In response to the novel Coronavirus pandemic, the need for qualified medical professionals has never been greater. Currently, travel nurses are in demand all over the country. Want proof? Trends have shown an increase in payment packages for travel nurses of nearly 30%. Additionally, due to reduced staff availability at many hospitals in the wake of the pandemic, travel nurses are in even greater demand.
Pursuing opportunities in the healthcare sector when the market is piping hot yields its fair share of benefits, including more negotiating power, higher pay-rates, and motivated agencies willing and able to provide better service for their contractors.
Besides all the perks, the day-to-day of a travel nurse will undoubtedly keep you on your toes. As such, it is essential to envision yourself in their comfortable nursing shoes before taking the leap and signing a contract. Despite occasional uncertainty, many travel nurses find true satisfaction in their careers. If you feel ready to commit to the unpredictable (yet exciting) lifestyle of travel nurses, consider consulting Fusion Medical Staffing. If you’re still teetering on the fence, read on for more insight into travel nursing pros and cons.
Pros of a career in travel nursing
Unlimited travel and adventure
If you like helping people, traveling, and exploring uncharted territory, travel nursing could be right up your alley. When you are between assignments, you can engage in personal travel or chip away at other passion projects on your agenda. Despite not earning a wage while you’re between assignments, many successful travel nurses have found ways to save money on their once-in-a-lifetime adventures.
Higher wages, better benefits
Travel nurses usually earn a higher wage on average than permanently-stationed nurses. Alongside the monetary advantages, travel nurses enjoy a wide range of benefits in addition to satisfying their desire to help those in need.
Some agencies will provide stipends for housing and living expenses for traveling nurses. Other nurses enjoy bonuses and tax breaks. If you have an area of expertise, you could be eligible for even more financial perks as a traveling nurse since the need is always high for nurses with refined skill sets and previous experience.
Variety in your career
Gone are the days of monotony in the workplace should you choose to pursue travel nursing. One of the biggest pros of travel nursing is that you have the chance to do just that–travel. Nurses are being stationed in hundreds of locations, from large metropolitan areas to quaint mountain towns. Just about every region of the U.S. requires travel nurses, and hospitals that employ them benefit in many ways from their presence.
Throughout your time as a travel nurse, you’ll not only experience how different hospitals around the country function, but you will have first-hand learning experiences that will make you a better and more well-rounded nurse. People skills, cultural competency, and independence are all talents you will find yourself retaining through your time as a travel nurse, in addition to a plethora of medical advancements.
Cons of travel nursing
Although it may seem appealing to jet-set for the entirety of your career, being on-the-move year-round is no small feat. Besides being physically taxing at times, frequent travel can be difficult for anyone who prefers having a home base to return to. Additionally, a life spent hopping from apartment to apartment can involve quite a heavy dose of loneliness.
Finally, it’s critical to note that travel nurses are always adjusting to new work and living environments, which can become emotionally taxing over prolonged periods. That said, be sure to account for these potential deal breakers before signing on. When you do, try not to worry too much, as there are many online resources for travel nurses designed to streamline your transition to a globe-trotting career.
One of the more technical downsides to becoming a travel nurse is that your agency may require you to have an active license for each state in which you are working. However, this task isn’t impossible to work around, as some agencies will compensate you for any money or time you spend getting licensed. However, most states in the U.S. are covered under a “compact RN license,” which some agencies will help you attain.
Career advancement issues
Although many travel nurses will tell you that they learned countless skills and made many connections in their professional careers, some may argue that travel nursing could hurt your career trajectory—believe it or not. Though you will have opportunities to pad your resume and work in top-rated hospitals across the U.S., you may not be able to make long-lasting networking connections due to the short-lived nature of your assignments.
Though travel nursing may seem like a nightmare for some, it is a dream career for others. Travel nursing can offer you the unique combination of an adventurous lifestyle, competitive pay, and growth in your field. Just make sure to thoroughly research the job and understand what you’re getting into before you slingshot your way out of your comfort zone.