Monday, October 3, 2016

Traveling Nurse: Is it For You?

You may want to consider becoming a traveling nurse. These nurses register with a travel nurse agency, which then places them in jobs across the country. The positions are considered temporary, but may last anywhere from a few weeks to a year. As a traveling nurse, you would fill in for hospitals and other facilities when they have a shortage of nurses. This could be due to:
  • Lack of applicants in their area
  • Large numbers of nurses on vacation
  • Nurses on maternity leave
  • New facility that isn't fully staffed yet
  • Nursing strikes
  • Not enough Human Resources people to interview and hire nurses that are needed

Most agencies will want you to have a year of experience as a nurse. After that, you can register and be hired quickly.
Some facts about being a traveling nurse:
  • Pay is excellent, commonly more than the average nurse's pay. This is because it is not a permanent position and requires you to move, even if temporarily, away from your home. It may be up to $48.00 an hour in some cases.
  • Your housing, including furnishings, is paid for by your agency; you pay nothing for rent
  • Travel to and from your temporary assignment is also paid for
  • You do receive benefits from the agency who employs you, in many cases exactly like any other employer (medical, dental, 401K, etc)
  • Licensure is something to be discussed with your agency; typically a nurse who has passed Boards is licensed only in the three or four states surrounding that nurse's home. Read more about licensing for traveling nurses here:
In order to be a good traveling nurse, you must be
  • Flexible-willing to accept a variety of assignments in a variety of locations
  • Adaptable-you can tune into your temporary location's practices and get along with others
  • You genuinely like traveling-you're not going to be 'homesick'
  • You must have high level skills: the hospital or other facility you are sent to expects you to be excellent at what you do and not need a lot of training
  • You need to be independent and able to manage your time well, and to find your way in a new location-to look at it as an adventure
And as with any position, a facility has the right to dismiss you if you don't work out for it; you are not in a union with a contract type of nursing job.

There are also opportunities for specialty nurses, such as an Oncology, Pediatric, Cardiac, or Neurological nurse, for examples. You can also travel as a Radiologic Technician, Occupational, Physical, or Speech therapist; Nurse Managers and Nurse Practicioners.
This is a site that hires traveling nurses. We are not recommending it, necessarily, but it gives descriptions of Traveling Nurse positions:

If you want to travel, make good money, get a variety of experiences and learn more about people and places, consider being a travel nurse!

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