Many dream of seeing the world while making a difference, doing what they love, and without sacrificing a stable career. Technology has definitely made this easier for lots of fields, including the medical profession.
If you’re an experienced nurse and you wish to see and work in different places to indulge your wanderlust, travel nursing might be the best path for you. This will allow you oppurtunities to pursue your passion of caring for others while enjoying other interests like experiencing new locales and meeting new people.
What is a Travel Nurse?
What exactly is a travel nurse, you might be wondering? As the name suggests, it’s a nursing are that has a lot to do with traveling. Created as a way to remedy the nurse shortage the country has, this allows nurses from various locations to find work where they’re needed. Sometimes, overseas assignments can also be found.
What makes travel nursing unique is that the contracts are short. They can span from four to 26 weeks, depending on what the medical facility requires. It can also lead to permanent positions after the contract is up.
What They Do
Travel nurses are still nurses in terms of what they do. They care for their patients, perform minor procedures, and assist doctors among other things.
Most of the time, a nurse is selected for their specialty and skills as some places may have a shortage of professionals in certain areas. This is why you don’t really have to learn new skills if you’re interested in being a travel nurse. You just need to look for assignments that match what you have to offer and you’re good to go.
Where They Work
Travel nurses can work in different medical facilities. They can be hired to fill in spots in hospitals, centers, research labs, clinics, and many others all around the country or even abroad.
The best part about being a travel nurse is that you can choose where to work. You can look for specific cities, towns, countries, or facilities to get hired in. It’s totally up to you where you will work which can give you the freedom to see the world and become a part of a prestigious healthcare system.
How Much They Make
Aside from getting to travel, being a travel nurse is a good earning opportunity. The pay is always competitive. However, there’s no average pay when it comes to this job as there are tons of ways to earn from this line of work.
Aside from your hourly rate which can range from $18 and higher, travel nurses are also compensated with free housing or a housing allowance, a daily allowance, and reimbursements. Some assignments have very handsome hourly rates but small allowances while there are also low hourly offers but generous allowances.
Then, there are also the benefits that come with the deal. They can vary largely, however. You can also qualify for tax-free stipends and reimbursements, so those are also good pluses.
Make sure to consider the varying costs of living in different locations as that can affect how well you’re getting paid for each assignment. You should also look at the commission systems and deals offered by the agency you intend to sign up with so you can really make the most out of your pay.
No matter what the case, though, you can easily expect to get a competitive pay if you choose to be a travel nurse.
What You Can Expect in Being a Travel Nurse
What comes with being a travel nurse?
- Competitive salary and good benefits. You can be sure to be compensated nicely if you’re qualified and skilled.
- Free housing covered by your agency or flexible options regarding this matter. This can make things more convenient for you as it takes the hassle out of moving around.
- The freedom to choose where to work. While you’ll still need to apply and get interviewed for the job, being a travel nurse still offers you a lot of freedom in terms of where you can work.
- The chance to move around and explore various parts of the country and even abroad.
- The chance to work at some of the best medical facilities in the country.
How to Become a Travel Nurse?
To become a travel nurse, you mostly need three things: a license, ample experience, and a reliable agency. The common requirement is 1.5 years of experience, 1 year of which should have been spent training in one’s specialty.
Your nursing license makes you a nurse, so you definitely need that. Certifications can also be great additions.
A reliable recruiter or agency is also very important to have as they will help you get assignments without a fuss. They can also help ensure that you’ll get good pay and that your moves will be smooth and effortless.
Nursing Organizations Associated with Travel Nursing
If you want to learn more about this expertise or develop professional relations with others in the travel nursing field, here are some of the nursing organizations that you can join:
- Professional Association of Nurse Travelers (PanTravelers)
- American Travel Health Nurses Association (ATHNA)
Not too sure if travel nursing is a good path for you? Here are a few other related careers that you might find attractive:
- Camp Nursing
- International Nursing
- Missionary Nursing