Nurse’s Notes: A Guide to Travel Nursing

Posted: July 15, 2015 in Nurse, Profession
Tags: , , ,
Travel Nurse, Travel Nursing, Nursing SpecialtyAs I am researching for nursing specialties online, I came across travel nursing. It was tweeted by one of the Twitter accounts I’m following. So I thought, why wouldn’t I try this industry? After all, travel nursing is a a special area where nurses practice with the perks of knowing and experiencing the culture of one place.
According to Wikipedia, Travel Nursing is a nursing assignment concept that developed in response to the nursing demand. This field of nursing also enables nurses to practice physical therapy, occupational therapy and/or be a practitioner in speech- language pathology.

Requirements to Become a Travel Nurse

The usual requirements for becoming a travel nurse are a minimum of 1 and a half years of clinical experience with 1 year being preferred in one’s specialty. Travel nurses are also required to have a licensure in the state of employment, often granted through reciprocity with the home state’s board of nursing. Travel nurses are expected to be very experienced and knowledgeable in the given specialty.

Areas of Assignment and Contract
Travelers typically work under a short-term contract. In the United States, these contracts typically range from 8 to 26 weeks. For nurses who wants to practice travel nursing outside the U.S., the contracts usually last 1–2 years. Frequently, a permanent position is offered by the hospital at the end of the contract.
Compensation and Other Benefits
Travel nurses are paid by the travel nursing agency that placed them, which in turn is paid by the hospital. So it is highly recommended to start your travel nursing by looking for an agency. Pay of a travel nurse can range from $30–50/hour or more, depending on various factors. Variables that affect pay include the location of the assignment, demand for the position, local cost of living and the type of nursing specialty being sought.
If travel agencies provide housing, it usually consists of a one-bedroom furnished apartment. Utilities (electric, water, trash) may be included. Sometimes cable television and  Internet service can be included.

There are an estimated 25,500 RNs working travel nursing jobs in the U.S. One survey found that the majority of travel nurses are age 40-50 (34.7%) and 17.1% fall within the 25-30 age range.

Presently there are over 340 U.S. travel nurse companies (110 are Joint Commission Certified). Worldwide, there are more than 480 companies.

  1. thegypsylpn says:

    This was super helpful. I’m starting this journey in October. Thanks for the insight!

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