Travel nursing sounds like an epic adventure. You can gain experience in different facilities, travel the country, and help others as you’ve always dreamed — but you’re constantly being swayed away from the idea because of the rumors you’ve heard.
Is it too late in your life to become a travel nurse? Are you already disqualified if you have a family? Do travel nurses really not get benefits?
You’re on the hunt for the truth, and we’ve got the answers.
We’re covering the truth about these common travel nursing myths and more. If you’ve ever considered becoming a travel nurse, you’ll want to follow along.
Table of Contents
- 9 of the Most Common — and Some of the Most Ridiculous — Travel Nursing Myths
- Discover Just How Fulfilling Travel Nursing Can Be With Trusted Nurse Staffing
9 of the Most Common — and Some of the Most Ridiculous — Travel Nursing Myths
#1: You’re Too Old To Become a Travel Nurse
One of the travel nursing myths we’re sad we even have to debunk is the idea that anyone is “too old” to become a travel nurse. Maybe you’ve heard it before, but we’re here to remind you that to us, you’re only as old as you feel — age is just a number.
You’ve earned your degree. You earned your career.
As an experienced nurse, you’ve likely already worked in many different environments, developed a wide array of skills, and are well-versed in many different roles — making you the perfect candidate for travel nursing.
You may feel too old to constantly hop on planes, trains, or long road trips. Becoming a travel nurse doesn’t mean you have to travel far — you can travel nurse in the same state you live in and still reap the benefits.
The bottom line: If travel nursing is what you dream of doing — or even if it’s something you’re considering — as long as you …
- Obtained a nursing degree
- Have at least two years of nursing experience
- Are physically and mentally able to work as a nurse; and
- Enjoy traveling near or far
… you can become a travel nurse.
#2: Travel Nurses Are Treated Differently Than Staff Nurses
Travel nurses are hired to take the burden off of staff nurses who are likely used to — and tired of — working harder because they’re short-staffed. When travel nurses arrive ready to work, staff nurses are generally grateful for the extra help.
So, although the travel nursing myth that staff nurses are treated differently than travel nurses isn’t untrue, it’s not in the way you might think.
Your first day at a new facility may be like your first day at any other job — a staff nurse may help you get integrated into the facility. Travel nurses often have less time to learn the job, with a day of orientation, sometimes less.
While yes, you may have a team lead who has high expectations and quick orientation times – which is different than when staff nurses are hired – if you maintain a positive attitude and start the day ready to help, you’ll likely be met with gratitude.
Oftentimes, travel nurses who leave facilities are greatly missed. Think of your experience at each facility as a way to amp up your experience, your resume, and make even more connections for the future.
#3: Travel Nurses Can’t Work Close to Home
Considering travel nursing but don’t want to work too far from home? Or maybe you just want the option to work near or far — but you’ve heard the travel nursing myth that you must travel far from home to do the job.
We’re happy to tell you that this is 100% a myth. If a facility near your home is looking for contracted travel nurses, it is possible to be a travel nurse close to home.
To become a travel nurse near your home, you can get started by registering with a travel nursing agency, like Trusted Nurse Staffing, and you can work with your recruiter to find positions close to home.
#4: Travel Nurses Qualify for Tax-Free Money if They Work 50 Miles Away From Where They Live
You’ve likely read about it or heard about it from others looking into travel nursing.
The “fifty-mile rule”.
The fifty-mile rule does not exist.
We’ve been debunking this travel nursing myth for quite some time, and, unfortunately, the rumor has spread like wildfire.
The Internal Revenue Service does not have a 50-mile tax-free rule for travel nurses.
What IS true is that the IRS allows businesses to pay tax-free reimbursements for lodging, meals, and incidental expenditures if an employee needs to sleep or rest (overnight) to meet the demands of the job while away from home.
There is no mileage limit, but you must have proof that expenses were incurred for any reimbursements to be accepted.
#5: Travel Nurses Don’t Get Benefits
If you’re searching for a travel nursing job but fear you won’t receive any benefits or are worried that they won’t compare to your current benefits package, don’t be afraid to ask questions. When you connect with your recruiter, ask about the agency’s benefits packages.
We can’t vouch for all other travel nursing agencies, as every agency offers its own benefits — but we can vouch for our own!
We’re 100% certain about this travel nursing myth being untrue because Trusted Nurse Staffing offers some of the best benefits to our team of travel nurses.
At Trusted Nurse Staffing, we offer our nurses:
- Sign-on bonuses
- Health insurance
- Dental and vision benefits
- Stipends for travel, housing, and meals
- High pay rates
- Short, Long, Whole Life, and Accidental insurance
- And more
#6: There’s No Job Security as a Travel Nurse
The demand for nurses is always on the rise — the BLS projects 203,200 openings for registered nurses each year.
So, although you may be switching assignments every 13-16 weeks, nurses will always be in demand. Hospitals, and other healthcare facilities, will always be looking for qualified staff members — even if they are only temporary employees.
#7: Having So Many Different Assignments Doesn’t Look Good on Your Resume
We understand. The idea of having even four different hospitals on your resume a year might sound like it’s going to look bad, but hear us out.
As a travel nurse, you work with an agency, like Trusted Nurse Staffing. When you create your resume, stating that you were a travel nurse (or still are) for any number of years with the same agency, it doesn’t appear as though you are “job-hopping”. Instead, you’re taking the assignments your agency has provided you.
Hospitals and other healthcare facilities also know that when a travel nurse has multiple assignments on their resume, it means they’re likely a highly skilled candidate. You have the experience, adaptability, and confidence that these facilities prefer when hiring nurses.
An added bonus to being a travel nurse? You may have the opportunity to add prestigious facilities and medical centers to your resume you may not have otherwise had the chance to.
#8: Travel Nursing Isn’t Family-Friendly
Travel nursing myths involving family get a little tricky because although travel nursing with a family might come with some challenges, travel nursing can absolutely be a family affair.
Some nurses pick up travel nursing during school breaks — others decide to take their families with them year-round!
Travel nursing is a fantastic way to have your family join you on new adventures! Some that you may not have otherwise taken!
Whether you’re a family of two or five, discuss with your recruiter your hopes for your time as a travel nurse. They can help you weigh the pros and cons and decide what type of assignment might be best for your situation.
#9: Travel Nurses Don’t Get To Choose Their Assignments
The beauty of being a travel nurse is the flexibility. Whether you want to work part-time or full-time. Maybe you want to work in a specific specialty, or you’ve lived on the West Coast your entire life and want a change of scenery.
As a travel nurse, you have options regarding your nursing assignment. What generally happens is this:
Your agency posts listings of current travel nurse openings, and you can connect with your recruiter on which locations you are willing to travel to. Then, your recruiter will work to find you a placement in an area or facility that meets your preferences.
So, where did the travel nursing myth come from that you can’t pick your location? We think it has more to do with nurses having to go where the jobs are. You may have to refine your search if a facility isn’t actively searching for travel nurses.
We can’t guarantee an assignment in any location, but we will do whatever we can to find a location that meets your needs.
Discover Just How Fulfilling Travel Nursing Can Be With Trusted Nurse Staffing
We’ve debunked some of the most common travel nursing myths, and we’re hopeful that it has only amplified your curiosity about becoming a travel nurse.
Are you ready to step into your next adventure? We’re ready to help.
Trusted Nurse Staffing is an agency you can trust to help you find the right position for your unique lifestyle. When you work with Trusted Nurse Staffing, your career is in the best bands. We’ll …
- Help you navigate the intricacies of travel nursing
- Maintain communication with you during every assignment
- Help you customize your resume
- Assist in ensuring that all the requirements for each assignment are complete; and
- Review your contracts with you so that everything is correct
With Trusted Nurse Staffing, you gain a support team that ensures an excellent working experience. We’re here to help you make sure your assignments fulfill your professional goals while crushing your personal goals.