Not sure if travel nursing is the right move for you in your career as a nurse? There is definitely a benefit to weighing the advantages and disadvantages before you plunge into a travel career and quit your perm nurse position. Here are a few:
- The main advantage, and reason why most nurses decide on this career, is because you get paid to travel. Visiting beaches, mountains and attractions that you might not have money to do currently, now becomes a reality with travel nursing.
- Great pay is the second best advantage to travel nursing. Travel nurses receive more take home pay than permanent nurses, because they have virtually no expenses and great benefits. Travel nurses can expect cash bonuses, free housing, travel reimbursement and great medical and retirement plans. All which result in your paycheck staying in your hands instead of going to bills.
- As much as vacation time as you need! Although assignments do not offer PTO (because you are only there for 13 weeks), between assignments you can choose however long you would like off. There are no contracts saying you must work another assignment immediately after the last. Want to take a month trip to Europe? When, where and how often you take an assignment is up to you.
- Professional experiences and growth opportunities are also a great reason to travel. As a travel nurse, you can choose from a large variety of environments ranging from renowned research centers, to prestigious teaching facilities to small hospitals and everything in-between. Having the opportunity to work with different patients and cases and be exposed to the newest technology and procedures is a huge advantage to have on your resume.
- Just because they assign you to a certain floor, doesn’t mean you won’t be floated to another. Most travel nurses are the first nominated to float, because they are there to help fill a void.
- There might be some animosity you face from the perm staff. This is because in their eyes, you are both doing the same job, yet you are making more money. While they SHOULD realize you are there so they do not have to work extended hours. This isn’t true in every circumstance, but something to be aware of.
- You might need to work more weekends or nights than normal. Again, this is because you are there to fill the void in their staffing and help out where you can.
- Travel nurse orientation is very short. If you are not able to absorb everything quickly, you may not fully enjoy travel nursing. The typical orientation for travel nursing is three shifts
- Travel nursing can be lonely. You do not have the familiarity of faces as you do with a perm position, so your comfort level may not be where you would like. If you are not one to make friends easily or entertain yourself, it may not be the lifestyle for you.
Travel nursing is a hard, fast-paced career, yet extremely rewarding. It’s for the nurse warriors that are skilled in their specialty and confident in what they do. But as they say, hard work pays off. There aren’t too many careers that allow you to travel to your dream destinations while getting paid to do so. To be sure you are prepared and have the best experience possible for travel nursing, assure that you have enough clinical experience, so the disadvantages listed will not be an issue for you and you can enjoy all the advantages.