Travel nurses are one of the exciting career options that offer the opportunity to work in different locations of the world. Travel nurses have to work in healthcare organizations with a staff shortage. Due to this, they work in a dynamic environment, experience diverse cultures and gain valuable skills and experience.
Travel nursing is a source of chatter due to its benefits worth exploring. But what do travel nurses do? And how does travel nursing work? If your mind is filled with these questions, this blog is for you!
This blog will examine how to be a travel nurse and the requirements. With that, this blog will also explore how travel nursing works and the travel nurse’s salary. But before we dive deeper, let us first understand what a travel nurse is. And how the best Healthcare Staffing Agency can help you get the best travel nurse job
What is a Travel Nurse?
A travel nurse is a registered professional who works in a temporary or non-permanent nursing role. They are employed at independent staffing agencies rather than in permanent hospital positions. They work on assignments duration of four weeks for minimum and 26 weeks for maximum. Travel nurses are licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs).
The key responsibilities of a travel nurse are:
- Educating patients on illness and health.
- Measuring and monitoring the patient’s health.
- Collaborating with the healthcare team.
Travel nurses are hired to work in healthcare facilities that are staffing shortages due to high patient volume or seasonal fluctuations.
Travel nursing provides a golden opportunity for registered nurses to work and learn from prestigious doctors and practitioners worldwide. It can be an attractive career option for those who love working in a dynamic environment. They even have the freedom to decide their work schedule and assignments.
How to become a Travel Nurse?
To become a travel nurse, you must be registered as one. Travel nurse requirements include a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, preferred over an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN). You must pass the NCLEX exam.
A license in the state where you apply for work is also crucial. Traveling agencies may help you acquire a state license in such a case. Certifications like high school diploma, BLS and ACLS and certifications specific to the nursing facility are important to work as a travel nurse. You must also possess adaptability, flexibility, communication, critical thinking and clinical skills.
You must have at least two years of experience working as a registered nurse in a clinical setting. Most employers prefer nurses with experience since it shows they know how to adapt rapidly to the new healthcare setting. For this, you may work with travel nursing agencies or look for jobs on platforms like UHC Staffing, which help you get on board with top recruiters. It makes it easier to get the best assignments and gain better exposure.
How Does Travel Nursing Work?
Travel nurses work to bridge the gap of staffing shortages. This shortage may be caused due to increased patient population, natural disasters, strikes or pandemics. Healthcare organizations work with recruitment agencies to find competent nurses to fill those vacancies.
A travel nurse recruitment agency finds a place for you to work and arranges facilities like housing and meals, and other essential things. These agencies also help you get experience and relevant skills that will help you get better opportunities later in your career. Here’s how travel nursing work:
Partner With Nursing Agencies
Since travel nursing agencies specialize in seeking healthcare positions in medical organizations nationwide, travel nurses first look for renowned travel nursing agencies. These agencies link the travel staff with the healthcare organizations and manage administrative and logistics tasks connected with the placements.
Apply For Travel Nursing Positions
After the registered nurse has partnered with a travel nursing agency, they must apply for the specific nursing positions. The positions are usually short-term assignments. Travel nurse assignments are available in every specialty, like delivery, ICU, labor, and advanced practitioner positions like NPs and CRNAs. The more experience you possess in a specialty, the higher your chances of getting well-paid as a travel nurse.
Check Travel Nurse Active Jobs.
Negotiate Pay Rates and Benefits
Travel nurse agency negotiates the benefits and the pay rates to the healthcare organizations on behalf of the registered nurse. The pay rate is usually more than what is offered for traditional nursing positions. With that, healthcare benefits and retirement plans are also offered to them.
Receive Assignment Information
After getting to know the travel nursing assignment, they receive details about the placement, location, and duration of work from the travel nursing agency. They also provide information regarding the licensing or certification requirement, housing options, and travel arrangements.
Complete The Assignment
Once the nursing staff receives the required information, they move to the assigned healthcare facility to start working for the role. The registered nurse looks after the patient and maintains documentation of their work. The travel nursing agency continues to assist and support the travel nurse throughout the assignment. This support may include licensing requirements, necessary travel arrangements, and required housing needs.
Move To The Next Assignment
Once the assigned task is complete, the travel nurse can extend their assignment, work on other travel nursing assignments with different healthcare facilities or return home. Travel nursing agency also provides placement options to these travel nurses. This opportunity allows them to work in distinct healthcare settings in the country or abroad.
Travel Nurse Requirements
As discussed earlier, travel nurse requirements include the following:
- An active license.
- A minimum experience of two years.
- A Bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Certification in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) or Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) is also necessary in critical areas.
Additionally, travel nurses must have a good command of communication and possess interpersonal skills. Most importantly, travel nurse requirements include flexible and adaptable traits since they work in distinct healthcare settings and live in various locations to complete their work assignments.
Traveling Nurse Salary
‘‘How much do travel nurses make a year’’ is one of the most thought-provoking questions for those who want to become a travel nurse recruiter or a registered nurse. The average salary of a travel nurse was USD 77,600 in 2021, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since the data is from the pandemic, the traveling nurse’s salary isn’t as high as in 2021.
The salary also depends on various factors like demand, the location of the hospitals, your specialty, and the contract details. In addition to the salary, the travel nurse also gets perks like travel expenses, bonuses, meals, medical and dental facilities, and stipends for housing. Since employers are keen to attract and retain travel nurses, the latter’s earnings are even more lucrative.
The traveling nurse’s salary also depends upon the nursing specialties. Labor and delivery, ICU nursing, neonatal nursing, operating room or perioperative, emergency room nursing, and telemetry are the best nursing specialties for travel nursing. These are the different types of travel nurses that are in high demand and therefore are highly paid.
Top Travel Nurse Jobs
Over the past few years, travel nurse jobs have experienced exceptional growth. This growth is because employers hire travel nurses to fill the temporary vacancy. Top travel nursing recruiters recruit nurses among various specialties. Here is the best nursing specialty for travel nursing:
Labor and Delivery
Labor and delivery nurses are responsible for giving care and comfort to women when giving birth. This care includes directing women during the delivery, providing pain relief, and checking the baby after the birth.
Patients require intensive and specialized care during neonatal nursing, cardiac care, and pediatrics. The demand for ICU nurses is always very high since these patients require caution the most. As hospitals try their best to keep these patients at home unless the situation is adverse, those who stay there need complex high care.
Emergency Room Nurse
Emergency room nurses are those who deal with patients who require immediate care. People with accidents, heart attacks, sudden symptoms of illness, or assault are the ones who may seek treatment from the emergency room. Emergency room nurses provide immediate and direct care to such patients.
Telemetry nurses connect patients with the machine to monitor their blood oxygen level, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and heart rhythm. The machines transmit this data to a nursing station where a healthcare professional monitors the results. Additionally, these nurses also develop the patient’s current treatment plan.
Travel nursing is a rewarding career option for travel nurses who want to experience new healthcare environments while traveling and exploring new and distinct cultures. Since there is persistent storage of traveling nurses, their demand is quite high. Thus, they may also enjoy better pay in this competitive market. Therefore, by working with a known travel nursing agency like UHC Staffing and negotiating the benefit packages with the salary, travel nurses can make the best out of their careers.