I have been a travel nurse for five years, going on 6. It is pretty clear I love it and am addicted to the lifestyle. Like with any career there is the good and bad in travel nursing. Below are what I consider the good and bad of travel nursing.
Some of the pros of travel nursing are experiencing a new city not just as a vacationer but as a local. You get to meet plenty of co-workers who obviously are from the location you are traveling to. This leads to new friendships and experiences, not just as someone who is visiting for five days.
You get to try the local food and hang out at the popular spots on your days off. Friendships are created, which gives you a base you can return to if you ever wish to visit again.
You acquire a whole new array of skills and work with patients of different demographics. You become very malleable and become able to be thrown into any situation and excel. Your resume becomes very impressive. Not to mention, your bank account bulks up with your new travel salary.
Along with anything good, however, comes the bad.
The cons of travel nursing are not having your hospital match your 401K, which is what plenty of companies offer. If you do not take your travel company’s health insurance, because you hop from company to company, chances are you have to find your own.
If you travel alone, you are thrown into an unfamiliar city and have to make all new friends. Depending on your personality, this may be difficult for some. You could be up to 3000 miles away from home, which could lead to homesickness.
As beneficial as being thrown into unfamiliar situations can be to the development of your skills, you have to accept that you will be thrown into the fire and be forced to learn as you go. When you do not know the staff as a traveler, some units may be reluctant to help you until they get to know you better. Often the hospitals you are assigned to work for are in crisis mode and are hurting for staff, so depending on the state you work in, you may be going out of ratio.
Travel nursing has been the greatest experience of my life. It has led me to be the nurse I am today. I have created countless friendships, seen the county, and feel as if there is not a single situation I can’t handle in the hospital.
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