Having the freedom to travel and experience new environments can help you discover what you want for your life. This unique lifestyle can also be a great way to earn extra money and pay off student loans while still having time for other pursuits. Working as a travel nurse comes with many benefits. This career option is in high demand, with new daily assignments available for various specialties.
You Get to Travel
Travel nurses have the opportunity to travel around the country and even abroad. This is a great way to see new places and experience different cultures. This lifestyle also allows you to learn about additional hospital administration approaches and gain a broader perspective on your nursing practice. When choosing an assignment, remember what matters to you most. Do you want to be close to home or family, work in a specific specialty or location, or create meaningful memories? Choosing the right assignments will help you achieve these goals. It would help to consider your employer’s reputation for working with travel nurses. Do they provide adequate time off? Do they provide housing options that allow you to relax and recharge during your off hours? Ultimately, you want to find an employer who prioritizes your health and well-being. Having a healthy work-life balance is essential to prevent burnout. Let go of work when you are off and commit to activities that make you feel good, like exercise, yoga, or journaling.
Flexibility in Your Schedule
Whether you’re an early bird who prefers morning shifts or a night owl who likes one-day-on, one-day-off work, travel nurse jobs can offer you a schedule that suits your preferences. And you’ll probably be able to find assignments near home or where you want to live. You can also build block scheduling to your contract. This makes achieving a healthy work-life balance easier, even if you’re on assignment. You can visit friends or family, hike or explore the city — all without the guilt of missing a shift. In addition to allowing you to take time off, the flexibility of travel nursing can help you avoid burnout. Burnout can be caused by hospital politics, long hours, or even working too many shifts in a row. Travel nurses can prevent burnout by changing environments, having various experiences, and taking vacations between contracts.
If you’re ready to try travel nursing for yourself, partner with an experienced recruiter who can match you with assignments that fit your preferences and meet your career goals. They can also help you arrange housing, transportation and other responsibilities. When your contract is up, your recruiter can assist you with finding another assignment in the location and specialty you desire. They may even have access to exclusive agreements that can lead to more opportunities for you.
You Get to Meet New People
One of the biggest benefits of travel nursing is meeting new people at each location. Whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, making friends on assignment is a breeze with the right approach. Embrace the buddy system and ask your co-workers if they’re interested in getting out and exploring the area during their off hours. They may be able to offer up some insider tips about local attractions, restaurants or events that will make your experience all the more enjoyable. Also, don’t forget to check with your travel nurse recruiter about social activities at the facility you’re working in. Most hospitals have recreational departments that offer low-cost classes in short timespans on everything from learning languages to woodworking. Lastly, stay in touch with your travel nurse friends and colleagues after you complete your contract. Many of them will be located all over the country, which means that during your extended breaks between assignments, you’ll have an instant network that spans multiple locations.
You Get to Build Your Network
You will meet new people and make new connections as you travel to recent locations for your contract. You may even find yourself with a network that spans across the nation! Networking can be an important part of a nurse’s professional growth, and it allows you to get to know various healthcare facilities and their management styles. A strong nurse networking connection can also help you when it comes time to choose your next assignment or even a permanent job. Many travel nurses have reported that one of the best aspects of this lifestyle is the ability to experience new things in their downtime. Having the flexibility to explore your surroundings can be a great way to clear your mind, and it can also help you develop a new hobby or interest. For example, if you have always wanted to try snowboarding or ice fishing, travel nursing can provide you with the perfect opportunity! You can make a new friend or two in the process! Many facilities use travel nurses as a “try before you buy” option when hiring full-time nurses, so this can be an excellent way to test out a new location before committing to it long-term.
You Get to Work in a Variety of Settings
Being a travel nurse allows you to experience new hospitals, locations and opportunities within your specialty. This gives you a broader perspective on the world of healthcare and pushes you to work at different levels in challenging environments. This makes you a better nurse. However, it’s important to remember that you still need a work-life balance. Spending too much time on the job can cause burnout, so take some time off and recharge regularly. Doing things like going to a yoga class or taking a long bath can help you feel refreshed and ready to tackle the next shift. It’s also important to find a way to connect with the local community while on an assignment. This can be done by participating in the local culture or simply getting out and exploring the city. It can be a great way to get to know your new home and feel more at ease when working in an unfamiliar setting. This sense of familiarity and belonging can benefit your mental and emotional health.