Traveling for work can be an exciting opportunity to expand your professional network and career opportunities. However, it can also bring its fair share of challenges, especially if this is your first time taking a job as a travel nurse. While the pros of becoming a traveling nurse probably seem like they outweigh the cons, that might not be the case for everyone.
In fact, there are plenty of considerations to make before you take the leap and become a traveling nurse. Prior to making the decision to become a traveling nurse, it’s important to weigh all of the pros and cons so that you can determine whether or not this type of job is ideal for you.
6 Pros of Being a Traveling Nurse
One of the key pros of becoming a travel nurse is the level of flexibility it affords. You’ll have the opportunity to choose where and when you want to work, which could help you to avoid hours that don’t work with your lifestyle, family obligations, etc.
Build a Network
When you travel for work, you’ll have the chance to build a network that spans the globe. Not only can this help you to get your name out there and find new employment opportunities, but it will also help you to make new friends and contacts that you can connect with for future endeavors.
Learn New Things
If you’re the type of person that likes to always be learning new things, you probably won’t get bored being a travel nurse. Different facilities and specialties within the nursing field could expose you to new treatments, procedures, etc. that will help you to expand your professional knowledge and skills.
Many nurses who travel for work report earning higher salaries than their counterparts who work at hospitals and other facilities for a living. This can be attributed to the fact that traveling nurses generally have a lot of experience and come highly recommended by their past employers.
This higher pay is also likely to be offset by the fact that you’ll likely pay more in taxes due to the freelance nature of your work. While the pay scale is likely to vary depending on your location, facility, and specialty, you can generally expect to earn around $1,500 to over $2,000 per week.
You’ll Gain Travel and Professional Experience
You’ll have the chance to work with and learn from highly skilled professionals in various specialties, which could help you to expand your nursing knowledge while building a reputation as a reliable travel nurse that companies are happy to call on for future assignments.
Finally, another pro of becoming a travel nurse is that you’ll be able to change your location from time to time. If you’re concerned about becoming too attached to one place and want the chance to experience new locations and cultures, this could be a good fit for you.
You’ll have the chance to explore new and exciting places while still making a reliable income. This also gives you the chance to see if a particular location is right for you and decide whether or not you would like to make it your permanent home after you’ve traveled for a while.
6 Cons of Being a Traveling Nurse
There Is No Guarantee of Ongoing Employment
When you find a job and sign a contract as a travel nurse, there is no guarantee that the facility will continue to employ you in the future. While this might not be a huge problem for nurses who are looking for a temporary and flexible career, it could be a deal breaker for others who are hoping to find a permanent home.
Travel Can Be Stressful and Tiring
While traveling provides you with new experiences and opportunities, it can also be stressful and tiring. If you’re the type of person who likes to always be in control and likes to have a set schedule, this might not be the right career path for you.
You might be expected to work long and unpredictable hours during your assignments and could be dealing with jet lag and other exhaustion-related symptoms as well. Your ability to manage stress and remain productive will likely be tested when you travel.
It Can Be Difficult to Maintain a Relationship
Another con of becoming a travel nurse is that it can be difficult to maintain a romantic relationship. You might be traveling quite a bit, working long and unpredictable hours, and not always able to spend time with your partner whenever you’d like.
Cost of Schooling
The cost of pursuing a nursing degree can be expensive if you don’t have any financial help; Look into any loans you may qualify for and make sure you consider all pros and cons of nursing before enrolling in school.
Typically, a nurse would have to obtain a license for every state they work in. So if your home state is Florida, but want an assignment in Texas; you would need to have your license for both states. This can be costly so make sure you determine the best way to go about obtaining several licenses through the nursing board.
Adjusting to a New Living Space
Moving is a hard task for anyone, especially a traveling nurse. You would be expected to find a new place to live or stay for each contract in a different area. If you are single and don’t mind packing up your things this may not be a big problem. However, if you have a family and don’t like adjusting your things to a new place, then this may not be for you.
The Bottom Line
While traveling can be exciting, it can also be stressful, tiring, and challenging. Nursing as a career, in general, is a demanding and stressful field, but travel nursing takes that up a few notches. However, nursing is also one of the most rewarding fields you can go into. Helping people daily and traveling can be the best adventure yet!