Advantages and Disadvantages of Travel Nursing Employment

Advantages and Disadvantages of Travel Nursing Employment

travel nurse benefits

Being a travel nurse allows nurses to gain experience working in different hospitals. They acquire a broader perspective of the healthcare world and learn multiple EMR systems, processes, procedures, equipment, and goals. However, varying pay rates may cause financial stress. Some nurses also worry that their contracts can be canceled if the hospital decides they are no longer needed.

Flexibility

One of the travel nurse benefits is its flexibility. You can work where you want when you want, and for as long as you want. You can move on to the following location if you wish to or take a break between assignments if needed. Another benefit of the flexible schedule is that it allows you to focus more closely on patient care without getting wrapped up in hospital politics and management issues. However, it can be hard to connect with a team when you’re only there for a short period. Travel nurses often have to arrange their housing and may need to become more familiar with the area in which they are working. It can be stressful as finding a good place to live or knowing whether your assignment is in a high-crime neighborhood can be challenging. It’s also hard to get used to being away from home. Even with FaceTime and other technology, it can feel like you’re missing what makes your house a home.

Pay

The pay for travel nurses can be great, and you often can negotiate your wages based on the market rates in a particular area. Developing your skills or accepting in-demand tasks are other ways to make extra cash. Many travel nursing agencies offer sign-on, completion, and retention bonuses and accessible housing options during your assignment. However, your tax-free housing stipend may not always be in an ideal neighborhood or studio apartment that doesn’t meet your needs.

Another con is that being a travel nurse can be lonely. It’s true if you live in temporary housing away from friends and family. The good news is that you can find other travel nurses to bond with and make new friends from all over the country. It makes the frequent uprooting less lonely, and it can also be fascinating to experience a new city every few months.

Opportunity to Try New Specialties

One of the best things about travel nursing is that it provides a unique opportunity to try out new specialties. If you know that there’s a specific area of nursing that you want to get more experience in, find out if your agency offers assignments in that specialty and talk with your recruiter about securing a job. Another pro of trying out different things is that it can help you decide if this is an area of nursing you would like to make your permanent career choice. Getting experience in a particular specialty is also a great way to improve your resume and increase your job security. A potential con of trying new specialties is that you may need to become more familiar with some aspects, including the equipment and patient care requirements. It can cause some nurses to feel overwhelmed when they first begin their assignments. However, if you have a good relationship with your recruiter, they can help you navigate any challenges. They can also provide plenty of information about the specialty to prepare you for your assignment.

Job Security

Hospitals rely on travel nurses to fill in the staffing gaps, which means they can be less secure than permanent positions. Travel nurses often find themselves the new face in a place with their own rules and policies, which can lead to confusion. Fortunately, healthcare staffing agencies screen potential travel nurses to ensure they have a positive attitude and a willingness to learn. If your career at a permanent hospital stagnates, travel nursing can provide the necessary rejuvenation. Plus, you get to handpick your assignments. If you want to experience the hustle and bustle of cities, for example, then you have to pick a contract in that area. Of course, this also means you’ll be away from home for a long time. But, with the help of FaceTime and video calls, it’s better than it seems. A tax-free housing stipend is typically included in travel nurse contracts to help with the financial strain of being away from family and friends.

Socialization

The nature of travel nursing means you will often be in unfamiliar environments. It is true both in your work environment and your living situation. It can be challenging at times. Contact fellow travel nurses or healthcare professionals near your new assignment. These contacts can provide valuable insights into local attractions and restaurants and support if you need help adjusting to your new location. Another great way to connect is to join a local exercise or community group. There is probably an activity close to your new assignment that will let you meet people who share your interests and form enduring friendships, whether you like to dance, paint, or spend time outside. Having these connections will also help you feel less isolated, which can be a common cause of burnout among travel nurses.