Looking Forward to being a Travel Nurse? Know all about it here!

Are you a traveling freak? Do you yearn to explore many places but are unable to gratify the traveling monster inside you due to a hectic nursing schedule? If answers to these questions are yes, then you should opt ‘travel nursing’ as a career path as it would be quite exciting for you. It accesses you to travel the world, and at the same time, you can also earn a lot. All you need to own is experience, valuable skills, and a strong desire to serve the patients in various parts of the country. This path avail numerous development opportunities that not only help you to grow as a person but also as a healthcare professional. With this, you are able to form a firm network of nursing colleagues which in turn help you to advance as a nurse. Though it seems exhilarating to work while traveling, but along with certain pros, there are also some demerits of being a traveling nurse. To make everything clear about travel nursing jobs, proceed further-

Travel Nurse

A travel nurse is an individual who is hired to practice at a location for a finite period. They work for about 13 weeks at a place and travel across the different regions of the country. Nurses have a great scope in this field as there is a huge demand for travel nurse across America. It doesn’t let the nurses get stuck in their routine lives and allows them to take a break whenever they require.

Requirements to Work As a traveling Nurse

The first and foremost requirement of the travel nurse agencies is a registered nursing degree and a year of experience in your forte from a clinical setting. You need to maintain your continuing education units to renew your license every 2 years. Also, you need to be an expert enough to work in ICU, OB, or lab. Other than this, you must have an Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification (for specialties that need ACLS) and a current Basic Life Support (BLS). Some clinical facilities also demand the certification like NH stroke certification.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Travel Nurse?

The cost to become a traveling nurse practitioner completely depends on the path you choose to gain a registered nursing degree. You can either gain an ADN degree and after that a bachelor’s degree in nursing or can obtain a BSN degree which takes about 4 years to complete. Other than this, aspirants can also opt for bridge programs for registered nursing. Besides tuition fee, you also need to pay for books, supplies, and accommodation.

Why Are Travel Nurses Needed?

There are some reasons for which travel nurses are hired by the hospitals. They are as follows-

  1. The requirement of temporary nurses in the absence of permanent staff members.
  2. Lack of skilled and qualified nurses in a particular location.
  3. The increment in the number of patients during seasonal changes.

Thus, to satisfy the temporary needs of proficient nursing professionals, there is a great demand for traveling nurses.

Finding A Travel Nursing Position

As the requirement for traveling nurses is really high, finding a job is not a difficult task for you. You just need to be in contact with a staffing travel nurse agency that can provide them with numerous job opportunities at the same time. This helps you to compare and choose the most suitable offer for you. Many of these travel nursing companies offer services like housing, retirement, travel reimbursement, healthcare, etc. Besides this, they offer to staff all over the country which aids you to choose the best position for you.

Mostly the tenure for a travel nursing assignment is about 13 weeks, but in case you like working at a particular place and want to continue your job, extensions are offered in such cases.

You need to be open-minded while deciding for the place s/he wants to pursue the traveling career. For instance, if you opt to practice in a city, there might be less options to practice, whereas in a state there are always some. If you wish to work in some other states, it is must for you to own a RN license in the state you are going to apply. If you don’t have an RN compact license, you have to be prepared with it before your joining.

Travel Nursing Advantages

There are numerous pros for which nursing aspirants opt travel nursing. They don’t get exhausted working at the same place and following the same work routine. But this is just the prime reason for those who love traveling. There are many advantages of being a travel nurse, some of them are mentioned below. Just check which is the one that excites you!

  1. If weather of your current working place doesn’t suit you, you can move to some other place for a period of time. And of course, you can do all this while working; you don’t need to take leaves or quit your job.
  2. If you are the one for whom sticking to an assignment is not easy, you can choose the career path as a travel nurse. This will offer you the chance to go through different kinds of assignments, as issues related to healthcare make differ with locations.
  3. Probably, every very person desires to settle in his/her dream place. If you also think the same, travel nursing gives you this lucky option to find out the most suitable place you will love to settle permanently in.
  4. Traveling nurse allows to earn more money than working at a particular location. It is because traveling nurses salary per hour being paid to the professionals varies with the state in the USA.
  5. How about perks besides salary? In most of the cases, best travel nurse agencies pay for your travel costs, reduces price for food and travel nursing housing. Other than this, you also get free dental and health care.
  6. Working at different places will help you explore various tasks and specialties of nursing. While doing this, you can find out your actual area of interest. In this way, you will get confident about what you should choose to specialize in future. Also, you get to gain experience in that particular specialization.
  7. Besides your nursing skills, traveling while working also helps you to improve as a person. You get to interact with a variety of people and gradually, you become more adaptive, start thinking critically and start understanding patients and their problems in a much better way. This, in turn, makes you more confident and increases you chances to grow both professionally and personally.
  8. While traveling, you meet different kinds of patients and healthcare professionals and meanwhile, you can build a strong network of contacts. This will make you accessible of golden travel nursing opportunities in future.
  9. Job security and a scope of advancement are some additional benefits of travel nursing. In a short span of time, you get to learn a lot, and you get the right direction in which you want to advance.
  10. If you have some things as important as your work, you don’t need to compromise on them. You can practice in a state where your friends live or the one where your family lives.
  11. Since you live for a very short period of time at a particular place, you are less vulnerable to unfavorable conditions that often occur among colleagues. Also, if something like this happens, you have an option to get away from it.
  12. It is quite obvious that your reason behind choosing nursing as a profession is that you want to help people in need. Being a travel nurse, you can make yourself available to needy much easier.

Travel Nursing Disadvantages

Though traveling nurse jobs seem to be very happening to, there are some reasons for which you might like to drop the idea of travel nursing. Here are some of the disadvantages of being a traveling nurse –

  1. There may be times when you are not able to meet your family and friends while traveling. Thus it is a wrong idea to travel while working for those who are not able to deal with homesickness.
  2. You might not be availed with sick leaves as provided to the permanent nurses when they require.
  3. It may lead to a stressful routine as you have to travel every now and then.
  4. Contracts may also create some problems. For instance, you go to a place after signing a contract, but due to some reason you don’t want to be there. Then, if you terminate the contract, management can list your name on a ‘do not return list.’
  5. It may be difficult to find places that are both suitable and offer a good amount of salary as well.

The Travel Nurse Interview

You would be happy to know that the interviews for traveling nurse job are far much easier to the permanent nurse professionals. Sometimes, management department of your staffing agency will take your interview. Otherwise, your agency already being aware of your skills and abilities through all the formalities that you have done with them. On its basis, they will be able to find out if you are capable for a particular job or not.

In order to decide if that particular position is suitable for you or not, you can ask some questions such as what is their contract policy, cancellation policy, opportunities are available for overtime or not.

You should keep some things in mind while appearing for an interview for travel nursing. Here are some tips that may be quite helpful to you –

  • Keep your resume updated. It must be error-free, completed and easy to read. Keep it in a folder with your name and contact details on its cover.
  • Provide copies of all your recent achievements, skills and clinical competencies.
  • Practice some questions that are quite common, such as ‘Tell us something about yourself.’ Give and brief and perfect description of your skills and abilities. If possible, give a few examples to prove your claim.
  • Don’t forget to dress professionally and try to make your first impression great.
  • Nursing interviews are said to be quite stressful. This is the time when you need to show your cool. Be calm and composed and listen to the questions carefully. Don’t interrupt the interviewer in between.
  • A job is good or bad; this can be decided on the basis of the extent to which you are satisfied with it. Say yes, only if you think the opportunity a good match. If you do not feel alright, just say no and move on to appear for next interview. Since there are tremendous jobs available for nurses in the United States of America, you don’t need to compromise.
  • The best way shows your interest towards the job is to send a thank-you letter to the interviewer. It can be either computer generated or hand written, just make sure there must not be any grammatical errors. You should also send the note, even if you are not selected to thank the interviewer for giving his/her time.
  • In case you don’t get selected, don’t hesitate to ask the reason for it. This shows that you are ready to accept your failures and you never know you might get selected next time at the same place.

What not to ask?

While giving an interview, you must keep in mind a few things that are not meant to be asked to the interviewer. Any query about the package can ruin your impression. Also, you must not ask for the services provided by the agency while traveling.