Is it possible to see the world while doing the job you love?
For those who love nursing and love travel, the answer is a resounding “yes”.
Travel nurse positions are not only available domestically but also internationally.
But before you jump on a plane to your desired destination and nursing assignment, you’ve got questions about:
- Where you can go
- How much you can make
- How to prepare
We’ll fill you in on all these details and more as you consider a travel nurse position abroad.
Table of Contents
- Can Travel Nurses Work Internationally?
- Where Are International Travel Nurses Needed the Most?
- How Much Do International Travel Nurses Make?
- What Are the Educational and Licensing Requirements for Travel Nursing Jobs Abroad?
- 10 Questions to Ask the Agency Before Applying for International Travel Nursing Agencies Online
- 5 Tips for International Travel Nurses
- Not Quite Ready for International Travel Nursing? Find Amazing Domestic Travel Nurse Positions with Trusted Nurse Staffing
Can Travel Nurses Work Internationally?
Yes, international travel nursing opportunities are numerous and varied. Not only are there nursing shortages in the United States, but many countries across the world experience these same shortages.
These medical personnel shortages are especially common in countries with disease outbreaks or natural disasters.
RN international travel jobs not only allow you to experience other countries and cultures, but you’ll also be able to expand your nursing skills, learn new medical techniques, and further develop language and communication skills.
How Do I Become an International Travel Nurse?
Becoming a travel nurse internationally is much like becoming a travel nurse domestically. In addition to being a licensed nurse in the U.S., you may need special certifications to meet other requirements of the country you want to work in.
Each country is different in its specifications, so if international RN travel jobs intrigue you, spending some time researching the options and requirements will help you know what’s needed or what you may need to acquire before you apply for a position.
If you are new to travel nursing, we recommend taking at least one or two domestic assignments first before you commit to nursing overseas.
Getting some experience working in different facilities across the country will help you get your feet wet before you step into jobs in other countries that may come with extra stressors like:
- A new culture
- A new climat
- A new language
- Different techniques and facilities
Trusted Nurse Staffing has qualified and experienced recruiters with the know-how to connect you to your desired domestic assignment.
Not only that, Trusted Nurse Staffing will help you look for exciting assignments with job security and benefits while giving you the personal attention you’re looking for.
Click here to find out how to get started.
Where Are International Travel Nurses Needed the Most?
Since travel nurses are needed almost everywhere, international travel nursing jobs are available in countries across the world.
Some of the countries with the greatest need for travel nurses include:
- New Zealand
- The Middle East
This is just the tip of the iceberg, however. Many other countries are also in need.
The World Health Organization published a report entitled The State of the World’s Nursing 2020 which reported a “global (nurse) shortfall of 5.9 trillion.”
This report listed areas with immense need like:
- South East Asia
- Latin America
No matter the location, working as a travel nurse internationally is certain to provide experience:
- With patients of different ages.
- In a variety of conditions.
- With a variety of diseases.
- In different types of hospitals — from low-income to state-of-the-art medical facilities.
What Nursing Specialties Are Needed Abroad?
Nursing specialties of all kinds are needed abroad, but the most sought after specialties include:
- Emergency room
- Operating room
- Intensive care
- Pediatric care
- Cardiac care
- Labor and delivery
How Long Are International Travel Nurse Assignments?
Travel nurse assignments differ depending on location and assignment, but most international travel nurse assignments last for one to two years.
Some international travel nurse assignments may also come with time off between assignments. In places like the Middle East, it’s not uncommon to get an assignment where the facility covers the cost of the nurse’s travel home between the first and second year.
If you’re not quite ready to jump into a long-term assignment overseas, maybe a short-term volunteer assignment will help you get your feet wet.
Volunteer nursing positions are available through many non-profit organizations, and the duration of the assignments is much shorter — usually 3-6 weeks.
Of course, there is no payment for volunteer positions, but it may be a great way to experience an international assignment before you sign a longer-term contract.
How Much Do International Travel Nurses Make?
Most international travel nurses make an hourly wage, but how much an international travel nurse makes may be dependent on several factors like:
- The location of the assignment
- The type of assignment
- The nurse’s qualifications or specialty certifications
Many overseas assignments pay less than the same job in the United States, but they may come with other benefits that offset the lower salary.
Some of these benefits may include things like:
- Housing and food stipends
- Paid time off
- Tax breaks
Another thing to remember is that the cost of living is lower in many other countries. When you consider the lower cost of living, the lower salary may be comparable to a nursing position in the States.
Taxes also can play a large role when considering the bottom line. Whether you will need to pay taxes or not depends on the country and the assignment. In places like the Middle East, it’s common to have tax-free assignments.
Along with many other details, international travel nurses will need to verify pay deduction and tax requirements with the agency they work with.
Which Countries Pay the Most for International Travel Nurses?
In general, the highest paying international travel nurse jobs are found in European countries.
The following European countries pay the highest travel nurse salaries:
- The Netherlands
Europe offers the highest paying jobs because of the way compensation packages may be structured, but other high paying jobs can be found in other places like:
- The Middle East
- The Virgin Islands
The pay in many of these locations ranges from $22,000 to $125,000 per year. In addition, some of the jobs in these locations offer exemplary benefits in top-notch facilities.
Do International Travel Nursing Jobs Have the Same Benefits, Stipends, and Travel Allowances as Domestic Travel Nurse Jobs?
Of course, all of the specifics will vary depending on the agency, country, and assignment, but most international travel nurse assignments come with some sort of benefits package.
Going over all of the details with travel nursing abroad agencies is the only way to know the full extent of the benefits.
Many international travel nurse jobs come with similar benefits as those found in the U.S. like:
- Health insurance
- Paid licensing fees
- Travel to the assignment location
Time off between assignments may also be an attractive incentive, but it’s important to check the details. Caps may be set on time off, and these benefits can be lost if the time off is extended beyond the allotted time.
It’s extremely important for international travel nurses to understand exactly what is being offered in terms of benefits, stipends, and allowances. Getting everything in writing is a must.
If you want to compare international pay and benefits to those of domestic assignments, it would be worthwhile to take a look at Trusted Nurse Staffing.
Trusted Nurse Staffing offers top pay and benefits for domestic assignments.
What Are the Educational and Licensing Requirements for Travel Nursing Jobs Abroad?
Many travel nurse jobs are available abroad for LPNs, RNs, and APRNs.
Regardless of your level of training, international travel nurses may need to
- Have a degree from an accredited school.
- Be in good standing.
- Meet any of the country’s specific licensing requirements.
- Pass the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination).
- Pass any exams necessary for a specialty.
- Have one year of experience in a specialty area.
In addition to these educational and licensing requirements, there are several other travel specifications and documents that might be necessary, including:
- Work permit
- Sponsorship letters
- Birth certificate
- Immunization certificate
Lastly, language tests may be a requirement — even if you are traveling to an English-speaking country like Britain, Canada, or Australia.
10 Questions to Ask the Agency Before Applying for International Travel Nursing Agencies Online
Without a doubt, a travel nurse agency will give you a vast amount of information about international travel nursing on their website or in an initial interview. Thorough knowledge is key, so here are some important questions to ask the agency before you apply:
- Is travel health insurance part of the compensation package?
- Do you get paid vacation time and when?
- How often and in what currency will you be paid?
- Can you terminate your contract early if you’re not happy with the location?
- What locations do you serve?
- How is your pay package structured?
- Do you provide free housing or a housing stipend?
- Are there any signing incentives or end-of-assignment bonuses?
- How much time can I take off between assignments?
- Do you cover travel expenses to the travel location?
5 Tips for International Travel Nurses
An assignment as an overseas travel nurse can be both rewarding and challenging. Stepping into a new culture, experiencing new food, missing family and friends, and starting a new job can all be formidable.
If you have never experienced travel nursing abroad, consider these tips as you prepare for your overseas assignment.
#1 The Buddy System
Traveling alone to a new country and culture can bring about loneliness and homesickness. Bringing a spouse or partner or asking a nursing friend to apply with you are great ways to combat these difficult emotions.
Bringing a pet may also be a possibility.
You will need to keep in mind that each country has its own regulations for bringing in animals. Permits and health evaluations may be necessary, and sometimes pets need to be quarantined for a period of time once they arrive in the country. All of this can be quite costly.
#2 Give Yourself Time to Settle In
Arrive a few weeks early so you can get accustomed to your new city.
You’ll want to use this time to:
- Get settled into your home
- Organize your transportation
- Figure out your route to your work location
- Get familiar with the city (find the grocery store, pharmacy, parks, etc.)
#3 Learn the Language
If you are considering a country where the first language is not English, it may be necessary to learn the native tongue.
Even if you find an assignment in one of these countries, and they don’t require you to speak the language, it would still be incredibly beneficial to be able to speak the language conversationally for everyday interactions.
#4 Pack Light
You don’t need to bring the kitchen sink.
When packing to head to your overseas assignment, bring as little as possible.
Big items like furniture and household items will most likely be provided for you, so all you’ll need to bring is clothing and personal belongings and maybe a special item to remind you of home.
#5 Request an Orientation of the Medical Facility
A final item to consider when planning on how to travel nurse abroad is to visit the medical facility where you’ll be working.
Rather than jumping in cold, request to have a tour of the facility/ward before your first day. Ask as many questions as you can about the expectations and daily responsibilities.
Not Quite Ready for International Travel Nursing? Find Amazing Domestic Travel Nurse Positions with Trusted Nurse Staffing
Maybe you aren’t quite ready to take the plunge and jump into an overseas assignment.
There are plenty of domestic travel nurse assignments available, and these types of assignments can be a fabulous way to prepare you for a longer assignment farther away.
And you’ll still have the opportunity to visit some areas of your own country that are new to you while you get the chance to use and develop your nursing skills.
Trusted Nurse Staffing offers:
- Choice of assignment
- Outstanding pay
- Excellent benefits
- Flexible contracts that range from 8 to 52 weeks.
With the personal attention of one of our recruiters, Trusted Nurse Staffing can help you find your dream job in your desired location.