Five Truths About Travel Nursing
By Lee Soren, contributor
If you're thinking about becoming a travel nurse, now is the time. The benefits are plentiful and travel nurses are in high demand in facilities across the country. Travel within your state or venture to another. But the truth about travel nursing is that it’s accessible, flexible and a rewarding career change.
See the top five reasons why you should become a travel nurse this year.
1. Travel nurses are in high demand
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment opportunities for RNs will grow a staggering 12% over the next decade, making it one of the fastest-growing occupations today. In states such as California, there aren't enough nurses available to fill the increasing number of positions, generating a high demand for travel nurses.
Ultimately, the growing need for nurses coupled with severe regional shortages means plenty of prime assignments for travel nurses to choose from, and consistent work. While many of these positions are in hospitals and major medical centers, travel nurses will also find jobs available in outpatient clinics and home health settings. The demand for their services also ensures higher salaries for travel nurses as well as job security.
2. Travel nurses enjoy many benefits, including healthcare
Enjoying a career as a travel nurse doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your healthcare benefits. As long as you maintain continuous employment, and work through an agency, you are eligible for the same benefits that permanently employed professionals receive, including retirement plans and medical, dental and vision insurance.
Travel nurses may be entitled to additional benefits as well, including reimbursement of travel costs and free housing placement or a housing stipend. Some travel nurse staffing agencies also offer tuition assistance or scholarships for nurses who want to further their careers through continuing education. Check out our partner, American Mobile. Travel nurses may also enjoy completion bonuses for successful assignments or bonuses for extending their employment in times of need.
3. Every assignment has a learning curve
Many new travel nurses worry unnecessarily about the expectations their temporary employers will have. The truth is that employers who work with travel healthcare professionals generally have realistic expectations. They understand that it takes time for new workers to get up to speed on policies, procedures, day-to-day routines and the facility's layout. What they will expect is flexibility, attentiveness, and a positive, helpful attitude.
It's important, especially on your first assignment, to be patient with yourself and to not start the job with unrealistic expectations. Don't be afraid to ask questions of your supervisors and your colleagues, and always be open to learning new ways of doing things.
4. Travel nurses are valued as part of the team
For hospitals experiencing staffing shortages, travel nurses are often welcomed with open arms by management and perm staff who are grateful for the help. Remember that your presence means a higher nurse-to-patient ratio, and you bring with you all that you know and practice. And your new facility brings that too - which can lead to improved patient outcomes, increased safety for staff and patients, and better overall workflow.
5. You don't have to go it alone
Choosing and applying for a new position every few months may seem like work, but you aren't alone. Working with your travel nursing recruiter means you always have someone in your corner and bringing positions and new locations to you. You don’t have to job hunt anymore!
Remember that one of the benefits of working with a travel nursing recruiter is that they are part of a larger agency, which knows how to get you the right locations, pay, benefits, shift and arrange all of your travel needs. They work for you!
The ultimate truth about travel nursing
For adventurous RNs, travel nursing can be a gateway to new experiences, deep friendships and lasting memories. Whether you want to explore exciting destinations throughout the United States or hope to advance your career by learning at top hospitals nationwide, travel nursing can be the perfect opportunity to try it all.
Search for your ideal travel nurse assignment at TravelNursing.com's jobs database today.