The Importance of Travel Nurses and the Benefits They Receive
By Erin Wallace, Contributor
For nurses who have a bit of wanderlust, a travel nursing career can be quite rewarding and fulfilling. Travel nurses are typically needed in hospitals and other facilities on a temporary basis to fill short-term employment gaps, and they can work in a wide variety of clinical areas. Travel nurses are usually employed by independent staffing agencies, such as American Mobile, that help them find travel nursing jobs.
Whether you're a seasoned RN or you're considering a career as a travel nurse out of nursing school, there's a lot to know and internalize about your career choice.
Importance of travel nurses
Travel nurses are extremely important to the healthcare industry because they help fill in the gaps between supply and demand in the nursing field. Hospitals have mandatory staff to patient ratios to maintain for the safety and overall health of patients, and travel nurses help do that.
Research has shown a positive connection between nursing staff levels, nurse retention and measures of patient outcomes.
Since travel nurses come from different educational backgrounds, geographical areas and areas of expertise, they can help share knowledge with the existing nursing team. Sharing ideas and know-how benefits patients and other nurses.
Benefits of travel nursing
The travel. For nurses who have an unending desire to travel from city to city and state to state, travel nursing is an excellent career choice. Travel nursing lets you explore different geographical areas and work in many different hospitals.
Freedom. Travel nursing is one of the most flexible careers available for RNs. When you become a travel nurse, you get to choose where you work, when you work and for how long. Typically, travel nursing assignments last for eight to 13 weeks, depending on the hospital and the available role. Details are often flexible, so sometimes shorter or longer stints are available. The best part is, if you're not thrilled about your assignment, you're not stuck there forever, because most likely it'll be time to move on after just a few months.
Grow your career. As a travel nurse, you have the opportunity to work in a variety of clinical settings, where you can learn new skills and share your own knowledge and expertise with others. This valuable experience can help bolster your resume when or if you decide to settle down in a more permanent nursing position.
Make professional and personal connections. Another great benefit to being a travel nurse is meeting new people at every new travel nursing assignment. Making professional connections is a great networking strategy, as some of these individuals may open a new professional door for you or just end up being great personal friends.
Additional incentives. While specific incentives vary by travel nursing agency, in general you can expect to have housing and travel costs compensated. If you choose to work in an under-served area, some agencies may offer additional bonuses.
Like what you're reading? Read more about travel nursing benefits and salary information.