Across the country and around the world, professional nurses are leveraging their skills into travel nursing jobs. This exciting nurse career choice can take you to every state, as well as the far corners of the globe. As a travel nurse, you can be exposed to cultures you’d never otherwise experience – so it’s an ideal nursing job if you love to travel and meet new people.
What Does a Travel Nurse Do?
Typically, travel nurses work short-term assignments as contract employees for healthcare staffing agencies. They are sent to places where their specialties and skills are in demand, while the staffing company generally takes care of their housing and other needs.
Travel nurse duties are very similar to non-traveling nurses. They care for patients, record information on patient charts, administer medication and coordinate patient care with other hospital departments.
The Path to Becoming a Travel Nurse
The first step to becoming a travel nurse is to research travel nurse staffing companies and agencies that place nurses with hospitals. Each firm offers different locations and employers, so registering with a number of agencies will increase your chances for assignments.
Also, be sure to determine the qualifications that agencies seek in travel nurse candidates. Enrolling in an RN to BSN degree program is an excellent way to obtain the skills and knowledge that can put you on the path to be head and shoulders above the competition for travel nursing jobs.
Travel Nurse Career Benefits
Becoming a travel nurse offers many advantages, including:
- The ability to work as much or as little as desired
- Controlling work schedules by accepting assignments as needed
- The chance to check out many areas of the country before settling down
- Experiencing a variety of work settings and company cultures
- Seeing the country – and the world
- Opportunities for adventure
5 Drawbacks of Travel Nursing Jobs
While a travel nurse career can be high-paying, exciting and adventurous, it can have its disadvantages, as well. Here are five drawbacks that travel nurses may experience:
- Job security may be diminished for travel nurses; when hospitals make staffing cuts, they may choose travel nurse assignments rather than permanent nurse positions.
- Assignments may not be what you expected. Travel nurses can be required to float to areas of the hospital other than what the contract specified. Or, they can be asked to care for more patients than the contract outlined.
- Night and weekend hours can be assigned to travel nurses.
- Travel nurse jobs are not the best choice for nurses with family obligations or who cannot travel at the drop of a hat.
- Moving from city to city on your own can make travel nursing a lonely career. But, if you’re open to meeting new people and make friends easily, loneliness can be overcome.
Should You Be a Travel Nurse?
A sense of adventure and a desire to travel the world are important attributes for a travel nurse. Good benefits and high earnings, along with exposure to different people, places and cultures, are just a few of the many benefits of this growing nursing career specialty!