10 Things That Will Happen When You Become a Travel Nurse
By Megan Krischke, contributor
Ever wonder what would happen if you became a travel nurse? Would it change you?
The short answer is “Yes.”
And for the better.
As many have discovered, travel nursing is a unique career option that can provide you with new opportunities, experiences and perspectives.
Here are just a few of the things you can expect to happen when you choose the travel nursing lifestyle.
10 Things You Can Expect When You Become a Travel Nurse
1. You’ll Become a Domestic Jetsetter
From Long Island to Los Angeles and Houston to Minneapolis—even Honolulu and Fairbanks—travel nursing can take you anywhere. And what better way to see the country than to road trip from assignment to assignment, at least in the lower 48 states?
Not only will you be able to find Connecticut on a map, you’ll also know where the best hikes and wineries are in the state.
2. You’ll Become a Team Player
Travel nursing will give you the opportunity to work with people who have a variety of personalities, values and habits.
This will hone your people skills as you practice compromise, diplomacy and dedication to excellent patient care.
One of the key takeaways that travel nurses often mention about their experience is how much they learn by working in a variety of hospitals with many different co-workers.
Your subsequent teams will appreciate that you have new perspectives on old problems and can bring best practices from around the nation to your work.
3. You’ll Never Pay for a Hotel Again
Being a travel nurse means making new friends everywhere you go. And with social media it is easy to stay in touch over time and distance.
That means, even months or years after your stint as a traveling nurse, you will have friends to crash with all over the country.
4. You’ll Become an Expert Packer
When you have to live for three months at time with only what you can fit in the back of your car, you quickly figure out what you can and can’t live without.
Perhaps you can’t live without your framed print of Starry Night, but a lot of your cooking gadgets can be left behind.
Armed with a minimalist approach and inspiration from The Container Store, you will learn the tricks of packing the essentials for your wardrobe and your daily life.
Check out Travel Smarts: From Packing to Pets for some tips on packing light.
5. You’ll Become More Adventurous
Just making the decision to leave your current nursing job to become a travel nurse proves that you are up for adventure.
And every travel assignment will bring new adventures as you learn the culture of new workplaces, meet new people and explore the region where you are living.
Want to try whale watching in Washington?
Two-stepping in Texas?
Mountain climbing in Montana?
Surfing in San Diego?
The country is at your feet.
Working as a travel nurse, you’ll learn to relish new experiences and handle life’s unexpected twists and turns with confidence. Plus, you’ll have some awesome stories to tell!
6. You’ll Become More Independent
Our traveling nurses report that their co-workers and neighbors are quick to befriend them, offering suggestions for things to do and invitations to join them.
But a lot of things will still be up to you.
You’ll need to figure out how to navigate your new town, for instance, and learn to solve more day-to-day problems on your own.
These experiences will help you gain confidence as you try new things and succeed in new challenges in your personal life and at work.
7. You’ll Become the Envy of All Your Friends
Your friends who are stuck behind a desk in a dark corner will become envious of all your travel adventures.
While travel nurses work hard, they also play hard, exploring exciting new places and meeting new people.
8. You’ll Get to Know Yourself Better
Being in a new place where no one has expectations about who you are can help you discover your deepest, truest self.
As a travel nurse, you can enjoy greater self-discovery as you make new friends, try new things and discover new passions.
If you are traveling alone, you’ll have the opportunity to open the gift of solitude and introspection. And if you’re traveling with a spouse or good friend, the time spent discovering new things together can help deepen your relationship.
9. You’ll Change Your Perspective
Did you grow up in the big city and find small towns a little backward? Maybe you’ll find you love the experience of turning out for a Friday night high school football game with the whole town.
Always thought you’d hate the hustle and bustle of urban living? Perhaps you’ll discover that dealing with the traffic really is a good trade-off for all a big city has to offer.
There’s nothing like the real life experiences of travel nursing to broaden your perspective. Maybe you’ll discover you like things that you thought you would hate.
10. You’ll Get Spoiled
Did you know that NursesRx travelers can take up to a month off between assignments without losing their health insurance? (Ask a recruiter for details.)
Want to spend the holidays with your family? Backpack across Europe? Spend a month just hanging out with friends and binge-watching Netflix?
Spoil yourself however you choose!
And did we mention the competitive salaries, free housing, paid travel expenses and other benefits of travel nursing you can enjoy while you are on assignments?