenities that you need to live comfortably.

Travel Nurse State Certifications

As you know, you’re only certified to be a nurse in the state that you work in. Unfortunately, there is no special country wide certification for travel nurses. That would be convenient for us, wouldn’t it? However, we have to follow regulations and become certified in the state that we are traveling to.

When you take your certification test, you’ll have to pay the fee; however, once you receive your certification, just send the travel company the documents and you will be reimbursed for the total cost of your certification. When you travel back to that state in the future, you won’t have to worry about it again.

Traveling With a Family

traveling nurse - travel with familyIf you have no one except yourself, becoming a travel nurse probably seems like an easy decision. However, if you have a family, things get a little tricky. You can travel with your family, but your family’s travel expenses will not be paid for or reimbursed.

You won’t receive a larger apartment or more money for food because you have a spouse and kids in tow. Of course, if you want to bring them, you’re more than welcome. If you have a spouse that is a stay at home parent, it could be ideal. Your spouse could home school the kids while you work. Your children could be better traveled than most adults by middle school.

Rewarding and Exciting

Being a travel nurse is a rewarding and exciting job. You get to travel, see new places, experience new cultures and you get paid for it! Look into travel nursing if you’re an RN with an itch to get out of town. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to do it forever.

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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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