One of the most appealing aspects of our career is the opportunity to be a travel nurse. I can’t think of anything else that offers you the chance to try living in a new location, develop essential professional abilities, and make good money all at the same time. Both personally and professionally, travel nursing is an incredible experience.
But the decision to give travel nursing a go isn’t an easy one.
It’s all too easy to get comfortable — in our present position, with our surroundings, with regular shifts, with coworkers who feel like a big family. However, it is critical to push ourselves to progress as a nurse and as a person.
It’s said that the greatest growth happens outside our comfort zones, and in my experience, it’s 100% true. To step outside that safety area is very scary and uncomfortable, but it makes all the difference in the world.
That is precisely what travel nursing is all about: new locations, coworkers, and clinical abilities to experience. It will help you get closer to your full potential.
While my travel nurse journey has been extensive and at times full of ups and downs, I can say that taking that step into the unknown has been one of the best moves I’ve ever made.
Another huge benefit to travel nursing is the money
Let’s call it like it is.
The money that travel nurses make is better than it ever has been in my 25 years as an RN. And sure, while several factors come into what each nurse and different specialties might make, at its basis, the wages are crazy good right now.
Travel nurse companies are bending over backward for you these days
While there are dozens and dozens of travel nurse companies to choose from, the fact is it may be a difficult choice to select just one.
In my experience, what I’d share with my younger self is to shop around. Not only for different travel nurse agencies but also the right recruiter fit. And once you find the right ones, don’t settle!
Your contract is YOUR contract, so you absolutely should have a say in it.
The contract you choose is totally negotiable. Everything from your pay to OT, how much and how you’ll be reimbursed for housing and travel, and many other items.
See the country
Another reason why every nurse should travel at least once?
Seeing the USA.
What better way to experience the beach, mountains, small towns, or big city USA than as a travel nurse. I mean, not only will you explore, learn and grow. But you’ll also be paid well to do it.
How cool is that?
Now you’re intrigued, so what’s next?
There’s ample opportunity for adventure becoming a travel nurse.
One of the first things to do, besides finding a company and recruiter, is to check your license status. Meaning, see if you have a compact license or a single state. This will be an immediate indicator of where you might be able to be placed today. You likely already know that if you want to work in a state outside of your current license, you’ll have to apply for a new one.
Most of the better travel nurse agencies will walk you through the process, so don’t fret right now.
But for now, as you consider the travel nurse option, make a list of places in the USA that you’ve always wanted to visit, explore, or hang out in for 13-weeks or so.
Travel nursing can be excellent for your career too!
Once-in-a-lifetime experiences, fantastic pay, new friends, and great locations are the name of the game.
But how does becoming a traveler impact a nursing career?
There’s always a chance to learn and develop while traveling, no matter how many years of nursing experience you have. Being in a new environment necessitates adaptability and flexibility. You’ll need to understand your resources since each new contract introduces new regulations, personalities, and technology.
Working in travel nursing is exciting, humbling, and a total invaluable experience.
The bottom line, it’s great for career advancement.
The final word
If I’m honest, there’s little reason NOT to try travel nursing.
There’s so much to gain and so little to lose.
But if you’re still unsure whether or not you should go it alone, ask a friend who works as a current travel nurse for advice, and don’t forget, you can travel with a buddy! Consider your relocation as an extended holiday and plan plenty of adventures for your free days.
My final call to action: Try it at least once, and happy travels!
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