What is a travel nurse?
Traveling nurses have all the credentials and certifications of a full-time permanent nurse; however, they are contracted for short-term assignments through agencies that specialize in placing traveling nurses. The agency normally supplies the traveling nurse with housing and reimbursement of travel expenses as well as assistance with licensing, health benefits, payroll services and support. Traveling nurses can work locally in their own area or they may choose to travel around the country wherever they are needed most.
What are the requirements for becoming a travel nurse?
You must be a graduate of an accredited health care professional program in the United States or Canada. You must also provide a valid license or certification and proof of the right to work in the United States.
How much experience do I need to become a travel nurse?
You need to have a minimum of 12 consecutive months of recent experience in your specialty.
What is the difference between a travel nurse and a permanent nurse?
Travel nurses typically take on assignments that last four to six weeks. Upon completion of an assignment, a travel nurse can move on to a new assignment or choose to take time off between assignments. This flexibility and change of scenery and pace make travel nursing extremely appealing to many nurses. Permanent nurses stay in one location and work a set shift. While flexibility is the hallmark of travel nursing, stability is the term that most appropriately defines a permanent nursing position.
How does travel nursing compare with Per Diem?
Travel nurses typically fill a gap that exists when a permanent nurse is unable to work for a set period of time. Maternity, short- and long-term disability and other prolonged absences can necessitate the need for a travel nurse. In contrast, Per Diem nurses work day to day. A Per Diem nurse can fill a gap created in one single day due to an unexpected staff shortage. Per Diem nurses can also provide extra support during especially busy shifts. Some permanent and travel nurses may choose to supplement their income with per diem work.
How long are the travel nurse assignments?
Travel nurse assignments can vary in length depending on the agency and the hospital or facility’s needs. A typical assignment might last for as little as 4 weeks or as long as 26 weeks. In some cases, the assignment can be extended when the hospital or facility and travel nurse agree to do so.
Do I need a new license for each state in which I choose to work?
Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding licensure. You can check out our licensure information for all 50 states to learn more. The best travel nursing companies have specialists who will work with you to ensure that you obtain the required license for the state where your next assignment is located well before your start date.
How many hours am I required to work? Are the hours guaranteed?
The majority of travel assignments are 36- and 40-hour weeks. If you are working 12-hour shifts, you will be guaranteed 36 hours per week, while 8- and 10-hour shifts are guaranteed 40 hours per week.
How much can I expect to make as a traveling nurse?
Pay rates for travel nurses depend on the facility, location and clinical specialty, and, generally speaking, travel nurses are well compensated. The personal rewards are clear. How else can you travel, do what you love, and get paid for it? A good travel placement agency will offer excellent benefits, including bonus programs, healthcare insurance, travel reimbursement and retirement programs. Additionally, they'll work with your assigned hospital or facility to provide you with housing, or they'll provide a housing stipend if you prefer to locate housing on your own.
What should I look for when choosing a travel nursing company?
Choosing a travel nursing company is one of the most important steps in becoming a travel nurse. Each company is different with regards to the benefits and services it provides, so it's important to do your homework. Ask each company what it offers in terms of available assignments, pay and benefits, including health insurance and 401(k), housing, loyalty programs and clinical support. Our travel partners can answer any questions you have about which company will be best suited to your needs.
Will I have flexibility in choosing my assignments?
As a travel nurse, you are in charge of your career. Simply let your recruiter know what you want with regards to the location of your assignment, the facility, the clinical setting and any other details that are important to you. Your recruiter will work to make sure your requests are met.
Where are the assignments located?
When you travel with the best travel staffing companies, you'll have access to assignments across all 50 states and in all types of health care facilities.
What type of accommodations can I expect?
Travel nurses typically share a comfortable two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment or condominium, located close to their workplace. Apartments/condos are always fully furnished, and the travel company sets up and pays for utilities
If I don't use the company's housing, will I receive a housing allowance?
Yes. Most travel companies will provide you with a monthly housing subsidy if you arrange and pay for your own housing.
Can I travel with family or friends to my assignments?
Yes! Traveling as a health care professional is a fantastic way to explore the country with your family or best friends. Let your recruiter know whom you will be traveling with to ensure that you are provided with housing that suits your travel lifestyle.
Can I bring my pet?
Pets are definitely welcome on travel assignments. Apartment complexes often require a separate pet deposit that you will be responsible for paying.