This Blog was Originally Published on Calling All Nurses – Travel nursing can be a very exciting career path that many nurses take so they can explore and experience the many cities of our great nation. On an average of 13 weeks per contract term, nurses may find themselves on their days off relaxing on the tropical sandy beaches of Hawaii or being immersed in the diverse and bustling culture of New York City.
Being a travel nurse can offer unlimited opportunities for growth and development, and it has helped me in making new friendships, establishing a powerful network of professional colleagues, and gaining a better understanding of how different populations can affect the delivery of healthcare.
Although many travel nursing destinations can be extremely exciting, there are some fundamental pros and cons of being a travel nurse that everyone should consider. Here is a list highlighting some of the positives and negatives that I have encountered in my years of travel nursing:
|New Environments||New and challenging work destination every 3 or so months||May require moving far from friends and family during contract duration|
|Compensation||Pay is higher than most hospital staff positions||Often does not include benefits like insurance, PTO, or sick days|
|Agencies often pay for travel, living, and meal expenses||May owe some of this back depending on contract terms|
|Facility Expectations||Viewed as a proficient, and many times, an expert resource||Can be overwhelming and stressful (often only get minimal orientation to site)|
|Schedule Flexibility||Vacations can be written into the contract for guaranteed time off||Facility can choose to accept the terms of time off addendum or not|
|Contract Flexibility||Can terminate contract at any time of you feel unsafe or are subject to potential harm||Facility management can place you on a “do no return list” if you terminate the contract early|
|Future Work Growth||Will become better sales person of your own ability and worth||May have trouble finding a hospital staff position that will pay you what you feel you’re worth|
|Work will never become mundane, boring, or routine||As soon as you get comfortable, it’s time to move on|
So as you can see, being a travel nurse offers many great positives, but unfortunately it also offers equal negatives. I love travel nursing, and I am always looking forward to my next big adventure. I hope this has provided you with a better understanding of what it’s like being a travel nurse, and I look forward to seeing you on the road!