Travel nursing certainly seems like an ideal job, at least at some levels. You get to travel the country (or even the world) and help people in need, all while sharpening your medical knowledge. The income potential is very good; you sometimes get paid time off – what’s not to like about this career? The life of a travel nurse isn’t easy, though – and you must carefully weigh the pros and cons before jumping in. What is being a travel nurse like?
Travel nursing career
If you want to be a travel nurse, first you must be available to travel a lot. The typical work schedule involves periods around 13 weeks, after which you’re off on a new assignment. This kind of schedule requires great adaptability from travelling nurses – not only do you travel a lot, but you have to be on your feet at a new job very quickly. Nobody has the luxury of waiting three months until you learn the ropes.
Also, remember that although travel nurses do move a lot, this moving involves lots of work and long shifts. It doesn’t mean someone pays you to go around the country and go sightseeing, with some working put in between.
First thing first, you have to be prepared to move a lot, make new friends and connections quick and learn the ropes of a new hospital or medical facility in record time. You have to be confident in your medical knowledge, always be on the lookout to learn new procedures and information, need perfect work ethics and a warm personality. Also, be prepared to be away from home for many weeks per year – you will get time off to see your family, but not a lot.
Before you step into this career, remember that you’ll spend a lot of time traveling and away from your family and friends. Typically, this isn’t a career for people who have children or other caregiving responsibilities. It’s a great entry-level job because you will learn a lot, travel a lot and expand your horizons. The more you advance in your career, the less attractive being a travel nurse gets.
Travel nursing is a career which clearly is here to stay. Carefully choose the staffing company you want to work for – the larger the company, the more jobs they have which can fit your adventurous personality. Carefully consider the pros and cons of the situation before jumping in, after which try to enjoy the experiences you’re faced with – you’ll make lots of new friends, learn great knowledge and travel the country. If this sounds good, then travel nursing will fit like a glove.