Editor: Today’s post is from a guest RN writing about her experiences in travel nursing.
I have recently been considering a traveling nursing job. I love to travel and there are parts of the country that I have yet to see. I have known a few travel nurses, and they all say the same thing, “I love it!” Never one to get stuck in a rut, I decided to do a little research. I searched the internet and found a wonderful site where I could put in one application and it would be sent to 21 travel nursing agencies. I love efficiency so I decided to do that. Then I wanted to know more of the pros and cons about this type of nursing. Since within minutes of applying, I received several emails and a phone call, I talked to the first recruiter and asked about the benefits and detriments to travel nursing.
The pros were numerous. Travel nurses earn, on average, more than 20% than their hospital-based full-time counterparts. There are bonuses of several thousands of dollars for completing the entire assignment (usually 13 weeks). Travel nurses, because of the bonuses, are able to take off 1-2 weeks, or even an entire month, between assignments (I’m still looking for the downside to that!) Traveling the country, full benefits, no mandatory in-service or staff meetings and no hospital politics. Utopia?
On the con side, I would have to move every 13 weeks, unless the assignment is renewed. There is no guarantee of employment after the current job (the recruiter said that she had never experienced this in all her years of working at the agency). There is no career advancement, and the regular staff can be openly hostile to travel nurses. I did experience the latter at one hospital, but I believe it was an isolated incident.
From the research I’ve done, I recommend giving travel nursing a try. I do love the warm weather and there are many places throughout the USA that I still want to see. If you have any questions please join us on the We The Nurses travel nursing forum.