If you are a nurse looking for an exciting career full of challenges and opportunities, travel nursing employment is the perfect path for you.
More nurses are choosing to spend part or all of their careers traveling from place to place, working short-term assignments.
Of course, the big obvious reason for travel nursing employment is seeing the country while still enhancing your career and earning money.
Let’s take a look at the many other reasons traveling is beneficial for your nursing career path.
1. You’re not dependent on one location’s economy.
Depending on where you live in the United States, your local economy can be favorable or unfavorable for nurses. The best part about travel nursing employment is that it ensures you can always secure new exciting opportunities.
As Alya Ellison points out in the Becker’s Hospital CFO article, 57 rural hospitals closed between 2010 and 2015. That means a large number of healthcare professionals lost their jobs—plus, they all entered the job market looking for new jobs at the same time.
If you’re a traveling nurse and the hospital where you’re working closes down, all you have to do is discuss the situation with your agency.
Your recruiter will immediately start looking for a new position for you.
And since you are not bound by geography, you have far more travel nursing employment opportunities than your colleagues who aren’t prepared to move around.
When the local economy thrives, so do employment opportunities. This means that your recruiter will likely be providing you with opportunities in stable and/or thriving locations.
This is great news, because strong economies equal strong, diverse cities. That means you’ll enjoy exciting educational opportunities, cultural experiences, fun things to do outside of work and of course, highly competitive pay.
2. Find positions for nursing specialties that aren’t available in your area.
Sometimes, a specialty that interests you isn’t available in your hometown—but it is in a large number of locations around the country.
As a travel nurse, you can go from organization to organization, taking on assignments that match your specialization. Plus, you can seek out travel nursing employment that helps you further your career.
Working with professionals and organizations that are leaders in the field ensures that you glean the most from each assignment.
You can take on a series of short assignments to gain experience and add highly respected organizations to your resume. Not only will this help you continue to land top notch assignments, but it will help hone your skills in your specialty, opening all sorts of doors for your future professional endeavors.
3. Become professionally agile.
As a travel nurse, you’ll work multiple short assignments each year. You’ll have to adapt to your new position every time you move.
This allows you to be open to different responsibilities and different organizational types, instead of holding on to the way things were done in your previous position.
Once you know in your heart that nursing is the right professional path for you, the idea of helping as many people as possible is likely a cornerstone of your personal philosophy of nursing. Choosing travel nursing employment ensures you are able to travel the country helping those in need.
4. Gain valuable nursing experience with different cultures.
Every organization has its own culture, and so does every region.
As a nurse, one of the most important skills you learn is how to communicate and interact with other people.
By being exposed to the cultures of all of the different organizations and places you work, you’ll quickly learn local values, norms, and customs.
This is great for your own professional development.
When it comes to travel nursing employment, cultural competency is also an attribute many employers are looking for in employees, since it adds value to their organizations.
You know that distinct cultural practices may influence a patient’s care plan. In some cases is affects how a patient perceives his or her illness. Travel nurses are exposed to an incredibly culturally diverse work environment since it is always changing.
The more opportunity you have to interact with and experience new cultures, the better nurse you will be.
5. Learn how to make and execute a plan.
Are you’re looking to move into a management position?
The ability to create an efficient, cost-effective plan to move yourself (and your belongings) to a different town every 13 weeks is a transferable skill you can use in any future management position.
At the same time, planning your yearly itinerary so the different positions keep advancing your career is critical to your success.
Travel nursing employment is impressive on a resume because of these factors. Much of management centers around process and planning. A successful travel nurse has this skill in spades!
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6. Hone your problem-solving skills.
No matter how well you plan, you’re going to be faced with obstacles and challenges along the way.
As a travel nurse, you may not have an extended local network of friends and family to help you out.
In some cases, you have to think things through and decide on the best course of action all by yourself.
This kind of independent problem solving is a skill you likely practice in high-pressure situations at work. Translating these problem-solving skills into your everyday life is beneficial, since life inevitably throws a few curveballs.
Travel nursing employment provides opportunity to hone your important problem solving skills. This is especially useful if you plan to move into a leadership position.
7. Enjoy a good work-life balance.
Work-life balance is becoming increasingly important for all workers.
For nurses, it’s perhaps even more important, considering the high levels of stress they deal with in our professional lives.
Understanding how to manage work-life balance is crucial, and it happens to be a bit easier to do when you are a travel nurse.
With travel nursing employment, you will have time off between each 13-week assignment. You can use that time to relax, touch base with family and friends, and explore the locations you’re visiting.
Just imagine: you could spend the winter in Montana, taking ski lessons on your days off.
Then after that, you could travel to Hawaii and enjoy a few days on the beach before your new job starts!
Some travel nursing placement agencies even offer traveler rewards programs, to help you earn prizes and trips to increase the quality of your work-life balance.
Many say the key to happiness is in the experiences, not the material items, that you accumulate throughout your life. Travel nursing is a prime profession for those seeking a highly fulfilling life both professionally and personally.
8. Adjust course more easily.
If you’re not enjoying working in a specific organization or if you want to change your specialty, it’s much easier to adjust course if you’re a travel nurse.
You don’t have to stay in any position for more than three months.
All you have to do is explain to your agency what your pain points are, and they’ll help you find a more appropriate position.
In a nutshell, travel nursing employment is the perfect profession for a dedicated nurse who may also be part-adventurer. You can be highly professional and still hold onto your wanderlust.
Travel nurses know that when you’re ready to find your next adventure, you go find it.
9. Take advantage of more career opportunities.
If you work full-time for one employer and a better opportunity with another employer comes along, you’re usually one of the many who wants to take advantage of it.
Up and moving to better career opportunities on a regular basis is often frowned upon in the traditional working world. Employers usually want to see long stretches of loyal employment, but in travel nursing, it’s the opposite!
As a travel nurse, you can talk with your agency about the kind of opportunities you’re looking for. Then they’ll look for positions that fit the bill.
It gives you flexibility, and the ability to change course quickly. Taking advantage of travel nursing employment opportunities is an exciting part of the job.
Travel nursing employment offers a fun, flexible way to see the world while always advancing your career and your professional network.
It’s easy to see why travel nursing is the right choice for so many, with these key reasons in mind:
- You’re not dependent on one location’s economy.
- Find positions for nursing specialties that aren’t available in your area.
- Become professionally agile.
- Gain valuable nursing experience with different cultures.
- Learn how to make and execute a plan.
- Hone your problem-solving skills.
- Enjoy a good work-life balance.
- Adjust course more easily.
- Take advantage of more career opportunities.
Where would your travel nurse employment be, if you could work in any location?
Share with us in the comments below!