When you decide to start working as a travel nurse, you have unique advantages and disadvantages. You want to understand the downsides as well as the benefits you can expect from the job. By preparing for the downsides, you will have an opportunity to make the most of your career.
The Pros of Travel Nursing
Recognizing the benefits of travel nursing gives you a clear idea of why it is a good role for your career. The advantages of travel nursing fall into a few main categories: your income, travel experiences and the workplace environment.
Income for a travel nurse is more than your pay. You have benefits that increase your income. Travel nurses are given a fair pay for the area. They are also given a housing stipend or lodging for their time in a new location. The stipend or lodging helps reduce your monthly expenses or gives you extra funds when you find a good deal on short-term housing. Keep in mind that the amount you make depends on the state, so you will usually make more in areas with a high demand for nurses or in areas with a lower cost of living.
The travel experience is another advantage of working as a travel nurse. You have the opportunity to see new places and enjoy beautiful environments. You also gain the opportunity to meet new people. Travel nurses also have the flexibility to travel when they want and to explore areas they want to visit.
Your workplace environment also plays a role in travel nursing. As a travel nurse, you are not involved in the politics of a specific medical facility. You come into the position, work for the duration of a contract and then you leave. Other nurses will not see you as competition within the hospital or medical facility. It allows you to broaden your horizons as a nurse while staying away from the political aspects of the job. It also allows you to help out in under-served areas when they need a professional nurse.
The Cons of Travel Nursing
Although travel nursing does have clear benefits, it also has downsides to consider. The primary disadvantages of working as a travel nurse relate to your personal relationships, the time you spend in transit and the paperwork.
Personal relationships may suffer when you work as a travel nurse. Since you do not stay in one area for long, you may get homesick or leave your support network behind when you move. You will move every few months, so your relationships may face challenges related to your consistent moves.
You also spend more time in transit, which means your vehicle will have more wear and tear. You will need to replace a car more often than you may expect.
Travel nurses also have a disadvantage when it comes to paperwork. You have two areas to consider in relation to paperwork: the constant job search and the paperwork you fill out at a medical facility. You will need to fill out more documents when compared to other nurses.
Working as a travel nurse is a complex position. It does have key advantages, but you also need to recognize that you may face some challenges. Weigh the pros and cons before you consider a role as a travel nurse. You can also try out the position for a few months before deciding if you want to continue working in a travel nursing position.