Understanding the Basics About Travel Nursing: Questions and Answers

by Howard Gerber on March 16, 2017

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travel nursing questions and answersWorking as a travel nurse may be something you considered, but you might still have questions. Understanding the basics of working as a travel nurse will help you decide if it’s right for you. We want to help by providing some answers to the questions our team nurses have asked us frequently. If you have any additional questions you’d like answered, reach out to our team directly or submit your questions in the comments section!

What does travel nursing involve?

Travel nurses are needed when a hospital does not have enough permanent staff to meet the facility’s needs. Staff may be needed due to an increase in hospital census, which may occur seasonally or to cover for staff who are out on a leave of absence.

How long are assignments?

Although the length of nursing assignments may vary, many jobs are 13 weeks.

Where would I live while on assignment?

Staffing companies usually arrange housing, which is considered part of the benefits package. The housing may vary but often involves a private apartment. If you prefer to find your own housing, most agencies offer a stipend. The stipend amount is based on the cost of living in a certain area,  so you’ll be able to select appropriate housing in the city you’re working in.

Do I have to accept an assignment?

You never are forced to take a travel nursing job. Before you say yes to a job, you should receive information on the facility, location, salary, and benefits. If the job seems like a good fit, that’s great. If you prefer to pass and wait for a different assignment, that’s okay, too.

What benefits are offered?

Benefits for travel nursing assignments vary. Most jobs include paid housing and health and dental insurance. In some cases, retirement plans and life insurance may be included. Certain jobs may also offer a sign-on or referral bonus. Make sure you ask these questions during the hiring process.

What areas of nursing are in demand?

Nurses with ICU skills as well as those who have experience working in the neonatal unit and the emergency room are often in demand. There is also a need for dialysis nurses throughout the country.

Can I travel with my pet?

In most cases, you can travel with your four-legged friend! Be sure to let your recruiter known so they can arrange pet-friendly housing. You can also travel with a partner or children.

Can a new grad work as a travel nurse?

Requirements for travel nurses may vary by staffing agency and hospitals. Many hospitals may prefer to hire nurses who have at least a year or two of experience, but it is not a rule set in stone. In some cases, nurses with less experience may be hired.

What happens when an assignment ends?

Once an assignment is completed, you can let your agency know you would like to get another travel assignment. In some cases, you may be able to extend your current contract if that’s what the facility needs. Of course, you can always just go back home, take a break, or look for permanent work.

What type of healthcare facilities do travel nurses work?

Travel nursing jobs are found in hospitals and medical centers of all sizes. Nursing homes, rehab hospitals, psychiatric facilities, and sub-acute centers may also have a need for travel nurses.

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