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Don’t Fall for These 7 Travel Nursing Misconceptions

Written by Rose Torrento on Thursday, July 12, 2018

7 travel nursing misconceptions
For every person who starts a new adventure as a travel nurse, another is holding back because of misconceptions he or she may have heard or come to assume along the way. Travel nursing is full of opportunities, career advancement, work-life balance, and — yes, we mean it — good pay.

Myth 1:  The pay and benefits for travel nurses aren’t great.

Travel nurses can expect pay similar to permanent hospital staff members as well as health, vision, and dental insurance. However, they receive additional stipends for housing, meals, and incidentals. While not as common, some agencies also offer free continuing education units (CEUs). In addition, your agency can arrange your housing and assist with upfront housing costs such as deposits. And if you let your agency know prior to your assignment, they can often work with you to find pet- and family-friendly housing.

Myth 2: Travel nursing is for people without families or significant others.

We addressed this in myth one, but you don’t need to be single to be a travel nurse. Your agency can accommodate you by finding housing with more rooms if your family or significant other is traveling with you. If you have children, online public school can keep your kids in a stable learning environment while experiencing the benefits of traveling. Alternatively, many travel nurses are parents working in regions close to home so they can easily visit their families and friends on their days off.

Myth 3: Travel nursing isn’t a stable career choice.

Since the typical travel assignment lasts about 13 weeks, it might seem like an unstable career choice. But travel nurses working through staffing agencies have a variety of opportunities that are unavailable to permanent nurses. Your recruiter is like a career coach, diligently working to keep you on assignment. You choose your placement. As an added bonus, you also control how much time you want to take off for vacation in between assignments.

Myth 4: Travel nurses can’t choose where they go.

It wouldn’t be much of an adventure if you didn’t have a say in where you were going. Of course, available positions can dictate your options, but you always have the final say on your assignments. You can choose to stay in your own state or even region if you need to be close to family, or you can choose a different state for every assignment. In addition, your agency can take care of your housing needs or you can choose to take the reins, opting for stipend pay and more control.

Myth 5: Travel nursing is limited to big cities.

While big cities tend to have more facilities in need of nurses, travel assignments can be from anywhere. The nursing shortage isn’t going away anytime soon, and rural hospitals are definitely feeling the pinch as young locals move away for the benefits of big cities. So if you’re looking for a chance to get out of the big city and slow down with the country life, you have options as a travel nurse.

Myth 6: Permanent staff members don’t like travel nurses.

If you were running short on staff and you got a reinforcement, would you dislike her or him? Hardly. Although all hospitals are different, travel nurses are usually welcomed with open arms because they’re taking some of the stress off the permanent staff. Don’t let bad experiences or horror stories deter you from your desired career path — and meeting new people.

Myth 7: You can’t extend your assignments.

Actually, you can! This is a big help to you, your agency, and the hospital. When you get to stay longer on an assignment you like, your agency doesn’t have to worry about moving you to a new position and the hospital keeps an amazing nurse for the duration of your extension! If a position isn’t available in your current hospital, a nearby location may be looking for a travel nurse, so you have options.

Travel nursing offers a variety of great opportunities for nurses, whether it’s the chance to explore a new place or experience new work environments. Don’t let the myths scare you; take control of your career path and enjoy the many benefits travel nursing has to offer.

Whether you’re looking to begin your career as a travel nurse or simply have questions, contact an HPC recruiter online or call 888.299.9800. We offer our travel nurses competitive pay, great benefits, free CEUs, and plenty of options!

About the Author

Rose Torrento

Rose Torrento

Rosemarie Torrento has worked in health care for more than 26 years, beginning as a registered nurse in 1988. Early in her nursing career, Torrento worked as a freelance contract nurse before accepting a position in nursing administration. During her 17-year tenure in that role, she oversaw nursing employment and travel nurse contracting at a Level 1 Trauma Hospital in Michigan. Understanding the challenges travel nurses faced, Torrento founded Health Providers Choice Inc. (HPC) in 2003. Through Torrento’s extensive experience and her role as President and CEO, HPC provides travel placement of registered nurses and allied health professionals to hospital systems nationally.