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By Mohamed Basha
Published May 1, 2020

The Best Reasons to Become a Travel Nurse

Limitless travel opportunities, endless adventure, freedom, all with higher pay are just a few of the reasons why you should consider becoming a travel nurse. Becoming a travel nurse could be the perfect fit for you! If you are looking for a job that allows you to explore and see the world through your own eyes, this is the role for you! Travel nursing offers countless opportunities for adventure, exploration, and professional growth. It is an excellent choice for those seeking a career with an exciting lifestyle, and it also offers a lucrative salary. If you have been considering travel nursing, keep reading!

What is a Travel Nurse and How Does a Travel Nurse Fit into Facilities and Scheduling?

A travel nurse is a healthcare professional who works on short-term contracts in various locations. These nurses are in high demand, because they provide valuable support in facilities that have a shortage of staff or specialized skills. Travel nurses can explore different parts of the country, and they also benefit from competitive wages on flexible contracts.

Travel nursing allows nurses to gain experiences and skills outside of their specialty. It is an excellent way to boost career development and become more marketable as a healthcare professional. By working at multiple hospitals, health systems, and other facilities, travel nurses can gain experience with different technologies, treatments, procedures, protocols, and cultures - all while being paid!

As mentioned above, the increased demand for qualified healthcare professionals across the country has created the opportunity for nurses to travel and regain flexibility in their careers. Travel Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Licensed Nurses Aids (LNAs), and Certified Nurses Aids (CNAs) travel around the country to care for patients and residents in need. They are essential in areas that don’t have enough local staff to meet their needs.

Put simply, a travelling nurse is contracted temporarily to fill the needs in various healthcare facilities. They receive travelling assignments that often range from 13-26 weeks. Different nursing experience is required for different facilities and a staffing agency, like TLC Nursing helps a travel nurse explore those options.

The majority of the time, healthcare travelers are not independent contractors (1099), but instead, employees who work for various healthcare staffing providers (W-2) like TLC Nursing Associates, Inc. The travel nursing agency specializes in matching nurses’ unique skills to specific assignments.

Travel Nurse: The Best Reasons to Become One

Travel nursing offers a unique mix of advantages. Most prominently, a traveling nurse experiences an in-demand and stable career, along with the opportunity to experience the different regions of the United States. Now that you understand what travel nursing is all about and how it fits into the healthcare system, let’s delve into the discussion to find out the key benefits of this fantastic opportunity.

Professional Growth

When you work at different facilities, including rural hospitals, nursing homes, private clinics, and research centers, it not only enhances your knowledge, but also broadens your skills. You receive endless opportunities to learn new and innovative techniques. Travel nursing is an excellent way for nurses to diversify and expand their career profiles. Travel experience showcases your adaptability and proves that you are willing to take on new challenges.

Flexible Schedule

Travel nursing may vary in location, position, and length of contract. This means that you have options. You can select positions according to your needs. As travel nursing is a contract-based job, it has flexible schedules that allows you to take a break when you need to. You can use these breaks to recharge with family and friends. Travel contracts give you the flexibility to select schedules that work well for you and your needs, as well as the flexibility to decide when you work, and when you take time away.

Professional Opportunities in High-Demand Locations

As mentioned earlier, healthcare facilities are always in need of trained and experienced nurses to meet recurring needs and address staff shortages. This introduces many opportunities for travel nurses to work in high-demand locations, such as Vermont and New Hampshire.

Chances to Earn Higher Wages as a Travel Nurse

Travel nurses earn more than traditional, local healthcare staff. This is because many travel nurses are paid hourly rates, and many healthcare staffing providers offer shift differentials and overtime. TLC Nursing is the industry leader and as such, offers the most competitive pay packages. TLC travel nurses receive an excellent pay package, including furnished housing (or housing stipend), competitive wages, and health insurance. TLC Nursing also offers fantastic referral bonuses to travel nurses for referrals.

Lower Cost of Living

Very few professions offer paid housing, and travel nursing is one of them. If you opt to take a travel nursing assignment for with a leading nursing organization like TLC Nursing, you can dramatically reduce or eliminate your living expenses. You also have the option to choose assignments in states with low cost of living. This is one way to further reduce your monthly bills, spending, expenses, and to increase your savings.

Unparalleled Traveling Experience

What sets the travel nursing apart from other jobs? It’s traveling of course! Living like a tourist may not be the right choice for everyone, but if you have an adventurous spirit, becoming a travel nurse is the right decision. It allows you to explore, meet new people, see new places, and to step out of your comfort zone. If you like working in a specific location, there is usually an opportunity for you to extend your contract too!

Avoid Burnout

Pursuing a profession as a travel nurse is an excellent way to prevent the monotony and burnout that permanent nurses often experience. You can avoid hospital politics and the same old routine while continuing with your passion. In a lot of ways, it’s a priceless opportunity to step out of the daily grind and to remember how exciting nursing can be.

Discover New Places

Discover new places with a career as a travel nurse. Travel nursing is one of the most rewarding and adventurous occupations available. Those who choose to become travel nurses are given the unique opportunity to explore different parts of the country, or even the world, while providing quality healthcare services to those in need. There are many advantages that come with becoming a travel nurse; one of the main ones is being able to see new places and cultures that you would have otherwise never known about. Explore a new city or town on your day off. Get to know new co-workers and patients. See monuments or experience festivals, all while working your contract.

Avoid Workplace Politics

Many people are drawn to the idea of being a travel nurse, perhaps because of its no workplace politics policy. This means that while you may have to work with some colleagues who could be difficult or hard-headed, it won’t be because they are trying to win favor with management by buttering up their superiors. Instead, it allows nurses to focus on their job without having to get caught up in office drama and power struggles that can impede productivity and morale.

Meet New People and Make Connections Across the Country

Becoming a travel nurse is a great way to meet new people and develop relationships. As a travel nurse, you can experience unique cultures and gain invaluable experience while providing excellent healthcare services. Travel nursing is becoming increasingly popular due to its many advantages. Additionally, with travel nursing, you can move around frequently which allows you to constantly meet new people in various cities and states.

Choosing travel nursing allow you access to top-tier medical facilities and highly competitive salary packages, all while make meaningful connections.

Bottom Line

In a nutshell, from earning more money and learning new skills, to meeting different people and traveling the world, the benefits of becoming a travel nurse are countless. As a travel nurse, you can enhance your career and fulfill your desire to explore new places.

FAQ Related to Travel Nursing: 

What are the requirements to become a travel nurse? 

The requirements to become a travel nurse vary by state and employer. In general, however, you must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident of the United States, have a high school diploma or GED, have a valid driver's license, pass a drug test, and have a clean criminal record.

What is the average salary for a travel nurse? 

The average salary for a travel nurse varies significantly based on experience, the size of the employer, and the geographic location of work. For example:
A Travel CNA/LNA with under five years of experience typically earns between $28,000 and $35,000 annually.
A Travel LPN/LVN, with 5 to 10 years of experience, can expect to earn between $45,000 and $60,000 per year.
An experienced Travel RN, with over 15 years in the field, might see annual earnings ranging from $70,000 to $100,000.
These figures demonstrate how various factors influence earning potential in the field of travel nursing.

How does a travel nurse find a job? 

Travel nurses find jobs by contacting staffing agencies directly. Employers may contact travel nurses through their local hospitals, health clinics, nursing agencies, or the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA).

What are some benefits of working as a travel nurse? 

Travel nurses enjoy the flexibility of working from home and having the opportunity to travel.

What are the downsides of working as a travel nurse? 

Travel nurses may have to work long hours, which can be difficult for those who have young children or other responsibilities. In addition, travel nurses must be self-motivated, because they often work alone.  Most travel nurses quickly build relationships with local staff and explore their communities.

What is the difference between a travel nurse and a local nurse?  

A travel nurse is a nurse who provides care in a variety of settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, and assisted living facilities, and a nurse is a professional who provides health care services to patients locally.

What's the worst thing about being a travel nurse? 

The worst thing about being a travel nurse is the hours. It's very hard to get off work at 4 p.m. and then have to be back at work at 8 a.m. the next morning.  Travel nurses often offset this by working long hours on their contract, then taking breaks between contracts.  This allows them the flexibility to spend uninterrupted time with family and friends while at home and to work and save while on contract.

Can You Be a Travel Nurse in Your Own City?

Travel nursing is typically associated with traveling to new and exciting places, but did you know that you can also be a travel nurse in your own city? Local travel nursing is becoming increasingly popular, and there are many benefits to working as a travel nurse in your own city.

Here are some of the benefits of local travel nursing:

  • Higher pay: Travel nurses typically earn more than staff nurses. This is because hospitals are willing to pay a premium for experienced nurses who are willing to travel.
  • Flexibility: As a travel nurse, you have the flexibility to choose your own assignments. This means you can work the hours you want, in the specialty you want, and at the hospital you want.
  • New opportunities: Local travel nursing can give you the opportunity to work in different departments and specialties. This can help you gain new skills and experience, which can make you more marketable to future employers.
  • Staying close to home: Local travel nursing allows you to stay close to home and family. This can be a great option for nurses who have young children or elderly parents.

If you're interested in becoming a travel nurse but don't want to leave your home city, local travel nursing is a great option for you.

Here are some tips for finding a local travel nursing job:

  • Contact your local hospital's human resources department. Many hospitals have their own travel nursing programs.
  • Work with a travel nursing agency. Travel nursing agencies can help you find local travel nursing jobs.
  • Network with other nurses. Talk to your friends, colleagues, and former classmates to see if they know of any local travel nursing jobs.

Local travel nursing can be a great way to earn a higher salary, gain new skills, and experience more flexibility. If you're thinking about becoming a travel nurse, be sure to consider local travel nursing as an option.

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