Travel Nursing

travel nurse options

People travel for many reasons. But as wandering nurses, we mainly travel for work purposes. We fill temporary positions in health facilities mostly left vacant by nurses on vacation or are on leave for other reasons. We also help health facilities deal with issues concerned with nursing shortages. Mostly, we engage in short term contracts which generally last for around thirteen weeks (3 months). Travel nursing jobs are usually available when a nurse leaves work particularly due to health issues or for maternity leave and a hospital must fill that position immediately.

For registered nurses desiring to explore the city, to meet new people, to gain more career experience or to earn extra money, this becomes a great opportunity. Wandering nursing allows nurses to stimulate their cultural growth – basically broaden horizons while still practicing in their preferred profession.

The benefits we enjoy as traveling nurses

As a matter of fact, travel nursing is a fabulous way of embarking on exciting travel opportunities. But mostly, nurses choose the career due to the handsome travel nurses salary. The wages highly depend on the recruiting agency, the level of experience and the hospital’s geographical location. According to Onward Healthcare Surveys, median salary of traveling registered nurses is roughly $80K. Furthermore, it is more interesting to work in assignments where the contracts are short term. With such contracts, we have no pressure to commit to anything. If a nurse finds out that a travel assignment location is not what they expected, they can reject it and pick another when it’s finished.

Travel nurse | dream jobWhen looking for a job, nurses mostly begin their search online. After the search they then decide on where they want to go and finally hunt for all the current openings. Today there are over 480 nursing companies worldwide which wandering nurses rely on.

Moreover, hospitals desiring to fill positions often rely on services of recruiting agencies. The agencies offer assistance in connecting nurses with the most ideal jobs. They also assist travelers in aspects related to their ravel and housing. These aspects may include utilities, housing and cable internet.

However, when looking for an assignment, doing your homework is important especially when working with recruiters. You should be sure to consider the nitty-gritty details because no agency is similar to another. The agency should answer any questions relating to housing, length of stay, pay, assignment reimbursement, work schedule, vacation days and pet policy. As a nurse, it is also important that you consider some little details such as banking and mail forwarding before you decide to take on wandering nursing.

Who should work as a travel nurse?

Despite the many perks related to travel nursing jobs, you should know that these jobs are not for everyone. They are ideal for people who have flexibility. Even though it isn’t impossible to make wandering nursing work for you, it may create more problems if you have children or you have a committed relationship.

Travel nursing is ideal for people desiring to earn more money without getting tied down to contracts. As wandering nurses, we always have opportunities to explore the potential places we have always wanted to see. We can even test the waters of those areas before we decide on making commitment to move permanently.

And if you are a nurse considering retirement in the near future. But you need to spice up your career, travel nursing can be a great choice. It is also ideal for nurses who are very new to the career. It’s true that most nursing agencies will require you to have at least two years of experience. But wandering nursing can be a great way of gaining skills, experience and building professional contacts that will last for a very long time.

International travel nursing

While we have traveled to many states and also worked in many health facilities within United States, there very many international travel nursing opportunities. Relocating to another country – even temporarily – can be daunting but nursing abroad offers many unique experiences which make them worthwhile. Before rushing for a passport and packing a few bags, there are some things that you should consider.

Sense of adventure

International travel nursingApart from high wages, International travel nursing opportunities allure lies in many other things. Generally, when working abroad you will most likely earn less than when working in the United States.

But what is enticing about assignments in other countries is the change of place and the unique locales. If you are a nurse who posses a willingness to place yourself in unfamiliar territories or who posses a sense for adventure, then international wandering nurse opportunities are ideal for you.

Mostly, international nursing opportunities run for longer periods than the domestic assignments. The major benefit in this is that you will have sufficient time to enjoy new work environment and to learn new customs. Leaving assignments abroad can be hard particularly before you have adapted to the location and explored as a resident. For example, in UK, you will be able to explore many cities in Europe that you  may have dreamed of.


You should know that picking assignments abroad require adequate preparations. To work in some countries such as the UK or Australia, you must meet some requirements. For example: to work as a wandering nurse in the UK, you will have to pass an English Proficiency exam. Furthermore, you will need to register with the Nursing Midwifery Council. The other requirement is Supervised Practice.

And in Australia, you must complete the country’s board examination and also register with Australia Boards of Nursing after which you will begin working. The Nurses Board of Southern Australia will also confirm your record in the country. The entire process may take up to 3 months.

You should also be sure that your travel nursing agency has adequate experience in international placements and guide you properly through the whole process.

Who should consider international travel nursing?

International travel nursing opportunities are ideal for people ready for adventures and who long to experience other parts of the world. You may require some time to meet the requirements. However, with solid travel nursing agency to guide you through the process, you may soon start working in the area of your choice.

Travel nursing offers more flexibility. If the winters are too cold or the summers are too hot, we can move to a different region where the temperature is more suitable, or move closer to our friends or family. Our 13 weeks travel assignments are usually covered and with the high pay traveling to earn can truly pay off.

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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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