The world of travel nursing is an exciting industry that’s been flourishing for at least two decades now, but despite that, some nurses have hesitated to take their skills out on the road due to a number of misconceptions. We think it’s time to put those myths to rest so that all nurses can make the best decision possible when it comes to their career choices.
While it is true that some facilities restrict travel nurses from applying for assignments in their local area due to radius rules, there are lots of opportunities for those who want to stay close to home while still enjoying the benefits of travel nursing. If you’re working with a great recruiter (like our THS Super Nurse sidekicks), he or she is likely to be able to find travel jobs that are within driving distance of home, often through block scheduling, such as three 12-hour shifts in a row, that allow for more time with your family, vacations and other personal activities.
This career certainly isn’t only for young nurses – it can be ideal for just about every age. In fact, it’s extremely popular among nurses whose children are grown who either travel alone, travel with their significant others or meet up with them during their off time. It can be a great way, for example, to enjoy summers in New England and winters in Florida.
Once you start doing the research, you’ll find plenty of agencies offering benefits that are just as good as what permanent nurses enjoy. Many of them even provide health insurance from day one along with multiple plan options. Family coverage, life insurance and 401ks are all possible too.
When it comes to respect, while every situation is unique, there are many facilities that are quite traveler-friendly, greatly appreciating the job that travel nurses do, meaning they get just as much respect as the permanent staff. Travel nurses often make schedules easier for them and lighten patient loads, meaning less stress and more time for them to enjoy with their families. It’s usually possible to tell whether a facility treats its travelers well during the interview, which is why it’s important to ask questions such as what the patient ratios are.
With nursing shortages in many places across the country, there are more travel jobs available than ever. Because these jobs simply can’t be filled, many facilities are willing to pay more money to bring travelers onboard, making it even more lucrative. Nurses that can be flexible when it comes to location, can easily build a successful career as a traveler.
Some nurses are under the impression that continuously changing assignments/facilities will hurt their resumes, but that’s simply not the case, in fact the opposite is true. Travel nurses who work in a variety of settings bring a depth of skill level and flexibility that makes their resumes even stronger. As the industry has been around for many years now, there is no longer a stigma that may have existed when it was first getting started.
While it’s natural for there to be a big need in large cities where there’s a significant, condensed population, the reality is there are many small towns and remote places with facilities in dire need of nurses. Contracts can be found everywhere from Alaska, Wyoming and Montana to South Dakota and West Virginia. As it can be more challenging to bring well-trained, experiences into more rural areas, the pay may be even higher too.