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Top 10 Benefits of Being a Travel Nurse and Why You Should Consider It as a Career

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Health Carousel Travel Nursing
September 22, 2022
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Travel nursing is an incredible opportunity for nurses who are looking to experience new locations while earning a competitive salary and advancing their careers. There are positions available in various specialties throughout the country for nurses who are willing to travel and are up for an adventure. Read on to find out the top 10 benefits of being a travel nurse and why you should consider it as your career. 

What is a Travel Nurse?

Travel nurses are registered nurses who fill temporary needs in hospitals and healthcare facilities both in the United States and internationally. Travel nurse agencies work with healthcare systems to assign nurses short or long-term contracts based on the facility's needs. A typical contract lasts about 13 weeks, however, it can range from 4 weeks to 1 year depending on need and location. 

Travel nursing is a specialty that originated when the nursing field faced a nationwide shortage. Facilities began to offer higher pay, housing, and travel costs to attract nurses to temporarily fill in gaps during increased demands for healthcare.  

The future of travel nursing is bright. According to the American Nurses Association (ANA), more registered nurse jobs will be available through 2022 than any other profession in the United States. US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment opportunities within the nursing profession are expected to grow at a faster rate (9%) than all other occupations from 2020-2030. 

Why Should you Consider a Career in Travel Nursing?

Travel nursing is a great way to explore new places and experience new practice environments while receiving competitive pay, great benefits, and free housing. Traveling nurses can choose assignments in their desired locations for short or long-term contracts. The flexibility of travel nursing puts you in control of your life, you have a say in where you want to go, and for how long you want to be there while earning more money than a staff position. 

Traveling allows you to experience different healthcare facilities throughout the country and provides an invaluable learning experience. You will have the chance to help more patients and meet people from many different backgrounds. Frequently acclimating to new facilities and coworkers helps you build valuable life skills that will benefit you in your personal life and career. 

The more flexible you are, you increase your chances of landing an assignment. Be patient with obtaining highly desired destinations, and consider taking a position in a different location, until your bucket list destination becomes available. 

Whether you decide to travel for just one assignment or make a career out of it, travel nursing offers many benefits and opportunities to learn, explore, and enhance your career. 

Top Benefits of Being a Travel Nurse

There are numerous travel nurse benefits, such as: 

Flexible scheduling

Travel nurse contracts vary in length, shifts, and locations. You get to decide where you want to work and for how long. Prearrange schedule requests with your assignment before beginning your contract to maximize being able to explore in your downtime. Flexible scheduling allows you to take breaks in between contracts to visit family and friends and puts you in charge of your schedule. 

Free private housing

As a travel nurse, your accommodations will be covered for you, or you can choose to receive a tax-free housing stipend. Accommodation needs may vary depending on if you are traveling alone or with family, so discuss what types of housing are covered with your recruiter. This is an amazing opportunity to explore the country while living rent-free and saving money at the same time. 

Great pay

Many nurses pursue travel nursing because they want to increase their earning potential. Travel nurse pay often far exceeds that of a staff nurse. Travelers benefit from exceptional salaries, reimbursements, and generous bonuses for contract completion or referrals. 

License and travel reimbursements

Travel nurses are reimbursed for necessary state licensure. They also receive reimbursements for travel expenses like gas and airfare. Travel nurse recruiters help you to obtain licensure to make it an easy process for you. 

Health, dental, and life insurance

Travel nurse companies offer comprehensive benefits packages including health, dental, and life insurance for healthcare professionals and their families. You can also waive benefits if you receive them through a spouse.

Choose your adventure

The biggest perk of travel nursing is the actual traveling. Every new assignment is an opportunity to explore a new city and experience new adventures. Be sure to take advantage of your new location and all it has to offer on your days off. 

Professional growth

Working at various facilities throughout the country from top research hospitals to rural community centers gives nurses invaluable experiences and broadens their skill set. You will work with different patient populations, learn from new colleagues, and acquire new techniques that you may not have learned by staying in the same hospital your entire career. Travel nursing showcases your adaptability, builds life skills, and enhances your resume. 

Avoid workplace politics

Nursing, like any other profession, has its share of workplace politics. When you are on a constant rotation of short-term contracts you come in and get your job done and focus on patient care. Travel nursing helps to avoid drama and prevent burnout. The best thing is if you a placed somewhere with unfavorable politics, you will be on your way to a new location in no time. 

Meet new people

You will meet people from all different backgrounds and cultures as you travel from facility to facility in each new city. Exposing yourself to new people and new locations provides invaluable opportunities for broadening your perspective, meeting new friends, and making connections that may help you network in the future. 

Job security

Registered nurses are always in constant demand, especially during times of national shortages. Since healthcare facilities are always in need of qualified nurses, you will have the security of always knowing that there will always be assignments available to you. Your experience as a travel nurse will help you gain employment in the long run if you decide to settle down and take a permanent position.

Learn More About What it Takes to Become a Travel Nurse

Travel nurses are licensed registered nurses who hold either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Most staffing agencies, including Health Carousel Travel Nursing, prefer you to have a minimum of one year of experience as an RN, however some specialties may require at least two years. 

Traveling nurses have short orientations-typically 2-3 shifts, to learn the new unit and review the charting system which is why prior experience is so important. 

Licensure is required for each assignment in a new state. Travel nurses typically hold multiple licensures and a multi-state nursing license for those that have reciprocity.. Utilize your travel nurse agency to help assist with the process of obtaining licensure. 

Travel nursing isn’t for everyone but if you have a sense of adventure and are adaptable to change, becoming a travel nurse is a great opportunity to live like a local in each new city, meet new people, and receive great pay and benefits, while making a difference in patient’s lives throughout the country. 

Start your travel nursing career today by reaching out to meet with one of Health Carousel’s outstanding recruiters!

FAQs

What kind of benefits do travel nurses get?

Travel nurses receive benefit packages that may include competitive pay, healthcare, dental, and life insurance, free housing or tax-free housing stipends, travel and license reimbursement, and access to a travel recruiter to find their assignments and support them throughout their contracts. Benefits may vary amongst different travel nurse agencies, be sure to do your research to see what works best for you. 

What are the disadvantages of being a travel nurse?

Travel nursing requires you to change locations frequently. Contracts generally last about 13 weeks with the option to new or take on longer contracts. This means you aren’t in the same place for very long. Nurses must be adaptable to change and be ok with learning a new unit, including their policies and charting systems as well as be comfortable with communicating with new staff. Being a travel nurse can be lonely if you are the type of person who likes to be close to friends and family. However, flexible scheduling makes it possible to find a contract close to home or visit as often as you’d like in between assignments. 

Do travel nurses bring their car?

Deciding to bring your car depends on the location of your assignment and how easy it is to get it there. You most likely wouldn’t ship your car to Hawaii, but you may drive it to a closer location or on a cross-country road trip. If you are in a rural location you will need a car, if you take an assignment in New York city you would most likely housing in a walkable location, or rely on public transportation.  Find out what relocation benefits are available from the  travel nurse agency before making your decision. 

Author Bio

Lauren Rivera is a nationally certified neonatal intensive care nurse with over 15 years of experience. She serves as a nurse expert offering support and educational classes for women and their families from preconception through childhood. Lauren is also a freelance writer with works published on several nursing sites. She develops and curates content for various health care companies, and writes continuing education modules for other healthcare professionals.

Health Carousel Travel Nursing

Find the Travel Job that’s Right for You

Interested in how the pay stacks up in other states not on this list? Our trusty Super Nurse sidekicks are standing by to answer any questions you have. Click below to get information on opportunities in other states!

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