Career Spotlight: Travel Nurse

Career Spotlight- Travel Nurse_BlogAre you a person who likes to move frequently or experience new places? Do you love nursing but want a job that is constantly changing? If you said yes to either of these questions, travel nursing may be the career for you. Travel nursing is a great profession for those who are unattached and looking for some excitement in their career.

What is a Travel Nurse?

You’re probably thinking a travel nurse is a nurse that travels. Well, you’re definitely right about that!

According to Aureus Medical Group, “your role as a travel nurse is to fill a gap at the facility due to an extended absence, census fluctuation, staff training or other situations. You’ll work on a contract basis for [a healthcare staffing agency], generally from 13 to 26 weeks, sometimes more. Once your assignment is finished you’ll begin your next one or you may decide to take some time off in between contracts.”1

How do you become a Travel Nurse?

A travel nurse is required to have a degree in nursing. This can either be an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). They are also required to have one year of clinical experience in their specialty as well as licensing in the state they plan to practice in.2

All Nursing Schools says that the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) is also a great option for travel nurses. “This is a joint initiative to help expand nurse mobility around the nation. So far 34 states participate in the NLC, which allows nurses to have on multistate license so that they can practice in their home state and any other state that is part of the alliance.”2

How much do Travel Nurses make?

The average yearly salary for a travel nurse is $101,288.3

This of course is dependent upon the type of degree you have, where you are working and multiple other factors.

What does a normal day look like for a Travel Nurse?

There really isn’t a ‘typical’ day for travel nurses because their assignments change so frequently. The type of assignment and typical day really depends on each nurse. All Nursing Schools says there are four different typical types of travel nurses:2

  1. Basic Travel Nurse: these nurses work an average of 13 weeks per assignment and move location between contracts as needed
  2. Rapid Response Travel Nurse: these nurses work short term assignments during times when rapid response is necessary such as an ebola or influenza crisis or during a natural disaster
  3. Strike Travel Nurse: these nurses fill in for striking staff regulars, which means there is no specific end date – a strike may end in a week or in two months
  4. EMR Conversion Nurse: these nurses help facilities provide care for patients and train staff in EMR software as medical facilities implement new government-mandated requirements for Emergency Medical Record conversions

Is Travel Nursing the right choice for me?

Travel nursing is a great option for those who like a frequent change of scenery and don’t have anything tying them down to a specific location.

Aureus Medical Group says “being able to jump right in as part of the healthcare team and being flexible are must-haves of a travel nurse. Most of all, travel nursing requires skilled and dedicated nurses who are strong, confident and who put patients first.”1

If you adapt easily and like to travel, travel nursing might just be the career for you!

Do you have a suggestion for another nursing career spotlight? Tell us in the comments below!