Why RNs and LPNs Should Switch to Travel Nursing Jobs
If you work in the medical industry, then it’s unlikely you haven’t heard about the steep and sudden rise of travel nursing jobs in the wake of COVID. Mass media has been publishing heartfelt stories about travel nurse personal stories and the record-breaking pay contracts as well. Odds are high that you’ve even interacted with a travel nurse while on the job, but have you ever considered making the switch for yourself? Today we’ll run through the myriad of reasons that a switch to travel nursing jobs may be the right step up the ladder to advance your nursing career.
3 Reasons Why You Should Become a Travel Nurse
1. Switch from Passenger to Driver
Let’s explore this car metaphor a bit, shall we? To start, this applies not only to your career but to your personal life as well. To become a travel nurse is to take control of your life in a different way. When you work as a staff nurse for your local hospital, clinic, doctor’s office, etc. you receive a specific and limited number of days off, as well as being limited to the unit or specialty for which positions are available. For example; you’re a pediatric nurse but are waiting for a position in the unit to open up at your hospital and are working in the emergency department in the meantime.
When you become a travel nurse, you work with a recruiter to discuss what types of positions you are interested in to find a contract that is right for you. Furthermore, Elite Specialty Staffing has zero minimum contracts required for the year. That means you decide how many contracts per year you want to work. Travel nurse contracts typically run between eight to 13 weeks long, some contracts that are categorized as crisis response or nursing strike jobs are shorter, while other contracts may offer you the opportunity to extend if you want. You decide how much time off between contracts you want. You decide on the where. You decide on the position. The bottom line, you are the driver.
2. Explore the Country as a Travel Nurse
As we just pointed out, you create your travel nurse contracts schedule and decide not only the type of position you want but the ‘where’, as well. As a staff nurse, you are definitely limited to the amount of travel that you can logistically and practically do. Burning several of your 15 vacation days for personal appointments and events and then doing a quick long weekend somewhere near is typical for staff nurses. Alternatively, travel nurses consider the contracts available (so many choices) and a large portion select their choice based on geographic location.
Travel nursing contracts offer stipends for housing, food, and incidentals for the duration of the contract. Many travel nurses simply take advantage of their days off during the contract to explore their surroundings, while others take advantage of the fact that their contract brought them to the area, and stay a week or so before or after the contract to explore before heading off to their next contract.
This opportunity to travel the country can take you to the magazine cover hot spots such as New York, Florida, California, and Hawaii but can also result in you discovering the less lauded but no less beautiful offerings of the rest of our great states. How many people that you know have the time or money to truly experience all our great nation has to offer that doesn’t appear on Google’s top 10 destination list?
3. Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness, but It Does Make a Difference
No one likes to consider themselves greedy, additionally, we totally agree that the old adage of money can’t buy happiness (or is it love?). Nevertheless, money does matter and travel nurses are making more than their staff nurse counterparts. Not every travel contract offers the news headlines staggering sum of $8,000 per week, but the reality is that travel nurse contracts pay more. Not only is the hourly or weekly wage usually higher, but if you’re savvy with money, focus on working contracts instead of traveling, and consult with a qualified tax expert (we generally recommend travel nurses don’t try to do their own taxes) you can maximize your income.
Burnout is a Bad Word
The truth is, not every nurse experiences burnout for the same reasons, but some common denominators include dissatisfaction with career, toxic work environment, and working too much. Burnout is a common problem for nurses, that sadly results in too many compassionate and skilled nurses leaving the field. Travel nursing jobs could help you with that.
If you’re dissatisfied with your career, prioritize travel nursing contracts by position or hospital instead of geographic location or income. If your current work environment feels toxic due to stressful workplace politics – get out! Travel nurse contracts allow you to work in a setting for long enough to learn new skills, sharpen old ones, all while you meet new people, but are short enough that you can keep out of the workplace politics. When you agree to a travel nurse contract, you will know exactly how many shifts and the number of hours you are expected to work, if it’s too much then look for a different contract. Furthermore, you can schedule time off for yourself to relax your body and mind between contracts.
Why Become a Travel Nurse with Elite Specialty Staffing?
Once you’ve decided to execute the switch, you need to decide on a travel nursing agency. Why should you choose us? We’re a smaller business than the larger agencies while still having travel jobs across the country and generous benefits. Our size allows us to hold true to our belief that we care for our travel nurses as our travel nurses care for their patients. With us, you aren’t just a number. Talk with one of our recruiters about your priorities for what you want your career as a travel nurse to look like.