Benefits of Traveling Mental Health and Wellness//April 13, 2023

Nurse Burnout is on the Rise, Travel Nursing can Ease it


Travel Nursing can Reduce Nurse Burnout


Nurse burnout has been on a steady incline over the last few years. It’s the topic of news headlines, social media posts, and conference workshops.  Like any mental health issue, there are multiple signs and symptoms of burnout. But clinicians are brave, resilient, and creative – and always looking for new ways to thrive. One way to combat burnout might be making the change from staff nursing to travel nursing.

How Switching From Staff to Travel Nursing Helped My Mental Health

Hear from Caleb Skyles, RN, BSN, CCRN: former staff nurse turned travel nurse turned Director of Recruitment for Next Move Healthcare. He sat down to talk about how making the switch from staff nursing to travel nursing positively impacted his mental health and how it helped to ease some of the feelings of nurse burnout he was experiencing.

Here are 5 ways the switch from staff to travel nursing can help combat nurse burnout:

Feeling burnt out? Change up your scenery. 

Probably the most obvious way travel nursing helps combat burnout is . . . well, the ability to travel! The opportunity to work in different cities and states throughout the year provides a constant change of scenery which can alleviate feeling stagnant or stuck. Living in a different community every few months means there are always new places to explore, new foods to try, and new people to meet! Having novel and diverse experiences at your fingertips might encourage you to get out of your normal routine and make some new memories!

Travel nursing gives you flexibility and autonomy

Travel nursing provides more control over almost every aspect of your career than staff nursing. You get to decide where, when, and how often you want to work. You don’t just get to choose when you do work, you also choose when you don’t work. Want to take a month off between assignments to go on vacation, visit family, or simply relax? Done. Want to work back-to-back assignments to make the most money possible? Do it. It’s up to you! You get control over your work-life balance which helps to reduce the risk of experiencing burnout.

Learn new skills to combat burnout

One (often overlooked) benefit of travel nursing is the opportunity to gain new skills – in nursing and in regular life. When you travel, you’ll work in new clinical environments, alongside new team members, and be exposed to different patient populations you wouldn’t have access to as a staff nurse. You’ll strengthen your industry knowledge, increase your network of healthcare professionals, and learn to adapt to new situations and challenges. These enhanced skills will help to increase your job satisfaction, likely decreasing nurse burnout.

Hello financial freedom

One of the most prominent reasons why travel nursing helps to reduce burnout is the increased compensation. You know as well as we do that nurses are underpaid. Combine that with an outrageously high-stress job and it’s a recipe for burnout. Now, travel nursing isn’t inherently less stressful than staff nursing (let’s face it, either way you have people’s lives in your hands), but travel nurses are, on average, paid more than staff nurses. Most travel nurses that work 3-4 contracts in a year earn a 6-figure salary. The increased financial security can help to remove outside financial stressors like student loans, mortgage payments, debt, etc. which ultimately helps to ease the feelings of burnout.

Avoid workplace drama

Another factor that leads to burnout is a (sometimes) toxic workplace. As a travel nurse, you don’t have to worry about the drama or politics of the facility, because you don’t work for the hospital. You get to show up, do your job, and leave work behind at the end of your shift. It removes you from the drama of staff meetings and frequent policy changes. What’s even better – when your contract is up, you decide what you want to do. Do you want to extend your contract? Go somewhere else? Take time off? Whatever you decide to do – it’s up to you. Minimizing workplace drama can help to alleviate the anxiety that inevitably comes with it, which ultimately helps to reduce burnout.

There are numerous benefits to travel nursing, some of which conveniently help reduce the feelings of nurse burnout. Every clinician, travelers and staff alike, have to manage burnout – it’s part of the gig. But if you’re a nurse looking to live your best life and keep the stress at a minimum, the autonomy and the variety that come with travel nursing might be a great fit for you! 

Whether you’re a staff nurse or a travel nurse, if you are experiencing feelings of burnout, we’ve compiled 5 ways to help ease the feelings of nurse burnout, and we hope you find them helpful.

If you’re interested in learning more about travel nursing, we’ve got you covered.

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