If you’re considering travel nursing for the first time, you’ll likely turn to co-workers and friends for information. While these people can often give you an excellent glimpse into the world of travel nursing, especially if they have travel experience themselves, there are unfortunate situations where myths are spread. Travel nursing is ever-evolving, and one RN’s personal experience as a traveler may be completely different from another’s simply because the two nurses worked with different agencies or at different facilities.
To clear up these misconceptions about travel nursing and help you make educated decisions, our team of recruiters is here to bust five common myths!
Myth #1: You won’t have important benefits like health insurance or retirement plans.
Completely false! Reputable travel nursing agencies offer quality health insurance plans and things like dental and vision coverage. Because of the popularity of travel nursing, top agencies are now also providing 401(k) and retirement plans for their nurses. You are traveling to hospitals with high-priority needs, and you should be rewarded for your hard work! Some nurses fall in love with traveling and experiencing new locations, so they decide to make travel nursing a long-term career. Because of the excellent benefits packages now offered, traveling is now a lucrative option for those who love to explore.
Myth #2: Working a lot of temporary travel assignments looks bad on a resumé.
Exactly the opposite! Having a variety of nursing experience is always an asset. Travel nursing actually makes you more marketable because it highlights your adaptability. Nurses are known for their ability to “work anywhere,” and those who travel actually do! Potential employers like candidates who utilize their expertise and have quality, meaningful experience in the field. Working in a wide range of facilities can give nurses invaluable experience that can be taken with them anywhere! Additionally, working several travel nursing assignments in different places can help the nurse get a better understanding of what they really want in a permanent position.
Myth #3: Travel nurses have to move every 13 weeks.
Not necessarily. 13 weeks is generally the standard length of a travel contract. Sometimes, however, travel nurses are given the option to extend their contract if the hospital/facility is a good fit and the need remains. One of the best perks of being a travel nurse is the flexibility. If their personal life and finances permit it, a travel nurse can take time off between contracts. It’s important to plan ahead with your recruiter to figure out how to best meet your goals.
Myth #4: You don’t have much control over where you go.
The beauty of travel nursing is that you are in control. While getting a contract within your preferences cannot be guaranteed, most recruiters work diligently to match you with the best available options. That being said, you always have the option of accepting an offer or not. The more flexible you are with shift preference and location, the more likely you are to find a job quickly that meets your needs. Agencies cannot force you to take on an assignment! You have the power to choose your own assignments and make the best decisions for your lifestyle and goals.
Myth #5: There are only travel nursing jobs in big cities.
Small town, rural hospitals get short-staffed, too! There are travel nurse positions open throughout the country, not just places like New York City or Los Angeles. Some locations are more popular than others, and may have a greater competition for contracts. Also, simply because of city population size, some areas are more saturated with open jobs. Traveling can give nurses the opportunity to work in very different atmospheres, from level I trauma centers in urban areas to small community hospitals in farm towns.
Have more questions about travel nursing? Be sure to check out the Travel Nurse Academy from HCTN, featuring videos on travel nurse pay, housing, medical insurance, and more!