Healthcare organizations will utilize travel nurses to fill needs due to staffing shortages, increased census, and to help with seasonal influx.
Unlike staff nurses, travelers typically select their ideal contract based on location. It might be a sandy beach, a small town in the mountains, or a bustling city.
Travel nurses usually work three to four, 13-week contracts per year, and earn well over six figures annually. In addition to higher compensation, travel nurses enjoy other perks like flexible schedules, job security, meeting new people, and avoiding the dreaded hospital politics.
Not only do travel nurses have the freedom to choose when, where, and how much they work, but they also have the power to negotiate their contract details, such as no floating, caps on patient ratios, and block-scheduling.
Travel nursing gives clinicians the total autonomy they deserve.
If you bring experience, confidence, and resiliency to your career but find yourself longing for adventure, the answer is yes – travel nursing is right for you. Making sure you've found the best travel nurse company for you is also key to ensuring a smooth transition from staff to travel nursing.
There’s a reason travel nurses are required to have 2-years of nursing experience before they’re qualified to travel. No two hospitals are the same so travel nurses must have a solid skill set within their specialty and be able to adapt quickly to different healthcare practices and technologies.
Travelers are often the “new kids on the block” on their unit and are sometimes treated as less experienced. Confidence is key when starting a new contract in a new facility with new team members.
Nursing is hard; easily one of the most challenging professions there is. Combine that with a new location, new adventure, and maybe a few unknowns – resiliency is a bonus for all travelers.
If you’re curious about travel nursing, but not sure you’re ready to take the leap: try a local travel nursing contract! All the perks of travel nursing combined with the comforts of home.
You will work with a recruiter to find a job that best fits what you're looking for. Depending on how quickly you need to start, available positions may not check every box for your "perfect job". Your recruiter will try and find a position that allows the exact start date, requested dates off, shift preference, pay, and location you're looking for, but it's largely subject to what's available. A great recruiter will help you navigate this process.
Expect some redundancy (it's not healthcare if you're not double-charting, right?), especially if you are working with multiple agencies. Be prepared to have to provide copies of certifications, references, immunizations, resume, etc. frequently. Your best bet is to keep electronic copies of these documents stored in one location on your phone or laptop. Many items are required just for submission, and if you accept an offer, there will be many other parties involved that require similar documentation.
Expect things to move quickly. Sometimes you may be submitted to a position and receive an offer within 24-hours and need to make a decision. Make sure you are prepared to give consideration to an offer very quickly. The last thing you want is to get an offer for a position you aren't serious about, which could jeopardize your ability to get offers in the future.
Expect very little orientation: there is a reason that hospitals have experience requirements. They need nurses that can hit the ground running with little to no orientation to the unit and start contributing immediately. What is "very little"? It could be half a shift, or three shifts, but be prepared for either. Orientation is an opportunity for you to get familiar with the quirks of the facility - learning their charting system, where the linen closet is, and how to page doctors and other services.
Consistent work? Income potential? Benefits? Which travel nurse company is right for me? Make sure to check out our FAQ of the most common questions nurses ask about travel nursing.I Have Questions