Are you considering taking on travel nursing jobs? These are unique positions in which you will travel between different assignments on a temporary business. But why is there a need for this type of nursing at all? One of the main reasons is because the baby boom generation is getting older, and this means there are now more people that require care. Not just that, it also means that a large proportion of the nursing workforce is retiring.
The Demand for Travel Nursing Jobs
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that, by 2026, there will be a 15% increase in demand for Registered Nurses (RNs). One of the ways in which this demand is being met, is by asking RNs to come in on short term assignments as and when required. This turned out to be a very successful system, but even that system is struggling to cope with the increase in demand.
This is particularly true for the following specializations:
Clinical Nurse Assistants.
Licensed Practical Nurses.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists.
Mental health nurses.
Demand for all these nurses is high all across the country. However, most travel nurses find they are sent to assignments in Nevada, Texas, Ohio, Hawaii, Arizona, Florida, and California. The result is that these states are also home to the greatest number of nursing recruitment agencies. These agencies offer nurses assignments, which they can accept or decline. Some of the perks associated with these roles include:
A much higher salary.
Companion or pet accommodation.
Dental, vision, and medical insurance.
A company matched 401k plan.
Naturally, the more perks offered, the less your salary will be. However, overall, travel nurses tend to earn a great deal more than their fixed counterparts. That said, you need to consider which perks are most important to you, and find a nursing agency that offers those perks in particular.
It is also recommended to be licensed in a state that is a member of the NCLA (Nurse Licensure Compact). 24 states have signed up for this. It means that if you are licensed in any of those states, you can work in all the others as well.
You might also be offered a stipend instead of housing benefits. This stipend is supposed to cover your housing, your travel, and your meals. You need to speak to a tax attorney about whether or not accepting a stipend instead of accommodation might be more financially viable for you.
As a travel nurse, you will get to see the country, if not the world. There are downsides to moving all the time, but most who choose this position enjoy the freedom. And once you are ready to settle down, a good travel nursing agency will also help you to find a permanent position. You may even be offered your temporary position on a permanent contract.