What is a Travel Nurse?
Travel nurses are skilled nurses who take assignments in hospitals that need to fill shifts for short periods, usually between 10-20 weeks. Travel nurses work at a higher salary in a different hospital, with shifts pre-arranged with the hospital, and their work is temporary, although it can be extended. Countless nurses travel regularly from one city to another, while others travel locally to stay close to home; they are called local travel nurses.
The work of travel nurses helps hospitals when there is a shortage of nurses, either due to staff illness, absenteeism or during a peak disease season, as in the case of the recent pandemic.
Being a travel nurse has various advantages; some of these benefits are:
- Visiting and traveling to new places, thus meeting new people and hospitals and having more experience and flexibility for the jobs that nurses choose in the future.
- The salary of an experienced travel nurse is much higher than that of a nurse who works with a fixed contract in one place. Still, it is up to the nurses to organize themselves so that they have assignments regularly and thus earn the salary they want. The medium annual salary for travel nurses is $117,490.
- Travel nurse jobs reimburse nurses for housing and license renewal fees, so that's an expense they shouldn't need to worry about.
- Companies that offer travel nurse jobs pay for health insurance, dental insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits, depending on the nurses' contract.
- Finding a job as a travel nurse is very easy, primarily through an agency, given that reputable, experienced travel nurses are in high demand. The chances of acquiring well-paying jobs increase with the nurses' years of experience and the extra specialty certificates they may have.
Sure, starting a different lifestyle for the first time can be intimidating, but there are numerous advantages to choosing travel nurse jobs. With the Nursa app, it's quick and easy to connect with local hospitals, take jobs to start with little knowledge, and then take the leap to become a permanent travel nurse. It is even possible to take jobs locally to see if travel nursing is the experience travel nurses are looking for.
It is important to remind first-time travel nurses that filling travel nurse shifts helps the hospitals hire them to avoid internal problems such as nurse shortages that can lead to increased patient risk. Having more staff working when there is a great need also helps the nurses in that facility to be more relaxed and do their job better.
The following are some travel nurse career tips:
- Think ahead about everything they might need, and never hesitate to ask those who are hiring or advising them about licensing, contracts, or details that are not very clear.
- Travel light and not with too much luggage, so they can settle into their new space without problems, but bring things that make them feel at home so that those weeks working in a new place feel as comfortable as possible.
- Feel security in front of the hospital's other nurses and health personnel because they deserve the job they have and deserve to be there due to their effort and commitment. In the case of new hospitals, making friends with the rest of the health personnel is also valuable.
- Have fun and take advantage of all the free time to tour the new place where they have their assignment. Indeed, part of traveling is getting to know other cultures and customs, eating good food and walking around, taking pictures, and enjoying themselves.
How to Find Travel Nursing Jobs?
To find travel nursing jobs, nurses can download the Nursa app, which helps them connect with employers actively seeking travel nurses for their healthcare facilities. Nursa is an on-demand nurse staffing app that connects and supports healthcare staff to find better job opportunities while helping to fill the shifts that hospitals urgently need.
Nurses who want to start their travel nursing career for the first time can use the app to try out a travel nursing job far or close to home and make a lifestyle change at the speed they require. As nurses, their work is vital, and their time will always be appreciated, and as professionals, they will grow in experience and opportunities. They can also try per diem jobs, called PRN (pro re nata), to test if they like the experience of working on temporary contracts and in new spaces. Earning a higher registered nurse (RN) salary while traveling is a reality for many clinicians.