Top 5 Travel Nurse Jobs for New Graduates
By Kimberly Rae Dixon, Contributor
As a new nursing school graduate, there are plenty of decisions to make. This is especially true for those who choose to pursue a career in travel nursing. One of the major decisions new travel nurses are faced with is what specialties are best to consider for their first assignments. To help make that decision a little easier, the list that follows outlines specialties in demand and top paying.
The Top Five Travel Nurse Jobs for New Grads
1. Medical-Surgical Nurse
A medical-surgical nurse provides care to patients who have been admitted to the hospital for surgeries or non-surgical care. At the entry-level, nurses use the knowledge they obtain in nursing school to assess and examine patients and are usually required to report to a more experienced nurse before making judgments on patient care.
This specialty is considered one of the best travel nurse jobs for new graduates because it offers you the opportunity to experience both fast-paced, high-pressure nursing as well as slower-paced nursing that lets you focus on developing your skills and routines.
According to PayScale, medical-surgical nurses earn an average of $28.64 hourly; however, travel nurses often earn higher wages than staff nurses.
2. Labor & Delivery Nurse
Labor and delivery nurses care for pregnant women, new mothers and newborn babies throughout the birthing process and for a short period after. Patience and compassion are two of the most important traits a labor and delivery nurse can exhibit. They're expected to provide support to women while they're in labor and must help educate new parents on infant care and important topics such as SIDS and safe sleep.
These nurses also provide care to women in the later stages of pregnancy, in some cases. During the third trimester of pregnancy, women may visit the labor and delivery unit while experiencing false labor, pains and other unexpected issues that are related to their pregnancy.
The average labor and delivery nurse earns a wage of $30.60 per hour, according to PayScale.
RELATED: 3 Essential Skills a Labor and Delivery Nurse Must-have
3. Psychiatric Nurse
Psychiatric nurses may work with patients from all walks of life, including those who are suffering from addictions, dementia or mental illness. Some also work with children who have learning disabilities or difficulties in school. They are employed in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, schools, rehab facilities and senior care facilities.
Psychiatric nurses provide basic medical care to patients, and as these nurses advance in their field, may be required to provide psychotherapeutic treatment and perform mental health assessments, according to the American Psychiatric Mental-Health Nurses Association.
Psychiatric nurses make an average of $30.20 per hour, according to PayScale.
4. Intensive Care Nurse
Intensive care nurses work in hospitals and provide care to patients who are admitted to the intensive care unit. The patients who are admitted to these units are typically recovering from severe medical problems, and the nurses who care for them are responsible for monitoring their conditions, assessing progress and providing constant support to patients and their family members. The nurses who work in these units should have a keen eye for detail and a highly analytical mind.
According to PayScale, intensive care nurses earn an average wage of $30.42 per hour.
5. Nurse Anesthetist
Nurse anesthetists work with the anesthesiology department to provide care to patients before and during surgery and minor medical procedures. They work alongside anesthesiologists, who provide sedation during these procedures while nurse anesthetists are responsible for monitoring vitals and assessing the patient's condition while they're under sedation. These nurses are also usually responsible for discussing the procedure and the risks of anesthesia with patients prior to surgery.
Nurse anesthetists generally earn a higher wage than those in many other specialties, with the average nurse in this field earning an average of $79.73 per hour, according to PayScale.