Working as a Travel Nurse

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By Diane Wong

March 30, 2022



Working as a Travel Nurse

See the Country and Earn a Living at Same Time

A travel nurse has the option to choose almost anywhere she desires to live – then has all employment, housing, and moving preparations made for her.

Many nurses and other healthcare professionals, with the freedom to travel, and the propensity to explore new sites and surroundings, enjoy travel positions. Moving without the daunting duties that accompany, is made simple and may even be an exciting experience.

Registered nurses are medical health professionals who have completed at least two years of training in the field of nursing at a school of nursing or community college. Graduates must then pass state licensing exams. Once a nurse has earned her state license, she can look for a job in the many varied fields of nursing. One of the most popular employment areas of nursing is known as travel nursing.

Travel Nurse Jobs

Traveling nurses work in many parts of the country. They help deal with the medical effects of short-term disasters such as hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, or earthquakes. Travel nurses also help hospitals and nursing homes fill staff shortages. A travel nurse may assist workers helping people dig after their homes have collapsed, fill in for a nurse on maternity leave, or help a busy urban hospital deal with an influx of patients for some time.

A travel nurse might spend a month in a hospital in a burn unit in Florida during December and then head to Texas for three months or California for six months.

Benefits & Bonuses

Travel nurses are paid by their staffing agency – not the facility or hospital. She may receive direct deposit payments and benefits provided by the agency. Bonuses are another perk that is dependent upon the agency – and may include referral bonuses and completion bonuses (paid upon completion of the employment term). Considering the many advantages such as paid travel expenses, furnished and fully paid apartment living, and free standard utilities – those employed by such agencies may fare better (financially) than those employed directly by the hospitals and facilities.


Individuals with family ties and tight-knit friendships may find it difficult to travel. Relationships may be strained when communication is stretched. For those who seek permanence and stability – a transitory lifestyle may be intimidating and unsettling. In addition, those who have forged friendships with co-workers may find it disheartening to leave upon completion of the temporary employment assignment. A definite resilience to new situations and settings should be a prerequisite to travel nursing. Those inquiring about a position should be sure to weigh the advantages against the disadvantages and not make a hasty decision.

Travel Nurse Agencies

A travel nurse agency is a company that specializes in the employment of traveling nurses. Agencies vet candidates for employment, create contracts, set up assignments, and act as a middleman between the travel nurse and her assignments.

Most traveling nurse agencies require candidates to have completed their education and training. Nursing agencies also require most registered nurses to have at least two years of full-time employment in a hospital setting. A potential travel nurse may also be required to have specific training and certifications such as neonatal resuscitation to work in a NICU or experience with kidney patients to work on a dialysis unit.

Many travel nursing agencies have contracts in different states. A traveling nurse must have a valid state license for each state where she wants to work. A travel nursing agency owner will work with her to earn any additional state licenses so that she has as many working opportunities as possible.

Benefits of Travel Nursing

Working as a traveling nurse can have many benefits. Travel nurses often earn a higher hourly wage than their on-staff counterparts. A travel nurse can decide to work for six months and then take the next month off. Many travel nursing agencies provide travel nurses with additional benefits such as health insurance, a housing allowance, and a completion bonus if they full all the requirements of their contracts.

Travel nurses are expected to be quick learners. Some hospitals will provide the nurse with a few hours of onsite orientation. Many expect the nurse to be fully ready to work in a position within a short period of her arrival.

A job as a travel nurse can be fun and exciting. For a registered nurse with the right credentials, travel nursing can be the perfect way to see many parts of the country and advance their careers.

We hope you found this article on working as a travel nurse helpful. Do you have any advice or tips to share with those considering this career? Comment them below.

Are you looking for your first travel nurse assignment? Click here to view our job board. Do you need housing for your assignment? Click here to search our housing page.

About the author:

Diane H. Wong is a content writer at and a family coach. So she prefers to spend her spare time working out family issues solutions. In this case, she has an opportunity to share her experience with others and keep up with advancing technologies.    

If you are a new traveler or looking into becoming a Travel Nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step by Step

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Since just recently joining the gypsy nurse, I have had so many questions answered about the world of travel nursing. This has been an excellent resource!
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