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The Pros and Cons of Travel Nursing: What You Need to Know

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

Travel nursing is a unique opportunity for healthcare professionals to combine their passion for helping others with their love of travel. It’s a great way to see new places, meet new people, and possibly become more financially stable. But it’s not for everyone.

Traveling can be challenging at times, especially if you’re moving to a new location every few months and spending several weeks away from home. Keeping in touch with friends and family back home can be difficult, not to mention maintaining personal relationships.

Travel nurses have to find affordable housing quickly after getting placed somewhere new. And the cost of living in most places have increased drastically lately. Here are some pros and cons of traveling as a nurse so that you can decide if this career path is right for you:

The Pros of Travel Nursing

There are many advantages to traveling as a nurse. For starters, the pay is usually very good. The average travel nurse currently earns approximately $2200 to $3000/week — far more than the average staff nurse’s salary.

Many travel nurses work at least three months at one location and then have the option to take several weeks off. It’s a great way to work your way through various parts of the country or even the world.

Travel nurses also get to experience a wide range of different healthcare systems — from the best in the country to the not-so-great. This is a great way to learn and grow as a professional. This profession is also a great way to build nursing experience. If you’ve only worked in one location then traveling is a great way to learn new processes and techniques used by other facilities.

The Cons of Travel Nursing

There are also a few downsides to travel nursing. It can be challenging to navigate the fast-paced life of a travel nurse. It is often said,

"A travel nurse lives their life three months at a time."

A travel nurse often times has to pick up and move frequently with only a few days or weeks notices.

You’ll also need to find affordable housing quickly after getting placed somewhere new. And the cost of living in some areas can be quite steep. Traveling also takes a bit of extra effort to stay in touch with friends and family back home. You may need to use apps like Skype or FaceTime regularly to stay connected with people on a regular basis.

The best contracts tend to get filled quickly. Without the right strategy or team of recruiters, good contracts could get filled before you know it. If you’re new to the field or unfamiliar with how a staffing agency operates it can be tough to avoid getting taken advantage of by manipulative recruiters. Having an effective strategy or good team of recruiters is key.

How to Find the Right Traveling Job for You

Before you start looking for a travel nursing job, you should think about what is important to you and what are your goals as a travel nurse.

Are you wanting to become more financially stable?

Are you wanting to expand your nursing experience in level 1 hospitals?

Are you wanting to travel the country affordably?

Once you know your reasons for wanting to become a travel nurse it will be easier to find the best contracts for you. Regardless of your reasons for becoming a travel nurse you should always strive to get paid the highest amount possible for each contract. One of the best ways to find good paying contracts is to

"Search for good contracts, not good agencies or recruiters."

You might ask what exactly that means. What it means is you should use Facebook travel nurse job groups, Vivian, Wanderly,, and other contract databases to look for and compare several contracts you are interested in. Once you find a few contracts you are interested in you should reach out to the recruiter that posted the contract and ask for the pay package information.

Using this strategy teaches you to notice the trends in pay rates, it gives you more contract options to choose from, and it gives you more leverage when you negotiate.

Tips for Travelling as a Nurse

Once you’ve found a job, it’s time to prepare for your first travel nursing assignment. Here are a few tips for making the most of your experience: - Stay in touch with friends and family back home - If you’re staying in one place for three months or longer, it can be easy to get out of touch with friends and family back home. Use apps like Skype or FaceTime to stay connected and stay sane. - Get to know the community - If you’re staying in one place for longer than a few weeks, it’s a great idea to get to know the local community. You’re much more likely to feel at home in a new place if you know some people. - Stay healthy - Traveling is a ton of fun, but it can also be stressful and lead to a few injuries. Be sure to stay healthy and take the time to rest when you need to. - Stay flexible with your finances - It’s easy to spend money when you’re on the road, so try to be as frugal as you can. You don’t want to end up in debt. You may want to look into getting a credit card that rewards you for your travel purchases.

Final Words

Travel nursing can be a great way to make some money while traveling the country. It’s a flexible job that offers plenty of variety and great pay. If you’re considering a career in travel nursing, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of this unique profession. Once you’ve done that, you can start looking for a job. It’s a great way to earn a stable income while seeing the world.

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