It’s a new year and it may be time to start a new chapter in your nursing career. The past couple of years have been completely unpredictable. Nurses have experienced situations and scenarios that they may have never before imagined. Other stressors in healthcare have been problems for nurses long before the pandemic started. With all these pressures, 2021 has left many staff nurses searching for something new, better, or different this year.
What if you didn’t have to leave the bedside and instead had a chance to change things up in 2022? Let’s see if a career as a travel nurse is right for you.
Why Consider Travel Nursing?
Travel nursing offers the perfect opportunity for you to become a Working Tourist and have the best of both worlds. So, why not travel and continue to do what you love and what you were called to do?
Travel nursing is an exciting career opportunity that can provide a needed change of scenery, help you avoid burnout, get paid better, learn new skills, and open the door to adventure. Typically, travel nursing assignments span 13-week contracts, but they can be longer or shorter depending on the need. Becoming a travel nurse is a fairly straightforward process but there are so many reasons to get started on that journey whether you’ve been thinking about it for a while, or are just now considering a new career path.
5 Reasons to Become a Travel Nurse This Year
Change of Scenery
So many people are suffering from “Groundhog Day” these past few years. We have mastered the art of the staycation, read every book we had on our list, and watched more Netflix than we care to admit. Perhaps a change of scenery could brighten your day?
Find a new city and test it out. Something as simple as waking up in new surroundings can be invigorating. New coworkers, new experiences, and new places to explore can really put some pep in your step. Travel nursing gives you the opportunity to change your work life and your personal life as well as provide more balance for the two.
In addition, travel nursing can be the perfect next step in your career. The pandemic has pushed some nurses away from staff positions or bedside nursing completely, but travel nursing may be the perfect way for you to take your career to the next level and find your passion again.
The past few years have been tumultuous at best and the pandemic has taken a toll on many nurses. Many on the frontlines have quit while others face rapidly decreasing morale at work. Burnout is real and it is hurting our healthcare system and our own healthcare providers’ health.
Burnout is characterized by physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by long-term involvement in emotionally demanding or stressful work. Nursing is already a demanding profession to begin with, so the need to refresh and restore is at an all-time high.
Travel nursing offers a more flexible schedule, so you can take tailor your career to fit your needs and schedule time off between assignments to recharge yourself. You also have something to look forward to every 13 weeks or so: a new assignment. The monotony of every day can dissipate when you have exciting adventures on the horizon.
A new assignment also means new coworkers and a new hospital or facility. It’s much easier to avoid the usual drama of being a staff nurse and management if you know there’s a set time limit. Additionally, you may find a new location that fits you perfectly. Time can fly when you are having fun and a great assignment may even warrant an extension.
Nurses are in high demand. The pandemic isn’t ending anytime soon, but many nurses are leaving the workforce for various reasons which doesn’t help the growing nursing shortage. LPNs and LVNs are also seeing increased opportunities in travel nursing.
Many nursing specialties are in even more demand than ever before. Critical and intensive care (CCU/ICU) have many assignment options open due to the ongoing volume of COVID patients. Med-surg and telemetry specialties are on the rise as they pertain to the largest population of patients in clinical settings. Nurses with emergency (ER/ED) experience are needed in communities across the country due to the increase in patient volume.
If you are interested in uprooting your life and starting an adventure in a new city, what could be better than getting paid for it… and getting paid better than before.
Travel nurses are compensated differently than staff nurses which has its benefits. A travel nurse may receive non-taxable expense reimbursements to help cover housing, meals, and other costs while on their travel assignment which makes traveling even better. Travelers can often receive financial incentives for different accomplishments like sign-on, completion, retention, and referral bonuses.
Understanding travel nursing pay can be a little confusing at times. There are many variables that impact each travel assignment and each traveler, so it’s important to evaluate your interests on an individual basis and talk to your recruiter about your options.
Easier Than Ever
Although there is a lot to consider before you get started, travel nursing is now easier than ever. If you are a licensed nurse and have at least one to two years of experience, you’re well on your way to becoming a travel nurse.
If your home state is a member of the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC), you can apply for a multi-state license and work in any member state under the Compact. The eNLC is still expanding and now includes well over half the country.
As nurses continue to be in demand, the versatility and availability of a travel nurse can really help fill the gaps in some healthcare systems, especially as the pandemic continues.
Travel Nursing with SHC
A travel assignment might just be what you need. Remember, committing to your first travel assignment doesn’t mean you have to venture across the country if you don’t want to. You can start your travel nursing career closer to home for a change of scenery with a bit of familiarity.
If you are looking for a completely new location, there are plenty of opportunities across the country to choose from. You can gain new experience and clinical skills in a different facility as well as adventures in your new home away from home.
the shc blog