Three Signs You May Be Ready to Take the ‘Leap’ into Travel Nursing


By Melissa Wirkus Hagstrom, contributor

It’s only once every four years that we get a whole extra day in February, and what better way to spend the extra 24 hours than planning your travel nursing career! Some cultures consider leap years to be extremely lucky and full of good fortune, so why not make the most of it? This may be the perfect time to take the “leap” into a career full of adventure, learning opportunities and so much more.

Making the transition from full-time staff nurse to traveling health care professional can take some courage to step out of your comfort zone, but has compiled a list of some top signs you may be ready. Are you? See if these sound like you:

    1.  You’re ready...for a change

Even if you love nursing, it’s common to fall into a slump or rut after some time on the job. Factor in the ever-present phenomena of nurse burnout, and it’s easy to see why RNs can get overwhelmed with stress, long shifts and challenging work environments. Sometimes a little change is the cure-all to reinvigorating passion for your nursing career. If you are getting frustrated or antsy at work, this could be a cue that you are ready for a change.

Travel nursing contracts usually range from 4 - 13 weeks or longer, with 13 being the most common. That means that you could travel to a new facility every few months, with time for fun trips in between. This frequent change can help you maintain a fresh perspective as you are constantly meeting new people, working in new environments and challenging yourself every single day. You’ll also have the chance to explore new cities and find new activities to keep you energized.

    2.  You’re learn new skills, techniques and clinical knowledge

If you’re itching to expand your nursing knowledge and skill set, travel nursing offers some unique opportunities. Traveling to new facilities allows you to gain exposure to so many new things. You’ll gain insight from your colleagues, learn new computer systems, and have the ability to share your knowledge and skills. If you have a specific way of working based on one facility’s procedures, you could learn new ways of performing tests or using equipment that get results more quickly and accurately. The opportunities are endless when it comes to learning on the job as a travel nurse.

If you are a nurse looking to grow your career, traveling can also be a great way to take on different responsibilities than you might in a permanent job. And the most reputable travel nursing companies work with top teaching facilities and award-winning hospitals around the country--talk about bragging rights and résumé-building experience!

    3.  You’re ready…to earn top pay and benefits

Although your specific pay and benefits package will depend on a number of factors including your travel nursing agency, the facility, location and other factors, you can expect to earn top compensation as a travel nurse. If you are frustrated with compensation levels in your area, it’s definitely time to explore your options as a travel nurse, and’s staffing partners are a great place to start.

In addition to competitive pay, most travel nursing companies offer full health insurance coverage and other perks such as free housing, 401(k), and much more. Be sure to ask for details before you accept an assignment with any travel nursing agency.

If you’ve experienced any of these three signs in your nursing career, it may be time to take the leap into a profession where you’ll experience unparalleled freedom, personal and professional growth, and the chance to see the country as you advance your career.

Travel nursing recruiters are ready to help you transition to travel nursing assignments. Find your next job or apply today to get connected with a staffing specialist.

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