Is It Hard Becoming a Travel Nurse? 4 Reasons RNs Hesitate
By Aaron Moore, MSN, RN-BC, travel nurse expert
So, you’re thinking about travel nursing, huh? Well, let me tell you, it’s one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. And becoming a travel nurse is easier than you think.
I’ll admit, it took me awhile to make the decision, and I drug my feet until a pretty little blonde (my wife) took my hand and said, “Let’s go, you won’t regret it.” I’m here writing this today because she was right; I surely don’t have any regrets.
I’ve talked to tons of nurses about the benefits of becoming a travel nurse over the years. Everyone loves the idea, but so many are afraid to take the “the leap.” Change is tough, as we all know. And yet change is inevitable! Even if you stay put.
The fun part is that travel nursing gives us the opportunity to decide what changes to make. We can take the future in our own hands, pick where we want to go and make a positive difference in our lives.
RELATED: 7 Simple Steps to Get Started as a Travel Nurse
But first, you have to get past those things that are holding you back. Do any of these ring a bell?
4 reasons RNs hesitate becoming a travel nurse:
1. “It’s too hard to get an RN license in each state.”
First off, no, it’s not. Some states (California and Hawaii, for example) take a while but they really aren’t that hard, and your recruiter and team are there to help. Let them walk you through it. Travel nurse agencies often have liaisons with the boards of nursing, or know how to grease the wheels and get you started working sooner.
Plus, if your initial RN license is in a compact state and you want to work in any of the other compact states, you’re golden!
2. “What would I do with all my stuff?”
This is an easy one. You have lots of options. Get a storage unit, or get a pod that someone else will haul away to storage for you. Ask a friend to store stuff in their basement, or see if your parents will allow some of your stuff to “move back in” temporarily. Or allow someone to stay in your furnished home temporarily.
I personally downsized--a lot. Most of my important belongings I packed up to come with me, and stuff I couldn’t pack I fit into a small, temperature-controlled storage unit. It was just a few bucks, and a small price to pay, especially when bringing home a good travel nurse salary!
3. “What if I don’t like it?”
That’s unlikely. But, if you don’t like an assignment, remember that it’s only 13 weeks (in most cases). That’s like 39 shifts! And that also means you have 52 days off to explore and do things you like.
Trust me, you can do anything for 13 weeks. Then, if you want to, you can be done. But I’ll wager you’ll want to continue this adventure for a while.
4. “I won’t know anyone.”
True, you might not know anyone to start. But traveling nurses can meet people pretty quickly, and often make fast friends with other travelers. And if you’re that worried about it, travel with a friend or family member! Travel nurse agencies have great incentives, starting with free housing or a housing stipend. They can even find pet-friendly accommodations if you want to bring your furry friends along.
You can also invite friends and family to visit on your many off days. Did I mention you have 50+ days off per most 13-week travel nurse contracts?
So, are you out of excuses yet?
There are plenty of reasons/excuses people find to stay put, but once you get out there and start traveling there will be million reasons to keep on this fun adventure! So go ahead, apply for that travel nursing job. That’s the first step; the rest will fall into place. And the odds are in your favor that it will turn into the time of your life.
Read all about the adventures Aaron's been on through his travel nursing blogs.
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