Seven Reasons to Consider Travel Nursing

Are you between nursing jobs, or just considering a change from your staff nursing position? If so, this might be a good time to consider travel nursing. Recruiters report that hospitals and other employers are actively seeking nurses and there are a number of excellent opportunities available.

Travel nursing provides a chance to use your current nursing skills in a different city and a different setting on a temporary basis. Traditional travel assignments last 13 weeks, while critical staffing assignments, also known as quick-start or rapid response assignments, can be much shorter. Some assignments also offer the option to extend your contract.

“As the economy continues to strengthen, there are more travel nursing jobs opening up all over the country,” said Marina Chowaiki, senior recruitment manager for American Mobile Healthcare, an AMN Healthcare company. “Hospitals are seeing an increase in their staffing needs. In some cases, once they have budget approval, they need nurses immediately, so you need to be ready.”

Chowaiki advises nurses to find a recruiter and work with them to remove any barriers to employment. “Work alongside your recruiter. Make sure you have all of your health documents, licensure, references and other requirements fulfilled and be ready to go.”

She added that travel pay rates continue to be attractive, and there are a number of current specialties in demand.

7 Reasons to Consider Travel Nursing

If you’re considering becoming a travel nurse, these are just a few reasons to give it a try:

1 . Gain a new perspective. A new work situation can shake you out of the doldrums and help you look at nursing with fresh eyes. Opportunities are available in teaching hospitals, specialty trauma centers, children’s hospitals, Magnet-designated facilities and more.

2.  Find fun and adventure. Experiencing a different part of the country or a new community is half the fun of travel nursing, said Chowaiki, and will energize your work life. You can use your off-hours to experience your new hometown’s cultural activities and attractions, explore the natural surroundings, pursue a new hobby, or visit with nearby friends and family.

3.  Remove distractions. One of the key reasons that full-time workers decide to try temporary work is because they are unhappy in their current positions where they may feel hindered by red tape or unit politics, according to a 2012 study in Nurse Management. Travelers are able to stay out of political and management issues, focusing more of their time on patients.

4.  Acquire new skills. Travel nurse assignments may put you in different units or using new equipment and methods, all of which improve your nursing abilities and enhance your résumé for future employment.

5.  Build your confidence. The ability to enter a new situation and succeed can do great things for your psyche and job satisfaction. The more assignments you take, the more confident you become, in both your personal and professional life.

6.  Learn from others. With every travel nurse assignment, you’ll meet other nurses who can share their knowledge, career tips and their own love of nursing. Many assignments offer special orientations for travelers along with opportunities for on-the-job training.

7.  Take control of your work situation, with some help. Travel nursing offers the freedom to choose assignments at a guaranteed pay rate without the worry of being stuck in a long-term job situation you don’t like. Chowaiki points out that your recruiter can find some great options and help you through the entire process.

Chowaiki offered additional advice for nurses interested in pursuing travel nursing careers. “Be flexible and open to ideas,” she advised. “There’s not just one option anymore. There are so many reasons to travel right now. It is a great time to consider becoming a traveler.”

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