7 Factors to Consider Before Becoming a Travel Nurse

Travel nursing has grown in popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic, with higher pay being a large motivating factor for many nurses.

Still, travel nursing may not be right for everyone. It is important that you learn more about this career and the other types of nurses to see which option is best for you. Do you want to learn more about travel nursing jobs? 

Keep reading these top seven factors to consider before you decide to become a travel nurse!

1. Your Career Goals

Understanding your career goals is one of the most important things you can do before selecting a nursing career path. Depending on your goals, different types of nursing jobs may fit your needs better. 

For example, if your primary goal is to increase your income, travel nurse opportunities may be the best choice. They often have higher pay, even though you may not have any benefits. 

If your career goals are to gain experience and work your way up the ladder, it may be better to work in a traditional hospital setting. Working in the same hospital for a long period of time will help you work your way up through the ranks. 

2. What Are the Licensure Requirements? 

Next, it is important to understand the licensure requirements for travel nursing careers. It takes a lot of work to become a registered nurse and you may have to do even more if you want to pursue travel nurse opportunities. 

For example, you may need to get a license to work in a certain state. While there are certain types of compact licenses that allow you to work in many different areas, some states may not be included. 

This may mean that you will need to complete continuing education hours or extra training to keep your license active. Understanding the licensure requirements will help you be prepared for your placements as a travel nurse. 

3. Will You Get Homesick? 

Are you the type of person that gets homesick? If so, travel nursing may not be the best choice for you. While it can be exciting to visit new cities and have adventures as a travel nurse, it can also be quite isolating when you are away from your friends and family. 

If you are placed in a boring location, you may find that you quickly get homesick. 

When you have a permanent position as a nurse, it allows you to settle in one place and develop relationships. As a travel nurse, you will have more time to explore and enjoy new adventures. 

Make sure you understand your own needs before deciding if you want to live as a travel nurse. 

4. What Are the Contract Terms?

Understanding your contract terms is essential when you are considering becoming a travel nurse. This is not something that you can do briefly or skim over. Make sure you understand each of the details and ask questions about the details that you don’t understand. 

Your contract will include information about your pay, your requested time off, shift times, and more. 

Understanding your contract terms will help you know what you are getting yourself into. 

5. Hospital Procedures May Vary

It is also important to understand that the procedures at different hospitals will vary. Every hospital will be run differently and the permanent staff will have different unspoken rules. 

If you assume that you know how to do something, you may end up doing something wrong. Plus, you don’t want to seem like a know-it-all with your new coworkers. 

Instead, you must ask questions about how the hospital functions on your first day, even if they seem obvious. 

6. What Are Your Workplace Priorities? 

Another important factor to consider is your workplace priorities when you look for a nursing job. Your workplace priorities will depend on your own needs and what you find fulfilling. 

For example, many people prioritize finding a job that offers flexibility and time off. Because travel nurses have short-term contracts, they can essentially control when they work. 

You can plan to take off certain weeks or even the whole summer if you want to travel! However, travel nurses do not get paid time off.

Other people may prefer to work in an environment that has a good culture. This is a potential drawback of travel nursing. You will always be the new person at work and it can be easy for travel nurses to feel isolated and lonely. 

Make sure you weigh each of your workplace priorities to find the job that fits your needs. 

7. Consider Job Security

Finally, it is important that you consider job security before deciding whether you want to pursue travel nursing. Because there continues to be a nursing shortage in the United States, nurses are always in depend. 

Plus, the COVID-19 pandemic lead to an increased demand for travel nurses to fill vacancies in hospitals around the country. Because of this, travel nurses will typically always have high job security. 

Still, there is a chance that your contract can be canceled before it starts. This means you might be left without a job temporarily. Make sure you understand these potential disadvantages before committing to travel nursing jobs. 

Looking for Travel Nurse Jobs? We Can Help

Becoming a travel nurse provides many benefits to healthcare workers. Not only does it boast higher pay, but it also provides flexibility and adventure that you may not have in a traditional nursing job. Still, you must understand each of these factors to decide whether travel nursing is the right fit. 

If you are looking for travel nursing jobs, Squad Medical Staffing can help! We are a traveling nurse staffing agency and can help you find and apply for jobs. 

Contact us today to learn more about our services and to become a travel nurse!

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