Travel nursing is a challenging and rewarding profession – one that allows you to see more of the country, meet more people and diversify your experience. However, this is not a career that just anyone can handle or just anyone would enjoy. Ask yourself the following questions to get a better feel for how the travel healthcare field would suit your lifestyle.
How do you respond to change?
Travel healthcare professionals get to visit new hospitals in new states all the time – the turnover is rapid and it will feel as though every few months, you’re whisked away on a new adventure!
The downside to traveling for work this way is you’ll have to establish new residences, pack up and move, get used to new working environments, adapt to new co-workers and their processes, not to mention find a new pharmacy, dentist, and daycare. If you flourish under the pressure of change, this is for you!
Are you independent?
Independence will be paramount at work and at home – there’s no group of work pals you’ve known for years to invite to your baby shower or birthday soiree, and the hours are busy and varied. Even the most independent people are not necessarily comfortable introducing themselves constantly to new people, inserting themselves into conversations and establishing new friendships. Can you handle that kind of flux in your social life?
Are you financially flexible?
It’s important to note that while travel nursing jobs can often offer a slightly higher salary than traditional roles in the same concentration, there are stipulations. Traveling healthcare workers have less stability with traditional benefits because their roles are often temporary, PTO is less common for this reason and the temporary nature of the work means that you’re less likely to qualify for reliable unemployment benefits during downtime. A second income or the ability to save and plan for this fluctuation will keep you safe from budget troubles.
Can you handle being away from your friends and family?
Unless you’re 100 percent unattached, you probably have a spouse and children, parents and siblings, friends or pets who love seeing you regularly. Can you leave that closeness behind right now?
Another avenue for some people pursuing a career in travel healthcare is to bring your immediate family along for the ride. Be warned, all expenses are not necessarily covered for your whole family, and if your children are school-aged, you’ll need to provide alternative schooling options. Your spouse also needs to be flexible in their work situation. For some families, this is strenuous or impossible. For others, it’s the family vacation of a lifetime.
Do you meet the requirements?
Typically, first-year nurses are not given roles in the travel healthcare industry. This type of work requires a certain amount of experience, especially in a similar specialty and a similar size hospital or facility to the role being filled. Once you have a few years of experience behind you, travel nursing may be right for you.
Now that you have answered these questions, hopefully you have a better understanding of what you’re looking for and whether or not traveling in the healthcare field is feasible for you. For more information on how to break into the world of travel healthcare or find another career better suited to you, trust in Management Registry, Inc. We provide job opportunities for travel nurses and other healthcare professionals wanting to travel. Learn more today!