Details About PACU Travel Nurse Jobs - Trusted Nurse Staffing 987839088534212 [9:30 AM] Katie Iglewski

You’re interested in PACU travel nursing, but want to learn more before you make the career leap.

You’ve come to the right place.

In this extensive guide, we will cover:

  • How to become a PACU travel nurse
  • PACU travel nurse pay
  • Pros and cons to PACU travel nursing
  • And more



Table of Contents


pacu travel nursing


What Is a PACU Travel Nurse?

PACU (post-anesthesia care unit or perianesthesia) is a critical nursing specialty.

PACU nurses care for patients that have undergone anesthesia during surgical procedures.

PACU nurses are needed in out-patient facilities and hospitals nationwide, making it the perfect specialty for travel nursing.

What Does a PACU Travel Nurse Do?

PACU nurses work in a fast-paced environment, often working with one or two patients at a time.

Responsibilities of a PACU travel nurse include:

  • Monitoring post-op patient’s state of recovery from anesthesia and providing updates to the treatment team
  • Checking vital signs and looking for any side effects from anesthesia
  • Making sure bandages and dressing stay secure, safe, and dry
  • Administering prescribed medicines for post-surgical side effects like nausea or pain
  • Communicating patient conditions with family members and walking them through continued care upon discharge
  • Updating medical records, charts, and files on the patient

How Long Are Contracts for PACU Travel Nurse Jobs?

Most travel nursing agencies offer 13-week assignments for PACU travel nurses.

However, at Trusted Nurse Staffing, we believe in putting flexibility and freedom into your hands. We offer contract terms for:

  • 6-week assignments
  • 8-week assignments
  • 13-week assignments
  • And more

If you end up loving your PACU travel nursing assignment, your recruiter can even help extend your assignment. Fill out a free profile on our website to start viewing PACU travel nursing opportunities available to you with Trusted Nurse Staffing.




Who Is the Optimal Candidate for PACU Travel Nurse Jobs?

The optimal candidate for PACU travel nurse jobs has the following qualities:

  1. Good communication skills
  2. A detail-oriented mindset; and
  3. Critical thinking skills

Good Communication Skills

PACU travel nurses are often tasked with speaking to family members and communicating the condition of their loved ones post-op. This requires clear, effective communication and compassionate reassurance that the family’s loved ones are being well taken care of.

A Detail-Oriented Mindset

PACU travel nurses must keep detailed records on the conditions of all of their patients while taking care of multiple patients at once. Attention to detail and organizational skills are critical for a PACU travel nurse.

Critical Thinking Skills

PACU travel nurses are responsible for monitoring the condition of their patients and responding to any issues or patient needs that may arise.


pacu travel nurse jobs


How to Become a PACU Travel Nurse

Becoming a PACU travel nurse is similar to becoming a registered travel nurse in other specialties. 

Here’s a detailed look at the process of successfully becoming a PACU travel nurse.

Become a Registered Nurse

Like any nursing profession, the first step to becoming a PACU travel nurse is to become a registered nurse. This requires earning an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Pass the NCLEX

To receive RN licensure, you must pass the NCLEX exam. This standardized test covers your knowledge in the following areas:

  • Management of Care/Coordinated Care
  • Basic Care and Comfort
  • Health Promotion and Maintenance
  • Psychosocial Integrity
  • Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
  • Reduction of Risk Potential; and
  • Safety and Infection Control 

Once you pass the NCLEX exam, you can obtain a state license and start working as an RN. If you obtain licensure from a compact state, you will be eligible to work in 34 different states across the country.

Gain Experience

Most travel agencies require travel nurses to have at least two years of experience as an RN before becoming a travel nurse. To become a PACU travel nurse, more experience and certifications are required.

PACU nurses must become certified to take care of patients recovering from anesthesia. At least 1,800 hours of clinical experience must be recorded to become a certified PACU nurse.

Additionally, most PACU travel nurses hold the following certificates:

At Trusted Nurse Staffing, we offer our contracted nurses licenses, certifications, and CEU reimbursements. Speak with a recruiter today to learn how we can help you start your journey to securing a PACU travel nurse job.




Where Are PACU Travel Nurse Typically Placed?

PACU travel nurses often work in post-anesthesia care units in hospitals, but can be assigned to outpatient surgical clinics as well.

Some post-anesthesia settings can be specialized, such as:

  • Pediatric post-anesthesia care units
  • Specialized free-standing out-patient clinics such as eye or plastic surgery centers

As a PACU travel nurse, you have the freedom to choose your travel nursing assignment according to your preference.

The Top 10 Cities for PACU Travel Nurse Jobs

The top cities for PACU travel nurse jobs can vary depending on your personal preference, but most PACU travel nurses look for cities that:

  • Are fun travel destinations
  • Have high-paying PACU travel nurses assignments
  • Have low cost of living indexes
  • And more

Here’s a list of 10 cities that PACU travel nurses tend to gravitate towards:

  1. Boston, Massachusetts
  2. Kansas City, Missouri
  3. Seattle, Washington
  4. San Diego, California
  5. San Francisco, California
  6. Houston, Texas
  7. New York City, New York
  8. St. Petersburg, Florida
  9. Denver, Colorado
  10. Charlottesville, Virginia

Having a great relationship with your travel nursing recruiter can pay off, as they can give you advice based on the experience of other PACU travel nurses.

If you end up loving a PACU travel nurse assignment, you can even reach out to your recruiter to extend your assignment. If you choose a PACU travel nurse assignment that you end up not liking, your recruiter can help assist you in finding a great fit for your next assignment.

How Much Is a Typical PACU Travel Nurse Salary?

PACU travel nurses can make anywhere from $2,300 to $2,800+ a week.

Depending on the travel agency that you partner with, you can also receive additional financial benefits as a PACU travel nurse. 

At Trusted Nurse Staffing, we offer the following financial benefits:

  • Housing, meal, and travel stipends
  • Customized benefits packages
  • 401 (k) with a 4% match after 1,000 hours and one year of employment
  • Sign-on and completion bonuses
  • Overtime/ double-time pay
  • License, certifications, and CEU reimbursements
  • And more

Trusted Nurse Staffing offers the highest pay for PACU travel nurses in the industry. Click here to learn more about our benefits and to speak with a travel nursing recruiter today.


pacu travel nurse


Things to Keep in Mind When Considering PACU Travel Nurse Jobs

Are you still wondering if a PACU travel nursing job is the right fit for you?

Let’s go over some pros and cons to being a PACU travel nurse that you should consider.

Benefits of PACU Travel Jobs

There are many benefits to being a PACU travel nurse, including:

  • Great pay
  • In-demand jobs; and
  • Work shift flexibility

Great Pay

Travel PACU RN jobs offer great pay due to:

  • The experience and certifications required to be a PACU nurse
  • The high demand for PACU travel nurses nationwide

With travel nurse financial benefits like stipends, bonuses, and benefits packages, the earning potential for PACU travel jobs is even more than the traditional salary for regular PACU nursing jobs.

PACU Travel Jobs Are in Demand

Due to the demand for PACU travel nurses and thousands of facilities in need nationwide, you can find a lot of options for travel nursing assignments when it comes to travel PACU RN jobs. 

Your chances of finding a travel nurse assignment for cities and states on your travel wish list is a great possibility thanks to the industry demand.

Work Shift Flexibility

As a PACU travel nurse, you can be assigned to a post-anesthesia unit in a hospital or a freestanding out-patient clinic. 

While in-patient PACU travel nurses may still need to be on call at times, out-patient PACU travel nurses often have the flexibility to work full-time or part-time, Monday-Friday shifts.

Drawbacks of PACU Travel Jobs

While being a travel PACU nurse can have many benefits, there are a few potential drawbacks to PACU travel jobs, such as:

  • Specialty certifications required
  • Little patient interaction

Speaking with a travel nurse recruiter and discussing your questions and concerns is always a good idea to determine if PACU travel nursing is the best fit for you.

Specialty Certifications Required

As previously mentioned, PACU nurses are required to obtain specialty certifications, which can take time to earn. 

The good news is that PACU travel nurses contracted with Trusted Nurse Staffing can receive reimbursements on any certifications required for their travel assignment.

Little Patient Interaction

If you like to have a lot of interaction with your patients, PACU travel nursing may not be the best fit for you.

While caring for post-anesthesia patients, they can be unconscious or not conversation-ready for a good chunk of time that you spend providing care for them. 

However, you will find yourself interacting often with family members in the waiting room as you update them on the status of their loved ones.

Trusted Nurse Staffing Can Help You Find the PACU Travel Nurse Job That’s Right for You

If you’re interested in becoming a PACU travel nurse, we can help.

We provide a level of accessibility and support that other travel nurse staffing agencies can’t compete with. Our recruiters offer 24/7 assistance and support to help you secure your ideal PACU travel nurse job.

We offer flexible contracts and the highest paying rates in the industry to provide the best experience in PACU travel nursing nationwide.

Visit our website to create a free travel nursing profile and view PACU travel nursing jobs that are available across the country now.