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Travel Nurse

Travel Nurse


Have Nursing Degree – Will Travel


The nation’s shortage of nurses is developing epidemic proportions, resulting in constant turmoil in the health care profession. Nurses are considered one of the most respected and admired professions today, yet the scarcity of nurses is lessening very slowly, if at all. Because the demand is greater than the supply, there are many nursing jobs that need to be filled. The field of travel nursing has emerged as one of the solutions to this nursing shortage problem that can be a boon to the nurse with the right set of personal circumstances.


Nurses who enjoy traveling and want variety in their work experience have an option available to them known as travel nursing. A travel nurse can contract through a specialty nurse-staffing agency and work short-term or long-term assignments in different locations around the country.   It’s an interesting option for nurses with no obligations keeping them tied to one location, and who enjoy extended stays in new areas.


The Personal Fulfillment in Travel Nursing


Being a travel nurse can offer more benefits than just travel. Many travel nurses accept a job where nursing staff is urgently needed. Helping rescue health care clinics and hospitals around the country from the nursing shortage is emotionally fulfilling and a terrific morale boost. Travel nurses are appreciated, experience the joys of teamwork, and often are paid premium wages because of the desperate situation they are being assigned to help set right.


Excellent Compensation for Travel Nursing


Travel nurses that work through agencies will often be given a negotiated package that includes housing. Nurses are provided with their own furnished apartments and travel expenses are taken care of as well. The pay scale for a travel nurse will often be above average because that is what is required to attract short-term help for a difficult or heavily understaffed facility. This above average salary in combination with free housing allows travel nurses to earn and save a good amount of money, as living costs are minimized.  Personal expenses are further reduced by the fact that many travel nurse compensation packages include a 401K plan and dental and health insurance. 

Travel Nursing – A Typical Assignment


Agencies generally expect that travel nurse assignments require an eight-week commitment. Typical assignments range from 8-13 weeks in length and usually give the nurse the option to extend their assignment.  There are occasional four-week assignments.


Although assignment length is typically 8-13 weeks, nurses are often asked to extend their assignment and often nurses have been known to stay at a hospital for over a year. Because a good agency can move you within a hospital, across town, or across the country you have more options.  Selecting a quality agency with maximum flexibility, a large body of clients and a good reputation is critical.


Agencies often will guarantee either 48 or 60 hours per week depending on the facility.  This provides guaranteed overtime, something that is important to many travel nurses.  Some agencies will guarantee a set number of hours, regardless of whether the facility changes its schedule or cancels shifts.  Once again, the quality of the placement agency is paramount.

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