What is travel nursing? Travel nursing is when a registered nurse will sign with a company and for intervals of time they will travel from state to state or sometimes to other countries to usually help hospitals with a shortage of nurses. There is a shortage of nurses almost everywhere. The great thing about travel nursing is the variety of places they get to travel and see. Most assignments are on average 13 weeks but, they can last up to a year or longer depending on where they are. To be a travel nurse it is required to have a Registered Nurse license and recommended to have 2 years of floor experience under your belt. After attending nursing school students will take the NCLEX exam. Once they pass they will be a licensed nurse. These nurses may be at one hospital and only have 3-4 patients a day and then on their next assignment they will move to another hospital and have 5-6 patients a day. Another bonus of travel nursing is salary. Salary will vary from state to state but on average a normal Registered Nurse will make about $70,000 annually. A travel nurse average salary could be over $90,000 annually. This all depends on where you work and the working situations. Due to the recent novel Coronavirus there has been a shortage of healthcare workers everywhere but a large amount was in New York. This pushed regular Registered Nurses to consider temporarily moving to New York or where they are needed because of the pandemic. Hospitals are also asking retired nurses to come back and work for the crisis. This does come with a larger pay because they will be temporary travel nurses and they may have crisis pay. Crisis pay is a big deal for nurses because this is a substantial amount of money. Regular travel nursing pay is about $1,500 week, housing, and benefits. Covid pay packages could be up to $10,000 a week! There are three main factors that will impact the salary of a travel nurse. Those are specialty, location, and shift. The first to consider is specialties. Most nurses are used to a specific floor and specialize in specific patients. An example would be a nurse that works on the Post Anaesthetic Care Unit. These nurses are called Certified Post Anaesthetic Nurses and require special training including Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support with recertifications every about 3 years. They can request to be on a specific floor as a travel nurse if they have special certifications.These certification will most likely raise their pay. Some travel nurses like to learn each floor and experience the different specialties. One assignment the nurse may be assigned to work on an orthopedic care floor and the next a cardiac care floor. This can give a nurse experience where they can find a specialty they like the best. Second is location. The highest paying states include California, Texas, Massachusetts, Washington, and New York. These states are more populated and housing is at a higher cost. The last factor is shift. The night shift makes the most money in most cases. If a nurse wanted to be a nurse practitioner they could travel nurse and do online school which would give them an idea of what field of medicine they might want to further pursue. Policies change from place to place so travel nurses have to quickly become acquainted with each hospital's policies. Another obstacle for travel nursing is licensure; you have to be licensed in each state before you practice. This process varies in time depending on each state. Most agencies require you to handle your own licensure. You could get a compact license which can make you obtain licenses from multiple states. Sightseeing is a big part of travel nursing. Most travel nurses pick cities they want to explore. The top choice for travel nursing is San Diego, California. The reason most nurses choose here is the weather. They can enjoy the beaches and city. It is said in San Diego a must see attraction is Balboa Park and Point Loma Lighthouse. The next city is Seattle, Washington followed by, San Francisco, California, and Los Angeles, California. It’s easy to say most travel nurses prefer California. California has many teaching hospitals and offers higher pay to those with a critical care specialty. Some travel nurses choose to continue their education while working. This has become easier with the current technology we have access to. It is now easier than ever to attend an online college while traveling and go to school while working. Some nurses could be getting special certifications or go to online school to be a nurse anesthetist. The possibilities are endless with the medical field growing and new opportunities arising each day.
Overall, Travel nursing has many benefits including salary, experience, and sight seeing. Travel Nursing takes dedication, hard work, and being able to get used to different areas quickly.