By Cheri Sicard
Are you a healthcare professional thinking of getting into travel nursing? Travel healthcare is on the rise and in today’s connected world, it’s easier than ever to take your profession on the road.
The video below is the first in a 12-part series from the team at No Ordinary Path, who credit travel nursing with giving them the opportunity to live a nomadic full-time RV lifestyle while maintaining a way to make a decent living.
Our host, John Farnsworth, has been a critical care travel nurse and a full-time RVer, along with his wife and kids, since 2018.
In this video series, the team breaks down everything from how to find an agency and recruiter all the way through the end of your first travel nursing contract. But the first video below is an introduction to travel nursing, as there are probably a lot of nurses who don’t even realize the travel options open to them. In it, they cover the basics, in other words, the what, the why, and the who.
What is travel nursing?
These are short-term assignments for registered nurses. Usually, the work is at hospitals that need help staffing up certain units or floors.
For the purpose of this video series, John is going to principally be talking about traveling nurses who work in a hospital setting. However, know that there are other traveling nurse opportunities available beyond this including doctor’s offices and urgent care facilities. However, hospital jobs are most common so that is what he wanted to focus on.
Who is travel nursing right for?
John says you will need an RN degree for most of these jobs. He says there may be similar allied programs for LPNs, but for the most part, you will need to be an RN. You can get work with an associate’s degree, but a bachelor’s degree will help you nail down traveling nurse work far more easily.
He does recommend having a year or two of nursing experience under your belt after college before trying travel nursing. The duties will pretty much be the same everywhere, but having this experience will help you be comfortable working in a hospital setting.
When it comes to travel nursing contracts, John uses this term loosely. Watch the video as he gives the basics of working with a recruiter and the basics of contracts. In the series, he will go into far greater detail and there are exceptions. For now though, know that most traveling nurse contracts are for 13-week periods, working three 12-hour shifts, or 36 hours per week.
Who makes a good travel nurse?
The three characteristics of a good travel nurse, in John’s view, are:
The hospitals need people who can hit the ground running and get right to work.
This can be rewarding, but it also has its challenges. John advised all potential travel nurses to analyze why they want to do this.
Travel opportunities can allow you to live in interesting locations all over the country, and an RV makes a great way to do it.
Also know that traveling nurses are paid, on average, double what staff nurses make!
There are also some unique tax advantages and it can give you the opportunity to get out of debt and/or save some money.
Wow, that’s a lot for nurses to think about, and this is only the first video in the series. Check out the No Ordinary Path YouTube channel for more.