What is Cross Country Travel Nursing?

Cross-country travel nursing allows registered nurses to travel throughout the U.S. to various healthcare facilities.

Accordingly, it enables them to assist short-staffed hospitals and healthcare institutions temporarily.

These specialists help healthcare facilities provide adequate patient care by easing the labor burdens of the current nurses.

Without travel nursing, many healthcare facilities would have difficulty filling essential positions without travel nurses.

Short-staffed facilities increase employee burnout due to long hours and insufficient rest and recovery.

It also dramatically diminishes medical care due to employee exhaustion and overwhelming patient capacity.

Travel Nursing Mindset and Preparedness

Registered nurses must be ready to leave at a moment’s notice regarding cross-country travel nursing.

They must also adjust to changing environments and extend time away from home, family, and friends.

Because travel nurses work in different settings, making new friends and meeting new co-workers is essential.

Not everyone prefers cross-country travel nursing, especially those who don’t like constant change.

Nevertheless, travel nursing provides an exciting experience with numerous benefits for those with the right mindset.

Benefits and Perks

Nurses who travel throughout the country are often well compensated for their help.

For instance, healthcare facilities offer various perks and incentives to draw in travel nurses.

It includes travel reimbursement, medical benefits, luxury accommodations, travel stipend, and rental car reimbursement.

They may also offer excellent wages for accepting assignments and permanent positions at the end of the term.

Nurses who make a full-time career travel nursing can travel to multiple states yearly.

It’s a great way to experience the United States, gain career experience and determine the best place to work long-term.

Finally, travel nurses get to set their schedules by picking the assignments they prefer.

It enables them to work around their schedule and take time off between job assignments.

Travel and Accommodations

Travel nurses who work long distances may take an airplane to get to their assignment.

For instance, travel nurses operating in New York can fly to California for a temporary work assignment.

Nevertheless, several options are available for travel nurses who don’t want to fly.

Travel nurses can take a greyhound bus, ride the train or drive to the new destination in their vehicle or a rental car.

Regarding accommodations, travel nurses often stay at a hotel, Airbnb, or rental property.

In this case, the travel agency or the nurse will set up the accommodations through a travel nurse housing website.

Travel nurses may also set up accommodations independently and reive a travel allowance to cover their costs.

Travel Nurse Agencies

Cross-country travel nurses often work with one or more travel nurse agencies.

It enables them to find the best jobs in locations they prefer to work.

In addition, a good travel nurse agency will help travel nurses with other standard necessities.

For instance, they help nurses find housing accommodations and arrange transportation options.

They’ll also negotiate employment terms and conditions and look for the best fit between the employee and the employer.

As a result, all parties benefit from the support of travel nurse agencies.

Background and Experience

Most travel nurse agencies prefer registered nurses with at least 2 – 3 years of hospital/direct patient care experience.

Sometimes, travel companies hire nurses with only one year of nursing experience.

They may also hire LPNs (licensed practical nurses) for assignments that require less significant patient care.

Travel nurses must work quickly and effectively to ensure patients receive adequate care.

As a result, hospitals want well-trained nurses with years of experience.

The need for travel nurses will continually increase as nurses retire and the population requires additional medical aid.

Therefore, It’s one of the best careers for nurses willing to travel.

Those who become travel nurses enjoy numerous benefits.

It includes travel tax reimbursement, 401k plan contributions, rental car reimbursement, health insurance packages, luxury housing, and other benefits.

Nevertheless, not all healthcare facilities offer the same benefits and perks.

Some locations offer numerous benefits, while others provide little.

As a result, travel nurses often work with several travel agencies to find the best assignments, locations, and perks.

Regarding the length of the assignment a travel nurse works, most appointments last an average of 1 – 12 months.

With that said, assignment length depends on the particular job a nurse accepts.

Assignments outside the United States usually last 12 months or longer.

Once an assignment is complete, the healthcare facility may offer the travel nurse a permanent position.

It enables the travel nurse to relocate to that hospital and region permanently.

In this case, the institution may offer benefits, bonuses, and perks to incentivize them to relocate.

It includes covering relation experiences, offering a higher starting salary, and temporary housing/rental reimbursement.

Traveling nursing allows nurses to tour the United States or the world and gain new experiences.

As a result, it’s an exciting career for those who don’t mind traveling and meeting people.

Love it or hate it

Travel nursing has benefits and can be an excellent career for adventurous people who love to travel.

However, it isn’t ideal for everyone.

Those who have difficulty leaving home behind may find that cross-country traveling nursing takes too much of an emotional toll.

In this case, working at a hospital or healthcare facility in their hometown or nearby may be the best option.

Nevertheless, travel and local nurses have excellent career opportunities, good job stability, great wages, and incredible medical benefits.

In addition, the job market is very secure for hard-working nurses who take their jobs seriously.

How to Begin Cross-Country Travel Nursing

Aspiring students must pass college prerequisite courses and enter a registered nursing program to become travel nurses.

The nursing program takes 2 – 4 years to complete depending on whether students pursue an ADN or BSN degree.

After that, students must pass the NCLEX-RN (national licensing exam) to earn their registered nurse license.

Most travel nurse agencies want to hire nurses with 2 – 3 years of experience in clinical care.

As a result, obtaining work experience is highly beneficial for landing travel nursing jobs.

Sometimes a travel agency will higher skilled registered nurses with one year of experience so that you can apply earlier.

It’s really up to the healthcare institutions’ policies and hiring practices.

After acquiring enough field experience, you can apply for travel nursing assignments.

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.


Travel nurses operate in hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the United States.

They also work in other countries in some circumstances.

In the United States, travel nurses work on temporary assignments lasting anywhere from 1 month to 1 year.

Nurses operating outside the United States generally work on long-term assignments lasting one year or longer.

Travel nurses provide services to healthcare facilities requiring help due to a nursing shortage.

By providing hospitals with additional aid, travel nurses keep patient waiting times to a minimum.

They also ensure patients receive the proper medical care they need to recover.

Regarding the healthcare industry, travel nursing is becoming an essential and indispensable component of hospitals throughout the United States.

While it’s not a complete fix to the nursing shortage, it is a big step in the right direction.

It is also excellent for nurses who have always wanted to travel to see the world and make a difference.

For some, travel nursing has become a lifestyle.

This industry offers many benefits aside from travel.

It includes luxury accommodations, a loaner car or rental reimbursement, 401 k contributions, sign-on bonuses, and more.