By February 8, 2012 2 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: What are the Pros and Cons of being a Travel Nurse?


Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

I am an experienced (28 years) Labor and delivery nurse, now kids are gone and am considering leaving hospital nursing for the travel world. What are the worst things as well as the best things about travel nursing I can expect?

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

Hi. There is simply not enough room here to reply to the questions you pose.  There are pluses and minuses to any profession, but I will say that for me, the positives far outweigh the negatives. You really just need a better understanding of what the profession entails. To do that, you will need to read up a bit and see what issues face travel nurses today. Here are a few resources to get you started.

First, check out the travel nursing forums online. Two good ones are and the Delphi forum for traveling professionals (go to, look for the box on the right that says “Explore existing forums”, type in “travel nursing” and the top result is a group called Travel Nurses and Therapists with over half a million members).

Pan Travelers is also another good site with a forum. They have a free section and also a portion where there is a charge to access that information.

You can subscribe to Healthcare Traveler Magazine for free on their website as well as read back issues. You can also join Healthcare Travelbook ( which is a sort of Facebook style place for travelers.

Additionally, I’ll also mention my book, Travel Nurse’s Bible, since it was written specifically for those people wanting to know what travel nursing is all about and how to embark on traveling. I spent a whole year writing down everything I have learned in a decade and a half of travel nursing. If you’d like to see what all is covered in the book, you can do so at

If you do decide to travel, and need help wading through all the different agencies out there (over 200 some), then I also have a group of recruiters, at the companies I use and trust, with which I can put you in contact.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me at



First time bonus!

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.

2 Comments on "Ask a Travel Nurse: What are the Pros and Cons of being a Travel Nurse?"

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  1. Susan Becker says:

    I to am considering travel. Have applied to a few but am getting cold feet. The pay is much less than I expected. Maybe I am missing some thing??

  2. Jeannie says:

    Hi Susan-
    In general, yes, a travel nurse can expect to make more than a perm nurse. This is because a travel nurse has less expenses… Travelers can expect travel reimbursement, paid housing, cash bonuses, and fantastic benefits. All which result in your paycheck staying in your hands instead of going to bills. So although your quoted pay rate for an assignment might be lower than you are making now, you are actually coming out with more money in the end. You can see more pros and cons to travel nursing here:

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