Exploring Short-Term Travel Nursing Assignments 987839088534212 [9:30 AM] Katie Iglewski

Maybe you’re a registered nurse who is starting to feel bored working at the same hospital day after day. 

You love what you do, but you could really use a change of scenery.

Your lifestyle is pretty flexible. You enjoy traveling, and you have a desire to help wherever there is a need.

Or maybe you’re already a travel nurse who is used to 13-week contracts and would like to move around a little more often.

In either case, short-term travel nurse contracts could be perfect for you.

In this article, we will highlight why travel nurses are so critical, the significant benefits of taking short-term nursing assignments, and how you can start your travel nurse career today.


Table of Contents



Why Short-Term Nursing Assignments Are Available

Travel nurses are trained registered nurses sent to hospitals and facilities with short-term staffing needs. 

To qualify for short-term travel nursing assignments, you must:

  • Hold a nursing degree and have passed the NCLEX exam.
  • Generally have a minimum of 12 months of recent acute care experience in your specialty of choice.
  • Provide references.
  • Obtain necessary certifications.
  • Obtain RN licensure in the state where you’ll work or use a multi-state license based on the Nurse Licensure Compact.

Travel nurse contracts are typically about 13 weeks long but may vary depending on the job and facility. 

Most recruiters consider short-term travel nurse contracts less than 13 weeks in length — generally, anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks.

Short-term travel nurse jobs may become available in the following circumstances:

  • Seasonal staffing demands
  • Short-term staffing gaps
  • Facility-wide nursing strikes
  • Disaster relief 
  • Crises resulting in surge capacity 

Short-term travel nurses are used to supplement facility demands at a moment’s notice. They are essential in providing patient care and support in times of dire need. If you find this possibility exhilarating, short-term travel nursing may be the career path for you. 

To get started in this rewarding and lucrative career path, you’ll need a travel nurse staffing agency that you can trust. Trusted Nurse Staffing is leading the industry with great benefits, pay, and a new way to find short-term travel nursing assignments quickly. 

You can use Pronto to sort jobs by specialty, location, pay, shifts, and assignment link. With Pronto, we allow our travel nurses to customize their search as much as possible so that they can find their dream assignment. Begin your search for short-term travel nurse contracts on Pronto today.


short term travel nurse assignments


Rapid Response Travel Nurse

A rapid response travel nurse is the most common type of travel nurse because they are typically needed the most during situations that exceed a facility’s surge capacity. These situations may be crises caused by mass casualty situations, disasters, or pandemics.

Rapid response nurses are usually:

  • Able to start very quickly — typically within two days to two weeks.
  • Good at working under pressure.
  • Highly adaptable and able to adjust to new environments.
  • Flexible in their assignment length.

As a rapid response travel nurse, you might be able to negotiate for a better contract since you are usually needed quickly and on short notice. You may also likely have greater flexibility in the assignment length.


Travel Nurses Working During Nurse Strikes

Strike nurse travel jobs are usually available to help fill regular hospital staff positions while they are off of work due to a labor dispute. While labor strikes are vital to driving change in the healthcare industry, facilities and patients still rely on nurses for treatment. 

Sometimes, strikes can leave a facility altogether void of nursing staff. For example, in January 2023, 7,000 nurses went on strike at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and Mount Sinai in Manhattan. To supplement the staffing gap during the strike, travel nurses were called in to continue to render care and avoid delays in patient treatments.

As a strike nurse, you:

  • Are probably needed very short-term, maybe a few days to a few weeks.
  • May receive high pay since hospitals are in dire need of nursing staff.
  • Might have a few weeks’ notice (hospitals usually know a few weeks in advance if their staff will be striking).


short term nursing assignments


3 Reasons Why Hospitals Need Short-Term Travel Nurses for Rapid Response

Short-term nursing assignments for rapid response happen quickly and are often an unexpected need.

There are three common reasons that hospitals tend to need short-term travel nurses for rapid response situations:

  1. When hospitals update medical software
  2. For filling remote positions
  3. An increased need for staff due to a crisis, natural disaster, etc.


Reason #1: Electronic Medical Records Conversions

Electronic medical records (EMR) conversion is a complex process that involves migrating paper patient files and/or legacy EMRs whenever a facility adopts, updates, or switches software. 

This may sometimes require the facility to pull staff members from the floor to complete the necessary training, which may leave gaps in the schedule and require additional nurses. 

For example:

Nicole is an ICU nurse at a busy hospital. Every few months, she and her coworkers must undergo training to ensure they’re up-to-speed on how all of their medical software works. These different training sessions can last hours, sometimes even the length of an entire shift, depending on the type of training.

Instead of operating understaffed, rapid-response travel nurses can be utilized to adapt to scheduling and patient needs. This allows the facility to operate safely, remove excess burden on staff nurses, and provide high-quality patient care. 


Reason #2: Remote Positions 

Remote positions are considered hard to fill because they are not highly desired by nurses.

A remote position is a job at hospitals or clinics that are further away from “civilization,” like many travel nursing jobs in Montana.

These positions are often at facilities in secluded areas that are typically less busy, which may make be difficult for them to retain steady, full-time staff. 

Since there may be an expected turnover rate for these hard-to-fill positions, extra staff may be needed to supplement gaps caused by absenteeism, terminations, and resignations. 

As a short-term travel nurse, you can take on a remote position for a limited time and then be on your way to a new assignment in a matter of weeks — maybe another short-term assignment or a typical 13-week assignment.


Reason #3: Unexpected Fluctuation in Staffing or Patient Loads: 4 Crisis Scenarios 

Sometimes, hospitals experience an unexpected fluctuation in their staff or patients, which leads to an increased need for more nurses. These fluctuations may be the result of the following crisis scenarios:

  1. Flu season
  2. Natural disasters
  3. Man-made disasters
  4. Pandemics

These situations may enact surge capacity protocols, often involving contingent workers like short-term travel nurses. Contingent staffing helps curb the consequences of these crises by:

  • Supplementing nurse-to-patient ratios to reduce poor patient outcomes.
  • Reducing the need for overtime in staff nurses.
  • Supporting permanent staff to remove additional burdens and curb mental exhaustion, stress, and burnout.

Trusted Staff Nursing is on a mission to connect facilities with top talent at a moment’s notice. We also help travel nurses find in-need facilities quickly and efficiently. 

Don’t want to spend too much time sorting through countless short-term travel nursing assignments? You can set up notifications that alert you when a job with your requirements comes up. 


short term travel nurse assignments


Scenario 1: Flu Season 

Flu season generally begins around October and is most active between December and February. In many locations, flu season can last into the spring as late as May.

The CDC estimates that although we are only in the 10th week of the 2024 flu season there have been an estimated 29 million cases, 320,000 hospitalizations, and 20,000 deaths. These numbers can easily overwhelm a facility already suffering from staffing gaps. 

Since the elderly are at greater risk for complications from the flu, states with higher populations of senior citizens — like Maine and Florida — may have a greater need for short-term travel nurses during flu season.


Scenario 2: Natural Disasters

Natural disasters can cause major injuries or illnesses that might cause an increase in patients at hospitals.

The following qualify as natural disasters:

  • Earthquakes
  • Landslides or mudslides
  • Volcanoes
  • Extreme heat
  • Lightning
  • Wildfires
  • Floods
  • Tornadoes
  • Winter weather
  • Hurricanes
  • Tsunamis

In the event of a natural disaster, short-term travel nurses can help with:

  • Blood drives
  • Health education (CPR, first aid)
  • Staffing hospitals
  • Providing extra resources
  • Alleviating the strain of other care facilities like nursing homes


Scenario 3: Man-Made Disasters

A man-made disaster results from hazards caused by people or groups. These disasters include:

  • Civil disturbances
  • Terrorism attacks
  • Cyber-attacks
  • Biological or chemical threats

During these disasters, short-term travel nurses help facilitate care, support staff nurses, and assist in the coordination and other logistics involved in disaster response plans. 


Scenario 4: Pandemics

A pandemic is a global illness that affects a large number of people, such as COVID-19. 

The flow of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic maxed out most facilities’ emergency departments and intensive care units. While the lack of staff and supplies initially impeded hospitals’ ability to evaluate and supply aid, travel nursing was an effective resolution to a potentially catastrophic problem. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of travel nurses doubled as hospitals across the country responded to increased numbers of critically ill patients in their facilities. This spike in demand was not without reward. The growing need for travel nursing resulted in massive salary hikes for travelers. 


short term travel nurse assignments


3 Big Benefits of Short-Term Nursing Assignments for Travel Nurses

Short-term nursing assignments might not be for everyone. 

Maybe you don’t do well being distanced from your friends and family for any length of time.

Maybe you require more time to adjust to a new facility. 

Maybe the continual job searching is stressful and not as stable as you’d like to be.

However, for those who are committed to short-term nursing travel assignments,  there are some pretty big benefits that come along with the job.


Benefit #1: Shorter Assignments and Flexibility 

If you like to travel and have flexibility in your schedule and your life, short-term travel nurse contracts might be right for you.

The short contract lengths allow you to work in a variety of hospitals and positions. You get to travel, immerse yourself in our country’s different cultures, and make new friends.

It’s a flexible job opportunity that lets you get a taste of new experiences and settings. Once your assignment ends, you can immediately find another short-term travel nursing contract or take a break. And if you decide that you’re not ready to leave, the professionals at Trusted Nurse Staffing can help you extend your contract. 


Benefit #2: Great Pay

As of March 2024, the nationwide average salary of travel nurses is $1,944 per week, which is 1.1 times higher than the national average of registered nurses ($1,689  per week). 

Keep in mind how much you make as a short-term travel nurse may depend on the following:

  • Specialization
  • Facility needs
  • Geographical location
  • Year of experience 

The highest-paying states for travel nurses are:


Benefit #3: Travel More Often 

Short-term travel nurse jobs allow you to break from your normal environment and enter new landscapes full of new horizons, opportunities, and adventures. With so much to do and see, short-term travel nursing assignments allow you to quickly flit from place to place so that you can see it all. 

If you love to travel, why not get paid to do it?

Imagine spending two weeks working in New York, then traveling to Miami for six weeks before finishing up with a four-week assignment in rural West Virginia. In just three months’ time, you earned good money while enjoying the big city, the beach, and the mountains.

Pronto and Trusted Nurse Staffing make it easy to find the right job in the right location for you. Sign up with Pronto to get scrolling toward your next big break today. 


short term travel nurse jobs


Possible Cons of Short-Term Travel Nurse Assignments 

While the benefits of short-term travel RN assignments are appealing, the job might not be for everyone.

Some cons to short-term travel nurse jobs include:

  • Feelings of homesickness or loneliness.
  • Less choices in contracts compared to longer term assignements.
  • Navigating the logistics of travel (time changes, language barriers, travel stress).
  • Always learning how to work with a team that already knows one another well.
  • Consistently having to adapt to new environments, policies, and procedures.
  • Potentially limited choices in housing. 


Trusted Nurse Staffing Can Offer You Short-Term Travel Nurse Assignments 

Working short-term travel nurse assignments can be a fun and rewarding job. You can travel, negotiate your contracts, make good money, and have some flexibility with work.

You’ll also have access to these amazing benefits and perks:

  • Travel, housing, and meal stipends
  • Referral and completion bonuses
  • Dental, health, and vision benefits
  • Sign-on bonuses
  • And more

At Trusted Nurse Staffing, we want to help our travel nurses explore all of the possibilities for flexibility, growth, and opportunity. We encourage our nurses to continue to hone their potential, which is why we now support employees with a tax-free student loan reimbursement of up to $5,250 annually.

We hope that this allows our nurses to breathe easier and pursue further education without being burdened by their student loans. 

It is also important that our travel nursing allies can find assignments granting them job satisfaction and purpose in an industry that can sometimes be hard to navigate. We created Pronto to give travel nurses the power to find and choose the travel nursing assignments that would best suit their preferences, needs, hopes, and dreams. 

Empower your travel nursing experience with the help of Trusted Nurse Staffing and Pronto. Begin your search for short-term travel nursing assignments today. 


short term travel nurse assignments