Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare system, and we witnessed that during the COVID-19 pandemic. They work on the front lines and are the first ones tending to patients. In recent years, America has been facing a nursing shortage. A nurse’s job description is increasingly demanding, with around 12 working hours daily to accommodate vacancies.
This hectic work schedule makes it hard to manage a healthy work-life balance, which affects a nurse’s mental health: around 17% to 38% of nurses reported having symptoms of depression. Travel nursing is an alternate way of providing less hectic nursing care. As a result, many nurses are taking up travel nursing jobs. Read more about travel nursing here:
Travel nurses are temporary nurses that take up jobs in understaffed hospitals and clinics. They are employed by a nursing staffing agency rather than a single facility. They take on multiple assignments, each lasting between four to 26 weeks. Since they are in high demand in almost every sector, nurses can choose which medical area to work in. However, most travel nurses work in the ICU, emergency room, and medical surgery. Most travel nurses can also choose which locations to work and their duration.
Leaving behind a stable nursing job and living a nomadic lifestyle as a travel nurse can seem daunting. However, travel nursing is a unique experience with multiple benefits. Some of these benefits are:
Travel nursing is a highly accommodating job. Nurses have the freedom and flexibility to choose their assignments. They can work in their home state to stay close to family. They can also take up positions in other regions, including abroad, If they are open to new experiences. Travel nurses do not have to take one assignment after the other. They can choose to take vacations between their jobs. A flexible schedule allows nurses to pursue other hobbies and passions without overburdening themselves.
Travel nursing is a lucrative profession; travel nurses are paid handsome hourly rates with benefits such as free healthcare and life insurance. They are also paid for overtime and working on holidays. Some companies even provide completion bonuses at the end of each assignment. As travel nurses gain experience, their salaries also increase. Aside from a comfortable salary, companies also pay for the travel costs of the nurse and provide fully furnished homes. Travel nurses do not have a fixed salary. Their remuneration depends upon each position; some assignments will pay higher than others.
Travel nursing provides a different experience than working in a constant health center. Nurses can take assignments in various hospitals and clinics, from top research facilities to small rural hospitals, meeting people from diverse backgrounds. This exposure will help nurses work and deal with different people- an essential skill in healthcare. Meeting new people also allows people in the profession to learn new techniques and skills to be a better nurse. Travel nurses also become more adaptable to new environments and handle challenges well. These vital skills aid in their professional growth.
Travel nursing is an ideal job for those medical professionals who enjoy traveling. Healthcare jobs are often too demanding and do not provide professionals with a vacation. Travel nurses are an exception, as they can work and travel simultaneously by taking assignments in different locations. They also do not have to pay expensive traveling costs. Many argue that working as a travel nurse is better than traveling, as you can live in a location and experience its culture firsthand instead of just staying for a few days.
The first step in becoming a travel nurse is to get a bachelor’s nursing degree. After graduating, you must gain hands-on work experience for at least one year before applying to a travel nurse agency. Once paired with a travel nursing agency, you must go through interviews and assessment criteria for each potential assignment. On that basis, the agency will award jobs. It is vital to remember that nurses can only practice in those states they are licensed. For international assignments, you will need a U.S working license, an exam qualification in your specialty, and a work permit.
Travel nursing is becoming a highly sought-after career due to its many benefits. Many designated job nurses are changing their career paths to become travel nurses. Travel nursing also has fewer overburdening tasks and is stressful. We also see that the qualifications for the job are relatively simple.
Besides personal benefits, travel nursing diverts human resources to areas that need it the most. It played a crucial role in shifting extra aid to hospitals dealing with a high number of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through travel nursing, you can continue fulfilling the job of a nurse in most needed areas while having leisure time to focus on yourself and your family.