Nursing is one of the nation’s largest categories of employment. Many people enter nursing because they know they can make a difference in people’s lives. A career as a nurse can be highly rewarding. There are many areas of nursing to pick from when deciding where to enter the workforce. A nurse can work in pediatrics, cardiac care, gerontology, oncology, research and many other fields. A nurse may also work in many settings including hospital nursing, private home health care and research institutions. Those are thinking of entering the nursing profession or even those who already entered the profession may not be aware of all of they can do in the field or even where they can work.
The Growing Field of Travel Nursing
Many places want and need to hire nurses. Consequently, this has led to all kinds of career opportunities for those with the qualifications necessary. One such new field is travel nursing. Travel nurses are nurses who travel where they are needed. They might spend a few weeks in one location and then another few weeks in a new place entirely. In general, travel nurses sign up with agencies that offer many kinds of jobs in lots of places. They are contract employees for the company that hires them rather than the work site. As a contract employee, they can pick from many varied possible job openings in order to find which one works for them at any give time. Travel nursing has become an increasingly popular option for nurses who like the idea of having such flexibility in their work.
Ease of Finding Work
One of the many advantages of working as a travel nurse is that it’s easy to find job openings. Many places have temporary nursing shortages. A staffer may be out on maternity leave or the site may be facing an short-term increase in the number of patients present. If you have a specific specialty such as neo-natal nursing, you might find lots of job postings in your field. You might also be asked to work filling in for others as a floating nurse who goes where they are needed in any single shift. Speaking with an agency directly is a great way to find out what they need during any time frame and where you might fit in.
Housing and Other Needs
When thinking about travel nursing, many people understandably wonder about the details. Traveling some place seems exciting but you might wonder where you’ll live when you’re on the road. Many nurses are happy to find out that housing is typically arranged in advance for any job by the agency. Many places provide their nurses with an apartment or similar accommodations near the job location. This makes it easy to pack up and leave for a new location when a new job opportunity pops up.
Becoming a Travel Nurse
In order to become a travel nurse, you will have to complete a nursing program. You will also have to pass state licensing exams. Once you have your degree, it’s important to get at least a year of nursing experience under you belt. The greatest number of job opportunities tend to be in hospital settings. If you have a degree and the experience required, the next step is to sign up with travel nursing agencies. Agencies will examine and verify your credentials. They may test your skills directly. If you can pass their qualifications, you can often start work as a travel nurse as soon as you want. Many nurses choose to register with several agencies in order to increase their chances of finding the kind of work they want.
The Benefits of Becoming a Travel Nurse
A nurse may wonder if travel nursing is the right path for her. Travel nursing has many benefits. A travel nurse may choose to work as much as she wants or as little as she likes. This can be a fabulous way to work a few days and then spend the rest of the week exploring a new location. A short-term assignment in a single place can help the nurse decide if this right area for her in the long-term. Travel nurses also to explore many new settings. She might work for a few weeks in a small, rural setting and then head for a large, busy county hospital. This allows the nurse to decide which particular area of medicine really appeals to her. She might discover city life is her ideal or she really prefers a more relaxed and intimate setting instead. She might also realize that she loves a certain state such as Colorado and would like to make it her home for the rest of her career.
A Few Minor Drawbacks
While the benefits of travel nursing are numerous, there are a few potential drawbacks. The nurse may not have as much job security as her on-staff counterparts. She might be assigned a different area or more patients than agreed upon in the initial contract. She might also have to work weekends and late nights as this is where the need is at the facility. If you have kids, this might not be your ideal work choice. You might also feel lonely and not always make connections.
But if you just want to see the world for awhile, this career choice can be a great way to explore all facets of nursing.