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Frequently Asked Questions

Travel Nursing Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you’re exploring travel nursing for the first time or you’re an experienced traveler with many assignments under your belt, Fastaff is here to make the journey as easy as possible.

Below you’ll find the answers to some of our most commonly asked travel nursing topics. Not seeing what you need to know? Create an account to connect with your personal recruiter.

What is a travel nurse?

A travel nurse is a registered nurse employed by an independent staffing agency rather than a single healthcare facility who takes temporary contracted assignments in areas of high need. Typically, assignments last 13 weeks, though they can range anywhere from four to 26 weeks in length, with the option to extend at the location if all is well. Travel nurses usually have at least 1-2 years of recent acute-care experience in their specialty. Travel nursing offers an opportunity to enhance one's resume, explore various locations or test out different facilities before settling permanently. It provides exposure to esteemed healthcare professionals in desirable locations and allows for the acquisition of diverse nursing leadership practices.

Travel nurses fulfill critical staffing needs in hospitals and facilities nationwide for specified durations. These needs arise due to various reasons, including unexpected leaves of absence, seasonal population fluctuations or planned absences like maternity leave. By stepping in to address staffing shortages, travel nurses ensure continuity of care and maintain high quality healthcare services for patients.

Travel nurses take their skills and experience on the road and work for a limited amount of time at a specific location. Travel nursing jobs, typically called "assignments," allow you the flexibility to work in new areas of the country, share new experiences, and earn a great paycheck all while using your clinical training to help patients in need.

Travel nursing agencies operate by connecting nurses with healthcare facilities in need of temporary staffing. Instead of being directly employed by the healthcare facility, travel nurses work for the healthcare staffing agency to find and secure positions in locations of their choice or where there is a high demand for their services.

Regardless of the nursing specialty, nurses with licenses in good standing and typically a minimum of two years of nursing experience can apply to work as travel nurses. The agency facilitates the placement process, negotiates contracts, handles logistics and provides support throughout the assignment and during the search for the next assignment.

To apply for travel nursing jobs, start by completing an easy online application, which serves as the initial step in launching your travel nursing career. The application connects you with a recruiter who will be your primary point of contact during your job search and beyond. Your application provides your recruiter with essential information to match you with suitable travel nurse jobs based on your skills, experiences and licensure, but they'll also take the time to check in with you to learn about your personal and professional goals.

If you have any questions about the application process, feel free to reach out to a Trustaff recruiter for guidance. We are dedicated to supporting you throughout the application process and beyond, and there is never an obligation or cost for speaking with us about your career options.

Because travel nurses are expected to hit the ground running with minimal orientation, most travel nursing jobs require at least two years of active experience in your area of specialty. You should be confident in your clinical skills and ready to take on the unexpected!

To become a travel nurse, follow these steps: First, familiarize yourself with the responsibilities and demands of the role. Next, earn an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ASN/ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). After completing your degree, successfully pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse (RN). Gain clinical experience as an RN for at least two years, as most travel nurse staffing agencies require this level of experience. Finally, it's time to research and apply to reputable travel nurse staffing agencies that align with your qualifications and preferences.

Most travel nursing jobs are 13 weeks long. However, Trustaff receives openings with a wide range of lengths and can be anywhere from 4-24 weeks. You’ll work directly with your recruiter to find jobs that best fit your needs and your schedule.

When considering you assignment options, you'll be able to browse jobs by shift and/or duration. This will help you select jobs that best fit your needs. Most assignments have a set minimum number of weekly hours, such as 36 hours or 40 hours per week. Working shorter duration assignments can result in part-time pay with more time off for relaxation and other benefits of travel nursing. Many travel nurses enjoy the flexibility and freedom of being able to schedule unlimited time off between assignments.

Standard practice for travel nurses is to avoid working in one place for more than 12 months within any rolling 24-month period. This guideline is in accordance with IRS regulations, which stipulate that exceeding one year at a single workplace within a 24-month timeframe can affect tax deductions related to travel. It's essential to prevent staying in one area for too long to avoid shifting your tax home, resulting in loss of benefits related to travel expenses. Please refer to a licensed tax professional for any questions regarding your tax home and travel expenses.

Trustaff has relationships with the top facilities in the nation, including top-tier teaching facilities, large-scale hospital systems, independent care facilities, rural and regional medical centers, and even outpatient care centers. Your recruiter will go over the best options for your experience and specialty when you discuss potential job matches.

When you work with Trustaff, you get access to thousands of jobs at facilities all across the United States. We have travel nursing jobs in all 50 states for all specialties and experience levels. Travel nursing jobs open and close quickly, so your recruiter is your best resource when exploring your options; they’re always in the know on what’s new.

That’s up to you! You can work in the next state or all the way on the other side of the continent. One of the best things about travel nursing is the flexibility for you to decide which jobs you want to take and which adventures you want to try.

Trustaff pays our travel nurses through a weekly direct deposit. You will be paid weekly for any hours worked the previous week. Please closely follow any timekeeping information provided for your specific assignment.

Absolutely! We love when you send friends and colleagues our way and will reward you with a cash bonus. Bonus amount depends on the referred person’s area of care and is paid once they have worked 30 days at their Trustaff assignment.

Our travelers are eligible for comprehensive employee benefits very similar to what you may expect at a staff position, including major medical coverage, dental, and vision options for you and your family, 401k with employer match, and more.

When considering a new travel nursing assignment, one of the first questions we usually get is, "Where will I stay?"

Trustaff has a department dedicated to assisting our travelers with their travel and housing needs. Whether you want to rent a fully furnished apartment, stay in a nearby hotel, or even bring your home-away-from-home with you to an RV park, there are a wide range of options for every budget and comfort level.

If you prefer to make your own housing arrangements, that's fine too! We simply pay you a housing per diem in your weekly paycheck, which you can then use to offset your housing costs. Housing options vary greatly from assignment to assignment, based on the local area, the cost of living, and any government limitations.

Many travel nurse agencies offer a housing stipend to help cover your accommodation while on assignment. This stipend is typically included as part of the compensation package. The amount of the stipend, much like the pay, varies depending on factors such as region, facility, nursing specialty and demand. Travel nurse housing stipends are most often provided on a weekly (per paycheck) basis.

At Trustaff, we cover miscellaneous expenses, including your housing stipend, and never charge unscrupulous fees.

Yes! Many of our travel nurses bring along their furry (and not so furry) friends. Be sure to discuss any special requirements you may have when talking to your recruiter about your needs.

Yes! Our travelers bring along a wide variety of family members, from their spouse to all three generations. One of the best parts of travel nursing is its flexibility—meaning you get to make the decisions regarding who, when, and where.

Some hit the road together; others travel back and forth on their days off. Be sure to discuss your plans with your recruiter so they can help advise you regarding the area, potential housing options, etc.

Once your travel nursing assignment nears its end, your recruiter will get your feedback on how the experience has been. If you enjoyed your time at that facility, you can ask toextend for another 13 weeks! If you’re ready to move on, your recruiter will line up new assignments for you to consider. Your assignments don’t have to be back-to-back; you’re free to take time off between assignments, vacation, visit home, or spend your time as you please.

When selecting the best travel nursing agency, gather essential information first. Check their industry reputation and whether they offer assignments where you want to work. Evaluate their facility partnerships, support services, employee benefits and track record in securing fulfilling assignments. By considering these factors, you can distinguish between agencies and increase your chances of finding rewarding opportunities.

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