During the 1970s, a nursing shortage created an industry called “travel nursing.” The sector provided nurses with temporary positions, mostly in hospitals.
Long-term vs. short-term contracts
Whether you’re a new nurse or you’ve been doing this for a while, choosing between short-term and long-term contracts is a decision that will affect your life. Of course, you’ll spend considerable time on the road, but it can also give you an excellent opportunity to see new places, make money and expand your professional network.
Taking a travel nursing assignment can allow you to work in exotic locations and high-demand specialties. In addition, you’ll get to see new medical technology and serve patients needing medical attention.
Some hospitals prefer to deal with short-term contracts. Others opt for a longer-term contract. The average travel nursing contract is around 13 weeks.
Some travel nursing employment takes on contracts to cover short-term staffing gaps, such as after maternity leave or during a seasonal fluctuation. Others take the opportunity to try a new city, get to know the staff, and find out if they like the area.
Having a long-term contract means you can work in a particular area more extensively. However, your payment will be lower. You’ll also need to make sure you have a tax home to live in.
A travel nursing assignment is also an excellent way to learn about new medical technology and expand your professional network. While on the road, you’ll have the chance to assess patients and provide them with medications. Some assignments also offer free meals and lodging.
Applicants for travel nurse positions must meet several education requirements. The first is a bachelor’s degree. This degree will open up a variety of opportunities.
Applicants must also have at least one year of nursing experience. They must also pass the NCLEX-RN exam and register with their state’s board. This exam tests a nurse’s skills and knowledge.
Travel nurses can also specialize in several fields. Some more in-demand specialties include surgery, labor and delivery, and critical care. Other things may require more experience.
Most travel nursing agencies require a travel nurse to have at least one year of nursing experience. Some agencies also pay living expenses for their staff members.
Travel nurses may work for eight to thirteen weeks in the United States. They may live in furnished apartments, extended-stay hotels, or their homes. Many hospitals depend on travel nurses to fill acute staffing needs.
Travel nurses also must maintain their Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support certifications. These certifications are available through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Applicants for travel nurse positions should also maintain detailed records of all health screenings and shots. It is also recommended that prospective travel nurses affiliate with agencies that demand high performance.
RNs, LPNs, and APRNs can also obtain certification as travel nurses. This certification is available to both full-time and temporary nurses. Applicants can take the exam anywhere in the United States.
Typically, a travel nurse is hired on a contract basis to provide medical assistance. They can be assigned to various clinical settings such as hospitals, clinics, and community health centers. They provide medical care, administer medicine, and conduct essential lab work.
Most travel nurses work in the U.S., although they may also work abroad. They are often hired to fill nursing shortages in the U.S., especially in rural and high-risk areas.
There are many different reasons why nurses choose a career in travel nursing. Travel nurses work on a healthcare team and are generally responsible for coordinating patient care. They may also manage medications, monitor vital signs, and record patient symptoms.
Typical travel nursing assignments last anywhere from eight to thirteen weeks. These assignments are generally based on staffing needs at a particular hospital.
Having a flexible schedule can help you earn the most money. Many hospitals are offering higher rates for night shift assignments.
Another perk of a travel nursing career is exploring new locations. You can also avoid the stress of workplace politics and burnout by traveling to new destinations. You can also learn new skills and gain experience in different specialties.
Requirements for a Travel Nurse
The proper education, experience, and certification can help you secure a career as a travel nurse. You can earn a great living and take advantage of the flexibility of working independently. You can also meet new people and gain a unique perspective on life.
Generally, you will work on short-term assignments at hospitals or other healthcare facilities. However, your duties will vary based on the type of facility you work at and the population you serve. In addition, depending on your specialty, you may be required to have additional certifications.
Travel nurses may work in high-risk areas, such as intensive care units, telemetry, or emergency rooms. They also may receive training in treating specific populations, such as children or the elderly. In addition, some organizations appreciate the assistance of travel nurses.
A BSN or master’s degree can help you land a more competitive position. Many hospitals prefer to hire nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Still, you can also find opportunities in specialized fields, such as neonatal care, critical care, or pediatrics.
You can find travel nurse jobs all over the country. You can even find positions in the Middle East and Europe. You will need to obtain a visa and sponsorship for international assignments. You will also need to be familiar with the laws and culture of the location you are working in.