Published on June 3rd, 2023
For some, nursing is a dream career. It offers the ability to help people while also providing relatively lucrative pay the medical field offers. But there’s one lesser-known subset of nursing that’s seen an increasing amount of interest in recent years – travel nursing.
In many cases, travel nurse jobs have numerous advantages over their traditional counterparts. Let’s take a closer look at five of the most important.
The Opportunity To Explore
It should come as no surprise that the traveling aspect of travel nursing is one of the biggest draws for new entrants into the field. For many people, catching a case of wanderlust may require dramatic changes to their career or lifestyle.
But nurses can continue to ply their essential, highly skilled trade while traveling wherever jobs are available.
Whether those who pursue and occupy travel nurse jobs prefer to check out the country’s biggest cities, explore gorgeous and diverse rural areas, or anywhere in between, travel nursing allows them to do so. Meanwhile, nurses can continue building their professional careers and making money.
Speaking of money, salaries are another huge reason to consider travel nursing over traditional nursing. Recent numbers show travel nurse jobs average about $3,000 per week, or $156,000 annually for those working a full year. That’s more than double the rate of typical registered nurses.
While travel nurses will also naturally incur more costs living life on the road, they also enjoy incredible perks like housing stipends, which are especially valuable since they’re not untaxed, unlike regular income.
All of this extra cash gives traveling nurses plenty of options. On the one hand, they spend it on trips and experiences during their travels, even taking time off between contracts without worrying about money.
On the other, they can sock away those high earnings, creating a significant nest egg for buying a home, retirement, or other big purchases or future expenses.
If there’s one thing most jobs lack, it’s flexibility. With a traditional, long-term nursing job, nurses are expected to continue their schedule indefinitely, except for a few weeks of vacation per year.
Travel nurses have no such restrictions. Travel nurses typically only commit to short-term contracts of around 13 weeks. This gives them a wide variety of options when the contract runs out.
If they like their situation and the demand is there, they may be able to simply sign another contract and continue. Others may take a few weeks or more off, using the time to explore their new surroundings.
This flexibility is also critical for those who may have other responsibilities, like caring for children or an ailing loved one.
Nurses also have the flexibility to seek out jobs that fit their needs, whether it’s a location close to family and friends or better weather during chilly winters or hot summers.
Develop New Skills
All too often, those who keep one job in one facility for years or even decades will find their skills stagnating.
With few significant changes and similar professional duties, it’s easy to fall into a rut. However, travel nursing prevents this by constantly switching up your work location, colleagues, responsibilities, and more.
New areas of the country can mean new types of patients with new conditions, providing diverse experiences in many situations.
This not only improves the level of care offered by travel nurses but also makes them far more desirable on the job market, thanks to their valuable skills.
In addition, some travel nurse employers or staffing agencies can even provide continuing education and other classes.
Expand Your Personal And Professional Network
There’s an old saying – it’s not just about what you know, but also who you know. And travel nursing is one of the surest ways to get to know many more people, both for personal and professional reasons.
By meeting and working with many different doctors and other medical team members, you’ll develop strong connections that can be helpful when searching for new gigs or looking for references for full-time work in the future.
Outside of career concerns, working at many different facilities provides nurses the chance to get to develop a wide range of new social relationships that could result in a network of lifelong friends throughout the nation.
There’s no telling what all of these varied connections could do for you in the years to come.
There Are Many Reasons To Join The Ranks Of Travel Nurses
There’s simply no other job that offers the unique advantages and benefits of travel nursing. Where else can skilled, dedicated employees indulge their desire to travel while making more than they would otherwise? It’s a rare chance to both have fun now and set yourself up for the future at the same time.
Current and future nurses should consider these advantages carefully to see whether travel nursing may be the opportunity they’ve been waiting for.
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