Travel nursing. It's one of the fastest growing areas of the nursing field. But what exactly is it? First, there are several factors that have contributed to the rise of travel nursing. There is a serious shortage of nurses in many areas of the country, but whatever the reasons, travel nursing as a concept, practice and industry seems to be here to stay. Here are some of the key questions many in the nursing field have about travel nursing. This article seeks to cover the basics.
Travel Nursing As A Career
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.
Length Of The Contract and Assignment
As with any arrangement, the length of time a travel nurse will spend on any one job varies. As a rule, however, the assignments last anywhere from eight weeks on the short end to half a year on the high end of the scale. Occasionally, the contract is lengthened if both parties agree.
What If The Nurse Wants To Stay On Permanently
This depends on the assignment, and many times the travel nursing agencies has built in stipulations in the contract that allow this to happen. In some cases, the position is temporary and is intended to stay that way. However, if it is not, then the parties will usually find a way to enable full-time employment if all parties are interested.
How Are Travel Nurses Housed?
The contract as it relates to the travel nursing assignment takes care of all housing arrangements. In most cases, the nurse is provided with a fully furnished living environment, but sometimes the arrangements are handled through an allowance. As far as travel to and from the assignment, the agency takes care of this in most cases. Generally speaking, the agency works very favorably on behalf of the travel nurse as they want to keep you on and accepting assignments for their different clients.
How Much Do Travel Nurses Earn?
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.
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