5 Things That May Surprise You About Working as a Travel Nurse

by Howard Gerber on May 24, 2018

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travel nurse surprisesIf you’re considering accepting your first travel assignment, you want to know what you’re getting into. After doing a little research, you probably know many travel nurse assignments are 13 weeks, and housing is included in your package.

There may also be a few things you didn’t know. Once you hit the road and get a few jobs under your belt, certain things may surprise you about travel nursing including: 

  1. Permanent employees are happy to see you. It’s normal to be nervous when you start a travel nurse assignment. You are the new kid on the block and may not know what to expect from your co-workers. You might be concerned about how you will fit in with your new colleagues. In most cases, the staff will probably be happy to see you. The hospital hired a traveler because they have a staffing need. Your new co-workers know you are there to keep patient workloads manageable. Travel nurses are often a welcome sight.
  2. Travel nurses come in all ages. You might think that travel nursing is mostly for young people. But nurses of all ages take travel assignments. As long as you have the right skillset, age is not a factor. Travel nursing can be a good fit at almost any stage in your career. Some nurses hit the road after getting a few years of experience. For others, they start working as a travel nurse a little later in life after their children are grown.
  3. You can take your family with you. Travel nursing is not just for people who are single. If you want to travel with a partner or children, it is doable. Depending on the size of your family, you may want to get a larger apartment than is typically offered on a travel assignment. You may be able to negotiate a bigger place, or you can accept the housing stipend and find your home yourself. If your family includes four-legged members, it’s also possible to bring your pets along on assignment. Just be sure to determine what the pet policy is in your new apartment.
  4. Travel nursing assignments are not only located in large cities. Larger cities, such as Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, often have several medical centers and opportunities for travel nurses. Big cities also have a lot to offer including cultural activities, professional sports, and great nightlife. But large cities are not the only place to find a great travel assignment. Hospitals in small or midsize cities, towns, and rural communities also need travel nurses. Working and living in a small community may have some benefits. You may have less traffic, a lower cost of living, and a closer-knit community.
  5. You’re capable of more than you know. Moving to a new location and learning the ropes every few months is challenging. Travel nursing may take you out of your comfort zone. But you’re likely to gain new skills and continue to grow in your field. If you’re not sure if you are cut out to be a travel nurse, don’t let fear hold you back. You’re probably capable of more than you realize!

Was there anything that surprised you about your last travel nursing assignment? Share with us in the comments section!

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