In recent times, an increasing number of individuals are contemplating the advantages and drawbacks of pursuing a career as a travel nurse, as opposed to a more stationary role at a single medical facility. The essential query centers around whether embarking on the journey to become a travel nurse is worth it or if the challenges that come with it overshadow the benefits, making it a challenging recommendation.
Becoming a Travel Nurse
Travel nurses help when hospitals need extra help that their regular team can’t provide, so it’s safe to say travel nursing is not going away. That’s why they’re important, and they get paid well for it. They make more money on average than nurses with regular jobs.
In addition to the good pay, travel nurses get special benefits. For instance, your employer might give you extra money to help with living costs when you’re traveling. This can cover things like food, a place to stay, and transportation, so you don’t have to pay for them out of your own pocket.
Looking at the money side of things, being a travel nurse is a smart choice, as long as the rest of the job fits your life and how you live.
The pay can be nice, but travel nurses can’t always choose where they work. You might want a sunny job on the west coast but end up in a cold northern place. Other considerations include:
- Not having much say in where you go might bother some people. But for others, it’s exciting because it adds an adventure to the job. It keeps them from getting bored with the same routine every day.
- When it comes to housing, you need to bring all your stuff. Moving costs can be different from place to place. Some spots might be cheaper, but in some places, it might cost more than what you’re paid. If you’re worried about this, take a look at our travel nurse packing list.
- Traveling also means you won’t be close to your hometown friends as often as you might want. But the good thing is, during your long breaks between jobs, you can visit them without any work getting in the way.
- Starting as a “new nurse” can be tough at first. But as you get more experience, you’ll get better at adjusting and fitting in wherever you work. Having a mentor or a buddy can also help you learn the ropes and improve your people skills.
Why You’ll Want to Become a Travel Nurse
As the future of travel nursing becomes brighter, you can enjoy more of its perks. Some of these include:
Pay and Benefits
The typical pay for a travel nurse could be as much as $103,893 in a year, says Payscale.com. That’s about twice what a regular licensed nurse makes, which is $43,170 yearly.
But there’s more to the pay for travel nurses:
- They get money that’s not taxed.
- They can get back the money they spent.
- They have health and retirement benefits.
- They get some tax benefits.
- They might also get bonuses.
- Plus, there are discounts and deals.
The job of a travel nurse is perfect for people who want to work at different places and have unique experiences.
Travel nurses can pick from many different places to work. Do you want to work at a big teaching hospital? You can do that. Or maybe you like the idea of working at a small rural clinic where you’ll need to use all your skills? You can do that too.
There are so many different experiences you can have as a travel nurse.
- It will teach you how to adapt in different places.
- You’ll become better at understanding different cultures.
- You’ll become more self-reliant.
- Your people skills will improve.
- You’ll learn new things and become specialized in different areas.
Being a travel nurse means you’re not tied to one place. You can decide to work in great places for nurses. For example, you can go to Winston-Salem, NC, where nurses make $2,623 a week.
Or you can choose to work in Chicago, which is a top place for nursing jobs. It’s a city full of art, music, museums, festivals, and more. And if you’re having trouble finding new travel nurse jobs where you are now, you can easily pack up and move to a new place and hospital that’s a better fit for you.
No More Office Politics
Working in a hospital can be tough because of all the politics and management problems. Regular nurses often have to deal with the same people and issues every day, which means they get caught up in drama, even if they don’t want to.
But as a travel nurse, it’s different.
When you go from one job to another, you can concentrate more on taking care of patients and stay away from all the hospital politics. And if you end up in a place with too much drama, the good thing is your travel nursing contracts are short-term.
It’s been mentioned that many nurses feel burnout and compassion fatigue, but you can reduce the chances of that as a travel nurse who only spends about 13 weeks in one place.
This allows you to go back to why you became a nurse in the first place – to care for patients. You can get back to the basics and leave behind the hospital politics that can make you unhappy.
Meet New People
Lastly, the life of a travel nurse is perfect for those who enjoy meeting new people.
Whether you’re a recent nursing school graduate or have been practicing for a long time, each place you go will introduce you to new coworkers at the hospital and help you make new friends outside of work.
Being a travel nurse connects you with people you might never meet otherwise – people from various locations, cultures, backgrounds, interests, and pastimes.
When you travel, the possibilities are endless, and you’ll find yourself forming new friendships and connections all across the country. You can visit them whenever you get the chance.
Embrace the Future of Travel Nursing
It’s evident that travel nursing will not go away. So get ready to embark on an exciting journey as a travel nurse? With the potential for higher pay, incredible benefits, diverse professional growth, and the freedom to work in in-demand locations, this career offers an array of opportunities. Say goodbye to office politics and enjoy the adventure of meeting new people across the country. If you’re ready to experience the perks of being a travel nurse, it’s time to take that first step and explore this fulfilling career path that can not only enhance your nursing skills but also enrich your life.