Cross country travel nurses have the ability to travel throughout the United States to help hospitals and health care centers in need of additional staffing in order to provide proper medical care for their patients and alleviate the additional work burden of the nurses currently on staff at the health care facility.
Without travel nurses on hand many health care facilities would have a very difficult time filling nursing positions and attending to their patients, which would could lead to significant nursing shortages and employee burnout due to long work hours and little to no rest for those currently working at the facility.
Cross country travel nurses operate in hospitals and health care facilities all over the United States assisting patients in need of medical care.
From the United States to tropical paradises, Europe to the Mongolia desert travel nurses are their to provide medical aid to those who need it.
In fact there are very few places travel nurses can’t go.
In the United States travel nurses work on temporary assignments lasting anywhere from 1 month to 1 year.
Nurses who operate outside of the United States generally work on assignments lasting 1 year or longer.
Travel nurses provide their services to health care facilities that are in need of help and are suffering from a nursing shortage.
By providing hospitals with additional aid travel nurses keep patient waiting times to a minimum and ensure that each patient gets the proper medical care they need to recover.
When it comes to the health care industry travel nursing is becoming an essential and indispensable component to hospitals throughout the United States and while it’s not a complete fix to the nursing shortage it is a big step in the right direction.
It is also a great way for nurses who have always had a desire to travel to finally get a chance to see the world and make a difference.
For some travel nursing has become a lifestyle and those who choose to work in this industry can enjoy many benefits aside from travel such as travel tax reimbursement, luxury accommodations, a loaner vehicle or rental reimbursement, 401 k contributions, sign on bonuses and more.
Travel nursing mindset and preparedness
When it comes to cross country travel nursing you have to be ready to leave at a moments notice, adjust to changing environments, adjust to extended time away from family and friends and be open to making new friends and meeting new co-workers, but it can also be an exciting and adventurous time.
The path to becoming a travel nurse starts by joining the RN program and passing the national licensing exam to earn your registered nurse license (some travel nurse agencies will also hire LPN’s and LVN’s.
From there most travel nurse agencies want the nurses they hire to have 2 – 3 years of experience working in a clinical care setting, although some will hire nurses with only 1 year.
After acquiring enough experience in the field you can then apply to become a travel nurse.
Most travel nurses work with several travel nursing agencies to find the best assignments and perks available.
Once you’ve joined an agency and chosen an assignment the fun begins.
Benefits and Perks
Nurses who travel throughout the country are often well compensated for their help through various perks and incentives as well as through increased earning potential, not to mention having the ability to travel to various states that they are interested in working in.
In order to fill vacant positions hospitals and health care centers may offer travel nurses increased salaries, travel reimbursement, excellent medical benefits, luxury accommodations, rental car reimbursement and permanent job offerings at the end of the nurse’s term in order to incentivize nurses to choose their facility and possibly stay as a long term employee.
Love it or Hate it
While travel nursing has its benefits and can be a great career choice for those who are adventurous and love to travel it isn’t for everyone.
Nurses that have a difficult time leaving their family and home behind may find that cross country traveling nursing takes too much of an emotional toll on them and may choose to settle at a health care facility in their hometown or in a nearby location to where they live.
In either situation those who work as travel nurses and those who choose to work and stay local have great opportunities for career growth, job stability, great wages and excellent medical benefits and the job market is very secure for those who work hard and take their jobs seriously.
Travel & Accommodations
For those who want to work as travel nurses, but don’t want to fly there are a number of other alternatives available.
In addition to taking a plane travel nurses are also able to take a greyhound bus, ride the train or drive to the new destination in their own vehicle or a rental car.
As far as accommodations go travel nurses will often have hotel and rental accommodations set up by the travel nurse agency they have chosen to help them with find a job and arrange their transfer.
Travel nurse agencies
When it comes to cross country travel nursing those who work as travel nurses will often work with one or more travel nurse agencies in order to find the best jobs in locations they are interested in working for.
In addition to helping travel nurses locate a potential job a good travel nurse agency will also help travel nurses find housing accommodations, arrange transportation options, negotiated employee terms and conditions and look for a best fit between the employee and the employer among other agent responsibilities.
Background and experience
When it comes to the travel nursing industry most travel nurse agencies look for registered nurses who have at least 2 – 3 years of experience working at a hospital or health care facility.
In some cases travel nurse companies will hire travel nurses who have obtained only 1 year of nursing experience and may also hire LVN’s (licensed vocational nurses) and LPN’s (licensed practical nurses) to work as travel nurses.
Because of the fact that travel nurses must be able to work quickly and effectively at the health care center they are assigned to most facilities and hospitals will want to hire nurses who are well-trained and have several years of experience in the nursing field.
As many of the older nurses go into retirement and the economy continues to grow the need for experienced travel nurses is expected to increase significantly over the next several years making travel nursing one of the best career choices for nurses who are willing to travel and help hospitals in need of additional assistance.
Those who do choose the path of becoming a travel nurse can enjoy many benefits offered by the hospitals and health care facilities they work which may include receiving travel tax reimbursement, contributions towards 401k plans, rental care reimbursement or loaner car,special health insurance packages luxury housing and a number of other benefits.
It is important to point out that not all health care facilities will offer the same benefits and/or perks.
Some locations may offer several of these benefits while others may offer very little.
In many cases travel nurses will choose to work with several travel nursing agencies to find the best assignments that offer the perks they are most interested in receiving.
When it comes to the length of the assignment a travel nurse is likely to work, most travel nurse assignments will last an average of 1 – 12 months depending on the assignment that is chosen and assignments outside of the United States usually last for 12 months or longer.
Once a nurse completes an assignment at a designated health care facility the nurse may then be offered a permanent position, which would allow the nurse to permanently relocate to that hospital and reign.
Travel nursing can be an amazing experience and provides nurses who have the skills to help others with the ability to travel the world and gain new experiences.
It’s an exciting career path with lots of opportunities and adventure, and if you have a strong desire to travel and help others then travel nurses may be the career you’re looking for.