Guide to Benefits for Nurse Travelers

by Howard Gerber on March 12, 2015

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travel-nursing-tips-first-timeWhen you are considering taking a traveling assignment, you have to weigh a lot of factors. The location of the job, type of facility and department you will be working in all play a big part in whether the job is right for you. Of course, you also want to look at benefits and what is being offered for the position. Below are some of the many factors you need to consider when deciding on a nurse travel job.


Salary is one of the most important things to consider when deciding if a travel job is a good match. But it is also essential to keep in mind that it is not the only factor to consider. The type of benefits package you have can be worth a lot of money. In addition, your base salary may not include your shift differential, weekend pay, or any overtime you get.

Health and Dental Insurance

Most nurse travel jobs include health and dental insurance coverage. Because of the nature of a travel job, there is usually no waiting period for coverage to start. Specific insurance plans vary in their coverage, deductible and co-payments, so find out specifics from your recruiter. Since you may only be at your location for 13 weeks, you may not even use your insurance. But you never know when something will happen, so it is still wise to understand what your coverage includes.

Free Housing

Housing is almost always included in a travel nursing job, but the type of housing can vary. Options may include a private apartment, shared housing, or an extended stay hotel. It is also important to determine if housing is furnished or unfurnished. If you have a preference, you may be able to negotiate some terms of your contract.

Retirement Savings

Not all healthcare traveler jobs include retirement savings, but some do. There are different types of retirement accounts, which may be offered. Some companies may match what the employee contributes up to a certain point. Find out details from your recruiter. If you are not offered an employer-sponsored retirement account, consider starting one on your own.

Paid Time Off

Although many nurse travel jobs are 13 weeks, some may be longer. Even jobs that only last a few months may offer a few paid days off. In addition, find out what happens if the census is low and your shift is canceled. Stipulations are often made for travelers to ensure they get their full pay.

Free Continuing Education

Some companies will pay for continuing education classes, which are needed to renew your license. Another perk may be tuition reimbursement. Free continuing education benefits may only apply after you have been with the agency for a specific amount of time.


Although not all companies offer bonuses, some may add it to their list of benefits. You may be eligible for a bonus after referring another nurse who takes an assignment. Some companies also offer a completion bonus after the assignment is over.


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Esperanza 12.20.15 at 7:15 pm

You would need your BSN if you want to be a Nurse in the Air Force. Military Nurses have the eact same standards as ciivilan nurses, same types of jobs. The things you do on a daily basis totally depend on the type of Nurse you are, for example if you are an OR Nurse then you will be in the OR. As an EMT Nurse you will be in the Emergency Department, so on and so forth. Most of your career will be spent in military hospitals. There will be occasions where you are deployed for example to Iraq or Afghanistan. There are also rare occasions where you serve on a humanitarian mission to, for example Haiti after the earthquake. But understand that a military Nurse’s primary role is to serve in support of war. Not humanitarian reasons. Honestly, there isn’t much travel for Nurses, other than changing duty stations or serving on deployments. If you want to travel the world helping people, then look into traveling Nursing.

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