There is never a dull day when you work as a nurse, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never be bored with where you work. Whether you’re in a small town or bustling city, some people just get bored with where they’re at and want to try something new. Maybe you even just enjoy traveling, but find it difficult when you’re always pulling shifts.
Travel nursing is a rapidly growing industry that allows RNs to switch job locations and move from city to city. It’s a great option for anyone who gets bored when they stay in one place too long or for someone who just wants to get a bit more traveling in before they settle into a job.
If you’re looking for a change in your workplace or simply try out a new line of work, travel nursing may be the choice for you!
Travel nursing is typically done through a travel nursing agency. It’s a popular choice for many nurses and allows you to request new locations wherever you want. Medical facilities are often eager to accept travel nurses during tourist season when they see a high influx of potential patients.
As a travel nurse, you’ll be placed in hospitals or medical facilities that can benefit from your specialty, whether that’s in labor and delivery, the emergency room, the ICU, or something else. If you don’t have a specialty, many agencies will offer a list of travel nursing agencies that can help guide you in your choice. Choosing an in demand specialty will increase your odds of a higher salary wherever you go.
As travel nursing grows in popularity, it’s becoming easier to find lists of travel nursing agencies. With so many agencies, you can scroll through until you find one that feels right for you. Every agency will offer different benefits and salaries for travel nurses, so you can take your time looking through them until you find something you’re happy with.
Nurses make a decent amount of money, but a travel nurse’s salary is often higher than that of a regular RN. According to PayScale, travel nurses can make anywhere between $50,000-$110,000 annually while the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts a regular RN’s salary close to around $74,000 annually.
While you can’t always expect to make top dollar as a travel nurse, the potential to earn more than you would as a full time RN exists. After a bit of experience choosing new locations and getting familiar with the system, you’ll be able to set yourself up to earn a better salary.
The most obvious benefit to travel nursing is being able to travel without interrupting your work. It can be challenging to get enough time off as a nurse to take a vacation and travel, but if you work as a travel nurse, you won’t have to. Instead, you get paid to travel to new locations and you get to request where you’re sent.
Many travel nursing agencies will offer extra benefits such as accommodation stipends to cover your costs of living while you’re at a certain location. While this stipend may not cover all of your chosen living costs, it will cover most of them which means that the money you earn won’t have to go towards rent or a mortgage.
Some agencies offer accommodation for their nurses while they’re traveling. Don’t expect a five star hotel or a penthouse, but free accommodation is still free accommodation. You may be in a small, one bedroom apartment and maybe your shower will be difficult to run, but you won’t be paying for it and at the end of your assignment, you’ll get to leave!
Nursing often doesn’t offer a super flexible work schedule, but travel nursing often does. You can choose to take time off between assignments or arrange your work hours how you want while you’re on an assignment.
This can depend on your job assignment, so make sure to work with your agency before you head off to your new location. Some places may be much more flexible than others and knowing this ahead of time can help you plan ahead.
Explore Various Specialties
As mentioned above, if you aren’t sure what specialty to go into yet, travel nursing can help you decide. As a travel nurse, you’ll be able to take on all sorts of job placements which in return exposes you to the various specialties available.
Perhaps you really enjoy emergency room work and decide that’s what you want your specialty to be. You might learn that you hate working in the ICU and know to steer clear of that specialty. Being able to work and explore the various specialties available to you is a great way to make your choice.
Since you’ll be expected to work in a variety of different facilities and take up different types of work, you’ll have the chance to greatly expand your skill set. You’ll gain skills you never knew you needed and improve the skills you already have.
Nurses of all specialties are in high demand everywhere. As a travel nurse, you can go wherever the demand is highest and always have new options available. If certain hospitals see a sudden need for more nurses, you can pack your bags and go immediately.
As a travel nurse, you’ll always have somewhere to work. Even if your hometown hospital has enough staff and can’t take on more, you can find a job somewhere else without having to change specialties or meet new requirements.
When you work as a travel nurse, you make a real impact on the lives of people all over the country. Wherever you work, you know you’re helping those around you. Being a travel nurse means moving to where you want, but also wherever the need is highest and if you’re able to help where they need you most, you’ll have a much more rewarding career!
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