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Travel Nurse

Travel Nursing involves caring for patients in various places: overseas, within various healthcare facilities, in homes, or in hospitals.  You may work in travel nursing jobs within a nursing agency, or independently.  Often, travel nurse jobs offer housing and transportation.  To work as a travel nurse, you’ll need to obtain your RN through either an associate or bachelor nursing program.  Within this industry, there are various job opportunities. 

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Travel Nursing Jobs

Some travel nursing jobs are within the industries of ICU, critical care nursing, emergency medicine nursing, case management, operating room nursing, medical surgery nursing, telemetry nursing, and more.  Other popular travel nurse positions include pediatric intensive care nurse, dialysis nurse, labor and delivery nurse, progressive care unit nurse, occupational health nurse, and countless others.   These are often referred to as travel specialties.  Travel nurses take various positions on a contract basis for a designated period of time and for a contracted salary or hourly payment.  Time period for various travel nursing jobs can range between 1 week and 2 years.  But most jobs estimate around a 13 week duration. 

Travel Nurse Salary

While some travel nursing jobs are contracted by total lump-sum payment, most jobs pay an hourly wage.  The average hourly pay for a travel nurse is around $35/hour.  The pay range for a travel nursing job is between $20/hour and $45/hour.  For some, the biggest incentive for travel nursing is the additional travel nurse benefits.  In many job openings, free housing is offered in addition to possible options such as life insurance, benefits packages, 401(K) contributions, and Flex spending.  Job benefits will vary based on the company.   

How to Become a Travel Nurse

To obtain travel nursing jobs, you’ll need to be a registered nurse.  Jobs come in every form within this industry so you’ll work in whatever capacity you’ve already studied.  And just like any other nursing career, you’ll be paid according to your level of expertise.  PA travel nurse jobs will pay more than staff nurse jobs. 

To obtain entry level travel nursing jobs, you’ll need at least an associate of science in nursing (ASN).  Once you’ve finished your associate program, you’ll be eligible to take your NCLEX-RN that qualifies you to work as a registered nurse. 

If you wish to obtain a higher level of nursing education once you’ve completed your RN, you might consider bridge nursing programs.  RN-to-BSN degree programs except credits from associate nursing degrees and apply them toward your bachelors.  The benefit of entering a bachelor RN-to-BSN program is that you can start working as a registered nurse after just 2 years and continue working while completing your bachelors program.  Many individuals are able to complete their mandatory clinical hours while finishing their program.  This can be extremely beneficial, particularly if you plan to obtain specialized nursing credentials for your career of choice.  Most nursing credential programs require that you’ve had 2 years work experience within the field before qualifying for a certification.