Many nurses focus on finding permanent, full-time positions once they complete their training and any time they’re looking for new opportunities. These nurses often feel that this is the logical next step, providing them with the security and stability they need. Sometimes, however, a nurse will need a change. Whether it’s a sense of wanderlust, boredom with your current position, or financial pressures, many nurses will at some point look to travel nursing as a possibility.
But travel nursing isn’t for everyone. Below are five signs becoming a travel nurse may be the right move for you.
1. You’re Current Cost of Living is High
Between rent, utilities, and upkeep, the cost of living in most parts of the U.S. is higher than ever and continues to climb. With travel nursing, housing costs are often completely covered for you, as well as your travel expenses. Becoming a travel nurse allows you to live in nearly any location you want without having to break the bank on rent.
2. You Want to Save More
Not only are your housing and travel costs covered, but as a travel nurse, you tend to make a higher hourly rate as well. Depending on the location and your specialty, you can make a significantly higher hourly rate. Add in the fact that things such as insurance and 401K are often covered by the staffing agency and that many of the travel nursing benefits (such as housing and meal stipends) are tax free, travel nurses can end up taking home significantly more than their peers.
3. You’re Tired of Hospital Politics
When you have a permanent nursing position, hospital politics can really get you down. Dealing with hospital administrators or difficult co-workers becomes a permanent issue with little you can do to change it. With travel nursing, hospital politics are minimized. The majority of the paperwork and workplace concerns are dealt with by your agency, leaving you to worry only about patient care. And if the culture isn’t a good fit? A new assignment is only a few weeks away.
4. You Want to Push Yourself Professionally
As a travel nurse, you’ll find yourself working in a variety of settings providing unique challenges. Whether in a busy, urban setting or a rural hospital, you’ll be able to take on new opportunities to broaden your skill set and prove your adaptability. Additionally, travel nursing will help you expand your resume and show prospective employers that you can handle anything that gets thrown your way.
5. You Want New Experiences
Whether it’s living in cities all over the U.S. or practicing in a variety of settings, work as a travel nurse will provide you with a variety of new experiences. Living in different locations can help you discover new interests (such as hiking when you live in the mountains, or surfing if you’re living in southern California) while making new friends.
Key Take Aways:
- Travel Nursing can be both professionally and personally rewarding, providing you with new experiences.
- Higher compensation and subsidized living expenses allow travel nurses to spend less and save more.
- Being a travel nurse allows you to push yourself professionally while avoiding the work place politics many permanent nurses face on a daily basis.