As qualified professionals, travel nurses hold temporary nursing positions in areas of high need. They enter hospitals, clinics, and other facilities, providing patients across the country with quality care. The COVID-19 pandemic created a nationwide staff crisis and, as a result, increased demand for travel nurses. A travel nurse is a trained healthcare professional who performs tasks in hospitals that have short-term staffing needs.
Travel is an excellent career option for nurses who have a minimum of 12 months of recent clinical experience in intensive care and want to advance their careers, salaries, or lifestyles. Travel gives you the opportunity to develop your clinical competence through assignments at award-winning facilities, while visiting exciting new locations across the country. Because travel nurses work in their core specialty, tasks will vary greatly between specialties. Many centers tend to give traveling nurses “the easiest patients” and leave the sickest to staff nurses, especially for acute patients.
Other documentation required for travel nurse assignments includes copies of licenses (professional and driver); vaccination documentation (current), appropriate degree results, PPD tests, a doctor's statement, and a basic life support card. We contacted nursing travel agencies to learn more about their rapid response assignments. It's common for RNs to select nursing assignments together for travel, apply to work in the same hospital or city, and share an apartment or apartment complex. Travel nurses care for patients with both acute and chronic conditions, administer medications, facilitate communication with nearby facilities or hospitals, and educate patients about preventive health and wellness.
While the factors listed above influence the payment of travel nurses, the following types of tasks almost always pay exceptionally well. The multi-state license is available through the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), which allows nurse residents of an NLC state to practice in all NLC states. Travel nurses provide patients in need of specialized treatment with life support, such as ventilators and other equipment; they also respond to medical emergencies with techniques such as advanced cardiac life support and evaluate patients' progress. Travel nurses can choose from jobs available across the country, but they must be licensed in every state in which they practice.
This means they can travel to a different country, or they can work in local hospitals that need temporary nurses. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects that more than 1 million nurses are required to meet current needs, and that employment opportunities for nurses will grow at a rate of 15% through 2026 compared to all other occupations (an average growth of 7%). They said most agencies occasionally help nurses acquire licenses and certifications, including paying for new state licenses for nurses who complete an assignment with the company there.
Since travel nurses often work as independent contractors, they may not receive the same job benefits as full-time nurses. Highest-paying travel nursing assignments come with a time stamp: they're in high demand and competition is fierce.