10 Reasons Why You Should Be a Travel Nurse Today
Of all the nursing career paths to choose from, travel nursing is perhaps the most flexible one of them all. This post will talk about the different reasons why you should be a travel nurse today. Read on for more.
10 Reasons to Be a Travel Nurse
If you consider a different area of nursing to work in, a travel nurse is an excellent choice. Do you love traveling? How about exploring various locations? Perhaps you want a broader network in terms of work? If you answered yes, this job is the right one for you. Here are fifteen of the best reasons to become one.
1. You get to travel around the country.
One of the main reasons many nurses sign up for this job is the job title itself, TRAVEL NURSE. It means you get to go across the country (or world) for it. Now, if this tickles your fancy, go ahead and find an agency that can help you get an assignment.
2. Advancement in your career.
Like any other nursing career, there is also career growth in travel nursing. Of course, you get to grow this job at your own pace. With your experience as a travel nurse, many medical staffing agencies can help find you a job that matches your skills and specialty. So, don’t worry about not getting a job as there will always be one open for you.
3. You get to enjoy the location of work.
One of the best things about this job is that you get to enjoy the location before saying you are done with it. A typical travel nursing assignment can last around three weeks to 3 months. If you enjoyed working in the health care facility you are assigned to, it feels more like a vacation than work. Not a lot of job has the same opportunity.
4. There is job security in travel nursing.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an estimated job increase of 16% until 2024 in the travel nursing department over the next few years. That means your job is safe and secure even in the coming years.
5. Contracts are flexible.
One of the reasons you should become a travel nurse is that the contracts are flexible. It means you are not stuck on one long contract as most assignments are short-term. That said, you avoid experiencing nurse burnout as you don’t have to deal with work-related stress all the time.
6. Sign-up bonus.
Travel nurse agencies offer sign-up bonuses to nurses who want to become travel nurses. If you are looking for extra income while working, this could be an excellent opportunity to grab.
7. You get low-cost or free housing.
When you sign up as a travel nurse, your agency will offer stipends for your housing needs. Some agencies will even cover the housing expenses for their travel nurses, so you don’t have to worry about where to stay on your next assignment .
What’s even better is that you will live with other travel nurses or live close to them when you are assigned to a new location. There’s never a dull moment when you work this job.
8. Pay is great.
As travel nurses, your work is not full-placement; this means you get to enjoy a high salary. A travel nurse’s salary is 33% higher than the average staff nurse’s. An average income for travel nurses is $75,330 to $108,000 per year . And if this sounds like a good deal for you, you better sign up as one soon!
9. Paid health insurance
Since you are traveling for work, travel nurses can rest with the thought that your health insurance is paid. Many medical health agencies pay their travel nurses’ insurance before sending them out. It saves you time and effort securing one.
10. Traveling is paid.
You don’t have to worry about your next assignment or what to pay for. Many travel nurse agencies secure that their nurses are not only paid for work but also for traveling. You can be in Hawaii for summer before you know it, given that you have an assignment there, of course!
Bonus points as travel nurses:
- You can save enough money for your retirement.
- Your network expands as travel nurses can work with different people in the medical field. The more contacts you have, the more exciting opportunities await you.
- Getting a multi-license is possible. Since you work in different states, you will need licenses too. Your travel nurse agency can help you acquire these licenses to get you going for work.
- As you move around for work, there is always a chance for continued education. You never stop learning as a nurse, and this line of work is the perfect fit for you.
- Some travel nurse companies offer referral bonuses to nurses who can refer others to sign up for them, and if your agency provides the same, then lucky you!
Working as a travel nurse is exciting and perfect for those who want to earn more. Hopefully, the list above convinced you enough why you should become a travel nurse today. Good luck!
Time Off as a Travel Nurse: 6 Ways to Spend It
How do you spend time off as a travel nurse? Do you even enjoy your day-offs? If you are a nurse interested in working as a travel nurse, your days off are essential. Here’s how you can make sure that your day off counts well.
Your Time Off as s Travel Nurse
As a nurse, taking a time off is vital. You are not a robot. You are a human being with feelings and emotions. We understand that our jobs can be demanding but you don’t need to wait for burnout. You must take care of yourself so you can continue to help and care for others.
Working as a travel nurse has its perks and a day off is as good as a holiday. Taking time off is essential not only for your health but also for you to enjoy the area of your assignment!
If this is your first time working as a travel nurse, a day off is exciting. And to make your first day off count, these tips will help you make the most of it, check it out!
#1. Enjoy the Fresh Air
There’s nothing more exciting than getting out of a long shift, no matter how tired you are, it’s always exciting to leave work. And the moment you set foot outside the hospital and be greeted by the crisp air is refreshing!
As a nurse, your job requires you to be inside the healthcare facility for long hours. So, on your time off, you must enjoy the sunlight. Take a walk, go for a run or simply explore your surroundings.
Familiarize yourself with the location. Know where to go and find places to check out if you are into outdoor activities.
#2. Explore the Area
A travel nurse often relocates for work, and if you happen to be in a location that you haven’t been assigned before, go out and explore it. Getting to know your surroundings is the best way to feel like a local.
Remember, it will be your home for the next few weeks! Knowing where to go is a must. It will make your work more enjoyable. Find places where you can do something fun. It might just become one of your favorite destinations to visit again one day.
#3. Go out with friends
As a travel nurse, you spend most of your time with patients and doing nursing duties. On your day off, you can spend time with friends.
Exploring the city is a lot of fun when you have company. Socializing with other people is also good for your mental health. And as someone who travels a lot for work, it is an excellent way to spend your time off.
#4. Make advance plans for the week
Of course, your time off is the perfect day to plan your week. Your first week of working may be a bit chaotic, but it will be easier for you to adjust as you get settled in.
Take time to map out your days. Check if you have enough scrub suits for the week. Make sure you also have enough food to last. Planning your schedule will help minimize your stress.
#5. Feed your mind
Just because you are on time off means must be lazy for the rest of the day. Well, you can do that too. But you can also feed your mind. SAnd by feeding your mind, I mean finding a way to expand it.
Find time to read something on your day off. It could be nursing books to help increase your knowledge or watching educational videos to help you with work.
You can also take classes that suit your liking. If you like art, take art classes; photography classes can also ignite your passion for taking pictures. Anything is possible, as long as you have time, of course.
Your time off is an excellent way to pursue a new hobby or expand what you already know. How you spend it is entirely up to you.
Your time off is an excellent time to, you guessed it, relax, of course! Working as a nurse often deprives you of sleep let alone being a travel nurse. So, take time to catch up with rest and sleep as much as possible.
A day off is a good time to unplug from the world too. Go off your social media, shut off your phone, rest your mind, avoid reading stressful news – generally, take a break from everything!
Your Time Off as a Travel Nurse Matters
A day off is not enough to recover, but it is enough to give you the recharge you need. Travel nurses are always on the go, but take the time to rest when you have it. Learn how to slow down and take care of yourself.
As you adjust to your travel nursing job, things will get easier. Spend time with yourself; remember, self-care is essential! Take care of yourself so you can continue to care for others.
6 Key Points in Nailing Your Travel Nurse Interview
Are you interested in working as a travel nurse? Nailing your travel nurse interview is the key to your success! But how can you do that? What are the critical points in answering an interview for this position?
How to Prepare for your Travel Nurse Interview
Your travel nurse journey begins when you pass your travel nurse interview. Here are helpful ways to do that:
1. Conduct your research about the healthcare facility.
The first thing you must do is research the company, health care facility, or clinic interested in working as a travel nurse. For a potential employer to be interested in you, you must also show them that you share the same sentiment.
Reading about the facility before the interview helps you know the kind of nursing services they offer. It will also give you an idea of what they are known for (ex., if they specialize in treating cancer patients, care for the elderly, etc.) and if your skills match what they are looking for. It is also essential for nailing your travel nurse interview on your first try.
2. Get a grip on what travel nursing is.
As a nurse, your primary concern is to take care of patients. However, as a travel nurse, your contract is a bit different. Your first travel nurse job may vary from the usual staff nurse duties. Having a broad understanding of what this job is about can help you nail that interview.
For your first interview, you must show your ability to organize and prioritize tasks even with few instructions. Your ability to adjust to different settings and willingness to float is essential to let your future company know.
3. Ask your travel nursing agency for help.
Use your travel nurse agency if you want to pass the interview on your first try. A good travel nursing agency will help you go through the process of your initial onboarding . They can walk you through what you need to know and how you can answer the health care company or facility correctly.
Your recruiter is familiar with the clients, personalities, and even the staff. They can fill you in with that, so it is easier for you to answer questions. It is also your recruiter’s job to act as your career coach. They can help you create a better resume and even schedule mock interviews. This way, you are fully prepared for the travel nursing interview.
4. Create an ideal interview setup.
Understand that there will be times when the interview for your travel nursing job will not be face-to-face. Of course, there will be instances when you will be asked to come for an interview. But most of the time, it could be via video chat, phone, or video apps like Skype, Zoom, and Google Meet.
Whether you are asked to come for a face-to-face interview or video call, you must wear clothes suitable for the interview. Wearing appropriate attire for this interview is a must. The right clothes help, of course. Keep in mind that you are a professional, so you also have to dress to impress. It will also show how confident you are.
If, by chance, you are asked to do a video call for an interview, make sure to check your setup. Ensuring that your mic is working correctly, the audio is good, lighting is enough to light your face, the internet connection is excellent, and your camera is working correctly are essential in helping you land that job.
5. Be ready to answer their questions.
During the interview, make sure to take the time before answering the question. Ask your travel nursing agency if they can give you an idea of the questions that companies usually ask potential nurses. Since they know the clients better, agencies can provide you with some tips on what is expected during the interview. Here are some common yet essential questions that potential clients will ask you:
- Why do you want to be a travel nurse? – this is the part where you can “sell” yourself about your interest in becoming a travel nurse. Show your excitement and eagerness in this field, and why you chose this path, they might consider you for the job.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses as a travel nurse or a nurse in general? – if you decide to answer this question with a weakness, make sure to follow it with your strengths. Be sure to emphasize this strength and tell them how this has helped you in your career as a nurse.
- How are you in your current nursing position? – reflect on your current work status, your education, and credentials. Tell them if you have any plans for additional education or certifications in the future.
- Can you share or describe an experience where you have handled a difficult patient? – in this question, share any experience that you may have when it comes to handling unruly patients. Did you have a good experience? If yes, explain how it went and what you learned from that experience.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask your questions as well.
An interview is not a one-way street between you and your potential employers . It would be best if you also asked questions to show them that you are genuine in your interest in working as a travel nurse.
It is always good to be ready with your questions once you set foot in the interview room. Your questions will help you determine if this is indeed a suitable travel nursing contract to pursue or not.
What are the most common questions you can ask your potential employer? Here’s what we have gathered:
- What is your policy or policies regarding floating?
- Do you use any type(s) of charting?
- What kind of onboarding or orientation would be available to me?
- How long does onboard briefing take?
- Can you describe the culture of the unit/management?
- What shifts are available, and what are your scheduling methods?
- Is call available? If yes, is it required?
- What are your overtime policies?
- Do you frequently offer extensions for contract assignments?
- Why are you bringing in travel nurses?
- Why do you continue to bring in travel nurses?
- What are the nurse-to-patient ratios?
- Do you require a patient ratio?
You can also add your questions to our list. If you don’t have any in mind yet, this would be a great way to engage with the potential employer.
Being a travel nurse is ideal for nurses who want to avoid hospital politics and enjoy working and exploring in different locations. If this sounds like you, it would be best to contact a travel nurse agency for an assignment.
Before you sign a contract, an interview is conducted to see if you fit the position. Coming in ready and confident for the job is a must. Hopefully, our post gave you an idea of what to expect during the interview. So, break a leg and nail that job interview! Good luck!
As a travel nurse, you will find yourself in different places and scenarios all the time. It is why learning about travel nurse contracts is essential.
While it is part of your job as a travel nurse to be assigned to different parts of the country, there will come a time when you need to answer a crisis or rapid response call.
That said, you must know the difference between a crisis and a rapid response contract so you can choose which one works well for you.
The Difference Between Crisis and Rapid Response Travel Nurse Contract
A contract is vital in a travel nurse’s job, but a few differences exist between a crisis and a rapid response contract. Knowing them both can help you identify which one is more favorable for you.
What is a Crisis Contract?
Travel nurses are usually the first people who respond to any crises across the country. A crisis contract is given to nurses when a geographical location or hospital is confirmed to be under an emergency.
As a nurse, you must understand that this contract will put you in high-risk conditions, so reading it thoroughly is necessary.
If the crisis is urgent, this contract may also become a rapid response contract. If the problem is urgent, you may get higher wages for both contracts.
A crisis can be anything alarming or overwhelming. The best example of this case is the Covid-19 pandemic that we are experiencing right now. Another good example is when the crisis is an isolated case.
It means the issue is only specific to a particular hospital or area. For example, when natural disasters like hurricanes, flooding, etc., hits a location, travel nurses are given crisis contracts to answer the call for help.
The payment of a crisis contract varies depending on the nature of the crisis at hand . The amount may also differ according to these factors:
- The hospital’s budget.
- The agency’s ability to negotiate the terms and conditions of your work.
- Your skills as a nurse – if you have skills in specialized areas like ICU, OR, DR, and others, the better the pay you will get.
As you go through your contract, you will see that it outlines the specifics of your crisis pay. It may include both a higher base wage, additional stipends, and your bonuses and overtime pay.
A crisis contract may also be shorter than the regular travel nurse contracts. Your assignments are often short-term, while the standard travel nurse contract is around 16 weeks.
Many hospitals opt to hire nurses under this contract on shorter terms because they’re paid higher than others. So it would be wise to hire them for a short period than hire them for a long time and pay at higher rates.
What is Rapid Response Contract?
A rapid response contract is when a healthcare facility hires travel nurses to fill in the job. The situation may not always be a crisis. But nurses are needed if there is a:
- New software upgrade
- An internal occurrence
- An influx of non-emergency patients
Travel nurses must stay close to the facility and be ready if the hospital calls them on short notice.
As a rapid response nurse, you may also receive bonuses, higher base wages, and more stipends . It will also depend on the following:
- Education and certifications.
- The number of years you are working as a rapid response nurse.
- Nursing skills that you have.
Housing stipends are also included in your compensation. It is because finding housing near the facility on short notice is difficult.
Expect to work right away when you accept this kind of contract. It means you don’t have to go through lengthy briefings.
In case you find yourself in this situation, being ready is always a good thing. Be sure to work with your agency in every step, so you have everything you need before working.
Choose the Right Contract
Whether you work as a crisis or rapid response nurse, be sure to choose the work where you will be happy working as one. Both positions are well compensated and need you to travel. If this makes you happy, go ahead and take the offer. Make sure to read your travel nurse contracts well for your security and safety.
5 Things You Need to Look for in Your Travel Nurse Contract
Being a travel nurse offers you new and exciting ventures as you get assigned to different locations. But before you get pumped for your assignment, it would help you read your contract first. Here are things you need to look for in your nurse travel contract.
The Travel Nurse Contract
Before we check the important contents of your contract, let us first know what a travel nurse contract is and make sure you understand every detail it entails .
By definition, this contract is an agreement between the professional (you), the agency, and the hospital. The agency employs travel healthcare workers like you through this contract. The agency then has an agreement with the vendor sourcing manager that makes contracts with the hospital. In some cases, smaller healthcare facilities can work directly with the agency, but it depends highly on the matter.
There are a few types of travel nursing contracts that you should know. Among these includes the standard and crisis, where extra nursing staff is needed immediately. The arrangement between the nurse and agency may also serve as the leading tax documentation. It also establishes the obligations and conditions for work and covers essential things like wages, benefits, and others.
Besides the initial arrangement written in the contract, travel nurses can also negotiate specific terms with the hospital during the interview. It could be something like the particular number of days off, night shift wages, floating rules, and so on. The agency will then send an updated supplement to the hospital regarding these specified agreements called confirmation, but only once the nurse accepts the offer for this assignment.
What to Look Into Your Contract
Before signing your contract, be sure to check that your responsibilities are clearly stated and the staffing responsibilities of the facility. The agency and healthcare facility must be transparent with you. Here’s what you need to look into:
Travel expenses and reimbursements
Take note that the agency almost always pays and reimburses your travel expenses. Many agencies are willing to cover the costs you make when traveling to your assignment, either by driving or traveling by plane. There are three ways that this can happen:
- You initially spend money on gas or airplane tickets, and the agency will repay you afterward.
- The agency will pay for the traveling expenses in advance; airplane tickets, train tickets, or gas for your car.
- The agency will pay out an amount over a set period.
Any reliable agency will lay out these terms to you and ensure that you are provided with what you need. In addition, you must also know how you will be reimbursed if there is a cancellation of the assignment.
In some cases, agencies will offer to arrange or provide travel nurses with housing. This is done through an internal system or several housing sites that cater to healthcare professionals on a temporary assignment. You also have the freedom to look for an apartment or housing. But why bother when there is someone who can do that for you?
So, before you sign a travel nurse contract, be sure to check what your agency is offering you in terms of housing. Make sure to take note of your responsibilities regarding this part too. See if you will pay for it and if yes, are they going to reimburse you after? If the agency is the one to set up the housing, ask what will happen in case your assignment is extended. Be sure to ask essential questions so you are not left with all the responsibilities.
Getting sick while on the job cannot be avoided, especially since there is a pandemic. No matter how much you take care of yourself, there will come a time when your immune system weakens and you need rest. In case this happens, see what your contract has to say about it.
Your agency must be able to state clearly what happens when you get sick while on duty. It should also include the coverage pay in case you are placed in quarantine.
Policies on Cancellation
Travel nurses are often overlooked by hospitals, and sometimes, their contracts get pulled at the last minute. In case this happens to you, be sure to know what your agency states in this matter. Are you going to get paid for it? Is the agency willing to find you another assignment? Are they going to reimburse your travel expenses just in case? – knowing all about these will help you get a better position and prepare you for the following steps.
Many nurses are covered with health insurance as full-time staff. However, if you work as a travel nurse, are you covered with the same insurance? Of course, being a travel nurse means you are more exposed to risky situations. Therefore agencies will provide you with the health insurance you need.
Keep in mind that the risk of getting sick on the job (even accidents) is pretty common for all nurses, and travel nurses are no exception. Finding a good agency that can provide you with health insurance is a must, so you don’t have to meet any medical expenses in the future.
Now that you know what things to look for in your travel nurse contract, be sure to note them. Working as a traveling healthcare professional has its perks, but knowing that your agency provides you with protection and security is always ideal. Finding one that can help you with everything you need is something you should always consider.
6 Travel Nursing Positions with the Highest Pay
Working as a travel nurse is one of the most liberating areas of nursing. You can choose the areas you want to work in and even enjoy the benefits of financially lucrative travel nursing positions. If you are interested in becoming a travel nurse, get to know which areas pay the most.
Nurses can choose almost any specialty area to work in, in the travel healthcare sector. As travel nurses, you will be making more than a staff position in a position or specialty, it is wise to select from some of the highest paying nursing specialties.
1. Intensive Unite Care Nurse or ICU Nurse
One of the most in-demand areas for travel nurses belongs to the ICU. If you have experience in this department, you are in luck as many hospitals use nurses in the ICU to float around other units because of their broadened skills and knowledge, making them valuable members of the team. ICU nurses are trained to care for the critically ill and have a broad array of skills. As a travel nurse, you too can work in this area as long as you have the skills or experience as an ICU nurse. Most facilities look for at least 1-2 years of experience.
2. Labor and Delivery Nurse
Nurses who specialize in obstetrics and women’s health, especially in antepartum and postpartum care, are constantly in-demand. L&D nurses are also among the highest-paid nurses in the country, and one of the travel nursing positions with the highest pay. However, before you sign the contract, consider a few things first. While you will be taking care of healthy patients in this area, you must be ready to handle any emergencies that could occur. These may include emergency c-sections and many others. If you are up for the challenge, then this could be a fantastic opportunity for you.
3. Emergency Room or ER Nurse
Do you enjoy a fast-paced environment while working as a nurse? If you do, then working as an ER nurse is the best place for you. Many travel nurses can work in this department and earn more pay than their staff job. Keep in mind that working in the ER means you have to constantly use your critical thinking skills, so if you love the idea of solving problems, this could be the right place for you. When looking for an ER position it is always good to look at the hospital trauma level, it may be more acute than your used to.
4. Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Nurse or PICU Nurse/ Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU
As a travel nurse, you will have the chance to work with some of the latest technology used in childcare with plenty of nursing opportunities in states like Texas, New York, New Jersey, California, and many others.
5. Medical-Surgical/Telemetry Nurse
The need for nurses with exceptional skills and knowledge in medical-surgical nursing is in demand these days. Since the number of Covid patients is still elevated, there is always a need for nurses in this area. Travel nurses can apply for this position and earn up to $5,000/week. If you are a nurse who can handle several patients and can manage time effectively, this could be an excellent opportunity to take.
6. Operating Room Nurse or OR Nurse
One of the most interesting areas and travel nursing positions with the highest pay belongs to the Operating Room. You will be a valuable asset to many hospitals across the country for travel nurses with perioperative skills. If you are certified at a specific OR skill or have a wide range of operating room experience, t you can snag any OR position,
Consider also the location of the place for your travel nursing assignment. Some states pay higher than others. Now that you know which areas pay travel nurses the most, find a good agency that can get you a position in these areas. It is also an excellent option to do more research on travel nursing before asking for an assignment. That way, you know what to expect and still earn more than staff.