Registered nurses become travel nurses for a variety of reasons. There’s no standard profile that accounts for the traveling RN’s experience. As a travel nursing company, we’ve met and worked with hundreds of nurses. And with over 10 years experience in this business, we’ve heard many of the reasons for leaving a traditional full-time setting for the road. The following are the most common reasons nurses become travel nurses:
It’s no secret. Travel nurses can make more per hour than full-time nurses. It is not uncommon for travel nurses that are focused on high-paying assignments and are eager to work extra hours to earn around $100,000, but location and nursing specialty play a huge role when it comes to pay. Traveling nurses may make less in popular urban areas because the demand for skilled nurses isn’t as high. Conversely, pay can be a lot higher in rural, less populated areas to attract talent. And it’s not all about hourly wages either. Travel nursing per diems for housing, meals and incidentals must also be considered.
Whether it’s company housing or, as Tailored Healthcare Staffing (THS) suggests, per diems, nurses can pocket much more of their compensation package. Veteran travel nurses who are experienced enough to know precisely what they want out of an assignment will often skimp on cozy housing for bare necessities, boosting their take-home pay significantly. That obviously differs by nurse. The beauty of travel nursing lies in the breadth of choice nurses have to carve out their own agenda.
Most travel nursing contracts are 13 weeks. Living life 13 weeks at a time keeps things fresh and interesting, ensuring a change of scenery just before things get routine. Many traditional staff nurses get caught up in the day-to-day politics of a hospital setting, but when you’re travel nursing, hospital politics have little to do with you.
And because of an enormous demand for travel nurses – the highest in 20 years – travel nurses have a smorgasbord of options. No matter where nurses aim to go, there are more than likely numerous openings to apply for.
A common misconception is that travel nursing can get lonely. But it rarely is. Almost every agency allows for nurses to travel with not only pets, but significant others as well. THS is constantly leveraging its housing connections to ensure its travel nurses receive the accommodations necessary to bring along the ones closest to them. Good agencies will employ knowledgeable travel and housing coordinators who will know precisely how to help nurses secure the housing they need. Furthermore, most facilities don’t use just one travel nurse at a time, but several. So it’s easy to make new friends as your colleagues are likely to be travel nurses seeking new friendships as well.
It’s in the name. Travel nurses get an unrivaled opportunity to explore the country and get compensated well for doing so. Full-time staff nurses can obviously take vacations, but the beauty of travel nursing is the ability to literally be paid for traveling!
Ever wanted to see the Grand Canyon? Itching to get to California and explore the coast? Maybe venture south and experience Texas? If you’re travel nursing, you don’t need to request vacation months in advance. You can experience these places while on assignment.
In this field, the experiences at your disposal are endless.
Travel nursing introduces nurses to a plethora of nursing opportunities. By broadening their range of experiences, travel nurses can build powerful resumes that are sure to impress nursing managers if and when they decide to take a permanent role. And opportunities aren’t relegated to just hospitals – there are skilled nursing facilities, clinics, schools and home health agencies! This speaks to the point about flexibility – it is unrivaled choice, unprecedented autonomy for nurses who literally control their own career trajectory.