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What are the pros and cons of being a travel nurse?

I am a senior in high school and I really want to be a travel nurse. It’ll be so interesting and I love taking care of people. Saving lives is what I want too do, but what are the downsides of it?

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Pamela’s Answer

Hi Hadiil,
I am not a travel nurse but have many patients and colleagues who are. Most of them love it! They love the travel (obviously!), the variety, and the pay is excellent. Some travel in pairs so they can share living accommodations and have adventures together. The cons are the lack of benefits, and there is some loss of stability give that the jobs can be short-term. Hope this was helpful!
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Nailya’s Answer

Hi Hadiil, I am not a travel nurse but I know that travel nurses paid better than staff nurses; however, travel nurses do not have the same benefit package as staff nurses have.
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Christine’s Answer

Burnout and being away from your support network are the two top drawbacks in my opinion.
The money, experience and travel are awesome!! Glad you’re looking at your options.
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Kathleen’s Answer

Hi Hadiil,

Happy Friday. Great question, here is part of the answer to your question that I copied from a previous post, when it comes to hurdles of travel nursing:
"Although it has been some years since I did travel nursing, one of the greatest challenges I faced during my traveling days was understanding the organizational structure as an outsider and having little time to adapt to workflows, environment, work culture, and aspects of healthcare management/technology. In order to prepare, it helps to understand what limitations nurses may have per institutional/State Board of Nursing regulations. For example, in some organizations, I was able to bolus or administer a PRN dose of propofol as an RN, others required physicians or advance practice providers. It is helpful to do some baseline research with such stipulations, and prepare your time as a traveler. Having an open mindset with adaptability and asking questions also helps. Best to be prepared with the idea of hitting the ground running, with certain contracts, as orientation time is short and limited compared to work as core staff."

In terms of pros:
- Competitive rates compared to bedside/core staffing
- Being able to travel and explore what the US or international nursing practice has to offer
- Networking opportunities
- Utilizing negotiation tactics for changes with scheduling/incentives/work reimbursements per contract

Hope this helps!
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Cody’s Answer

Hey!

Ive been a RN since 2017 and have often thought about traveling at various points in my career. The up sides of better pay, getting to travel both domestic and foreign and the chance to network and meet new people or experience new healthcare systems is amazing. However I always talked myself out of it because I enjoy developing and growing the bonds I have with co-workers. Often times travel nurses are needed in places that aren't very desirable or undergoing a lot of change hence the staff has left. This can also result in very little strength on the unit. Also from my understanding the orientation period is very short and minimal. As a critical care/ emergency nurse this often means also that you are not put in the critical assignments and are left with the less "glamorous" assignments. This is just my two cents. Hope it offers some perspective!
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