1. Less internal politics
When you work for a company as a permanent employee, you have to deal with the ups and downs within your company, your specific unit, and even between yourself and other employees. It’s great to know your voice may be heard when you are in permanent status but sometimes, it’s also nice to know that you can walk away after 13 weeks without looking back if it’s just not a good fit. Being a traveler affords you the opportunity to test the waters at multiple facilities and find a permanent home somewhere if you choose. Of course, you can continue on with travel nursing but it’s nice to know that you have the option to go perm if you decide it’s the right place for you.
2. More money
While traveling is not as lucrative as it was 10+ years ago, it is still leaps and bounds above what you’d be bringing home as a permanent employee. Travel nurses do have to pay for housing while they are on assignment but typically that can be had at a decent price depending on the location. However, if you’re looking to go to Cape Cod in the spring or summer, it will likely be more of an experience you’ll be getting than a lucrative paycheck.
3. See new things
One of the greatest benefits of traveling is that it affords you the ability to see places and things you wouldn’t normally see if you were permanently working in one area. After your 3+ shifts are over for the week when you’re a traveler, take time out to explore the local area or take day trips to see what else is out there. The important thing is to take advantage of the time that you’re there. Remember – take pictures of your adventures!
4. Learn new skills
Another value of travel nursing is being afforded the opportunity to learn new skills. Keep in mind you will be offered a position within the specialty you have the most recent experience in. However, you may be pulled to another unit for assistance when needed as well. While you won’t be performing duties outside your scope, performing in your capacity as a ‘helper’ on another unit gives you the opportunity to see how other areas of the hospital run and may even show you another area that you might want to gain experience in. Typically switching specialties cannot be done while traveling because the hospital needs someone who can hit the ground running without training them but you can always choose to take a permanent position in a hospital within a new field.
5. Meet new people
One of the most fun things about travel nursing is developing new relationships with people you wouldn’t have met otherwise. So many travel nurses maintain friendships with the people they’ve worked at in various hospitals throughout the country during their travels. You’re able to gain new perspectives and see things from a viewpoint outside your local lens. Additionally, you’ll have lots of fun vacation spots with the new people you meet!
Travel nursing isn’t for everyone but it is well within possibility that many just don’t know if it’s the right choice and are afraid to take that next step for fear of the unknown. If you’re nervous about packing up and heading across the country for a temporary position, try taking a local contract at your hometown facility and see if you like the feeling of being a travel nurse without the commitment involved in picking up and leaving.
Want to discuss further? Leave comments below and we’d be happy to answer anything you have about the travel nurse industry.