If you are pursuing a degree in the field of nursing, it is important to review all of your employment options before you are a graduate and a licensed professional. While you can apply for the traditional nursing position in a doctor office, a long-term care facility or a hospital, becoming a traveling nurse is another option to consider. If you are not familiar with the traveling nurse position, read on to learn what the professional entails and various qualifications employers may require.
What Does a Traveling Nurse Do?
Traveling nurses are nurses who are contracted with a travel company and take travel assignments at hospitals, outpatient centers, clinics, nursing homes and other facilities located throughout the nation or the globe. While the most common positions marketed through travel companies are for Registered Nurses with an RN license, there may also be positions for Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses.
The travel assignment is typically temporary, and assignments can last anywhere from 4 weeks in length to a year in length depending on the needs of the healthcare facility. Nurses who are offered an assignment will be required to sign a contract. As a traveling nurse, you will sign a new contract each time you take an assignment. This means that your pay, your hours and your benefits may vary every time you sign a contract.
What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Traveling Nurse?
Qualification requirements for traveling nurses may depend on the travel company and your specialty. When you are applying for a traveling job placement, most of the facilities looking for an RN, an LVN or an LPN will require that you have at least 18 months of on-the-job experience. Obviously, you will also need a licensed that is recognized in the state that you will be working. When you work with a reputable travel company, the company will help you obtain the licensing you need before the assignment begins. These companies will also inform you about the special rules and regulations of the state that you will be traveling to so that it is a hassle-free process.
What are the Perks of Becoming a Traveling Nurse?
One of the obvious benefits of choosing to be a traveling nurse is the fact that you can experience new parts of the world and still get reimbursed for your travel. There are also tax benefits that will help pay for your move. Aside from the traveling perk, there are compensation benefits to choosing this unique type of position. The pay rates for traveling nurses, because they are willing to work away from their home with little notice, are typically higher than for permanent staff members. Some companies will also offer sign-on bonuses, completion bonuses and referral bonuses as an incentive to stay with the agency. The best agencies in traveling nursing will offer health and dental benefits.
If you are looking for unique opportunities and you would like to add experience to your resume, becoming a traveling nurse may be the answer. By working with the right travel nursing agency, you can take on plenty of assignments and meet people you never would have otherwise. Once you are ready to settle, you will have all of the experience you need to find a permanent position in the field.