6 Things to Consider When Choosing A Travel Nursing Assignment

Travel nursing is full of great opportunities to see the country while sharing your skills and talents with other health professionals and facilities. Your experiences in each location will be exciting and unlike any other. Before accepting a travel assignment, it is crucial to understand what you’re getting into. Before you start your next adventure, here are six things you should consider.

The Location
Unlike other professions, travel nursing allows you to choose where you want to work. If you wish to be in the city, a smaller town, a mountainous area, or somewhere that’s always sunny, there’s almost always a position for you. Your area of expertise can lead you to new destinations and experiences. Different places may have a higher or lower cost of living, which can ultimately affect your pay and the demand for travel nurses, two topics we will cover next.

The Salary
Depending on where you’re going, your salary may be higher or lower than you expect. As mentioned above, the cost of living in different locations can affect your pay. States such as California and New York have a higher cost of living, so it’s not unusual to see hourly wages range from $50.00 to $55.00. Also, more desirable locations like Hawaii or Florida could have lower pay since they are popular locations. If a high salary is important to you, keep this in mind when choosing your next assignment.

The Demand
The overall demand for travel nurses is at an all-time high, but not all locations need many travel nurses (or require them to stay very long). Look into the areas where nursing may be scarce or extra help is required. High demand for travel nurses could include COVID-19 cases, natural disasters and crises, or just places with more significant needs. Also, there could be a demand for nurses in your specific field. ER, OR, and labor and delivery are a few nursing specialties currently in peak demand.

Guaranteed Hours
This is often a misunderstood concept in travel nursing. Travel nurses may make the mistake of assuming their hours are guaranteed since the hospital in question is short-staffed. It’s not uncommon for management to call off nurses when patient counts are low. Some policies guarantee every hour; other policies allow the hospital to cancel up to three shifts within 13 weeks. All policies vary from facility to facility, so it is crucial to read the fine print.

The Floating Policy
The idea of floating can make some travelers nervous, especially if it’s to an area where they lack experience. When you ask upfront about your unit’s floating policy, you will have some idea about how it works. Your hospital should only float you to units where you have experience and feel the most comfortable. Asking about floating requirements upfront can help you feel more comfortable about a position while preventing unpleasant surprises upon arrival. When the time comes, you will have an understanding of the next steps. You should also ask if the facility floats travelers first before permanent staff and how that works.

Any Additional Benefits
Besides the salary and guaranteed hours, you should also ask about additional bonuses and benefits that come with your future position. You could receive referral and retention bonuses from your facility, food, travel, and housing allowances from your travel agency, and reimbursements for job-related expenses. Also, look into your agency’s health insurance to see if you may want to consider it. Travel assignments come with a lot of different benefits, so choose the one ideal for you!

There are endless options for travel nurse assignments. Make sure to pick the one that suits you best. Visit our website to find your next destination!

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