travel nursing

Travel Nursing: How It Works

The concept of travel nursing is fairly simple to understand.  Instead of working for one hospital or clinic like a traditional RN, a travel nurse moves around as demand changes.  This type of work was created after years of a nationwide shortage of nurses. But how exactly does travel nursing work?  Read on for some information about the process so you can inform yourself before deciding if it is a good job for you.

Who can work in travel nursing?

Anyone with a nursing license and at least one year of specialized nursing experience are qualified to be a travel nurse.  It is important for travel nurses to have a specialized field. They are then eligible for open jobs in that area. 

For travel nursing jobs in the United States, nurses need an RN license in every state they will be working in.  As the period of time necessary for obtaining a license varies from state to state, it is best to have some locations in mind from the beginning.  Then you will be ready and able to receive quality assignments and respond to them quickly. The most popular states for travel nursing are California, Texas, Arizona, and Florida.  Applying for RN licenses in these states right off the bat can help you land a position fast.

Like any other job, there is a specific hiring process for travel nurses including an application and interview.  Learn more about that here.

Travel Nurse Agencies

Travel nurses get their assignments through travel nursing agencies.  These companies work with hospitals across the country and the world to meet the demand for medical help with their travel nurses.  Even if you have never worked with a job agency before, you can understand their basic function by thinking of job search sites like Indeed and LinkedIn.  Like any job board, travel nursing agencies help you find a place to work. The big difference is that you stay connected with the agency so that they can help you get a new placement every time you need one.

Because of this commitment, it is important to find a travel nurse agency that fits your specific needs.  Be sure to research different options. Various agencies specialize in different types of nursing and locations.  You want to find a company you feel good about working in the long term.

Travel Nursing Jobs

Once a travel nursing assignment is chosen, it can last anywhere from 8 to 26 weeks depending on the need.  The average travel nursing job is about 13 weeks long. Every assignment looks different. Travel nurses can be placed in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation, and other areas of care.  Actual tasks vary widely depending on the person’s background and specialty. Travel nurses do everything from assisting doctors during exams and surgeries to lab work to urgent care.

Travel nurse jobs can be very rewarding.  You know there is an urgent need for your skills in the place you are working.  You are helping that hospital or clinic meet their nursing-patient ratios so they can offer the best care possible.  The work can also be educational for yourself and others. Travel nursing brings together a medical team from various regions and education backgrounds.  This creates opportunities to learn new procedures and ideas.

Thinking About Becoming a Travel Nurse?

Like any nursing job, travel nursing can be both exhausting and incredibly rewarding.  Not only are you helping others, but you are also traveling the country while you advance your career.  If you think this sounds like the perfect opportunity for you, New Directions Staffing can help. We will find open travel nurse positions and let you choose your ideal location.  Contact us today to get started.