There are many specializations within nursing and one of these is travel nursing. A travel nurse is someone who is hired to work in different locations for limited periods of time. Whereas most other types of nurses will have a steady assignment in one place, a travel nurse will be constantly moving around based on the demand. This is a rewarding but challenging job that requires a great deal of flexibility.
What It Takes to Become a Travel Nurse
The qualifications one needs to become a travel nurse are similar to those seeking any other type of nursing career. The first step in pursuing this type of job is to become a registered nurse. Many colleges and universities offer nursing degrees and there are also schools that specialize in this type of training. Although it is possible to get a 2 year associate’s degree in nursing, people who receive a 4 year bachelor’s degree have a wider selection of jobs opportunities.
Travel nurses are usually expected to have a certain amount of experience, so you can expect to work as an RN (registered nurse) at a hospital for at least a year before you can start applying for travel nursing jobs. In order to be a travel nurse, it’s essential to be extremely flexible in terms of your schedule and living arrangements. You will not be able to count on staying in one place for very long, so you will have to be willing to move on short notice.
The Lifestyle of a Travel Nurse
Travel nursing jobs are currently in high demand. In many parts of the country, especially rural areas, there is a nursing shortage. With not enough local nurses to fill job vacancies, hospitals are increasingly seeking travel nurses. Although the demand for travel nurses declined during the recession of 2008-2009, as the economy improves there are once again more jobs being offered in this field. While the length of assignments vary, the typical nursing assignment is 13 weeks. Some of the benefits of travel nursing include getting paid for living expenses as well as a salary.
How to Find a Job as a Travel Nurse
Registered nurses interested in obtaining travel nursing jobs can find staffing companies that specialize in travel nursing. These staffing companies are often aggressively recruiting nurses, so you can afford to be selective when signing up with them. You can compare the salaries, benefits and working conditions of different staffing companies. If possible, talk to nurses who have experience with them and ask if they are satisfied with the company. It’s also possible to apply directly to companies and hospitals that are seeking travel nurses. Such jobs are frequently listed on various online job search sites.
Travel nursing is a growing field that offers a great deal to people who enjoy travel. While it’s a demanding job that requires lots of flexibility, it can be an exciting and diverse career. The life of a travel nurse is constantly presenting new challenges and opportunities.