You’re a nurse that has been bitten by the travel bug. You are ready to experience new and exciting adventures while furthering your career.
Sure, traveling sounds great. But you want to know for sure: Is travel nursing worth it?
In this guide, we will discuss all the pros and cons of travel nursing, and how you can make the most out of your career as a travel nurse.
Table of Contents
- Why Do Hospitals Hire Travel Nurses?
- What Do Travel Nurses Do?
- How Often Do Travel Nurses Travel?
- How Much Do Travel Nurses Make?
- Pros And Cons Of Travel Nursing: Is It Worth It?
- How Do I Choose A Travel Nursing Agency?
- Is Travel Nursing Worth It? Complete Your Free Online Profile And Experience It For Yourself
Why Do Hospitals Hire Travel Nurses?
Travel nurses can act as a safety net for a hospital.
Hospitals hire travel nurses for a number of reasons, including:
- To short-term staffing needs
- To fill in positions that are high in demand
- Provide extra staffing during busy seasons
Additionally, hospitals love hiring travel nurses because it is a cost-effective staffing solution for them.
Travel nurses are employees of their staffing agency, not the hospital. Because of this, the hospital is spared from providing typical employee expenses like:
- Health insurance
- Paid time off
- Recruitment and training
Before signing on with an agency, make sure you know what benefits are provided to you as a travel nurse.
What Do Travel Nurses Do?
Anything they want.
Okay, that’s not exactly true. But you do have the option to choose where you’d like to work, what nursing position you’d like, and even what type of shifts you want to work.
Any available assignment that you qualify for is on the table.
Create your free profile with Trusted Nurse Staffing today to view all of the travel nursing opportunities available to you.
How Often Do Travel Nurses Travel?
The typical contract length is 13 weeks. Trusted Nurse Staffing offers flexible contracts for 8, 13, 26, and even 52-weeks.
As long as the hospital is in agreement, contracts can be also renewed and extended multiple times if you happen to fall in love with your assignment.
If you end up not loving an assignment, the good news is it’s only temporary, and you can be off to your next assignment once your contract ends.
How Much Do Travel Nurses Make?
If you ask a travel nurse, “Is travel nursing worth it?”, they will most likely talk about the pay.
The average salary for a travel nurse is approximately $73,300, according to the U.S Bureau of Statistics.
However, you have the opportunity to earn even more money based on a few factors. Keep reading to learn how you can make the most money as a travel nurse.
Where Do Travel Nurses Make The Most Money?
Areas with the highest demand, such as crisis assignments or areas facing strikes/nursing shortages are where the biggest money potential is.
For example, travel nursing pay nearly doubled nationwide in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Other factors such as location, specialty, and shift-type will affect how much money you can make as a travel nurse.
3 Factors That Affect A Travel Nurses Pay
You’re still deciding on whether travel nursing is worth it but find the financial opportunity to be quite alluring.
You don’t have to take an emergency assignment to make a lot of money.
Let’s talk about three other factors that can help line your wallet with some extra cash.
#1 – Location
You’ve probably heard this old real estate mantra: location, location, location.
When it comes to higher pay for travel nursing, location is one of the biggest factors.
Some of the highest-paying locations for travel nurses include:
- New York
The defining factor in pay for these states is attributed to the cost of living being higher. Most southern states offer lower pay for travel nursing because the cost of living is lower.
If you are hoping to land a “destination assignment” like Florida or Hawaii, you may be disappointed to find out the travel nursing pay is lower for these assignments.
However, this isn’t always the case. It’s possible to have your cake and eat it too if you can manage to take a rapid-response assignment.
#2 – Specialty
Nurses with certain qualifications and specialties are paid considerably more.
This is where having a good travel nurse staffing agency will come into play.
A great travel nurse staffing agency, like Trusted Nurse Staffing, will reimburse you for your license, certifications, and CEUs.
If you have the time and drive to take advantage of education reimbursements, you can earn top dollar nursing assignments for in-demand, high-paying specialties.
The top five highest-paying travel nurse specialties include:
- Labor and delivery nurses
- Operating room nurses
- NICU nurses
- Postanesthesia care unit nurses
- ICU nurses
#3 – Shift
Night shifts— you either love them or hate them.
But regardless of how you feel on the matter, night shift assignments make more money.
Hospitals are often in demand of more night shift nurses and are willing to offer higher rates to fill this need.
If you’re a night owl, that extra money may just entice you to take a night shift assignment.
However, a word to the wise, don’t sacrifice your happiness for money.
If you know you’ll be miserable working night shifts, lean into the plethora of other factors that can help you make the most money as a travel nurse.
Pros and Cons Of Travel Nursing: Is It Worth It?
Let’s talk about the pros and cons of travel nursing. Is it worth it to pick up your life and move to a new location?
By the end of this article, you should have your answer.
There are many pros of travel nursing to consider.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why nurses are flocking to travel nursing.
This one is obvious— the opportunity to travel is one of the main reasons why nurses choose to become a travel nurse.
If you are interested in travel nursing, you have to have a craving for adventure.
With travel nursing, you can start scratching destinations off your travel wish list and gain enriching, life-long experiences through travel.
Make More Money
As we’ve discussed, there is ample opportunity to make a good amount of money as a travel nurse.
While multiple factors may determine your pay, you can guarantee that you will make more money as a travel nurse than a staff nurse.
As a travel nurse, you typically have two choices for housing benefits:
- Agency-based housing
- Housing stipend
With agency based housing, your travel nurse staffing agency will coordinate your temporary housing for you. This can be a great option if you don’t want to deal with any stress in finding your own housing.
If you choose to get a housing stipend, you will be responsible for coordinating your own housing. Your housing stipend is based on the cost of living in the area of your assignment.
Some nurses choose to take a housing stipend as it can give them more flexibility if they are able to find housing rent lower than the allotted stipend.
Score Agency Perks and Incentives
A great travel nurse staffing agency will have a fair amount of perks and incentives.
For example, some of the perks of working with Trusted Nurse Staffing include:
- The highest pay rates in the industry
- Flexible contracts with 8, 13, 26, and 52-week assignments
- Full/part-time work available
- 24/7 support from your recruiter
- Availability for overtime/double-time
- Weekly paychecks, daily pay, and advances available via direct deposit
- Allowances for housing, meals, and travel
- Customized benefits package
- Insurance with Blue Cross and Blue Shield
- Reimbursements for license, certifications, and CEUs
- A loyalty program
- A referral program
- Priority job order bonus
- Sign-on and Completion bonus
As you can see, the list of benefits is long. Always consider the perks and incentives offered by a staffing agency before deciding to sign on.
While there are many reasons to love travel nursing, it is true that every rose has its thorn.
Let’s take a look at some of the not-so-fun aspects of travel nursing.
At some point, every travel nurse has probably experienced homesickness.
Of course, missing out on family events or holidays due to an assignment can make one feel lonely.
Because of this, travel nurses often stick together.
It’s important to develop a good support system at your travel nursing assignment to help you combat the occasional homesickness blues.
Dealing With Travel Logistics
Travel logistics can be a little hairy sometimes. Settling into a new location is not always easy.
Some difficulties of moving frequently include:
- Getting used to time-zone changes
- Changes in weather
- Arranging insurance between contracts
- Adjusting quickly to new work environments
Travel nurses are often used to fill staff shortages.
Unfortunately, this means you may not always get your ideal work schedule.
Working night or weekend shifts is a strong possibility as a travel nurse.
How Do I Choose A Travel Nursing Agency?
When choosing a travel nurse agency, you want to look out for these 3 things:
- Support/Responsiveness: Your agency should provide mentorship and strong support.
- Benefits: Make sure your agency provides the benefits you need.
- Great Pay/Perks: Shop around for the best pay and incentives so you can guarantee you are making the most money possible.
If you find that an agency is unresponsive, doesn’t offer insurance, and doesn’t offer weekly pay, these are warning signs telling you to run the other way.
What Travel Nursing Agency Pays The Best?
While your travel nursing pay depends heavily on factors like credentials and location, Trusted Nurse Staffing offers the highest pay in the industry.
With Trusted Nurse Staffing, you’ll feel valued not only from receiving the best pay in the industry, but also from receiving personal support 24/7. If you call, someone will always pick up the phone.
Is Travel Nursing Worth It? Complete Your Free Online Profile And Experience It For Yourself
Are you ready to choose adventure, pad your resume, and make life-long memories as a travel nurse?
We are here to support you along your journey.
Create a free profile with Trusted Nurse Staffing to explore a world of future possibilities in your travel nursing career.