Travel nursing is an amazing career option that offers nurses the opportunity to embark on exciting adventures while gaining valuable experience. Unfortunately, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding travel nursing that can discourage some nurses from pursuing this rewarding path. But don’t worry, in this article, we’ll clear up some of the most common misunderstandings and offer you a more complete picture of what travel nursing is really all about.
Myth #1: Travel Nursing is Only for Young, Single Nurses
One of the biggest misconceptions about travel nursing is that it’s solely intended for young, single nurses. In reality, travel nursing is an excellent career choice for nurses at all stages of life. Whether married, raising children, or pursuing other interests, many travel nurses opt to bring their families along on assignments, proving that travel nursing is a versatile and inclusive career option.
Myth #2: Travel Nurses are Always on the Move
While it’s true that travel nursing requires relocating to different locations for assignments, there’s a common misperception that travel nurses are constantly on the move. However, many travel nurses actually opt for longer assignments in a particular location, allowing them to establish roots and become an integral part of the community. By taking the time to truly immerse themselves in their surroundings, travel nurses can enjoy a more authentic and fulfilling experience.
Myth #3: Travel Nurses Make Less Money than Staff Nurses
It’s a commonly held belief that travel nurses earn less than their staff nurse counterparts. Due to the specialized skills and high demand for their services, travel nurses frequently command a higher salary than staff nurses. Moreover, travel nurses can benefit from additional financial incentives, such as housing and travel stipends, which can substantially increase their earnings.
Myth #4: Travel Nurses are Lonely and Isolated
Although travel nursing may initially seem isolating, with a little effort and an open mind, many travel nurses form meaningful connections and friendships with fellow healthcare professionals while on assignment. In fact, these connections can last a lifetime, providing a valuable network of like-minded individuals to lean on and learn from. Additionally, travel nursing can offer a unique opportunity to explore new environments and engage in personal hobbies and interests during off hours. With more free time to devote to their passions, travel nurses can enjoy a well-rounded and fulfilling experience both inside and outside of work.
Myth #5: Travel Nurses Don’t Receive Benefits
Despite common misconceptions, travel nurses do receive a comprehensive benefits package that includes health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. Travel nursing agencies recognize the importance of providing these benefits to attract and retain top talent in a competitive job market. Reputable travel nursing agencies go above and beyond to support their nurses by offering valuable resources and guidance to help them navigate the unique challenges of working in a new and unfamiliar environment. From finding suitable housing to assisting with licensing and credentialing requirements, these agencies strive to make the travel nursing experience as seamless and rewarding as possible.
Myth #6: Travel Nurses are Treated Badly By Staff Nurses
It’s important to understand that travel nurses are typically hired to fill a critical staffing gap within hospitals or healthcare facilities. It’s not a matter of taking over someone else’s position, but rather filling an additional role to support the needs of patients and staff. Consequently, staff nurses have no reason to treat travel nurses unfairly or with hostility. However, it’s crucial for travel nurses to approach their new position with an open mind, a willingness to learn, and a team-oriented mindset. Being resistant to feedback or insisting on doing things your way can create unnecessary tension and strain in the workplace.
Myth #7: Travel Nurses Are Always Expected To Float
“Floating” is a term used to describe the need for a nurse to temporarily work in a different unit due to urgent staffing needs. While this may not be a preferred task for some nurses, it’s important to view it as an opportunity to expand your skill set and help out colleagues in need. Not only can floating provide new experiences and challenges, but it can also help build a stronger sense of camaraderie among colleagues. Additionally, floating is not mandatory, and it typically does not occur during every shift. If you have concerns about floating, it’s important to speak with your recruiter to discuss your preferences and determine if floating is an occasional expectation or not.
Myth #8: Travel Nurses Are Prone To Pay Inconsistencies
The topic of pay can be confusing for those new to the travel nursing field. It’s important to note that any inconsistencies in pay are typically due to gaps between assignments or taking extended breaks. However, in general, travel nurse pay is not just good, it’s exceptional. It’s important to keep in mind that as a travel nurse, you’re entering facilities that have a critical need for your specialized skills and expertise. This high demand translates to higher pay rates, with travel nurses often earning substantially more than their staff nurse counterparts. For example, while a staff nurse may earn an average of $70,000 annually, a travel nurse could potentially earn over $90,000 per year.
Myth #9: Travel Nurses Are Unable To Choose Their Own Housing
Travel nursing can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s natural to have concerns about housing arrangements. The good news is that travel nursing agencies typically offer a variety of alternative housing options that can cater to your individual needs and preferences. Whether you prefer a shared living arrangement with fellow travel nurses, need accommodations for your spouse or family, or want to bring your pet along for the adventure, agencies strive to find a housing situation that works best for you.
If you have any concerns about housing, don’t hesitate to ask your recruiter for guidance. They can provide you with information on the agency’s housing policies and help you find the right fit for your needs.
Travel nursing is a wonderful career option that can provide nurses with an opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. By dispelling some of the common misconceptions surrounding travel nursing, we hope to inspire more nurses to explore this fulfilling path. Travel nursing offers the chance to enhance your nursing skills, discover new places, and make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients across the country. If you’re interested in learning more about travel nursing or finding the right travel nurse staffing agency for you, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information. Our team of experts is always available to answer your questions and guide you through the process.