Travel Nurses and Travel Nursing
Thinking of Becoming a Travel Nurse?
Choosing to become a travel nurse is not a hard decision. You get a world of job experience, travel, and because travel nurses are compensated for living expenses and generally make more than stationary nursing positions, you make a higher salary. But how does travel nursing work and how does one go about becoming a travel nurse?
What Does Travel Nursing Entail?
Due the high demand and low supply of nurses, the travel nurses profession picked up in popularity about 20 years ago. Being a travel nurse involves traveling from medical facility to medical facility on assignment. Contrary to popular belief, travel nurses get choices when it comes to their assignments; this includes everything from where they will work to how long their assignments will be.
Generally, travel nurses work with a recruiter to choose their next assignment. After a potential assignment is determined, nurses then interview with the medical facility, and if an assignment is extended, either accept or reject the assignment. Nurses know how much they will be paid, including overtime pay, and how long their assignment will last before accepting assignments. When an assignment is accepted, nurses have all travel expenses paid to get to their new assignment; most of the time, housing is free or discounted. Once their assignment is complete, usually between 1 month and 1 year, they can either choose to stay on with their current assignment, or move on to their next assignment.
Necessary Qualifications and Skills
Qualifications to be a travel nurse aren’t much more strenuous than those for a permanent nursing job. Here are the qualifications one must meet:
- Become licensed to practice as a nurse, i.e. Registered Nurse;
- Completion of an accredited four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, a two-year Associate’s Degree from a community college, or a hospital diploma;
- Completion of the nursing board exams; and
- Gain at least 1 year of nursing experience.
Generally, travel nurses should also be:
- Easily and quickly adaptable new and different environments;
- Quick on their feet;
- Quick learners;
- Amiable and good communicators.
Other Attractive Qualifications
The above qualifications are the bare minimum for becoming a travel nurse. Those who want to ensure they get a travel nurse job may consider also:
- Being fluent in different languages, especially Spanish if one plans on working in the U.S.
- Working for 1.5 to 3 years as a nurse.
- Working in multiple hospital units, e.g. surgery, pediatrics, emergency, etc. to have a well-rounded resume.
The process for becoming a travel nurse, after being qualified, is relatively simple. First, you must choose an agency, like MyNurseRecruiter. To make an informed decision, do research into agencies’ benefits, job and location variety, and average rates of pay.
Second, apply to the agency or multiple agencies of your choice; there exist some services that will even allow you to fill out a single application for multiple agencies.
Third, after finding an agency, begin consulting with a recruiter to determine which assignments will be most beneficial to your career and needs.