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Frequently Asked Questions About Travel Nursing

Travel nursing FAQ | Travelnursing.orgWho can become a travel nurse?

Travel nursing is open to RNs and Surgical Technologists who have at least a year of clinical experience in a hospital setting.

Click here to discover available nursing jobs and find an assignment in the area of your choice!

How long is each assignment?

Most assignments are between 8 and 26 weeks long. Sometimes the facility offers you the option to renew if you want to stay longer! That allows you to decide where and when you want to work.

Will I get the worst assignments?

This all depends on what kind of patients you prefer.

Many places tend to give you the easy patients and leave the sick ones for their staff, especially for acute patients.It takes time for the charge nurses to get to know you and learn what you can handle.

You’ll usually be the first to float, so if you dislike that, you may consider your assignment ‘the worst.’

Can my family come?

Yes! If you choose to travel with family, you may be asked to pay for part of your housing, but this is a great way for you and your family to travel together.

The great news is even the furry member (cat/dog) of your family can come! Pets are welcome in many cases!  You just have to let your recruiter know that you have a pet so they can find housing that is pet-friendly. There may also be restrictions on what type of pet you can have and you may have to pay an additional security deposit.

Can I pick my city?

Depending on your nursing specialty and what is in demand, you can pick where you want to go! Your preferred city may not immediately be available, but there are many great travel opportunities and maybe your favorite city will eventually come available.

What’s the pay like?

Because of the high demand, travel nursing often pays very well. In addition, travel nursing agencies pay for your housing while on assignment. Your compensation varies based on skill level, specialty, and facilities. Also, many travel nursing companies have great bonus programs and provide retirement, medical, and dental benefits.

Ready to begin travel nursing? Get started here.

What about benefits like vacation and health insurance?

Most travel agencies offer both health insurance and retirement with matching. The kicker is that you cannot take more than 30 days off to maintain your health insurance.

If you have the luxury of taking extended vacations, it may be wise to get your own health insurance.

Most companies do not offer Paid Time-Off (PTO) or short term disability. If you tend to play hard, it’s recommended that you get some type of accident insurance so that you have some income coming in if you are not able to work. In the travel world, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid.

Does my travel agency pay for all of my living expenses?

Your travel agency will pay for your housing, furnish it, set up your utilities for you and pay the monthly bill. If you want cable or internet access you have to set that up and pay for it yourself.

Most companies do not pay for a television, washer and dryer or a vacuum but you do have the option of renting these items from the company that furnished the apartment. All you have to do is let your recruiter know what you would like to rent.

You also have the option of taking the housing stipend and finding your own place to stay. If this is the case then all of the living expenses are your responsibility.

If an assignment is cut short due to low census (low patient count), do I still get full pay?

If your assignment is cut short due to low census you typically will not get paid. However, your recruiter will attempt to find you a replacement assignment and the number of shifts allowed to be canceled will be written in your contract.

What is an extension assignment?

This is an additional assignment you receive from the facility you are currently working with while a travel nurse. Hospitals usually wait until the last 3-5 weeks of your assignment to make an extension offer, but you should talk with your recruiter as soon as possible if you are interested in an extension and not wait for the facility to start the process.

Can I travel with another travel nurse?

Yes. Many traveling RNs select assignments together. You can request to work in the same hospital, same city, share an apartment or apartment complex.

How will working as a travel nurse affect future employment?

Traveling as a nurse actually increases your skill level and could make you a more eligible candidate for future nursing jobs. Here’s why: 1) Short travel nursing assignments around the country expose you to different regional nursing procedures. 2) You may have the opportunity to work in a wider variety of specialties. 3) It’s impressive to future employers when a travel nurse can drop into a clinical environment and successfully care for patients quickly and with high quality.

Can I take a travel assignment close to my home?

Many facilities and agencies have a radius rule that does not allow you to take a travel nursing assignment within 50 to 100 miles from your home. This rule is in place to keep permanent local RN’s from switching to higher paying travel nursing contracts.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to work far from your friends or family. In fact, about 80% of first time traveling nurses work within their home state or a neighboring state, according to the National Student Nurses Association. And many nursing schedules give you multiple days off, making it easy to travel home for a visit.

What are standard travel nurse hours?

Standard hours are five 8s, four 10s or three 12s, making it easy to travel home during your days off.

How long has travel nursing been around? Will demand for travel nurses fall?

Travel nursing companies started operations in the 1980s as a result of nursing shortages. Demand for travel nurses has been strong since then. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates a shortage of 1 million nurses by 2020. As medical facilities need more RNs the need for travel nurses will grow, possibly faster than the number of nurses in general.

How do I apply to become a travel nurse?

Simply click here to apply and have a travel nursing recruiter call you.

Get started on your Travel Nursing Adventure today.