Though every role or position you take on has its pros and cons, there are oftentimes myths and misconceptions that can alter our perception of a job. When it comes to travel nursing, these views can give you a concrete opinion about a path that could be really great for you. A path that could lead you to expansion in your purpose, reality, skills, success and, of course, your travels. So why would we let these misconceptions take over our opinions? Because we want to make sure we are putting ourselves in a position for success. The only way to do that is to debunk the myths and misconceptions about travel nursing.
Are Travel Nurses…
Treated Badly By Staff Nurses?
The first thing we need to make sure we understand is those travel nurses are hired because hospitals or facilities are short-staffed. Not solely because you will be coming in and taking over someone else’s position, but rather being in an extra spot. Because of this, staff nurses have no reason to treat you badly or unfairly. What this comes down to is how you show up in the position. If you are someone who likes to do things your own way and are not able to listen, then of course staff nurses are not going to be happy. Though, that can be said for whatever job you enter. If you are able to step up, learn quickly and efficiently, remain optimistic and help where you are needed, then you’ll be perfectly fine.
You won’t always be able to make and keep everyone happy, so it’s up to you to be the person they can trust no matter what is going on in your department.
Always Expected To Float?
Floating is a term used to describe the need for a nurse in a different unit. Nurses can be asked to leave their regularly scheduled location to enter another unit that needs their help more urgently. Nurses are known to dislike this process and many travel nurses are often the first asked to do this. Firstly, while it may be something you are not 100% comfortable with, it shouldn’t be seen as a negative thing to take on. It comes down to another unit that requires your help and that’s enough to want to be able to step up in these situations. Though it can also open up more opportunities, build more diverse skills and help out the staffing nurses who want to stay in their own unit. Secondly, floating is not mandatory and does not happen on every single shift you work. If you would really like to not be the floater, speak to your recruiter about it. It may be something you may need to do occasionally and if you accept, it could open up more assignments for you, but otherwise, just request no floating.
Always Changing Jobs Every 13 weeks?
When you sign up to be a travel nurse, you take on travel nursing assignments that are 13 weeks long. This part of the question is correct. Whether you continuously take on 13-week assignments, continue in the same position in the same hospital for another 13 weeks or take a vacation between assignments is totally up to you – and maybe a little bit up to the hospital too. Let’s break this down. Let’s say you are on an assignment in California. You love the area; you’ve met some great people and the work experience has been wonderful so you want to stay. If you talk to your recruiter, then they can work on the necessary arrangements for you to continue on this exact assignment. Most assignments will provide you with the option!
Prone To Pay Inconsistencies?
The discussion on pay may be confusing for those not already making their way through the travel nursing world. Pay inconsistencies would only be brought about by not continuing on to another assignment or taking a break between assignments. Otherwise, travel nurse pay is good. Real good. You have to remember that as a travel nurse, you are entering hospitals that are in need of you. You are in demand. Therefore, your pay is higher. For instance, while a staff nurse makes $70,000 a year approximately, a travel nurse can make over $90,000. Depending on your specialty or what assignments you take on, your pay could be even higher. It is one of the biggest reasons nurses want to join travel nursing!
Not Qualified For Health Benefits?
While this is untrue, it also depends on what health benefits you are discussing. For instance, while travel nurses are not going to be covered for health benefits by their host, they are going to be covered by their recruitment agency. Agencies take care of their nurses by providing benefit packages. At TheraEx, we offer medical, dental and vision, a 401k plan, seasonal lucrative incentive programs, etc. You can discuss this more with our recruiters and create the perfect plan so that you can feel comfortable knowing you are covered while working and travelling.
Able To Choose Their Housing Options?
This one is easy to answer. Yes! Agencies offer alternative housing situations as the goal is to provide you with a situation that works best for you. For some, you could go into a shared house with other travel nurses, others bring their spouse or family with them and need the best housing for that, or you could even want to bring your pet. All of these options are available to you. If you are a little skeptical, ask your recruiter any questions you have upfront. Find out their housing policies and see if they fit you!
As you can see, becoming a travel nurse comes with some myths and misconceptions. The great thing with all of these stories is that if you are unsure, you can just ask. Agencies and recruiters will be able to communicate the exact information you need to feel ready to take on any assignment. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions and feel free to click here if you already have some you need to be answered! Travel nursing could be the perfect fit for you, don’t believe the misconceptions and simply ask for the truth!