Before Choosing A Travel Nurse Career

May 02, 2011

Travel nurse jobs offer opportunities to see new places and experience new job challenges, but there are several factors a registered nurse will want to consider before taking that first travel nursing job.

Pay
Compare options. Each travel nurse assignment offers a unique pay rate, depending on the nurse’s experience, specialty and the location of the job. Jobs in the specialties of PICU, NICU, Peds, ICU, CVICU, OR and CVOR offer premium rates.

NOTE: Travel nurse assignments in areas with a higher cost of living, such as New York, Chicago or San Francisco, typically will offer a higher pay rate. Granted, these jobs are tougher to get, as these assignments are a popular choice for those seeking the excitement of the cities and the tourist opportunities around them.  

Benefits
Travel nursing agencies may offer a variety of benefits, from healthcare coverage to contributions to a 401(k) retirement fund. Be sure to enquire about options.

Housing & Travel
Housing and travel to and from assignments typically is included in the travel nurse contract. Is the apartment fully furnished? Near the hospital? In a safe environment? Is bus service nearby? The nurse with specific requirements will want to review these with the travel nurse agency.

Licensing Requirements
Each state has its own laws governing nursing practices and the travel nurse must obtain a temporary license from the state government where he or she intends to work. However, since these jobs are in demand, the recruitment agency should be more than willing to help, making the process easier.

Plan ahead. Travel nurse jobs offer wonderful opportunities for registered nurses. Take the step to travel nursing prepared with the details.