Travel nurses are certified nurse practitioners that travel for short-term assignments with facility or professional offices for their working duties. They will work at a variety of locations for a designated time as long as a medical facility needs their services. They differ from other nurses because they are not permanent employees.

Generally they will fill in or substitute for a regular employee which is out of their regular job for whatever reason.  Professional offices and hospitals alike will use travel nursing services for temporary staff shortages, during peak seasons or situations like maternity or surgery leave of absences.

Depending on what the assignment is, an employee could discover a position for a few days, a few weeks, months or even longer. On average a travel nurse will take a position for about 3 months.


There are many advantages to working in this type of atmosphere. Most persons in the profession admit they like the idea of developing experience in a range of facilities and business surroundings.

A number of students fresh out of nursing school will try this type of employment before settling on a specific long-term work environment.

The flexibility felt with moving from place to place is best suited for nurses which are not bound by family obligations at home. Tied to a specific schedule with an employer or unknown period of work may not work with financial or schedule responsibilities found at home.

This type of working does let you to decide when, where and how long you are employed at any given time.


There also several disadvantages to working as a travel nurse. This is not a permanent position. Generally when a business or facility is searching for ways to cut back costs, these are one of the first positions examined for elimination to save costs.  You are more expendable than permanent positioned nursing staff.

Personalities which do not do well with change will not find a good fit. Constant work in a new and different environment, new coworkers and bosses need a lot of flexibility not only with your schedule, but with your personality as well.

Some travel nurses will even need to find work outside of their geographical area and find themselves in another state or city for work.

Pay for the job

Pay for this kind of profession depends on the nursing degree you hold, your experience and the site you work in. For example, working in an ICU facility in Chicago, Illinois will definitely earn more than a Long Term Care Facility in Minot, North Dakota.

Generally the payment structure is the same as full-time staff at the same place of business. Though, there are other assignments which may reimburse your services at a different level. Full time staff may have salary and benefits, but travel nurses receive hourly pay without any benefits. The pay will vary along with the job.

How to find the work

Typically agencies filter this type of work on the nurses behalf. These agencies connect the employer with the nurse they are searching for. Some will charge a fee to connect you with a job and whether you are responsible for it or the employer depends on the agencies policy for placement.

By working with more than one agency when searching for work provides you with more options and a variety of job assignments to choose from.

In conclusion

There are a number of advantages and disadvantages performing in this profession. If you find this is something that interests you, contact an agency that specializes in effectively matching the right work with the right worker.

this type of work a has a number of advantages and disadvantages

looking to get hired as a travel nurse? search through an agency for the right fit

finding travel nursing jobs with TravelNurseSource