What is a Travel Nurse?
A travel nurse is a registered nurse with a clinical background working in a non-permanent or temporary nursing role. Travel nurses are typically employed by an independent nursing staffing agency instead of a by a single facility. Assignments are usually 13 weeks in duration but could be as short as four weeks or as long as 26 weeks.
A traveling RN usually has at least one year of recent acute-care experience in their specific specialty and views a travel nursing assignment as opportunity to build their resume, explore the country or try out a facility or location before moving there permanently.
Travel nursing provides a unique experience and provides the travel nurses have with the opportunity to work with some of the most prestigious doctors and practitioners in some of the most desirable locations, while gaining exposure to different nurse leadership practices.
What Do Travel Nurses Do?
Travel nurses fill gaps in staffing needs for hospitals and facilities across the country for specific periods of time. These staffing needs may be due to a shortage of registered nurses for a variety of reasons such as an unexpected leave of absence, seasonal population fluctuations or for planned absences, such as maternity leave. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates a shortage of approximately 1.1 million nurses by 2020. As a result, hospitals must fill needs quickly — this is where travel nurses come in!
Common Traveling Nurse Specialties:
While a travel nurse may be needed across dozens of specialties, some of the more common areas of need include these nurse specialties:
- Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
- Medical Surgery
- Med-Surg Tele
- Emergency Room
- Progressive Care Unit (PCU)
- Operating Room
Did You Know You Can Travel Within Your Own State?
Your immediate vision of becoming a travel nurse may be traveling across the country or to exotic destinations, but did you know that you can also travel locally in your state of residence? That means, nurses can travel coast-to-coast or, where available, they may be able to work at a local hospital in need of temporary nurses for specific nurse specialties.
Ultimately, traveling nurses have the ability to choose their length of assignment as well as the location. With so many choices, the opportunity can be rewarding for nurses just like you. Ready to get started? Fill out our quick interest form on this page and you’ll be on your way to new travel nursing job opportunities!