What It’s Like to be a Traveling Nurse: Four Reasons It Might be Right For You!

NursingJuly 01, 2021

July is the season for summer vacations. Whether you’re planning a trip or just daydreaming about taking one, did you know that traveling nurses get paid to go on vacation and work in other locations? They provide services, make a difference, and get the opportunity to see a new part of the country.  

If you’re not familiar with the concept, a travel nursing is an RN who is sent to an area where there may be a seasonal shortage or a critical need to fill. For example, a hospital may need extra support during flu season or during tourist season when demand for healthcare rises. To meet the demand, they bring in traveling nurses as temporary help. 

  1. You can be a generalist or a specialist. While a variety of nursing specialties including trauma, oncology, cardiology, pediatrics, and outpatient care are in demand, generalists can also find positions. The contract length may vary, but assignments are most often for 13-week blocks. RNs receive a travel nurse salary and free housing or a housing allowance.  Contracts also include benefits, such as health and dental insurance, retirement packages, and travel reimbursements.  

  2. You can go to a big city or a small town. The locations vary, and you can often choose where you want to go. Traveling nurses are needed in big cities like New York, beach resorts such as Key West, or outdoor adventure destinations like Big Sur or remote islands in Alaska —practically anywhere patients may be! Being a traveling nurse allows you to see the country as you explore new locations on your downtime.   

  3. You can build your skillset while you truly make a difference. Working as a traveling nurse can expose you to different work environments as well as different areas of the country. also help you to build your skill sets. You’ll get exposure to different departments as well as different styles of care and management, which can boost your resume.   

  4. You are not alone!  Many traveling nurse contracts encourage you to move with your family, or take a friend along for the adventure. For many contracts, you can even take your pet.  

Some traveling nurses enjoy the variety of facilities, locations and work responsibilities that come with being a traveling nurse and choose to do it practically full-time, moving from one location to another every three to six months or longer. Other nurses might choose to take a leave of absence from their regular employer to work as a traveling nurse for shorter periods of time. To become a traveling nurse, you will need at least 12 months of acute care clinical experience. Once you’ve got some experience under your belt, traveling nurses can register with agencies that place nurses into these short-term staffing opportunities. Your contracting agency may help you obtain your necessary state licenses and even provide continuing education opportunities.  

Not yet an RN? Fortis can help you get on this exciting career path so that, someday, you can have the opportunity to become a traveling nurse. Click here for more information or call us today at (855) 436-7847 and speak to one of our career counselors.