Travel nurses are in high demand, especially now, during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you love to travel and want to use your nursing license or degree to land a rewarding position, becoming a travel nurse might be the best fit for you. Travel nurses don’t have to contend with working in the same environment day in and day out. They get to explore new cities and states, as long as those states are contained within the License Compact (currently 34 states participate). All types of nurses can participate, including RNs, LPNs, and those with Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees in nursing. If you are thinking of spreading your wings and landing a job as a traveling nurse, here is what to expect as you leave your home-base of operations behind.
You Control Where and When You Work
Travel nurses have immense personal freedom, which can’t be said of all nursing positions. You may land a position in a hospital working for a week before you head off to a new one. There are other benefits to being able to choose your location and schedule. If you know you have a family reunion, graduation, or birthday coming up in another state, you can search for employment in that area, killing two birds with one stone, and getting paid handsomely for it. More on that topic in a bit.
You Get to Avoid Work Politics
A challenging aspect of working in a hospital as a nurse is that you must contend with politics and issues with management. You work beside the same people, which can occasionally embroil you in drama. Travel nurses don’t have these gripes. When you travel from hospital to hospital, you are able to focus on patient care, avoiding all the politics entirely. And if you do happen to be in a position where the drama is overwhelming, you have the freedom to go elsewhere, once your contract is up.
Work on Contract
As a skilled healthcare professional who takes on a travel nursing role, you will find yourself taking assignments in hospitals that have short-term staffing needs. Many hospitals have travel nurse allotments, which helps them fill up shortages quickly with highly-trained staff. Hospitals who hire travel nurses are able to keep hiring costs down while staffing the necessary positions with qualified professionals who can start working right away.
There are different types of travel nursing contracts, including standard and crisis. Crisis contracts are used when the hospital needs extra staff urgently, and the pay is typically higher. The contract you sign will include your obligations, conditions for work, and other specifics like wages, reimbursements, and benefits.
Meet & Help New People
As a travel nurse, you are always meeting new and interesting people. This includes the staff you work with, the managers at the various hospitals where you land contracts, and the patients you assist. A travel nurse’s responsibilities include examining patients and speaking to them about their symptoms and health histories. This information will help you make critical decisions about their care.
You may find yourself delivering essential information to patients and counseling them with the goal of improving their health. You’ll also play an important role in administering medication while performing essential research. Travel nurses are often involved with collaboration with other healthcare professionals to ensure the best levels of patient care. If you are a people person and you love working with patients, travel nursing can be a very rewarding career choice.
Get Paid Well
Travel nurses are paid an average annual salary of $107,120, which is $31,790 more than the average RN salary of $75,330. Due to the increased need for travel nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic, some professionals are bringing home as much as $8,000 per week.
Unlike other healthcare positions, travel nurse pay is not influenced by your experience level or education. Traveling registered nurses with two years of experience have the potential to earn as much as a traveling registered nurse with ten years of experience or more. That’s excellent news if you are new to travel nursing and want to earn more money to pay off the fees associated with your nursing education.
Ready to Get Started as a Travel Nurse?
To become a travel nurse, it helps to partner with a travel nursing agency, such as ProLink Staffing. At ProLink, you’ll gain inside knowledge of the travel nursing industry. You’ll work with a recruiter who is motivated to match you with the ideal position that best fits your skills and goals. Most of all, you’ll be able to maintain your licensure, and gain important benefits like holiday pay, and other perks. Get started by speaking with a dedicated account manager who can put you in touch with hospitals looking for travel nurses just like you. Call (866)777-3704