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Have you ever dreamed of seeing the country, living in exciting new locations, meeting new people, and experiencing unique adventures?  Would you rather be enjoying the beach in Florida, soaking up the culture and nightlife of New York City, or getting back to nature in Colorado?  Or are you waiting until retirement to finally be able to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that comes with travel?

If you’re a nurse who loves to travel then you’re in luck – because you’re in high demand.  With nursing shortages across the country, hospitals and private clinics are turning to travel nurses to fill the gaps in their staffing.  While it can still be difficult to secure a coveted travel nursing position on your own, there are travel nursing companies that specialize in matching nurses with hospitals that are in desperate need of staff.  These companies offer nurses a chance to travel across the country and work on assignments in different locations.

The Opportunity To See The Country

Travel nursing lets you see different cities and towns across America while you get paid.  As a travel nurse, you’ll also have your travel expenses covered in the form of airfare/mileage reimbursements, or a generous travel allowance.

RNs on travel assignments can make anywhere between $22 – $50 per hour, depending on the assignment, the destination, and their experience level.  These assignments last around 13 weeks on average, meaning you’ll get to experience several different regions in a single year (although assignments can range anywhere from 8 – 52 weeks).

Gain New Professional Experiences

It’s easy for your skills to get stagnant when you’re seeing the same situations over and over again as a staff nurse.  As a travel nurse, you’ll have a unique opportunity to see different hospital protocols, medical approaches, and work with and learn from a large number of different healthcare professionals.  Travel nurses have an opportunity to gain unique insight into healthcare in our country and grow their skill set and professional network.

When travel nurses are ready to settle back into a regular staff position, they often find it significantly easier to find employment.  Employers not only value the vast range of experiences held by travel nurses, they also recognize that travel nurses have the proven ability to adapt quickly to new situations, are quick learners, and are willing to face challenges.

Employment Opportunities

While nurses are in high demand in many areas around the country, competitive positions can still be tough to get in large urban centers that attract a lot of nurses, especially if you’re low on experience.  Travel nursing offers an opportunity to go where job demand is the highest, often in cities and states where the economy is stable and the cost of living is low.

Economic Incentives

Aside from the competitive pay, travel nurses receive a number of financial benefits.  The most obvious benefit is that their travel to new destinations is paid for, but they also often enjoy free furnished housing – along with basic utilities.  These housing subsidies can be worth from $900 to $3000 per month, depending on the location and the local cost of living.  Additionally, these reimbursements are often tax free.

Travel nurses also get bonuses for each contract or for extending a contract.  Some travel nursing companies offer loyalty program rewards for nurses who complete multiple or extended assignments.  While the value of these bonuses will vary, they add to the already competitive salary, housing subsidies, and travel allowances enjoyed by travel nurses.  Thanks to these economic perks, travel nurses will usually save up a lot more money than their staff nurse counterparts.

Should You Become A Travel Nurse?

While there are plenty of benefits to being a travel nurse, the position is definitely not for everyone.  It can be lonely being in a new place where you don’t know anyone.  It can be difficult to say goodbye when you just started forming new relationships and making new friends.  If you have a family, don’t enjoy meeting new people or you feel uncomfortable with the thought of being in unfamiliar territory, then travel nursing is probably not for you.

But if the thought of pushing your boundaries, soaking up new experiences and adventures, and meeting a spectrum of different people while advancing your career excites you, then there is no better time to take advantage of this opportunity.  Hospitals all across the country are anxious to fill their employment gaps and are willing to pay generously to do so.  So what are you waiting for?

The great Benefits of Being a Travel Nurse Nowadays – by Richard Orban, guest post writer for health blogs and travel nursing companies.