Do you get easily bored by doing the same old, same old on every single shift? 

Are you looking for a job that offers variety along with plenty of challenges and opportunities for growth?

Whether you’re a brand-new nurse who’s wanting to try your hand at a variety of roles or a seasoned nurse who’s ready to try travel nursing, med-surg may be just what you’re after. 

In this article, we share what it takes to succeed as a med-surg travel nurse and how to determine whether the job is right for you.


med surg travel nurse


Table of Contents



Is It Possible To Be a Med Surg Travel Nurse? 


If you have the right certification, education, and experience, becoming a travel med-surg nurse can be a rewarding and lucrative career.

And Trusted Nurse Staffing can help make it happen. Our team’s goal is to give you an amazing travel nursing experience, no matter what specialty you choose. 

We will:

  • Help you put together an easily customizable resume
  • Listen to discover exactly what you’re looking for in a travel nursing assignment
  • Discuss the details of possible assignments
  • Submit your resume to your top choices
  • Visit with you about job offers to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want
  • Be available for you 24/7 while you’re on assignment
  • Help you when it’s time to select your next travel nursing adventure


Are Med Surg Travel Nurses in High Demand? 

Yes. Since most hospitals, large or small, use them, there is always a need for med-surg travel nurses.

Are you ready to hit the road as a med-surg travel nurse? Search for currently available positions on Pronto to see what’s available with Trusted Nurse Staffing.


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What Are the Requirements To Become a Med Surg Travel Nurse? 


Education Requirements

There are two routes you may take to become a med-surg travel nurse. However, regardless of the certification path you choose, the first step is to become a registered nurse (RN).

The quickest way to become an RN is to obtain an Associate Degree in Nursing (ASN), which generally takes around two years. The preferred option, however, is to obtain a Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN), which takes approximately four years to complete.



As a new RN, you may be hired to work in the med-surg unit following graduation. But before you can apply for a med-surg certification, you will need to accrue at least 2,000 clinical hours. 

Clinical hours don’t have to strictly be obtained in a meds surg unit, but may also be acquired through PRN work. This allows nurses to take extra shifts in any setting that interests them while supplementing their income at the same time.

Overall, it requires a total of at least four to six years to become certified as a med-surg nurse.


What Does a Med-Surg Travel Nurse Do?

Med-surg travel nurses provide care to adult patients before and after medical procedures and surgeries. 

Their duties span a wide range of tasks and may include: 

  • Collaborating with other healthcare professionals for the best possible treatment of their patients
  • Recording patients’ vital signs, medical histories, and care information
  • Administering and documenting prescribed medications
  • Monitoring patients for any adverse reactions to treatments and implementing corrective actions when needed
  • Assisting physicians in their examinations and treatment of patients
  • Preparing, monitoring, and adjusting equipment 
  • Interpreting and recording information obtained from equipment
  • Providing bedside care for patients
  • Starting IVs, changing dressings, and inserting catheters
  • Providing life-saving procedures
  • Educating patients and family members on surgical procedures and illnesses or injuries management
  • Participating in patient discharge planning


med surg travel nurse salary


Where Do Med-Surg Travel Nurses Typically Work? 

Assignments for traveling med surg nurses can be found in a variety of settings and may include:

  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Specialty surgery centers; or
  • Long-term care facilities.


How Long Are Med-Surg Travel Nursing Assignments? 

The average med-surg travel nursing assignment is 13 weeks long. However, depending on the travel nursing agency you choose, you may be able to get longer or shorter assignments.

Trusted Nurse Staffing offers flexible 6, 8, and 13-week contracts, plus more.

Check out the Pronto app today to discover our med-surg travel nurse jobs nationwide.


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What Is a Typical Med Surg Travel Nurse Salary? 

On average, the salary of a med surg travel nurse is:

  • $59.62 per hour
  • $617 per day
  • $2,367 per week
  • $9,160 per month
  • $129,377 per year.

As with all areas of travel nursing, there is not one standard amount that is made by every med-surg travel nurse. The salary for a med-surg travel nurse depends on a variety of factors, such as: 

  • The type of facility you choose to work in — You likely won’t receive the same pay in a small outpatient clinic that you would in a large hospital. 
  • The location of the facility — Assignments in a higher-end location typically have higher budgets. 
  • Your level of education — A BSN degree generally pays higher than an ASN.
  • The timing of your assignment — If you’re working during a crisis or in a facility that has a particularly high need for med-surg nurses, you’ll likely receive a higher pay rate. 


The Top Cities in the Country for Med-Surg Travel Nursing Assignments 

According to indeed.com, the top 9 highest paying cities in the U.S. for med-surg travel nurses are: 

  1. Chicago, IL — $65.91 per hour
  2. Spokane, WA — $64.71 per hour
  3. Baltimore, MD — $64.14 per hour
  4. New York, NY — $63.84 per hour
  5. Philadelphia, PA — $63.00 per hour
  6. Seattle, WA — $62.93 per hour
  7. Wichita, KS — $60.03 per hour
  8. Winamac, IN — $54.75 per hour
  9. Peru, IN — $53.10 per hour

And if none of these cities suit your fancy, keep in mind that even if the pay isn’t the greatest in a location that interests you, it might still be worth it for the location, weather, or cost of living.


med surg travel nursing


The Benefits of Becoming a Med-Surg Travel Nurse

An assignment as a med-surg travel nurse can be a rewarding experience. Here are a few of the key benefits of med-surg travel nursing:

  • Satisfaction of improving patient outcomes by working as part of a collaborative team of healthcare professionals
  • Ability to work directly with patients, so you get to see the impact of your care
  • Opportunity to work with patients who are experiencing a variety of conditions, so you will be constantly expanding your knowledge and skills
  • Time to fine-tune your core nursing skills
  • Chance to experience a wide variety of illnesses and treat a vast array of patients and decide what areas of nursing you prefer
  • Opportunity to pad your resume
  • High earning potential
  • Develop camaraderie with fellow nurses and support staff


Are There Any Downsides to Becoming a Med Surg Travel Nurse?

While there are many great benefits to med-surg travel nursing, there are a few downsides you will want to consider as well, such as:

  • Stress — the stress level that comes with med-surg travel nursing can rival that experienced by intensive care unit and hospice nurses.
  • Potential exposure to infectious diseases
  • Working in a physically-demanding environment
  • Having to make new friends at each new assignment


How To Know if a Med-Surg Travel Nurse Job Is Right for You

If you are considering travel nursing in a med surg unit, there are a few soft skills you’ll want to develop to ensure success, including: 

  • Time management skills — Med-surg travel nursing has the highest nurse-to-patient ratios in an acute care setting, and you may often be caring for up to 7 patients at one time. You’ll need solid time management, organizational, and prioritization skills to stay on top of everything. 
  • Communication skills — As a med surg travel nurse, you will need to be able to communicate clearly with other healthcare professionals, patients, and family members.
  • Compassion and patience — Med-surg travel nurses are supporting patients through emotionally challenging times all day, every day.
  • Teaching skills — An essential aspect of a med surg travel nurse’s role is teaching patients how to take care of themselves by following their patient treatment plans after discharge.
  • Teamwork — A med surg travel nurse will need to be able to jump in and help wherever needed.
  • Emotional intelligence — Patients in med surg are often experiencing fear, pain, or anger, so it is crucial that you are able to navigate their negative feelings with empathy.


Begin Your Med-Surg Travel Nursing Adventure With Trusted Nurse Staffing

Are you ready to explore the exciting world of med-surg travel nursing?

Look no further than Trusted Nurse Staffing! We offer: 

  • The industry’s highest pay rate
  • 401(k) with a 4% match after 1,000 hours and 1 year of employment
  • Full-time, part-time, and per diem positions
  • Overtime and double time 
  • Weekly paychecks
  • Direct deposit
  • Housing, meal, and travel stipends
  • Customize benefits packages
  • Employee-sponsored Blue Cross & Blue Shield Health insurance
  • And much more

Explore the country and make great money while doing a job you love — with Trusted Nurse Staffing.


travel nurse med surg