It may be time to start a new chapter in your nursing career. Travel nursing is a great way to see new places, meet new people, and most importantly, make a difference. If you are a nurse who is feeling burnt out, unfulfilled, or like you’re in a rut, read on to see if a career as a travel nurse is right for you.
The past few years have felt completely unpredictable. Nurses have experienced situations and scenarios that they may have never before imagined. Other stressors in healthcare have been problems for bedside nursing long before the pandemic started. All of these pressures have left many staff nurses searching for something new, better, or different this year.
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
As a travel nurse, you will be able to experience different cultures, climates, and lifestyles. Travel nurses also have the freedom to choose where they want to work and when. It also allows the opportunity to work with different teams and at new facilities, which can be great for gaining new experiences and diversifying your skills.
Something as simple as waking up in new surroundings can be invigorating. New coworkers, adventures, and 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 between 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 can be the perfect way to take your nursing career to the next level and find your passion again.
The past few years have been difficult for the nursing profession and the pandemic has taken a toll on many nurses. Many on the frontlines have looked into other options while others face rapidly decreasing morale at work. Burnout is real and it is hurting our healthcare system and 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 work drama or management issues if you know there’s a set time limit on your assignment. Additionally, you may find a new location that fits you perfectly. A great assignment may even warrant an extension or you can consider a permanent position in your new location.
There is a growing demand for travel nurses as the nursing shortage continues to worsen. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are increasingly turning to travel nurses to help fill gaps in staffing. This is especially true in rural and underserved communities.
Critical and intensive care (CCU/ICU) and emergency (ER/ED) nurses have many assignment options open across the country with elevated patient volumes. Med-surg and telemetry specialties are also in demand as they pertain to the largest population of patients in clinical settings.
If you are interested in taking your life on the road and starting an adventure in a new city or town, what could be better than getting paid for it? And the increased demand for travel nurses means more high-paying jobs and the ability to negotiate rates.
Travel nurses are compensated differently than staff nurses which has its benefits. 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.
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.
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 our healthcare systems.
Travel Nursing with SHC
A travel assignment might just be what you need. And remember, 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 have adventures in your new home away from home.
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