Travel nursing, a trendy term, that refers to a license health care professional that fills nursing positions on a short-term basis that requires travel. The assignments can be anywhere from a few short weeks to a few months, or longer, depending on the facility’s needs. If you have spent any time at all looking through classifieds, or checking in with employment agencies, it is clear that there is an abundant need for health care professionals, particularly registered nurses (RN), and licensed practical nurses (LPN), it is startling that the ever-present shortage of professional services in some practice areas, even demographic areas, is overwhelming. Economists have predicted the shortage to continue to rise, leaving so many nursing positions un-staffed, impacting physicians’ offices, hospitals, clinics, practically any facility that provides health care vulnerable without adequate care.
If you are ready for a little adventure, a change of venue, different challenges, a truly unique experience while still earning excellent pay and benefits, then consider travel nursing. Travel nursing can take you across country, or close to home, from small town settings, to big city life, explore the opportunities to broaden your life experiences while providing an invaluable much needed service. This unique experience oftentimes can be custom-fit to your lifestyle.
Begin by researching and choosing the right staffing agency. Compare the different agencies to find the right fit for you, the health care facility, as well as the agency. Review the kinds of traveling nurse assignments they have, compare benefits and pay rates, and never hesitate to ask for recommendations and/or reviews from other health care professionals that have worked through their company. Once the application process is completed, you will typically work with a professional recruiter. The recruiter will be your most valuable asset, and will assist you to help you reach your goals throughout your career. It is important to spend time with your recruiter and discuss at length what is important to you, what type of facility you prefer to work in, area of specialty, such as ER, surgical, pediatrics, or the many other positions in the health care field.
When you and your recruiter have decided what is best for you regarding the assignment, the location, pay rate, etc., you will have an opportunity to interview with the facility, typically telephonically. If all is in order, you may choose the traveling nurse assignment. The travel nursing agency will provide all the necessary information regarding compensation, insurance, housing, travel details, as well as any sign-on and completion bonuses. Quality housing accommodations for travel nurses is one of the great benefits; the housing is comfortable, furnished, and convenient, and at no cost to you. If housing is not provided, usually a very generous housing allowance is given. The options for housing do differ with different companies, so be sure to get clarification when speaking with your recruiter.
It is important to know that the licensing requirements are different for each state. One of the more important things your recruiter can do is help you secure a temporary license for the state where your assignment is located, and in many states, may be valid up to a year. There are many benefits travel nursing offers, such as lucrative bonuses and incentive programs, generous housing accommodations or subsidies, retirement programs and flexible spending accounts, invaluable clinical experience at top health care facilities, referral bonuses, a chance to explore and travel to places near or far, to name a few and so much more.
If you have a penchant to explore beyond your domestic horizon, international travel nursing will offer you a chance of a lifetime. All specialties are needed from the Middle East, Europe, Australia, as well as so many other countries. Your agency can help with licensing and visa requirements, once the visa is obtained, it can be renewed annually. Many overseas jobs require a one to two-year commitment, and some countries allow visits home free of charge between the first and second year. There are many opportunities for assignments in Canada, much like the United States, and if Europe appeals to you, there are many countries where you can find the perfect fit for your area of specialty. See the world, explore, and make new friends, travel nursing offers the unique opportunity to combine work and travel.