Maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of becoming a travel nurse for a while now, daydreaming about locales where you’d like to travel, challenges you’d like to tackle, and people you’d like to meet. You’ve read a few travel nurse blogs, looked into the job requirements, possibly talked with a nurse or two already living the travel lifestyle. And now with COVID-19 increasing the demand (and compensation) for travel nurses, it may seem like now could be a good time to take the leap.
But if you’re still asking yourself, “Should I become a travel nurse?”, here are a few personal considerations that might make the big decision clearer.
1. Lifestyle change — Has there been a dramatic change in life as you know it?
- A divorce or big romantic breakup can be a good reason for a fresh start with a career that gives you more control.
- Has your spouse or significant other made a job change that frees up more time for you both to travel? Or have they expressed a desire to take on a bigger share of household responsibilities, possibly even stay at home to care for the kids?
- Or have your children finally flown the coop altogether, giving you the freedom to be away from home and not worry about family responsibilities?
Of course, giving free rein to your long-deferred wanderlust may be all the impetus you need.
2. Money considerations — It’s no secret that travel nursing pays very well, and if your family responsibilities allow, a travel nursing career can help you set aside significant sums for your kids’ college educations, your retirement, mortgage or car payments, replace loss of income post-divorce, or travel. Travel nursing is a great way to see new places and meet new people and get paid to do it! And of course, wanting to increase your income is a perfectly valid desire for its own sake.
3. Taking ownership of your career and growth — If you’re an independent-minded person (and that’s a strong characteristic of travel nurses), travel nursing puts you in charge of your own future. You decide where and when to take work assignments. And rather than wait for professional development opportunities to trickle down to you through an employer’s bureaucracy, you can choose the certifications and continuing education credits you want to pursue, even explore areas of specialization that may not be available in your current job or city. You’ll have to pay some expenses like CE credits and certifications on your own, but some of those expenses may be tax deductible.
Still need help deciding? — If you haven’t had a lot of experience with different specialties or hospitals, you can ask to be assigned to different units in your own hospital or do per diem work in other hospitals in your area to gain insight into how you might adjust to unfamiliar protocols and procedures on the road.
4. You know the lay of the land — You’ve done the research and understand the challenges (and satisfaction) of working in widely varied hospital settings — from small community hospitals to prestigious research and teaching institutions. You are eager to navigate changing environments and embrace new cultures and climates. You are cheerful and adaptable, patient and resilient, diplomatic but self-confident, and willing to give every assignment your best self. If you’ve down your homework and know you’d make a great travel nurse, what are you waiting for?
Freedom Healthcare Staffing always needs more travel nurses, especially now, and we would love to chat with you. Please contact Linda Hickey at 720.388.8203 to learn more about becoming a travel nurse with Freedom.