Travel nurses are appointed to different hospitals across the country where there is a shortage of staff. They are contracted to the hospitals for a specific period of time, through various agencies. Travel nurses are those nurses that serve the purpose of filling up the void that a hospital may have due to shortage of staff. Usually, hospitals may require travel nurses when their own nurses may be on maternity leave, vacation, leave due to emergency or any other reason of absence.
Hospitals prefer to hire travel nurses and not permanent ones because the process of appointing a permanent nurse is long and strenuous in comparison to appointing a travel nurse. Travel nurses may belong to different clinical backgrounds and they are appointed to different care areas, as per their experiences.
The mode of hiring a travel nurse is through contractual means. The nurses can contract with the hospitals and vice-versa through specially designated agencies for the same purpose. These contracts may be short-term or long-term, depending on hospital requirements.
To become a travel nurse, it is essential to fulfill all the basic education requirements and become a registered nurse. No additional training is required to become a travel nurse.
A travel nurse may be appointed to any part of the country. They can be assigned to small community hospitals, hospitals in rural towns and areas as well as large hospitals and hospitals based in metropolitan cities. At least two years of experience in the area of speciality, along with the required certifications and a valid license is required to become a travel nurse.
Travel Nurse Salary
Different travel nurse hiring agencies come with different packages and benefits. Each agency has its own fixed travel nurse salary, work tenure, incentives paid and sick leaves, compensation rates, bonuses, retirement plans, choice of location, medical coverage and other attributes. It is therefore very important to analyse different agencies, the benefits they have to offer, the salary package they offer and then accept the contract.
In the United States of America, the average salary of a travel nurse is:
Around $39 per hour
Around $400 per day
Around $1600 per week
Around $6500 per month
Around $90,000 per year
Along with this, they enjoy many benefits like health insurances, license reimbursement, referral programs, health saving accounts, paid housing, dental insurance and more.
Advantages of Travel Nursing
With the comprehensive set duties and responsibilities borne by the travel nurses, it is imperative that they must enjoy certain advantages and benefits. Some of them are:
- They get to travel to new countries, cities and organizations.
- They get the chance to learn about new cultures and meet new people that can have a positive impact on their lives, in the long run.
- Travel nurses enjoy a lot of flexibility in terms of their work and functions, both personally and professionally.
- They can customize their packages and choose their location of work, plan leaves in advance, choose their duration of work and also choose their income and incentive packages.
- Travel nurses are in high demand all across the country.
- The procedure of hiring is much simpler than hiring a permanent one.Because of such high requirements, the travel nurses also get to enjoy high salary packages.
Along with that, they also enjoy various other benefits.Travel nurses experience a big learning curve. They need to hone their skills. They get to experience different people from different walks of life and allows them the opportunity of personal growth as well.
- They also get the chance to build up their resumes and get the opportunity to earn a better work position at any prominent hospital.
- Travel nurses get to enjoy unlimited perks and incentives. They have security over their job and position, the agencies help in covering the cost of travelling from one place to another, housing can be provided at low prices, health and dental insurances are covered, freedom from hospital politics can be enjoyed, and the professional network subsequently widens.
Disadvantages of travel nursing
Whatever profession one chooses to pursue, there are always going to be some sort of disadvantage to it. Here are some drawbacks of becoming a travel nurse:
- There is frequent travelling involved that can often become monotonous and exhaustive ,both physically and mentally.
- It involves a lot of paperwork and research,especially the process of finding the right agency to contract with.
- Travel nurses often become homesick and lonely for obvious reasons.
- The job is not stable. Since the job position is not permanent, travel nurses are moving from one job to the next all the time.
- The work schedules and tenures are not fixed. Some contracts may last for a short period while some may last for a longer period.
Travel nurses are trained, qualified and proficient healthcare professionals. They help in filling the gaps in the hospitals by providing their services at the time of dire emergencies. They assist the patients, help the doctors on board and perform various other consequential duties and functions. Travel nurses can be asked to work at various organisations like community health centres, urgent care facilities, rehabilitation centres and general medical hospitals, all across the country.
The work of a travel nurse can be very physically and emotionally draining. They establish professional, yet personal relationships with the people they work with and are probably the noblest, and most courteous healthcare providers. Travel nursing is, therefore, a highly accomplished field for nurses looking to explore new opportunities.