What is a Travel Nurse?
A travel nurse is a licensed nurse who typically works in a hospital for a few months at a time before moving onto a different hospital in a different part of the country.
Hospitals like to hire travel nurses and other traveling health professionals for a variety of reasons. Travel nurses can bring a variety of experience and knowledge that a hospital can benefit from. Lots of times, a travel nurse can act as a mentor for other nurses that have just completed their training and are not yet comfortable and/or confident with their new professional status. Medical facility’s that have just opened will often hire the services of a travel nurse until they are up and running smoothly. The new, inexperienced staff will be able to benefit from the travel nurse’s previous work experience. Most travel nurses enjoy the experience of traveling, meeting and working with new co-workers, and hope to gain a well rounded work experience that will serve them when they settle on working full time at a specific medical facility. Many travel nurses claim that the experience allows them to develop a better understanding of their chosen specialty. These same travel nurses also claim that their unique work experiences have helped reintroduce them to patient focused nursing.
Before they start working at a new hospital, a travel nurse has already established an agreement with the hospital. This agreement states what salary the nurse will be making while she is working for the hospital. Before traveling to the new hospital the nurse knows how much of their travel expenses will be paid for. They also know where they will be living while they are working at the medical facility.
Travel nurses generally enjoy a more lucrative salary then they would receive if they worked in a single location. The salary the travel nurse earns is generally based on the location they are working; typically a travel nurse will not earn as much working in a hospital in a rural community as they will earn working in a large inner city hospital. Some nurses prefer travel nursing to nursing in a single medical facility because they enjoy the opportunity to see the world and other cultures. Working in a constantly changing location challenges a travel nurses knowledge and talents. The skills that travel nurse develop on their journeys are skills that they will be able to utilized when they settle on a home base.
Travel nurses find employment through a travel nursing service. This service pairs nurses with medical facilities that are seeking a travel nurse. The travel nursing service typically has a long and happy relationship with hospitals, medical facilities, and medical professionals. The nursing service helps reach agreements between the medical facility’s and the travel nurse. The travel nursing service will also be able to help the travel nurse make sure that they have the proper licensing to work in the state they are about to be going to.
Before a nurse can become a travel nurse there are a few professional criteria that they must complete first.