If you’re looking for a flexible position that involves taking care of others, becoming a traveling nurse might be right for you. Instead of working shifts in a doctor’s office or hospital, you work at various different healthcare facilities for a set amount of time.
Becoming a traveling nurse is a bit different than being a registered nurse who works in a hospital. You’ll need at least an associate’s degree in nursing with an RN license, which you’ll be approved for after passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN Exam). While you can get licensed with an associate’s, aiming for a bachelor’s can help you advance your career. You’ll be the first to qualify for more opportunities, and you’re more likely to get hired with a BSN. The cost of earning any degree can be intimidating, but there are ways to manage tuition expenses through student loans. Private lenders are great for medical students, especially those who attend state schools and qualify for resident tuition rates.
The daily task load of a travelling nurse varies, but as you build your nursing career, here are some of the responsibilities you could expect:
- Administer medication to patients
- Give people their vaccinations
- Take vitals and document them in the facility’s database
- Assist the doctors with their offhand tasks
- Performing various tests, like MRIs, CAT Scans and blood tests
- Offering patients advice on how to better improve their health
- Answer a patient’s inquiries
Your workload will depend on your specialization. This brings us to another topic, which is the duration of the assignment. On average, the duration is about 13 weeks. In some cases, your assignment can be as long as 26 weeks.
The annual salary for this role can range from $55,000 to almost as much as $100,000. The more experience you have, the more you can earn. In certain situations, you may work with patients who have minor medical issues. In other cases, your services might be needed in more serious situations. Since you’ll be working under a charge nurse, they’ll assess your skillset and assign you accordingly. Having additional qualifications, like a BSN or MSN, can help you secure jobs with the type of patients you like working with the most.
The most obvious benefit of this career is its amazing flexibility. Traveling nurses can choose to work anywhere even along with their bonsais. This includes going to different states, which makes it an excellent opportunity to see new places. Another benefit to pursuing this career is the experience. You’ll have the opportunity to work with a variety of patients and develop your nursing skills. Finally, you’ll often be eligible for free housing, low-cost health insurance and significant sign-on bonuses.
Embracing the Lifestyle
You have to be open to relocating often, so if you have a partner or children, this career may not be ideal for you. However, if you only take a few months out of the year to work elsewhere and return home with a large paycheck, then you may find it’s the perfect way to strike a balance between your passion for healthcare and your personal life.