Q&A: Should I Become a Travel Nurse?
By Bella Alvarez, Contributor
Many nurses looking to reach their career goals or advance their skill set in a different setting often turn to travel nursing. Travel nursing is an excellent way to gain invaluable experience in your specialty, while working at facilities that have the most need. You may have wondered, though, is it the right career move for me?
If you're a new nursing grad or an established RN and you're wondering if the profession is for you, the growth, stability and benefits are key points to look into.
Top Questions Asked About Travel Nursing
1. How much does a travel nurse make?
If you have wondered what the difference was between a travel nurse job and a permanent nurse job, then you have already taken a step toward accepting a travel nursing assignment. Because, there is a difference between being a travel nurse and a permanent staff member and it's the salary. Travel nurses roughly earn 15% more than an on staff RN.
The average salary for a nurse depends on level of education, position and the state where the job is. However, in some cases, an RNs travel nurse salary can reach as high as $48 an hour depending on specialty. LEARN MORE about travel nurse salaries.
2. Will I have job security and career growth?
Yes, travel nurses have strong job security. Nursing is such an integral part of the healthcare field that even in times of economic distress or during a recession, hospitals, clinics and nursing homes always show demand for nurses, both new and experienced. Travel nurses, in particular, often work in facilities with the highest demand, which means you may only have to look beyond the borders of your city or state to find plentiful opportunities.
There is also a large amount of room for advancement in nursing. With experience, additional certifications and continued education, travel nurses can take positions that pay more and expand their skill set.
3. What are some of the benefits of working as a travel nurse?
Travel nurses have the opportunity to work in a variety of nursing settings and experience parts of the country as residents, not tourists. Other professions offer benefits such as flexibility in terms of hours and location, but few offer the personal and lifestyle flexibility that travel nursing does.
Good insurance and benefits, time off and bonuses draw thousands of people to the nursing field. The financial stability of the profession can give nurses peace of mind when thinking about job security, even if they travel frequently across the country. LEARN MORE about the benefits of travel nursing, including health insurance, housing options and stipends, career and education assistance and more.
Still asking: how can I tell if travel nursing is right for me?
Your lifestyle should be the largest consideration when you're deciding whether or not to transition into travel nursing. But don't take it from us, read what Aaron, our travel nurse expert, has to say.
4. You're interested in traveling, ambitious and eager
Travel nursing provides incredible opportunities to see some of the greatest spots in the country. Cities and rural areas alike have a demand for travel nurses, so a nurse can find themselves in the deep south one month and in the heart of Seattle the next.
The idea of changing positions every couple of months or so can appeal to many nurses, especially young RNs who are looking to gain experience quickly while trying their skills in a variety of settings. Eager and driven nurses thrive in travel nursing positions, and healthcare facilities are equally happy to hire them.
READ MORE of our frequently asked questions about travel nursing. We updated them regularly with real questions that nurses ask us and recruiters answer!