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Ask a Travel Nurse: Can you give a student your thoughts on travel nursing?


nursing student researching travel nursingAsk a Travel Nurse Question:

I am currently researching for a paper that I am writing for my English 128, Writing class. Your comments to a few questions would be greatly appreciated. I have chosen a topic I have been considering as a career. My topic is travel nursing and was hoping you might add your insight.

What do you think about the pay scale for travel nursing? Do you feel it’s appropriate?

I have read that travel nurses get the work that the regular staff doesn’t want to do and that they are not included in functions. Have you observed or been treated this way? Any thoughts and /experiences you have that you would like to share would be a great help to me.

Any bookmarks or websites you would recommend? Thank you in advance for your help.

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

Let’s take a look at each question you asked. First, the pay. As with any field or profession, every state, city, or specific company will differ in pay rate. While you can earn a very good living being a travel nurse, many do it for the adventure, not the pay. Your salary as a traveler can be less, equal, or more than a staff nurse based on the criteria you use to select your assignments. Bottom line, I have never had a problem paying my mortgage as a travel nurse.

As far as the appropriateness of the pay, I have worked assignments where I felt that I was not being paid enough and I have worked assignments where I felt I was making good money for mostly sitting on my butt. If you ask any nurse whether or not they are being paid fairly, most will tell you it depends on the day you ask that question.

Not being included in functions strikes me more as a personality or attitude issue. You can be Joe Blow working in an office and feel left out of the “popular people” circle. You have to be independent as a traveler. I have worked many assignments where I NEVER see the people I work with outside of the hospital and still have tons of fun. If you are the type of person to make your own party, it’s not an issue.

As for getting the crappy assignments, yes, I’m sure it does happen, but I cannot recall one assignment where I felt “picked on” as a traveler ( and that’s with over a decade and a half traveling). I hate to float to different floors, but as a traveler it is the norm when the unit census drops. Travelers float before regular staff. I don’t perceive this as being dumped on, it’s just all in the game. Again, this might be an attitude thing.

I have a ton of stories from the road, but don’t really keep any on tap when it comes to convincing people to become a travel nurse. For me, originally being from Ohio, when you tell me I can spend the winter in Columbus or Maui…..nuff said.

As far as websites, I’m not sure what you are seeking. You can type “travel nurse” into any search engine and find many sites that give information on travel nursing. The sites I recommend to nurses that are currently traveling are mostly forums such as and the travel nursing forum on Obviously the site on which this is posted, Travel Nursing can be a great source of information as well as the publication Healthcare Traveler Magazine.

I hope this helps with your work.


About the Author:

Hello everyone. I’m a travel nurse originally from Ohio who graduated in 1993 from Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus. I completed a critical care fellowship at Riverside Methodist Hospital in 1994 and started traveling in that specialty a year later. My first travel assignment was in Maui and since that time I have completed close to 40 different contracts in various states with multiple travel companies. I am the author of Travel Nurse’s Bible (A Guide to Everything on Travel Nursing), in addition to my writings here and in the pages of Travel Nursing publications such as Healthcare Traveler Magazine and American Nurse Today. I am presently on assignment in Phoenix, AZ and travel anywhere from six to eleven months of the year.

1 Comment on "Ask a Travel Nurse: Can you give a student your thoughts on travel nursing?"

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  1. kresil says:

    Agree for this point “Not being included in functions strikes me more as a personality or attitude issue”


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