Are you a med surg nurse with a secret adventurous side? Are you always looking for new ways to explore the world?

Trust us — we totally get it and think it might be time for you to consider travel nursing.

In this post, we’ll share the ins and outs of med surg travel nurse assignments. By the end, we’re sure you’ll be ready to pack your bags and pick your first assignment!



Table of Contents


med surg travel nurse jobs


What Is a Med Surg Travel Nurse?

Med surg nurses are highly-skilled to care for adults who are ill with varying diseases, medical conditions, or are recovering from surgery.

Because med surg nurses are highly sought after, they are required to possess many skills and qualifications, including:

  • Safe, effective, and comprehensive nursing care per hospital policies and protocol, state regulations, and Joint Commission standards
  • Accurately monitoring, recording, and communicating the patient’s vital signs
  • Change dressings utilizing universal precaution and infection control procedures
  • Coordinate patient care and carry out physician’s orders
  • Support patient and family education

How to Become a Med Surg Travel Nurse

The basic requirements to apply for med surg travel nurse assignments include:

  • Accredited RN degree
  • An active RN license in the specified state
  • Basic Life Support (BLS) certification
  • 1-2 years experience in an acute care facility

Due to limited orientation times, travel nurses are expected to have gained enough experience to feel confident and comfortable with moving to a new facility with little to no training time.

Are Special Licenses or Certifications Needed to Become a Med Surg Travel Nurse?

Additional certifications can certainly make your application more attractive to potential hiring managers, such as:

  • ACLS – Advanced Cardiac Life Support
  • NIH – Stroke Certification from the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale
  • PICC – Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter Certification

How Much Can a Med Surg Travel Nurse Make?

When searching through med surg travel nurse assignments, you’re likely to notice that not all postings are created equal. 

Travel nursing salaries, in general, are based on several factors, including:

  • Nursing specialty
  • Nursing certifications
  • Location of posting 
  • Type of facility
  • And more

Med surg travel nurses make an average of $43 to $68/hr or $62,500 to $117,500 annually. Currently, the best-paying cities for med surg nurses are:

  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Santa Rosa, CA
  • Williston, ND
  • Manhattan, NY
  • Cambridge, MA 

Trusted Nurse Staffing is proud to offer the highest pay rates in the industry. To speak to one of our recruiters about available med surg travel assignments, contact us today.


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Additional Benefits of Med Surg Travel Nurse Assignments

Most travel nursing agencies will offer additional benefits above your salary, such as housing, meals, and medical insurance. But, not all agencies offer comprehensive benefits packages.

In addition to excellent pay, Trusted Nurse Staffing also offers a comprehensive benefits program that includes:

  • Flexible contracts from 6 to 52 weeks
  • Sign-on and completion bonus
  • Housing, meal, and travel stipends
  • Customized benefits package
  • Dental and vision benefits
  • 401k plan
  • Wellness benefits
  • Loyalty and referral programs
  • License, certification, and CEU reimbursements
  • And more


med surg travel nurse


Where Are Med Surg Travel Nurse Assignments Available?

Med surg travel nurse assignments are available in abundance. Due to high demand, med surg nurses should have no trouble finding a position in their chosen city and state. While some smaller towns may not have posting available, the neighboring bigger cities almost always do.

Types of Facilities Where Med Surg Travel Nurses Are Needed

Med surg travel nursing isn’t limited to hospitals. Here are a few of the other facilities that require med surg nurses:

  • Specialty surgery centers
  • Private surgery clinics
  • Outpatient clinics; and
  • Long-term care facilities

Some positions may require shift work, while others operate Monday through Friday during regular business hours.

Locations Where Med Surg Travel Nurse Assignments Are in Demand

The State of California consistently has a high demand for travel nurses. As a result, facilities often pay higher rates and include other incentives to entice nurses to accept available positions.

You should also have no trouble finding med surg travel nurse assignments in these states:

  • New York
  • Massachusetts
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • South Carolina

The National Center for Health Workforce Analysis report indicates that the demand for travel nurses in these states will continue through 2030.

How Long Do Med Surg Travel Nurse Assignments Last?

The average contract for med surg travel nurses is 13 weeks. However, it’s common for contracts to be renewed by the facility where you’re working, so if you’re enjoying your post, you might be able to stay on for longer.

Trusted Nurse Staffing offers flexible contracts that range from 6 to 52 weeks. 

We have recruiters available 24/7 to help you throughout the entire process, whether it’s extending a contract or starting a new one elsewhere. We are here to support you throughout your journey as a travel nurse, no matter the length of your assignment.


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What Does a Typical Day for a Med Surg Travel Nurse Look Like?

If you’re already a med surg nurse, then you know that it’s one of the more demanding nursing positions. But, how does this differ for a travel nurse?

For one, you have limited orientation time. So you have to be ready to hit the floor running as soon as you reach your assignment. 

Two, you’re working with an unfamiliar group of people. This means you’ll be required to adjust quickly to the different personalities and work ethics.

And three, you’re in a new-to-you facility. Getting the lay of the land has to happen fairly fast. That includes learning the practices and protocol of each new facility as soon as you can.

But, all that aside, what can a travel med surg nurse expect in a day? We’ll break it down as easily as we can:

  • Almost immediately after you ‘clock in’, you’ll need to track down the nurses who have been caring for your patients in the last 12 hours so you can make your notes. Nurses are usually really great at sharing helpful tidbits about the patient’s personality and what to expect from each one.
  • Take care of any immediate needs that may have been put on the back burner due to stressful or urgent situations that arose before your arrival.
  • The previous shift ‘clocks out’ and it’s up to you for the next 12 hours. Anything can happen, you need to be alert to every situation. Assessments need to be done before meds. Patients require help to the restroom. An IV bag needs changing NOW. You know the drill.
  • It’s time for meds and monitoring of every patient. This takes skill! Don’t expect to take a break for the next two hours, this is precision work.
  • Remember, you’ll be fielding questions from your patients, their families, physical therapists, case managers, and doctors during this time. You need to be efficient.
  • Meds are done, now it’s time to make sure you’ve charted your morning assessments, but suddenly a bed alarm goes off. You’re pulled away only to find a patient is making her way to the restroom but has tangled her IV. You untangle her, help her to the restroom, turn off the alarm, then help her back to bed.
  • Have you had time to pee yet? 
  • Your charts aren’t done, but you’ve just got a call that a patient is coming in and the room needs to be prepped. You’re on it!
  • But wait, you just got a call from Room 12. They need pain meds, but their next dose isn’t due for another 15 minutes. You arrive and find the patient grimacing in pain, you need another nurse to waste, but there’s a wait. No charge nurses are available either.
  • Finally, a nurse shows up, just as your new patient does. Better work fast, and don’t forget to make your patient feel comfortable. They deserve to know they’ll be in good hands
  • This goes on for hours. Finally, you take a walk at lunch to clear your head, but you can’t help thinking of all the things that still need to be done.
  • The rest of the day goes much the same. New orders. Doctors calling. Discharges and intakes. You are a multitasking ninja.
  • It’s the end of the day and the next shift arrives. You pass on their marching orders and head for home.

Does this sound like the adrenaline rush you’ve been looking for? If so, then a med surg travel nurse assignment might be just what you need!


med surg travel nurse assignments


Pros and Cons of Med Surg Travel Nurse Assignments

While med surg nurses already know it’s not all roses, there’s a reason so many stick with it for years. So, what are the true benefits and disadvantages of being a travel med surg nurse? 

Let’s start with the pros …  


  1. Job satisfaction. There’s not much in life that is more rewarding than the hustle and sense of accomplishment that comes with improving patient outcomes.
  2. Working with people! Not just other medical professionals, but the patients too. You get to see the impact you are making on their lives.
  3. Expanding your skills and knowledge. Med surg is no cakewalk, but it definitely helps prepare you for anything.
  4. Exploring the country, meeting new people, and creating lifelong memories.


  1. Let’s face it… med surg burnout is real. Juggling multiple patients and responsibilities on every shift is exhausting.
  2. Thanks to burnout, staffing shortages are a real job hazard. You may find yourself covering the work of 1.5 nurses on any given shift.
  3. If you don’t thrive in chaotic environments, then this is not the position for you. Med surg can be downright overwhelming.
  4. Patients can be difficult. Often they’re in pain, or their families are demanding more of you than you can give.

Trusted Nurse Staffing Can Help You Find the Perfect Med Surg Travel Nurse Assignment

If you’re ready to pack your bags and hit the road on your first med surg travel nurse assignment, then Trusted Nurse Staffing is here to help.

We check all your boxes, such as offering …

  • Local assignments
  • Travel assignments
  • Temporary to permanent 
  • Permanent placement; and
  • Per diem assignments

… while delivering the best possible customer service and always upholding our core values of:

  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Integrity
  • Passion
  • Growth; and
  • Leadership 

Our recruitment team is available 24/7 to serve you. We make it our mission to give you a 100% personalized experience — you’ll never feel like another number.

Ready to get started? Simply click below to create your free profile and one of our trusted recruiters will get back to you ASAP.

We look forward to helping you live your best life!


med surge nurse