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The Pros and Cons of Being a Travel Nurse

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On a lookout for a job that offers both adventure and financial stability? Then you should consider a profession as a travel nurse. With very few disadvantages, the travel nursing profession equates to great pay and limitless opportunities!


It is quite important and beneficial for one to be knowledgeable of the pros and cons of travel nursing before taking up this challenging yet rewarding career. Below are the Pros and Cons of picking up a career in travel nursing to aid you in your choices and decisions.


Pros of Travel Nursing


You travel a lot                          

Travel nursing is one of those professions that allow you to move from city to city with all expenses paid. Yes, you don’t have to spend a dime on your transportation. This profession enables you to experience new places, people and culture from time to time without ever permanently relocating. This is an opportunity very few jobs offer.


You earn more money

Another obvious pro of being a travel nurse is the sizeable pay. But it is not always assured as a lot of variable factors come into play here.


For example, if you are working as a registered nurse in a state that pays less than the national average, then chances of you making more as a travel nurse are quite high. In some other states like California which offers more compensation to registered nurses, your take home as a travel nurse maybe less.


You grow your career

Professional growth is always featured when listing out the good things about the profession. As a travel nurse, you will work with many health personnel and in many different hospitals. These hospitals have different procedures, processes, equipment and challenges. As a result, you stand to grow your career and gain a broad and valuable set of experiences.


You make new friends

Making new friends and gaining new contacts is one of the advantages of travel nursing you will learn to appreciate. You get to work with multiple travel nurses in different hospitals and acquainting yourself with them would be really profitable. Also, the permanent staffs are often very welcoming of travellers, making it easy to also make friends with them. You can meet locals at different locations and learn a lot about the city and location.


You have more freedom and flexibility

Another edge being a travel nurse gives you is the freedom to work at your own pace. You are limited only by your own choices.


When you choose your different travel assignments, you work with your own personal schedule. Enabling you to choose when to take time off and spend time with your family and friends. When working with top US travel nursing agencies, you are sometimes even allowed to choose your destination and how long to stay there.


As a regular registered nurse, you are inflexible and limited by your vacation time and the business of your organization. On the other hand, a travel nurse has the flexibility to choose how much they want to work. This is advantageous especially when unexpected challenges come up.


Cons of Travel Nursing


You may be homesick or get too lonely

Staying away from home, family and friends for a while can make one lonely and homesick sometimes.


Travel nursing isn’t totally a vacation. You are moving to another city or state for work. The average length of time spent at a location while on a travel nursing contract is 3 months. 90 days away can make you feel like you have literally moved out from home.


You don’t have control of your time always.

In most cases, once you sign the contract to work as a travel nurse, your schedule is out of your control. Planning your life as a travel nurse is harder, unlike regular nursing, when you realize you don’t have control of your time. If you are working with a less than a considerate agency, your time may be less flexible and you will find it hard to find free time.  It takes a little planning around your schedule for you to attend to emergencies.


Frequent job searches

A frequent job search is another slight disadvantage of travel nursing.  After the usual 3 months of travel nursing contracts, you will be out in the market again hunting for a job. When you find one, then comes the next phase of getting interviewed, negotiating pay and reviewing contract terms. It can be quite stressful. In some cases, you may not go through all this stress as your recruiter will be able to find your next assignment in advance with little input from you or extend an already existing contract by another 3 months or less depending on the need.


Wear and tear on your vehicle

The toll of your several trips across states and countries as a travel nurse will eventually tell on your vehicle.


While most travel nursing agencies will reimburse you for travel costs, the reimbursements never cover the cost of the slow depreciation or the wear and tear on your vehicle. An easier way to circumvent this is to use a rental vehicle while on the job or to have your car transported to the new location. However, these alternatives are very expensive and your agency may take it out of your pay.


Saying goodbye is always hard.

Getting bonded to people or a place and getting attached to a patient, staff or a facility you have worked in for months is quite common. To say goodbye and leave them all behind is sometimes the hardest part of travel nursing.  Packing up is a whole new problem altogether. This indeed is a notable con.


Wrapping Up

Travel nursing is one of the few jobs that allow you the thrill of travelling around, making memories, meeting friends, and earning money. When critically examined, the pros outweigh the cons and make the profession worth trying. If you are a registered nurse with a flair for travelling, you should consider travel nursing for a change.


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