Travel nursing is an ideal career for those who like spontaneity and enjoy exploring new places.
After reading through the pros and cons of travel nursing, make sure to take a few minutes to reflect on how each pro and each con impacts you on a personal level. This should help you determine whether becoming a travel nurse is a smart career choice.
Below you will find some pros of travel nursing followed by some cons.
Personal Flexibility to Accommodate Your Preferred Lifestyle
As a travel nurse, you don’t have to commit to a work contract unless you want to. In other words, you can choose where you travel, making it simple to relocate on a timely basis as needed.
For example, you’re working in New York, but your mother-in-law living in Arkansas becomes sick and needs your help.
As a travel nurse, you can ask for a transfer to Arkansas. If granted the transfer, you may be able to move immediately. If not, you can always finish your current contract in New York and start a new one in Arkansas.
Make More Money
Most travel nurses receive free housing or have a monthly allowance to put toward housing expenses.
Plus, all transportation expenses are usually reimbursed, including travel costs to and from work and any moving expenses that might come out of pocket.
Many travel nurse staffing agencies set up deluxe housing services for travel nurses. They also coordinate cross-state or cross-country moves like hiring movers and transporting all belongings.
Another way travel nurses earn more money than staff nurses stem from their ability to receive large sign-on bonuses. It’s not uncommon for travel nurses to receive anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 sign-on bonuses when signing a new work contract.
You’ll enjoy lasting job security as a travel nurse. You may have to relocate to keep a position with equal or higher pay. Still, the job security is definite. That can go a long way in easing any emotional and financial fears tied to providing for yourself and any dependents.
Cons of Travel Nursing
That said, travel nursing is no different from any other career option in that it has its downsides.
Not every travel nurse can bring their family with them. Moreover, at the least, travel nurses have to leave behind friends and continually make new ones.
Making money is great, but when you don’t have anybody to share experiences with, it can feel hollow.
Issues With Cross-State Licensing Are a Headache
As a travel nurse, you have to be licensed to work wherever you provide services. Accordingly, many travel nurses lean on staffing agencies that work with compact licensing in the United States.
In other words, some states work together to make it easier for travel nurses to provide their services.
Other states, however, require you to meet tedious and time-consuming licensing criteria which could end up hindering your career opportunities.
Floating Schedules Are Common and Aggravating
Within nursing, there are “floating schedules.” If you work a floating schedule, it means you “float” to areas of the medical facility other than those outlined in your contract. Because you are floating, you may work in departments outside of your focus.
You may be assigned tasks that you don’t like. Floating schedules are prevalent in the travel nurse industry, so there’s a good chance you’ll have to work some.
Losing Insurance Coverage
Another pitfall of travel nursing involves changing insurance policies when you leave a job. Going through and trying to find the right provider can cause anxiety. Staff nurses don’t have to deal with this issue.
However, nurses can opt for private insurance and pay out of pocket. That way, when their assignment ends, they won’t lose insurance. However, not everyone wants to go the private insurance route.
Can’t Gain Seniority
Staff nurses have a great chance to move up within the organizational ranks and make a name for themselves. With seniority, you get to pick your schedule and work fewer weekends. Most travel nurses have to work when they’re requested, unlike nurses with seniority.
If you feel that travel nursing isn’t the right job for you, we can help you find your dream job at Incredible Health. Create a profile to discover a job where you don’t have to leave your family and friends behind.