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An Interview With a Travel Nurse

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What were your steps in choosing a traveling nurse career?

The schooling required to become a travel nurse is the same required for a non-traveling nurse. However, most agencies require you to have worked as a nurse for a certain amount of time before taking a travel assignment. When I first started as a nurse 12 years ago, the time required was one year. It is probably less than that now, given the need for nurses around the United States.

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The way I found my first agency was word of mouth from another travel nurse I worked with. I have also searched Google and clicked on Google ads for travel nurse agencies. I find it best to contact a number of agencies before making a decision. Not all agencies have contracts to provide travel nurses to all facilities. It is best to pick a facility and then see which agency supplies that facility. Also, three of the agencies I use send me updates of jobs and locations via e-mail and some call me.

What are the drawbacks and benefits of a traveling nurse career?

Some of the benefits of working as a traveling nurse include being able to visit different parts of the country every 6 weeks and going on little mini-vacations. I also have my agencies pay for my relocations, utilities, housing and bonuses. Depending on the length of my assignment, my agencies will pay up to $3,000 to take an assignment.

One of the biggest disadvantages is having to deal with two different employers (my agency and the assignment facility). The provisions in my agency contract often conflict with the rules of the assignment facility. I recently ran into a problem when the facility I am now working in required me to attend a larger number of patients than the number outlined in my contract.

Also, when a non-travel nurse finds out I am a travel nurse they automatically know that I am being paid more to do the same job they are doing. This can result in resentment, but often creates an interest in the non-travel nurse to check into travel nursing.

What advice would you have for those interested in a traveling nurse career?

The job outlook of a travel nurse is GREAT. There are now numerous travel nurse agencies recruiting travel nurses. The competition among agencies has driven travel nurse salaries and benefits up. I would advise anyone who wants to be a travel nurse to start out by taking a shorter assignment; maybe 6 weeks or so. Also, make sure you have everything in writing that you discuss with your agency representative. Remember: if it isn’t in writing, it never happened.

What is the average traveling nurse salary?

Depending on your location you can earn an hourly wage of $30 to $40. Typically, California pays more, but the cost of living is higher. Sometimes the benefits are a major part of a traveling nurse salary. For example, you can negotiate with your agency to pay for your relocation, utilities and a sign-on and renewal bonus.


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    coach22

    about 1 year ago

    894 comments

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  • Mom_mexmas_max50

    Rock2HAL

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    My mom is a LPN in NJ and isn't a traveling nurse but is thinking about it and wants to be a travel nurse in Tallahassee, FL because I want to go to FSU. However, she wants to know the exact salary for that job in that area. Could you please email me at ladyhal@yahoo.com and let me know so I can tell her? (She doesn't use a pc which is why I'm doing this for her.) Her name is Lynn. She has been a LPN since the 1990s (forget exact year she became a LPN). Also she wants to bring her big dog with her if she gets into this field. Also she only has a NJ LPN License and that's it. Does she need to get a FL one? Thanks so much!
    Heidi

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    LPN2GO

    about 6 years ago

    22 comments

    I HAVE BEEN AN LPN TRAVEL NURSE FOR 11 YEARS OUT OF MY THIRTEEN. I WOULD SUGGEST IT TO ANYONE. IF YOU NEEED HELP GO TO MY WEBSITE ( IAM JUST BUILDING IT...SO PARDON MY DUST. LOL) LPN2GO.COM

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    dfulz

    about 6 years ago

    8 comments

    I really and truly want to be a travel nurse after I graduate next year. I have 18 years experience as an LPN/LVN do you think I will still have to get a years experience as a RN before I can travel? The work seems so interesting and I cantravel and see the the country and let someone else pay for most of the expenses.

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    myriamto

    about 6 years ago

    4 comments

    This is an excellent article and the information is very good. I'm considering myself a traveling nurse career due to the fact that I'm bilingual and have two licenses from two different states. Also have been a nurse for almost nine years all of them in specialty fields.

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    lilbit5

    about 6 years ago

    6 comments


    That sounds very interesting. Great article by the way. I am still in nursing school and eventually want to be a CRNA. Do they have traveling jobs for CRNAs?

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    starboyalpha

    about 6 years ago

    4 comments

    VERY good article; straight forward and candid.

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    cateyes01

    about 6 years ago

    8 comments

    YOU ARE A WONDERFUL PERSON, I WISH I WAS A NURSE NOW. I AM IN SCHOOL FOR RN, I AM A PCT AND WAS THINKING ABOUT TRAVELING WITH THAT TITLE. THAT WOULD MEAN I WOULD HAVE TO GIVE UP MY SCHOOL. I HAVE WANTED TO BE AN RN SINCE I WAS A CHILD
    GOOD FOR YOU FOR SAVING LIVES, I CANT WAIT TO TRAVEL AS WELL GOD BLESS YOU
    JILL

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