What To Expect as a Traveling Nurse | Salary & Requirements 2021
Travel nursing is a great opportunity to travel and gain valuable nursing experience.
Traveling Nurse Requirements
If you’re interesting in travel nursing work, the first step is to pass the NCLEX exam and get your RN license.
To be a travel nurse, you typically need 12-18 months of hospital-based experience in your desired field; sometimes more will be required depending on your specialty.
Each facility that you consider will have its own requirements. The best way to get started is to pick a specific field of expertise and look for opportunities in that area.
Choosing Your First Travel Nursing Assignment
Once you have selected a specialty, the fun begins. Think of all the places you have ever wanted to live or visit. Now is the time to choose! You have the option to select anywhere in the nation to work.
Once you have selected a city or state that you wish to work in, you need to make sure that you are qualified for the positions that are available.
Speaking to a recruiter is the best way to get started finding. They can help you navigate travel nurse job postings and apply for available positions so you can get placed and start working right away.
Travel Nursing Interview
Once you and your recruiter have selected a location and have found open travel nurse assignments that you qualify for, the next step is to interview. While your recruiter has helped you find and apply for the position, the decision to hire you or not is up to the facility.
Your recruiter can help you prepare for the interview so that you aren’t caught off guard by any of the questions that may be asked.
Here are some questions to help you prepare for your interview.
If you are chosen by the facility to come and work for them, congratulations! You have the opportunity to accept the position and go and work in a new city for the duration of your assignment. This opportunity will allow you to try out a new city and live in a new place. Being a travel nurse is a great adventure as it allows you to visit new places that you have never been to before. Your job is like a working vacation!
After Your First Travel Nursing Assignment
Once you complete your first assignment as a travel nurse, you can sometimes renew your position at the facility you are working at or you can look for a new position in a new location.
Travel Nursing Salary & Benefits
Travel nurses have the opportunity to enjoy great benefits such as great pay, health insurance and travel reimbursement. All that’s in addition to the freedom to choose from top assignments around the country and gain valuable experience from a variety of clinics, hospitals and healthcare facilities.
In addition, travel nurses often qualify for bonuses based on their performance at the end of an assignment. Plus, a housing stipend is typically provided to all travel nurses on assignment at their particular locations.
Travel Nursing FAQs
Can I provide my own housing?
Most travel nursing assignments will offer arranged housing but you can typically also choose to receive a housing stipend and arrange your own housing. If you’re fmailiar with the area, this might allow you to cut down on your cost of living. You can read more about your housing options — and the pros and cons — here.
How much do travel nurses get paid?
The average annual salary for a travel nurse is $108,065.
Pay packages will vary depending on a nurse’s specializations and experience, location, length of contract and the type of facility.
For example, a travel nurse can expect to get paid less to spend the winter in Hawaii given the desirability of the location.
Your travel nursing agency can help you navigate your options to make sure you’re getting the best pay rate possible.
Do travel nurses make more than staff nurses?
The stipends you earn as a travel nurse are typcially classified as tax-free, whcih means the money you net for travel nurse work could be significantly more than as a staff nurse.
A tax expert can help you evaluate how this will impact your personal financial situation.
Which travel nurse specialties are most in demand?
Due to nursing shortages, there is ongoing demand for travel nurses in the following specialties:
- Operating room (OR) nurses
- Intensive care (ICU) nurses
- Post-anesthesia care (PACU) nurses
- Emergency room (ER) nurses
- Neonatal intensive care (NICU) nurses
Nurses with experience in these areas can expect continuing staffing needs in these specialties.
Ready To Start Travel Nursing?
If you are interested in learning more about being a travel nurse, the first step is to speak to a recruiter and see which positions are available immediately. Imagine where you could be working in just a few weeks!
Fill out our form to speak with a travel nurse recruiter and start your travel nursing career today!