Travel Nursing: The World is Now Open

  • Travel nursing has gained much popularity giving nurses new experiences, a well-round resume, and financial freedom. 
  • Travel nursing has now been extended in other healthcare disciplinaries giving them the same opportunity. 
  • Author, Tracey Long, has the lowdown on all things travel nursing. From the pros and cons to the contracts, to how to best prepare as a travel nurse newbie. We’ve got it all covered! 

Tracey Long


June 03, 2022
Simmons University

The best kept secret of travel nursing has been exposed!

Travel nursing has been an option for the past several decades but with the higher demand for nurses across the country during COVID-19, nurses have begun to explore this job alternate at record numbers.  

Travel nursing is designed in generally 13-week contracts in a location other than the nurse’s primary home city and allows the nurse the opportunity to travel to a new state, explore new areas, meet new people, expand their repertoire of work experience, and offer freedom of choice. 

Benefits of Travel Nursing


Benefits of travel nursing begin with the higher hourly rate, which can vary based on specialty, work hours and unit. Additional money can be made based on these factors. 

As always, critical care nurses will generally earn the higher hourly wage from $50/hr to $110/hr and are in high demand across the nation. Hospitals offer travel nursing positions in every specialty.


A popular benefit to travel nursing is being able to live in a new city short-term without a huge commitment to move everything you own. The freedom of choosing when and where to work is a strength for travel nurses. The call for adventure and meeting new people in new places can be invigorating. 

Even nurses with children may choose to become a travel nurse and have control over home-schooling and offering children a variety of life experiences.  

Travel nursing is available for floor nurses, specialty units, management and even leadership. It can broaden your perspective and work experience and advance your career. Travel nurses may be able to work in a magnet hospital for a contract when their home city may not have a magnet hospital. 



travel nursing benefits

Disadvantages of Travel Nursing

Disadvantages of travel nursing can include being responsible for your own travel, accommodations, taxes, moving expenses, medical insurance, and certifications. 

New Environment

Having to become oriented to a new city, hospital facility, and unit can also create physical and emotional stress but that may be traded with the excitement of adventure for those who are ready and have wanderlust.

Cancelled/Shortened Contract

A real concern is the possibility of a cancelled or shortened contract, which may place undue stress for a stable monthly budget. Travel nurses need to know how to budget well in the event of irregular contracts and sometimes varying income month to month.  



travel nursing headaches

Travel Nursing Contracts

Nurses have many dozens of travel nursing agencies to choose from but must be aware of the variations and details within a contract including housing, bonuses for signing-on, health benefits and even work settings.  

Doing research about the different companies available is important to confirm exactly what they offer in the contract before you sign. Health insurance and retirement benefits vary based on different companies.  

Temporary housing is available and can be negotiated through the travel nursing agent. Companies that specialize in temporary housing have also grown with the increased need for traveling healthcare professionals.  

Many short-term rentals love travel nurses as they are dependable and trusted. 

travel nursing contracts

Not Just for Nurses

Not only can nurses work as a travel nurse, but other allied healthcare professionals can also work travel assignments.

Many couples who both work in healthcare have found adventure and variety as they both accept contracts together in a new city. Spouses of travel nurses who can work remote or are retired can also enjoy the change in venue and scenery.  

Some couples even travel in motor homes across the country to explore our great nation. International travel is also an option if available, but contracts are less common as they usually focus on volunteer medical service trips, tourism or cultural exchanges. 

travel nursing tips

Preparing for Travel Nursing


For those interested in learning more about travel nursing, a unique conference that focuses exclusively on travel nursing comes to Las Vegas, Nevada each year in the fall called TravCon. 

The Newbie BootCamp offers a full day of training on how to become prepared in all you need to know to have success. 

Topics from the conference address clinical updates, housing, personal tax and retirement strategies, medical Spanish, BLS, ACLS certification and a huge expo of vendors specializing in travel nursing and professionals.  


Founders of the conference have been travel nurses for decades and the conference has expanded to include all healthcare professionals looking to work in temporary travel assignments. Throughout the year, a traveler’s podcast can educate and excite you about the potential. 

Many travel nurses have taken to platforms like YouTube and TikTok to share their journey and experiences as a travel nurse and have lots of helpful tips.

Talking to Others

Talk to other travel nurses who may be on assignment at your own work. Afterall the best experience comes from someone you know. 


travel nursing conference

The Bottom Line

When you find you are working with a travel nurse from another state, remember to be kind as they adjust to the new setting. Demonstrate the spirit of your own city by welcoming them and asking them about themselves. 

Nurses can learn from each other and improve our own clinical skills and networking when we embrace the diversity of others around us, including travel nurses from within our own country.

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