Are you a hospice nurse who is looking for a change of scenery or the opportunity to travel?
Or maybe you’ve heard about the rewards of hospice travel nursing assignments, but aren’t sure if it’s the right direction for you and your career.
We totally understand — hospice travel nursing takes a special kind of person, but it’s such a valuable field and can use people with the right skillsets.
To ease your mind and help you decide if you’d like to pursue hospice travel nurse assignments, we’ve provided an in-depth review of:
- Hospice travel nursing jobs
- What the job entails; and
- How to know if the field is right for you
Keep reading to find out if you’re a good fit for the world of hospice travel nursing.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Hospice Travel Nurse?
- What Basic Requirements Do Agencies Have for Hospice Travel Nurse Assignments?
- What Makes an Applicant an Optimal Candidate for Hospice Travel Nursing Jobs
- The Pros and Cons of Accepting Hospice Travel Nurse Assignments
- A Review of Hospice Travel Nurse Salary and Benefits
- Where Is the Highest Demand for Hospice Travel Nurse Assignments?
- If You’re Interested in Hospice Travel Nurse Jobs, Trusted Nurse Staffing Will Put You Where You Want To Be
What Is a Hospice Travel Nurse?
Hospice care, often called end-of-life care, is a highly-valued and honorable job, especially in today’s world with a growing elderly population. Instead of providing treatments to extend their lives, hospice nurses are more concerned with keeping their patients comfortable.
A hospice nurse is usually assigned to patients with less than six months to live.
Hospice travel nurses do all the same things regular hospital nurses do, but within standard travel nursing contracts and in different locations.
What Does a Hospice Travel Nurse Job Entail?
Hospice care starts when no other treatment is provided for a serious illness. Hospice travel nurses focus on providing “end-of-life” care to their patients.
Hospice travel nurses generally provide the same care that a patient would receive in a hospital but are focused on providing the patient with as much comfort, care, and support as possible as they approach the end of their life.
As a hospice travel nurse, your responsibilities would include around-the-clock care involving:
- Providing care based on the patient’s unique needs
- Managing pain and symptoms
- Providing support to patients as well as their families; and
- Helping them through the process of death in the most dignified manner
Additional responsibilities of a hospice travel nurse include:
- Ordering supplies needed for care
- Obtaining all equipment needed
- Ensuring the patient’s medications are available and dispensed on schedule
- Performing patient assessments; and
- Creating a care plan for all medical professionals and caregivers to follow
But the job responsibilities don’t end there. As a hospice travel nurse, you will likely be working with a team of medical experts and others to ensure that your patient’s needs are constantly being met. Your team may consist of:
- Licensed Practical Nurses
- Certified Nursing Assistants
- Home health aides
- Other spiritual advisors
- Family members
As one of your team’s leaders, you’ll be looked at as an educator and a caregiver. Nursing assistants, chaplains, and family members will look to you for guidance on how to help their loved ones in their final days. You may also be providing the patient or family members with a deeper understanding of what is happening.
As a hospice travel nurse, you are your patients’ number one advocate.
How Do Responsibilities Differ Between a Hospice Travel Nurse and a Hospital Travel Nurse?
The main difference between a hospice travel nurse and a hospital travel nurse is that a hospice travel nurse is going to be providing comfort care as the patient nears the end of their life, while hospital travel nurses work in various settings throughout a hospital.
Those on hospice travel nursing assignments will generally work in the home of the patient, critical care settings, a skilled nursing facility with the patient, and occasionally in a hospital setting.
How Long Are Average Hospice Travel Nurse Assignments?
Hospice travel nurse assignments generally last between 8 and 13 weeks. The length of your nursing contract will vary based on need and what is offered by the facility you’re assigned to.
Trusted Nurse Staffing offers flexible hospice travel nursing assignments with options for 8, 13, 26, and 52-week assignments. If you find that you love your hospice travel nursing assignment in a specific location, our Trusted Nurse Staffing recruiters will work with you to extend your contract.
What Basic Requirements Do Agencies Have for Hospice Travel Nurse Assignments?
Many travel nurses interested in becoming hospice nurses don’t realize that hospice care is still considered a specialized field.
Hospice travel nurses have been through specific training to provide care to end-of-life and terminally ill patients and support to their families. They should be able to identify the needs of their patients and apply appropriate interventions quickly and effectively.
The basic requirements of a hospice travel nurse agency may also include:
- A registered nursing degree — associate degree at minimum
- A state nursing license
- A multistate license through the Nurse Licensure Compact
- Basic Life Support (BLS) certification
- Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification
Check with your travel nurse agency for specific requirements.
What Special Requirements Do Agencies Have for Hospice Travel Nurse Assignments?
Depending on the agency you work for, you may be required to be a Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse.
Many travel nursing agencies also require their hospice nurses to have at least one to two years of experience as a hospice nurse. Since hospice travel nursing takes a special temperament, agencies can feel more comfortable assigning contracted nurses to these types of jobs knowing they have already worked in the field.
What Makes an Applicant an Optimal Candidate for Hospice Travel Nursing Assignments?
Hospice travel nurses are often considered unique.
Every nurse should be compassionate and courageous, but when you’re working as a hospice nurse, it is vital that you are also highly adaptable.
Working in hospice will require you to get “comfortably uncomfortable” and be able to deal with the uncertainty that comes with end-of-life care.
Are you someone who:
- Is able to transition from assignment to assignment easily?
- Enjoys building relationships with people?
- Is comfortable with helping someone (young or old) in their final days, weeks, or months of life?
- Can stay calm under pressure, especially in a crisis situation?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, becoming a hospice travel nurse might be the perfect opportunity for you. Check the Pronto app for hospice travel nursing assignments in areas you’d like to work.
The Pros and Cons of Accepting Hospice Travel Nurse Assignments
Whether you are looking for a hospice travel nurse job or are trying to figure out which travel nursing niche is for you, it’s always helpful to weigh the pros and the cons.
Pros of Being a Hospice Travel Nurse
One of the biggest benefits of being a hospice travel nurse is the ability to make a meaningful difference and everlasting impact on patients and their families.
Your role as a hospice travel nurse is to ensure that your patient is comfortable and that the family does not have to worry about their health or comfort while also dealing with the intense emotions that come with caring for a loved one at the end of their life.
Some of the biggest advantages other hospice nurses name include:
- Being able to give patients and family members quality time
- Developing strong bonds
- Being part of a team
- Offering education and guidance
- Making a lasting impact and being remembered forever by your patient’s family and friends
Because there isn’t a focus on treating or curing a hospice patient, other elements of nursing care can come into focus.
Cons of Being a Hospice Travel Nurse
Because being a hospice travel nurse also comes with emotional challenges, being strong and passionate about the field is vital — and these emotional challenges can be one of the cons of the job.
One of the biggest downfalls for many hospice travel nurses is having to say goodbye.
Although you’ll be dealing with death regularly, the farewells don’t necessarily get easier.
Maintaining professionalism while also managing your own feelings can be one of the biggest challenges of the job. According to one study, as caretakers of dying patients, hospice nurses have difficulties talking about their emotions and coping with experiences on the job.
Another one of the cons of being a hospice nurse is the ethical issues that they often face while on hospice travel nursing assignments.
Although something might be best for the patient in terms of medical care, that care could go against the patient’s ethical code.
Examples of common ethical issues that occur for a hospice nurse include:
- Administration of opioids
- Decisions about life-prolonging therapies and treatments
- Dignified care; or
- Promoting independence in the patient’s last days of life
Every hospice case and patient is different, so making decisions about their care when it comes to these delicate issues can be extra stressful.
A Review of Hospice Travel Nurse Salary and Benefits
As a hospice travel nurse, the benefits you receive may vary greatly from those that you receive as a hospice nurse hired as a full-time or part-time employee with a hospital or a local hospice nurse agency.
How Salary and Benefits May Differ for a Hospice Travel Nurse
According to Indeed, as a hospice travel nurse, you can expect to make an average of $83,394 a year, making it one of the highest-paying fields in nursing.
Hospice travel nursing comes with endless personal rewards, but it also comes with its own set of cons. Benefits for hospice travel nurses will vary from agency to agency.
If you choose Trusted Nurse Staffing as your travel nursing agency, you will be offered top-notch benefits packages that other nursing agencies may not offer.
As a hospice travel nurse with Trusted Nurse Staffing, you will receive:
- The industry’s highest rate of pay
- A 401(k) plan
- Flexible contracts ranging between 8, 13, 26, and 52 weeks long
- Both part-time and full-time positions
- 24/7 access to your travel nurse recruiter
- Overtime and double-time availability
- The option for weekly, daily, and advanced pay
- Sign-on and completion bonuses
- A referral bonus plan
- License, CEU, and certification reimbursements
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance plans
- Customized benefits packages
- Housing, travel, and meal allowances
- A direct deposit payment option
- And more
Where Is the Highest Demand for Hospice Travel Nurse Assignments?
As the American population continues to age and the desire for end-of-life care to be provided outside of a hospital environment grows, hospice travel nurses will become more and more in demand throughout the entire country.
Some of the highest-paying locations for hospice nurses in the United States include:
- San Bernardino, CA
- Las Vegas, NV
- Phoenix, AZ
- Houston, TX
- Dallas, TX
- Tucson, AZ
It’s no coincidence that the top-paying locations with the highest demand for hospice nurses are in warm climates where you can find many retirement communities. These can also be great places to explore during your travel nursing contracts.
If You’re Interested in Hospice Travel Nurse Jobs, Trusted Nurse Staffing Will Put You Where You Want To Be
Does the idea of providing support to patients who need care and compassion in their final moments of life — while getting to travel and explore — appeal to you? Trusted Nurse Staffing can help you find a hospice travel nursing assignment that you’ll love.
As experts in the travel nursing industry, we ensure that each and every one of our nurses has personal support. We are here 24/7 to provide you with everything you need to successfully fulfill your hospice travel nurse assignment.
With a simple and intuitive design, Pronto makes it easy to find great opportunities right when you need them and empowers you to take control of your career. Search for available jobs by discipline, specialty, or location and then apply quickly with our easy-to-use mobile application.
Whether you’re interested in hospice travel nurse jobs or another area of travel nursing, Trusted Nurse Staffing is ready to help you find your dream assignment.