Are you a RN or LPN that’s always been intrigued by the idea of a travel nursing career? If so, we’d love to connect with you. Find out more about our exceptional travel nursing opportunities now.
When it comes to travel nursing, you’ve probably heard more than a few rumors. Great pay. Flexible scheduling. Career advancing opportunities.
It all sounds too good to be true. Right?
However, “temporary or supplemental nurses account for approximately 30% of the nursing workforce in the United States” (ScienceDirect). That begs the question, why are so many clinicians choosing this “alternative” line of work?
The answer is simple. They choose this “alternative” line of work because the rumors are true.
Keep reading to find out the seven key benefits that are waiting for you when you choose a travel nursing career.
What Is Travel Nursing?
Before we dive into the benefits of a travel nursing career, let’s first answer some FAQs.
Travel nurses (RNs and LPNs) are skilled clinicians that take short-term assignments at healthcare facilities, helping fill staff shortages in specific areas. Healthcare facilities utilize travel nurses for a variety of reasons (e.g., a lack of experienced nurses, an expected leave of absence, seasonal population fluctuations).
Travel nursing assignments range in length from eight to 26 weeks. The 13-week contract position is most common. If the healthcare facility has on-going needs, it is not unusual for an extension to be offered.
While travel nurses are independent contractors, they almost always use healthcare staffing agencies to secure positions. Healthcare staffing agencies have access to more opportunities and are better positioned to negotiate compensation and benefits.
Think all healthcare staffing agencies are the same? Think again! Click here to find out why you should be partnered with a nurse-owned agency.
Travel Nursing Career Benefits
1. Top-Notch Compensation Packages
One of the most commonly cited benefits of a travel nursing career is higher pay. While total compensation varies based on assignment location and level of acuity, travel nurses can expect to earn more per hour than their permanently placed counterparts.
“How is that possible?” you ask.
First, travel nurses are typically used to fill critical vacancies in high-demand specialties. As a result, healthcare facilities are generally willing to pay a higher rate to attract this crucial talent.
Second, depending on the contract, travel nurses receive tax-free stipends to cover the cost of their travel and living expenses. After they cover the cost of these expenses, travel nurses get to keep whatever money is left over.
Lastly, travel nurses that live in states where nurses are paid less than the national average make more money from taking their career on the road. For example, the average hourly salary for a RN in Mississippi is $28.73 while it’s $42.49 in Nevada (Nurse.org).
2. Flexible Schedules
Didn’t get to spend the holidays with your family last year? Missed your best friend’s wedding because it was your weekend to work?
If you’re a nurse, chances are you’ve encountered these types of scenarios more than once during your career. And let’s be honest…it’s more than frustrating. It’s soul crushing.
This is where travel nursing can help! Flexible scheduling is the second most popular travel nursing benefit. But what does flexible scheduling mean?
It means you set the parameters for when, where and how often you’ll work. Don’t want to work weekends anymore? Okay. Want three weeks off to go visit your family? Done. You’re life is no longer dictated by your job.
Additionally, travel nurses are contract employees. This means this cannot be mandated to work more hours than what they are contracted for. While a facility may ask you to work overtime, it’s entirely up to you to accept it.
So, what fun and exciting things are you going to do with all your reclaimed time?
3. Career Advancing Opportunities
Large hospitals. Teaching hospitals. Trauma hospitals. What do they all have in common?
They all use travel nurses to staff their critical needs.
As a travel nurse, you’ll have the opportunity to work in a variety of practice settings. Consequently, you’ll be exposed to a variety of processes, procedures, equipment, goals, challenges, etc.
Beyond giving you a breadth and depth of invaluable knowledge, this variety of experience is beneficial for two reasons:
- It makes you more employable and
- More experience = higher compensation.
Furthermore, travel nurses that are partnered with a healthcare recruiter achieve their career goals faster.
For instance, Nurse Jane would like to work as an ICU nurse. However, most ICU nursing positions require two years of previous experience in a critical care setting. Knowing this goal, Nurse Jane’s healthcare recruiter is able to secure assignments that provide the necessary experience.
4. Travel the Country
Have you always wanted to live in a big city? Do you enjoy exploring nature in your free time? Want to watch the sun set over the ocean each night?
No matter what environment speaks to you, travel nursing can take you there. Seriously! There are opportunities in every state.
As previously mentioned, the typical travel nursing contract is 13 weeks long. That means you have three glorious months to explore your new surroundings. You can take in the sites, sample the cuisine and really get to know the people and the culture.
“But wouldn’t it be easier to just vacation there?” you ask.
Let’s face it. While everyone needs time to rest and relax, vacations can be expensive. Airline tickets. Hotel bills. Eating out all the time. The costs add up quickly.
On the other hand, travel nursing gets you to your desired destination and pays you to be there, creating the ultimate win-win scenario.
5. Avoiding Workplace Politics
Every healthcare facility has its own set of workplace politics. And as hard as you try to stay above it, some days it just grabs ahold of you and drags you down.
But what if things could be different? What if you avoid the workplace gossips, the negative Nancys and the favoritism?
When you travel from job-to-job (only spending 13 weeks at a time in a location), you’re truly able to avoid workplace politics. Imagine showing up to work each day and devoting all your energy to patient care? Would you fall in love with nursing again?
Furthermore, since travel nurses are used to staff critical vacancies, they are viewed as a welcomed presence. More often than not, the permanent staff goes out of their way to extend respect and gratitude to their temporary colleagues. How different would that be from your current working environment?
6. Build Your Network
You’ve heard it said before. “Sometimes it’s not what you know but who you know that matters most.”
This is especially true for your nursing career.
Think about it…
A nurse that stays at the same position for five years has a fairly “stable” professional network. Their manager may change once or twice. A few colleagues may come and go. But for the most part, they interact with the same people day after day.
On the other hand, a travel nurse is meeting new managers and colleagues with each contract. They’re continuously forming positive relationships and connections. When that travel nurse needs a professional recommendation or help finding a position, they have a vast professional network at their disposal.
If you’re a nurse that’s interested in accelerating the growth of their career, travel nursing is the way to do it!
Click here to learn the five reasons every nurse should engage in professional networking.
7. Do More Good
Chances are you didn’t become a nurse because you loved the way you looked in scrubs and enjoyed the sound of endless call lights.
You became a nurse because you have a passion for people. When you see someone who needs help, you feel compelled to act. Relieving suffering is at the core of who you are.
While all nurses make a positive difference, travel nurses have the opportunity to help those who need it most. Their work takes them to facilities that are in desperate need of help. As a result, travel nurses have more opportunities to improve patient care and influence patient outcomes.
If you no longer feel the sense of connection that you once did with the nursing profession, consider a travel nursing contract. There are plenty of patients that can still benefit from your skills and compassion. It truly is a great way to rediscover your passion for nursing.
These seven benefits only scratch the surface of what a travel nursing career can do for you! To find out more, have one of our placement experts contact you today! We promise you’ll be glad you did.
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