How to get a job as a travel nurse

Travel nursing is a popular career option for many nurses. The benefits of this nursing specialty and key strategies to get a job as a travel nurse.

Travel nursing is a popular career option for many nurses. Working as a travel nurse offers opportunities to travel within the United States and even abroad. The field enables nurses to work at famous research facilities and top rated hospitals. It is an opportunity to broaden fields of clinical experiences and knowledge that can be included on future resumes. Many travel nurse agencies offer amazing benefits like free housing, health insurance, sign-on cash bonuses, educational assistance, retirement benefits, and top pay. A nurse considering relocating to another part of the country may consider taking a travel nursing assignment to explore the prospective region before a decision is made.

Travel nursing also offers many nurses a sense of independence and adventure that is unmatched by traditional nursing jobs. Consider the two options of working in Philadelphia in December versus the Virgin Islands in December. Which would you choose? There is also the added benefit of avoiding burnout so common in the nursing profession. Travel nurses often have time off of work between assignments if they choose. Empty nesters, married couples who are both nurses, and single R.N.'s wishing to travel and room with friends may consider travel nursing a perfect option for their lifestyle.

Most agencies are seeking registered nurses with a minimum of one to two years of experience. There aren't many travel nurse opportunities for licensed practical or vocational nurses. Experience in critical care nursing is a highly sought after specialty area by many agencies. Critical care isn't the only area of expertise that agencies look for though. A well-qualified nurse with applicable experience in a variety of fields can find an assignment almost anywhere throughout the United States throughout the year.

The first step in getting a job in travel nursing is to choose a travel nursing company. These companies actually act as a personal job recruiter and work to match a nurse's qualifications and desires with the health care clients they have contacts with. An application or resume is required to work with these companies. A criminal background check and verification of valid licensure must be provided. The recruiters work with individuals to determine the areas they are interested in working, the type of facility they want to work in, the length of assignment they are willing to accept, and which travel assignments are available. Nursing journals, the Internet, and the local phone book are invaluable tools in locating travel nurse companies.

There are many agencies in operation across the United States and they are all vying to attract the most qualified nurses in the country. The standards and benefits of these companies are continually being upgraded and challenged. A nurse interested in moving into this field of nursing needs to carefully research the companies they consider working with. These recruiters will be representing them and should be reputable and dependable. They need have an established track record of delivering on the contract specifics agreed upon. There are sites on the Internet that review these companies. Potential travel nurses should also feel comfortable asking companies for references so they can inquire about other nurse's experiences that have been represented by the agency.

Once an agency places a nurse on a travel assignment, they will provide support in a variety of ways. They often provide reimbursement for traveling expenses to the assignment and housing or a housing stipend. The average assignment in this business is usually 13 weeks with an option to renew the assignment or move on to another. Some companies offer cash completion bonuses when an assignment is completed.

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