What a year 2020 has been! While we’re facing the COVID pandemic, let’s not forget that is still the Year of the Nurse and Midwife and more than ever, the focus is on nurses and nursing careers. This will hopefully have a positive impact on recruiting many more young people to join the nursing profession. There is indeed a shortage of nurses and one fairly successful workaround is to use travel nurses to meet the high demand for nurses.
There are many benefits to travel nursing such as personal and professional flexibility. Professional flexibility involves being able to utilize travel nursing assignments to meet your own professional needs and achieve your career goals. Personal flexibility means being able to schedule your assignments to coordinate your personal needs. If you need time off, you arrange your assignments around those dates. If you want to be in a specific location, you can arrange for an assignment nearby.
Salary and compensation
Travel nurses are well-compensated. The median salary for a full-time bedside nurse is about $65,000 per year whereas a travel nurse with acute-care experience can earn upwards of $100,000 including benefits and allowances. This includes salary and benefits such as health insurance and 401Ks as well as tax breaks. These can vary from one travel nursing agency to another. Nurses interested in travelling need to do their homework to find an agency that fits best with their needs. Some agencies include things such as license reimbursement, an allowance for scrubs, and reimbursement for your travel expenses; others may not.
Meeting new people and experiencing life and cultures across the country is often a huge draw to travel nursing. Most travel nurses list this as one of the top benefits of travel nursing. Being able to explore options in new settings is also a top benefit. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to work in a large teaching hospital or want to experience a slower pace such as in a small community hospital. Travel nursing agencies can accommodate. Sometimes nurses learn that what they thought was ideal isn’t at all. And having to option to find that out without making a huge commitment is very beneficial.
See a new city from an insider’s view
One of the biggest benefits of travel nursing is having the ability to travel and see the country while getting paid. Living in a community offers many more options to sight see and experience a location. It also offers opportunities to network with residents and find those little off the beaten path places to visit and explore. And a huge benefit of travel nursing is having all of your moving and accommodations arranged for you. Housing can consist of using your own RV to deluxe housing options. Some agencies pay all of the moving expenses.
Your spouse and family members or a friend can travel with you as desired as well as your pets. These are options you need to discuss with your travel nursing agency so that it’s assured they are included in the plans.
Learn new skills and expand your career path
Professional benefits can far outweigh what you can accomplish in your permanent job and location. Perhaps you would like to learn new skills and expand your career path options, but you’re stuck where you work now. Travel assignment opportunities can open doors to new skills and abilities as well as challenge your abilities to cope and adapt and put your critical thinking skills to work. You’ll enjoy exposure to new management skills, communication skills and nursing workplace cultures and environments. With short range assignments averaging 13 weeks, it’s doubtful you’ll get swept up into the politics. You’ll find office politics in all professions, but as a travel nurse, you’ll have the opportunity to avoid most of it and enjoy leaving to job behind when you leave for the day. The same is pretty much true for getting pulled into the gossip.
As your resume begins to expand, new career path options will open up. With more and more travel nursing opportunities on the horizon you’ll find many more options for career and personal growth. And occasionally, a travel nurse will find their ideal location and job and opt to renew their assignment or to take on a permanent employment position with the facility.
Great job security
Although there may be gaps in between assignments, travel nursing is in high demand and any gaps should be short-lived. Most travel nurses learn to start planning for the next assignment before the current one even begins. Travel opportunities turn in to long term job security. This is enhanced if you are a well-organized, skilled professional who can adapt well to new situations. If you endear yourself and your skills to a facility and receive rave reviews, you further your own options.
Another personal benefit is the ability to learn new things such as skiing or surfing or have new places to expand your photography portfolio. Perhaps you’ll be in a new cultural environment and learn new cooking techniques or new language skills.
Travel nursing opens up so many more opportunities and doors, nurses who are burned out or bored with their position should explore travel nursing options. Openings can be as close as 50 miles from your home base.