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If you think graduate school is out of your financial reach, it could be that you haven’t found the right mix of opportunities yet. A 2012 report issued by the Institute of Medicine suggests that nurses with advanced degrees are the best hope for a patient-centered care model. If you want to be a leader in your field, then graduate school might be a fantastic option.
How are you going to make it happen? The answer is right at your fingertips. Consider five reasons why travel nursing and graduate school are the perfect pairing.
The salary benefits of being a travel nurse vary, but this path does open things up for you. Since you have your choice of assignments, you can focus on the higher paying jobs. Facilities base nursing salaries on the regional average. In your home town, it might be much lower than a major metro so get out there and explore your options and save the extra cash.
There are added financial perks with travel nursing, as well, such as inexpensive housing or a stipend to pay for lodging.
As a travel nurse, you bring home a competitive salary but have lower overhead, so you can easily make more. That is extra money that can go towards tuition and books.
There is less social and family stress when you work on the road. There will be time to fill, so why not use it for graduate school? All the temptations that distract you are back at home, so you have free hours between shifts to take online classes and study.
Travel nursing may allow you to find work near a graduate school you want to attend, too. It is worth checking the schools in the area of the available assignments to see what they have to offer. Even if you take classes online, you might be able to fit in some clinical hours locally while you work. If you go to school full-time, then you have a chance to make extra income during your summer break.
Travel nursing exposes you to many different types of work. On one assignment, you might help out in the ED and then work in obstetrics on the next. This is an opportunity for the nurse heading to graduate school to gain experience in different specialties. When it comes time to choose one, you have something to base your selection on.
If you already have a specialty in mind, look for assignments in that field to gain experience points as you work towards your graduate degree.
One of the best things about life as a travel nurse is the chance to network with other medical professionals. This means resources as you study and when you graduate, as well. If you have questions, ask the people you work with to get answers or use the facility resources to research a problem.
Travel nursing will take you to some of the top medical facilities in the country. Make a checklist of hospitals and health networks you might like to apply to as you move from place to place.
You can focus your search by city, too. Make a list of areas you would consider relocating to and use travel nursing to explore them before making your final choice.
Travel nursing allows you to experience life as you work. You can see new places, meet new people, work close to a school and make money, all while you finish your education. It’s the best of both worlds!