While the idea of a traveling nurse may conjure up visions of tropical resorts, the truth of the matter is that travel nursing is another way of saying ‘temp’. Of course, there are nursing positions on cruise ships and other resorts, but for this definition, travel nursing is when a nurse changes assignments on a regular basis.
Travel nursing works well for a nurse who likes to see a little bit of everything during a career. Because a travel nurse will be assigned to various locations and patients, the chance to have a different experience every day is not only possible but probable.
This situation also works well for the nurse that needs a little flexibility in his/her schedule. Normally, a traveling nurse will work through an agency that finds the assignments. However, the nurse then can make a decision based on the pay and the position whether to accept the assignment or turn it down. This flexibility can work very well for those nurses that need to take care of their families, for example.
Assignment for travel nurses can vary in length as well as duties. Some assignments may last as little as eight weeks and can even last longer when a particular employer and nurse work well together. Many times, it will depend on the needs of the health care setting that requests the nurse.
Travel nurses can find themselves in a variety of settings — hospitals, nursing homes, home care, and rehabilitation centers. Generally speaking, travel nurses go where there is the most demand and stay for as long as necessary. In rare situations, the health care setting may opt to hire the travel nurse on for a full time position, if that is agreeable for the nurse as well.
But this begs the question of why these facilities do not hire more staff instead of the temporary solution of a travel nurse. In some cases, the reason is monetary. When a temp is hired, there isn’t a need to provide health insurance or other additional benefits. Many times, the health care setting is experiencing a little staffing shortage and needs to cover the gaps left by situations such as maternity leaves, paternity leaves, etc.
For a nurse that likes a change of pace on a constant basis, travel nursing can be just the way to appease this hunger to help different people in different places.
Interested in becoming a travel nurse? You’ll need a nursing degree first. Begin your search for a school below: