What You Need to Know

Becoming a travel nurse is an exciting new adventure. However, there are a lot of components that go into a successful travel experience. To that end, here are four travel nursing trends that every clinician should be aware of before they take their career on the road.

Four Travel Nursing Trends

1. Salary

We’ve all seen the social media posts advertising exceptional pay packages for travel nurses. “Work for us and earn $5,500 per week as a med-surg nurse in Atlanta, Georgia.” While it’s true that the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in an era of enhanced crisis rates (for certain specialties in certain areas), this trend is in decline as cases of infection decrease and vaccinations become more widely available. In fact, most healthcare facilities are back to offering their pre-pandemic rates.

For this reason, it is extremely important that nurses be wary of any healthcare staffing agency offering rates that seem too good to be true. Chances are these “dream rates” are just a dishonest way to lure nurses in. The old bait and switch. Arm yourself with research. Find out what the going hourly rate for a (insert specialty) nurse is in a specific area. This simple practice will help you easily spot those agencies that rely on dishonest tactics to recruit nurses. It will also give you a better frame of reference for negotiating when you find a honest agency to work with.


Travel Nursing Trends: Be wary of any healthcare staffing agency offering travel nurses rates that seem too good to be true. Chances are the agency is trying to lure you in under false pretenses.


2. Location

Let’s face it. One of the biggest allures of travel nursing is the opportunity to work where you want to vacation. Who doesn’t want to head to the beach after a long, hard day at work? While it is not uncommon for travel nurse contracts to become available in warm, sunny paradises, the reality is that the competition for these positions is high. As a result, the compensation is not usually on par with what nurses expect (high supply, low demand).

So, where can nurses that want to take their career on the road expect to work (and receive a competitive wage)? It’s no secret that rural communities have been disproportionally affected by the nation’s nurse and doctor shortage. In fact, “63% of primary health shortages currently exist in rural communities” (Teach.com). As a result, most travel healthcare agencies have a plethora of rewarding contracts in these locations. In addition to offering their own scenic charm, these destinations are within driving distance of major attractions, making it the perfect combination of work and play.


Travel Nursing Trends: Be open to working in rural communities. These contracts offer competitive wages and are still a great way to balance work and play.


3. Requirements

In many respects, applying for a travel nursing position is the same as applying for a full-time, permanent position. You’ll need to complete an application and submit your resume. There will be an initial phone screen, a background check and a credentialing process. You will need to have an interview (either in person or over the phone) with the healthcare facility’s hiring manager. So, what’s different about applying for a travel nurse job?

The major difference is the amount of experience that is required to work as a travel nurse. Most healthcare facilities require that travel nurses have at least one year of experience in the specialty they are applying to. This is done for two reasons. First, travel nurses are expected to hit the ground running their first day on the job. Second, healthcare facilities generally don’t want to invest resources in training someone that is supposed to leave when their contract is done. Before you apply, make sure you have the required experience and that your resume is current.


Travel Nursing Trends: Healthcare facilities generally require travel nurses to have at least one year of experience in the specialty they are applying to. 


4. Recruiters

Picking a travel nurse agency to partner with can be extremely difficult. There are so many companies to choose from and each has their own specialty and focus. How can you be sure that you’re working with a firm that has your best interests at heart? Who can you trust with your career?

At Premier Medical Staffing Services, we firmly believe you shouldn’t pick an agency based solely on size or reputation. Rather, we believe you should pick an agency based on your experience with their recruiters. Your recruiter is someone that you should connect with professionally and personally. They will be the primary point of contact between you and the healthcare facility. Therefore, you should be confident that your recruiter is honest, timely and gives the best presentation of your skills and abilities. Effective recruiters are able to build long-term relationships that advance their clinicians’ careers.

When it comes to travel nurse recruiters, Premier Medical Staffing Services are second to none. We pride ourselves on taking time to get to know the individual. Click here to learn more about the talented professionals on our team.


Travel Nursing Trends: Don’t pick a travel nursing agency based solely on size or reputation. Find a recruiter that you can partner with for the long-term. 


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Last Modified: Jul 13, 2021 @ 1:53 pm by Katy Konkel