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What is a Travel Nurse?

A travel nurse is a professional in the field of medicine who helps with patient care. Just like the normal nurse who works inwards where patients end her attention, a travel nurse will move from one state to the other where nurse shortages are experienced. They may even move out of the United States and attend to patients in areas where there is an acute shortage of nurses.

There was a time when the hospitals and clinics across the United States had a shortage of nurses. As a way of increasing the number and availability of nurses, the health care professional was trained then allowed to travel to different states where they can be assigned duties to work as travel nurses. The arrangement played a great role in availing nurses to areas where they were most needed. To be a travel nurse, you need to qualify as a nurse but be available to travel the country and the world at large.  You can also read our latest article on the 5 advantages of being a bilingual nurse.

What Is a Travel Nurse?

It is a professional in the field of medicine who helps patients after the doctor has diagnosed a nurse will be extremely helpful in the critical care unit and pain management. Just like the regular nurse, a travel nurse will be expected to travel to different states. The employer will arrange for the travel costs and accommodation so that the nurses can be facilitated to work in different parts of the world.

Additional requirements to become a travel nurse

Apart from being able to use a stethoscope and other medical equipment, there are other duties you will be required to perform. In summary, a travel nurse will perform all duties that a nurse will perform in a local hospital or clinic. Apart from performing their work as nurses in the hospital facility, they are required to travel a lot. You will have to arrange and know how you will stay away from your family. Here are some of the requirements you need to have so that you can be a successful travel nurse:

Have a work visa and travel passport

There are cases where you will be required to work out of the country, in such a case, you will be required to have a passport to allow you to travel internationally. For the case of travel nurses who work within the country, they need to have a work permit. Domestic travel nurses can move from one state to the other to meet the needs of patients in different hospitals. In such a case, you should be ready to travel and work in different conditions.

Additional immunization

There are some parts of the world where certain diseases are on the rise. If you are a travel nurse and you would like to move to a given country where there is an epidemic, then you will be required to have additional immunization. The additional immunization is arranged so that you can be protected. Remember you may travel across the country and you end up in a region where you are exposed to the diseases. The immunization and the travel documents are arranged for by your agency.

Learning a new language

To work in different parts of the world as a nurse, you need to communicate with other people efficiently. Having a second language will be a great way to go about it. For instance, if you are working in the United States and you would like to move to Latin America where you would like to work with locals, then you need to learn a second language that can help you communicate with people in such a given area.

Learn about unique designs in different areas

Different types of diseases are available in different parts of the world. It is essential to research and know about the unique designs because you will encounter them more as you perform your work in different parts of the world. People looking forward to work in unique parts of the world will likely encounter unique diseases. It will be easy for them to deal with such a disease if they can have some basic understanding of the diseases.

Who is eligible to become a travel nurse?

There are several characteristics you should have to enjoy your work as a travel nurse. Here are some of the things that will make you enjoy your work as a travel nurse:

Enjoy visiting new towns and cities

Your work as a travel nurse will involve traveling across the world. In the cause of your duty, you will find yourself in several towns and cities across the world. Some people love traveling. All the travel costs when you work as a travel nurse are catered for by your agency. You will be privileged to travel to different parts of the world and get to interact with the locals if you decide to take a job as a travel nurse.

Enjoy work freedom

As a travel nurse, you will choose where to work. You can decide to work in each state for a given amount of time. The freedom to move out of state and change your place of work makes it possible to enjoy your work more. If you would like to make your work as a nurse more interesting, then working as a travel nurse can be a great way to go about it. It makes it easy to visit different parts of the world as you work.

Work flexibility

Several nursing agencies allow travel nurses to work under them. You will have the freedom to choose from different travel agencies. If you would like to enjoy more pay, you can switch a given agency where the pay is better. In most cases, you can negotiate your pay. The travel agencies will take time to listen to your concerns and offer the best deal where you can enjoy working.

Be ready to tackle challenges

There are several challenges you will have to face as a travel nurse. For instance, when traveling abroad you may have to stay in remote places. Some places have unique challenges from the ones you are used to tackling at home. You will be required to be flexible and tackle such challenges so that you can be successful as a travel nurse.

Be ready to learn new things

There are some places where you will be faced with new challenges. You should be ready to travel to such places and learn new things. Several challenges face people in different parts of the country. You may be used to urban settings, but you decide to travel to remote places in your line of duty. You will have to face several problems but be ready to tackle them.

Incentives you enjoy as a travel nurse

Being a travel nurse will come with several challenges. The agencies will try to come up with several incentives as a way of making your work easier or attracting you to the job. Here are some of the incentives that will be incredibly attractive for you after you decide to take a job as a travel nurse:

Travel reimbursement

Your nursing agency will cater to your travel expenses. You will not have to worry about the traveling costs. You will save money in the process.

Free housing

When you travel, you will not have to worry about looking for housing in your new location. The nursing agency will have to organize for you so that you can get the housing facility in your new location.


There are several bonuses advanced to you when you decide to become a travel nurse. They are aimed to help you cater to different needs as you travel to work in remote places.

Medical, vision, and dental coverage

Your employer will have to cater to your health coverage as you work in different places. Remember you increase the risk of being affected by contagious diseases when you travel a lot. You will enjoy peace of mind after you know there is insurance to cater to the expenses.

Retirement plans

As a nurse, you are eligible for a retirement plan. Even if you will spend a lot of time working out of state, your nursing agency will have in place measures to ensure you have your retirement plans in place.

Help to obtain passports/work visas

When you are looking for a travel passport or work permit, your employer will be at the forefront of helping you. In most cases, you will not have to struggle a lot before you can get the travel passports. Your agency will organize for them in advance.

Competitive pay

The employer will offer you competitive pay because your work as a nurse will involve several other challenges. Some people are looking for ways they can improve their income. You can easily do so if you can enroll as a travel nurse. They normally get higher than average pay. Your salary will increase because the employer knows there are additional challenges you need to face.