Is There a Right Time to Become a Travel Nurse?
Not all travel nurses are young adventurers. They come from varying age groups and have varying levels of experience. Some try the field later in their careers after gathering experience in more traditional settings.
Is it ever too late or is there a best time?
No particular age group is better suited than another when it comes to travel nursing. Certainly, there are those seeking an adventurous lifestyle who embrace travel nursing. But some nurses, even those raising families, find travel nursing to be a stimulating new opportunity after working in traditional clinical settings for many years.
Still for other nurses, travel nursing fits a schedule. Most assignments last up to 13 weeks. For those approaching retirement or otherwise scaling back, the time between assignments allows for longer periods of rest or vacation. On the other hand, if you have a large family, travel nursing enables you to visit family members scattered throughout various parts of the country, or even the globe.
Pros and cons
If you enjoy travel, you will likely love the different settings your assignments take you. Travel nursing frees you from ongoing office politics common in clinical settings, especially in larger care systems.
Higher pay, employee benefits, and provided housing are also enticements in a field where staff is always in demand. It is not uncommon for travel nurses to work three 12-hour shifts and then enjoy four days off from work altogether.
If you are a stickler for routine and consistency, travel nursing may not be the best fit. While some travel nurses find they can juggle assignments with family obligations, others with young children in school may not.
Such work requirements may work best with homeschooling families or for couples without children. Single adults usually adapt to this lifestyle most readily.
How much experience is necessary?
To qualify, you need to get your associate's degree in nursing through either a two- or four-year program. After graduation, you need 2 years experience in a hospital setting.
Recruiters help nurses with the essential experience look for ideal positions. For both recent graduates who want to explore various settings before settling down and experienced nurses who want a change of scenery, travel nursing can be a great option.