On The Road Again With Travel Nursing
So do you like to travel? Are you a nurse looking for the opportunity to move about the country while earning a nice living and serving others? Then maybe it’s time to consider a career in travel nursing. Travel nursing is a hot topic in the medical field, and for some very good reasons.
The field itself has rapidly developed out of the severe shortage and high demand for nursing professionals. And as a result, healthcare facilities nationwide are left scrambling to fill vacant positions. Many are turning to medical staffing agencies that specialize in the travel nursing industry.
How Does Travel Nursing Work?
One way to think of travel nursing is like the classic temporary agency. Sort of like Kelly services for hospitals, clinics and other medical workplaces. Hiring managers in many organizations face serious challenges in finding qualified nursing personnel. They may be in out of the way places or they may simply have a position that they have a hard time filling. There are many reasons, but supply and demand is typically at the root of the issue.
Travel nurses are contracted by the healthcare organization for a fixed — usually short — period of time. They work through a hiring agency that specializes specifically in the travel nursing industry. The agency itself normally supplies the nurse with housing, travel expenses and they help the organization out with licensing issues, payroll and benefits. The hospital gets the help they need short time and the nurse gets paid well to live for a short time in a new location.
Is Travel Nursing Right For You?
As a medical professional, here are some important benefits and things to consider when deciding to become a travel nurse.
- Skills — Becoming a travel nurse is one of the best ways to expand your skillset. And that’s another way of increasing your marketability as a medical professional. Many experts agree that travel nurses make better nurses because they are exposed to a diverse array of working conditions, environments and medical conditions. And travel nurses are trained to see different ways of approaching a medical problem, and you’ll inevitably incorporate some of that knowledge in your medical resume. For instance, in some rural hospitals, you may be required to know a little bit about everything, and in large urban hospitals, you’ll be exposed to highly specialized areas of practice. In both cases, you are gaining valuable real-world experience.
- Control Over Your Career — Travel nurses never face the issue of stagnation that anyone finds in the same job, same location, year after year. And with the benefit of a constantly changing work environment, you won’t have to endure the familiar office politics common in many workplaces. As a travel nurse, you get the benefit of a constantly changing environment, geographic locale and professional challenges.
How do you take the next step to becoming a travel nurse. Best advice — shop around for your ideal situation. Maybe you’d like to be in a big-city hospital and participating in the latest cutting-edge techniques and procedures. Or, maybe you’d like the diversity of working in a smaller hospital where you can take a hands-on approach to treatment. In this environment, you’ll work in a very personal way with the patients you serve. But in any case, the key is working closely with your recruiter to determine the situation that is best for you.
Financially, Travel Nursing Makes (Cents)
Given the wide range of positions available, this varies greatly. But, in general, travel nurses are paid significantly above the industry standard. There are other variables that come into play as well such as experience and specialization required for the job. However, with benefits like paid housing and travel expenses, travel nurses can expect to do very well financially.
There are other financial variables as well. For instance, some hospitals are willing to pay significant bonuses in certain cases — for instance working over particular holidays or taking on extra shifts. All in all, a travel nurse can earn on average 10 to 15 percent greater than their co-workers on the regular staff.
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