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Thinking of a career in travel nursing? 5 steps to figure out if it’s right for you

By: James Cummings

If you’re interested in adventure, dream of hitting the open space and seeing the world, then you’d be happy to know too that experienced nurses who are willing to travel are always in high demands.

Travel nurses enjoy better pay, freedom to explore, further their career and discover new regions.

But what are the benefits of travel nursing?

Explore new cities and regions

A great reason why RNs and LPNs want to become travel nurses is that you are paid to explore the country. You could be on the Kentucky bluegrass in January, South Carolina palmettos in April and Arizona by Christmas. The excitement is nonstop for adventurers who decide to take this career route.

Great pay

Travel nurses earn more than full-time nurses do. Hospitals and clinics know the competition for experienced nurses is stiff so they are always pay top dollar to attract you.

Flexible schedule

Travel nurses position differ in location, time and position. While travelling might be exciting, it is also draining so a flexible schedule allows you to take time off and recharge before your next job.

Insurance coverage

You also enjoy other rewards from your agency who will cover the cost of travel, health insurance, reduced or free housing and in some cases, free meals.

Learn skills outside nursing

Travel nursing not only offers you the rare opportunity to acquire on the job training but you also gain some life skills that help you adapt quickly, think on your feet and become a better communicator.

Advancement opportunity and job security

Nurses will always be in high demand and with the current nurse shortage in the US, qualified nurses enjoy better compensation than they ever had. When you want to advance your nursing career, your unique experience as a travel nurse helps to direct your career path based on the different aspects of nursing you’ve practised.

You help people in need

The satisfaction of every nurse is to directly impact the lives of those in need of healthcare and travel nurses are always sent to areas where people need help the most.

5 signs travel nursing is for you

You work hard and know how to optimize free time

Nurses always work hard but there is always room for downtime, especially for a travel nurse. You can explore hiking routes, visit historical attractions, find the best coffee spots and explore the best of your location.

You love meeting people

Most hospitals and healthcare centres hire travel nurses to enhance their staff strength so you’re sure to find a network of other travel nurses. If you’re the social type, there will be no problems making new friends everywhere you go.

You can adapt to change

As a travel nurse, you have the option to move jobs every 13 weeks that requires you to adapt quickly to unknown places, procedures, policy and culture. You could discover a new speciality or interest of certification that sharpens your skill and make you more desirable to recruiters.

You’re a minimalist

Travel nurses are on transit quite often, which means they don’t pack a lot each time they hit the road. Jumping states every three months and living comfortably in a short-term residence isn’t for everyone but if you can handle it, consider a career in travel nursing.

You’re looking for the perfect job

There are challenges with every nursing jobs but travel nursing has more benefits than most. If you’re unsure about an area of specialization, travel nursing is a great way to test the waters and see what works. You will visit many locations and one of them might leave its’ mark on you which could be the ideal location for the job you’ve always wanted.

3 signs travel nursing isn’t for you

You get shocked easily

Nursing is a hard-core job that requires the poker face of a skilled player when you’re on the job. “Some patients see travel nurses as priest, lawyer and confidant all rolled into one” shares P.K. Scheerle, RN  at Gifted Healthcare, a renowned travel nurse agency. “The information they share are secrets they’ve not told anyone else because once they find out you’re not going to be there for long, they suddenly trust you with their darkest secrets”

You enjoy the security of a schedule

Travel nurses have schedules, however, it’s hard to tell what days will be approved which makes it hard to plan ahead.

You don’t like to learn

One major reason why people love travel nursing is the chance to pick up new skills, broaden their skill base and learn life hacks through experience in novel areas. If you’re nothing like this, travel nursing isn’t for you.

In conclusion, travel nursing is a great career move if you want to earn more, save money on rent and experience new cultures across America. If you’ve decided to become a travel nurse, ensure you find a reputable staff company to represent you, a top recruiter who understands your need and the licensing requirements for the different state boards of nursing so you understand the process before signing a contract.