Are you an RN interested in traveling or searching for a change of pace? 

Maybe you’re an experienced psych nurse looking to broaden your horizons.

Or possibly you’re someone looking for a complete career change but aren’t sure if becoming a travel psych nurse is the right move for you. 

Regardless of your current situation, becoming a traveling psych nurse might be the right fit for you.

Keep reading to learn everything you want to know about working as a psych travel nurse — from how to become one to how to land a sweet, high-paying position in the location of your dreams.



Table of Contents

What Is a Travel Psych Nurse?

Medical News Today defines psychiatric nurses as “specially trained nurses who care for the psychological and physical well-being of people with mental health conditions or behavioral problems.”

As a travel psych nurse, your job duties will be the same as any other psych nurse, but you’ll be working in a short-term role at facilities across the country that need you the most. 

What Does a Travel Psych Nurse Do?

Psychiatric nursing is a specialty area of nursing that focuses on assisting individuals, families, and/or groups of people manage their mental health well-being. 

Psychiatric nurses are often tasked with caring for both a patient’s physical and mental health.

As a travel psych nurse, your responsibilities might include:

  • Evaluating patient needs
  • Creating patient treatment plans
  • Implementing patient treatment plans
  • Providing personal, group, or family counseling services
  • Teaching and improving patient coping abilities
  • Promoting general health and well-being
  • Managing and administering medications

Specific job duties and responsibilities will vary depending on your facility assignment and the patients you are serving.

Why You Might Consider Becoming a Travel Psych Nurse

Pursuing a position as a travel psych nurse could be a highly beneficial career move for you.

Some of the top perks include:

  • Expanding your horizons by traveling the country
  • Never getting bored due to short term assignments
  • Having more time to pursue your other passions
  • Higher pay than traditional nursing positions
  • Housing, meal, and travel expenses
  • Referral, sign-on, and completion bonuses

If you’re considering a job as a travel psych nurse, Trusted Nurse Staffing can help! Contact us today to find out how to start your journey towards the job of your dreams.




How Do You Know If Psych Travel Nursing Is Right for You?

Are you interested in a career in nursing?

Perhaps you’re just looking for new opportunities as a psych RN.

Travel nurse jobs might be the perfect fit for you if you’re someone who … 

  • Has a desire to work with patients across the country
  • Is looking for adventure
  • Wants new professional experiences and growth opportunities
  • Is open-minded and flexible
  • Loves to travel or have extended visits with out of state friends and family
  • Has a desire to make more money

Is There a Demand for Travel Psychiatric Nurses?

The demand for registered nurses is anticipated to increase by 19% from 2021 to 2022, making the growth of nursing jobs higher than the U.S. job growth average. 

This means that the demand for travel psychiatric nurses is higher than ever before. 

Some of the key factors leading to the high demand include:

  • Increased awareness, education, and acceptance of mental health issues
  • Recognition of the need for greater levels of Veteran PTSD treatment and support 
  • More easily accessible mental health care for all
  • A need for more care for the aging baby boomer generation

Where Do Travel Psych Nurses Find Assignments?

As a travel psych nurse, you may find assignments within a large variety of settings, such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Inpatient facilities
  • Outpatient facilities
  • Treatment centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Clinics
  • Schools
  • Community outreach programs
  • Correctional facilities
  • Insurance companies
  • In-home care

The top states for psychiatric nurse travel assignments include:

  • Florida
  • Arizona
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Michigan
  • Tennessee
  • Nebraska




4 Places Travel Psych Nurses Might Live While On Assignment

One of the biggest advantages of working as a travel psych nurse is the ability to travel and constantly check out a new location. 

However, as someone new to the world of traveling nurses, the thought of finding new places to live while on assignment may feel a little overwhelming. 

Don’t worry, though!

Trusted Nurse Staffing has you covered. 

We can get you connected with any of the housing options available for travel psych nurses. And, to make it even easier for you, many assignments come with an additional housing stipend to offset your housing expenses.




#1: Travel Nurse Agency Housing

Often, travel nurse agencies have their own housing department dedicated to helping their nurses find satisfactory housing. They will usually do everything for you, from finding the location to acquiring all of your needed houseware. 

This route of securing housing can be especially beneficial if you’re a brand new travel psych nurse. It allows you to relax, knowing that the agency is handling everything related to housing for you.

#2: Travel Nurse Housing Sites

A second option is a travel nurse housing site. 

Yes! There are websites entirely dedicated to helping travel nurses secure housing in their location, whether it’s an entire unit or simply a private room. 

Because these sites cater to traveling nurses, they focus on all of the things you’re looking for, such as: 

  • Convenient location
  • Fully furnished options
  • Short-term leases to match your short-term contracts
  • Affordable pricing options

Services like this take the pressure off of you, making it super easy and convenient to secure housing in your new assignment location.

#3: With Family or Friends

Of course, if you have close friends or family living near your assigned location, staying with them might be a no-brainer.

After all, one of the biggest benefits of working as a travel nurse is being able to spend extended amounts of time with loved ones that live out of town.

Whether it’s …

  • Your old high school bestie living in a hip and fun city
  • Your sister and her family living in a suburb close to your new assigned facility
  • Your cousin’s sweet, new condo on the beach

… staying with family or friends might be the perfect short-term housing option for you.

#4: Airbnb

A final housing option for you as a travel psych nurse is a good old Airbnb. 

Airbnbs can be a great choice because they are available in pretty much every town across the nation, making it easy to find something that suits your needs no matter how big or small your newly assigned location may be. 

Additionally, the possibilities for this type of housing are endless, so no matter how specific your needs may be, you’re sure to find a great match for your new psychiatric nursing assignment.

How to Become a Psychiatric Travel Nurse

If you’ve decided that you want to become a psychiatric travel nurse, you’ll need to …  

  • Meet the basic requirements
  • Obtain the required license(s)
  • Seek out and secure your nursing assignments




3 Requirements to Land  Psychiatric Travel Nurse Assignments

Before you start seeking out psychiatric travel nurse assignments, you’ll first need to be sure that you’ve met all of the basic requirements. 

These 3 requirements are:

  1. Become a Registered Nurse
  2. Pass the NCLEX
  3. Gain Valuable Experience

#1: Become a Registered Nurse

When working towards a nursing degree, you have 3 different program options, all of which will qualify you, upon graduation, to sit for the RN licensing exam.

Your options include:

  1. Earning an Associate’s Degree via a 2-year program
  2. Obtaining a diploma in nursing by completing a 3-year hospital-based program
  3. Completing a 4-year college or university-based bachelor’s degree.

#2: Pass the NCLEX

After completing your program of choice, it’s time to sit for the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX), which is a requirement in the U.S. to become a registered nurse.

Passing the NCLEX and meeting the board of nursing requirements of your state will allow you to obtain licensing in your state.

#3: Gain Valuable Experience

Once you’ve passed your exams and obtained your licenses, it’s time to get started practicing in your field. 

This is a great time to gain valuable experience in your chosen specialization as well as obtaining any additional certifications that may benefit you as a traveling psychiatric nurse. 

Just like with any other field, the more experience you have, the more likely you are to land high-paying travel psych nurse jobs.




How Much Do Psych Travel Nurses Make?

While the national average for psych travel nurses is $93,388 per year, your pay offer is going to be dependent on a multitude of factors, such as:

  • Your assignment location
  • Your assigned facility type
  • Your degrees and certifications
  • Your related nursing experience

Trusted Nurse Staffing: The Best Travel Agency for Psych Nurses

Now that you’re sure you’ve met the basic requirements by obtaining your degree and licenses, you’ve passed the NCLEX, and you’ve gained some relevant experience, it’s time to start looking for your first nursing assignment.

If you want to find the very best, high-paying travel psych nurse jobs, you need to connect with the best travel agency for psych nurses.

Trusted Nurse Staffing is here to support you every step of the way while finding, securing, and working your dream travel nursing job.  

As your trusted representative, we will assist you by:

  • Creating a list of assignment possibilities matched to your individual background, training, and skillset
  • Connecting you with your top assignment choices
  • Arranging your interviews with the facility staff
  • Consults with you regarding your offer details, bonus offerings, and potential start date
  • Assist with all pre-hire compliance requirements
  • Provides support during your on-boarding
  • Continues to monitor and support you as needed while you’re on assignment
  • Helps you choose and plan your next step at the conclusion of your current assignment

If you’re ready to pursue a career that allows you to both reach your professional goals while chasing new adventures and traveling the country, create your free profile today. 

Connecting with Trusted Nurse Staffing means finding your Dream Job … on your own terms.