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What is Travel Nursing?

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Many people assume that nurses must spend years working in the same hospital, clinic, private practice, or nursing home. While it is true that nurses need to gain clinical experience, an experienced nurse has many employment opportunities that do not require lengthy assignments at just one facility. Travel nursing, allows nurses to use their skills in a number of different settings. If you are one who enjoy’s working with different types of patients each day, travel nursing offers several benefits.

What Is Travel Nursing?
Travel nursing is a specific type of nursing career that allows nurses to choose where and when they work. This type of nursing developed in response to the shortage of qualified nurses affecting medical facilities all over the United States. When a medical facility does not have enough nurses, the nurses on staff must increase their patient loads and work longer shifts. Thus, to avoid this and possible misuse of staff, and avoid mistakes a recruiter will try to fill the position. If a recruiter cannot fill an open position, he or she may decide to hire a travel nurse to fill the gap until a full-time or part-time nurse is located.

As a Travel Nurse theres great salary potential.
There’s another HUGE benefit to travel nursing that we cannot ignore — salary. 
When a medical center experiences a nursing shortage, executives may authorize nurse recruiters to offer higher hourly wages to attract nurses to the facility. Executives may also authorize recruiters to offer qualified nurses cash bonuses or relocation. It is important when deciding your next place of employment that you choose a nursing company best for you. Make sure you go over your contract, and understand that you are able to negotiate your contract. Most contracts are signed at 13 weeks. Always do your research before signing and don’t be afraid to negotiate your contract. 

Free Housing
One of the major benefits of working as a travel nurse is that many agencies offer free housing. Earning a high rate of pay while living in a rent-free apartment, condo, or house is a great way for a nurse to save for future expenses. Some agencies allow two nurses to travel to the same area and share an apartment or condominium. Traveling with another nurse can ease the feelings of loneliness some people experience when they move to a new town. Travel nurses may even be allowed to bring their pets or family members to agency-provided housing. The housing provided by travel nurse agencies is typically close to the facility where a nurse will be working, making it convenient to get to and from work without a long commute.  In most cases, travel nurse recruiting agencies also offer basic life insurance, medical insurance, vision coverage, and dental insurance.

There’s opportunity for adventure.
So, you’re somewhat convinced. Earning some great money seems nice, but how do you choose where to go?
To work a nursing contract in any location, you need an active licensure from that corresponding state. A large majority of states in the US are covered under the Compact RN License. If you want to work in a state outside of your license network, you’ll have to apply for a new license. Many travel nurse companies can help you with the process, and many will even pay for your new license.
The process is fairly straightforward. Most require a background check, proof of an active RN license, and a fee made payable to the state nursing board. There are even states that allow faster processing for “temporary” licenses, so you can take an assignment on short notice. Before you have your heart set on a location, know that processing times vary. Alternatively, recruiters ask for your top picks for location and contract and match you as jobs arise.
If you’re not sure where you want to travel, make a list of places in the country you’ve always wanted to explore, are near family and friends, or have top hospitals that you’d love to work at. Travel nursing can take you anywhere you like. Travel nurse companies usually reimburse for travel expenses (like flights and gas) to get to your new location too. 

It’s great for career advancement.

Phenomenal pay, check. Once in a lifetime traveling experiences, check. But, what about the job itself?
No matter how many years of experience you have as a nurse, there’s always a chance to grow and learn especially while traveling. Being in a new environment requires you to adapt and be flexible. You’ll need to know your resources because with each new contract there are new policies, new people, and new technology.
You’ll learn new evidence-based practices and how to You’ll become incredibly well-versed at performing clinical skills with ever-changing technologies and products. The variety of assignments available also helps travel nurses keep their skills current. When a nurse works in the same setting for a long time, he or she may get used to doing the same tasks each day. Travel nurses get to use a variety of skills, which makes them more marketable in the nursing field. You’ll see new diagnoses, treat diverse patient populations, and manage challenging workflows. You’ll learn to communicate and cooperate new coworkers. The experience of working as a travel nurse is humbling, exhilarating, and invaluable.