How feasible is traveling unvaccinated?

Updated:   Published

  • Specializes in MedSurg/Interventional Radiology. Has 19 years experience.


I am currently completing a year at the bedside to get my feet back in the water in order to travel. I do weekly testing at my facility on a religious and conscientious exemption.  How likely is it for me to consider travel nursing?  Do other facilities offer exemptions? 


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Consider it all you want. I for one, do not support such a move. You know you are an outlier because as a group, nurses are overwhelmingly vaccinated. Sure, in part because of mandates, but more because of well, science. We are trained to protect public health, not to weaken it.

Also worth noting from a strictly competitive standpoint, hospitals have choices about who they select as travelers. Why would they choose an unvaccinated traveler when the other 99% of applicants are vaccinated? I have zero doubt that would apply as well to hospitals such as yours that offer exemptions to their own employees.

I am speaking to my recruiters from a few agencies about this very topic. Weekly testing seems to be the response. I’ve also limited my search to a few states that would increase potential assignments. 

Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for making your own informed decision. Speak to your recruiter and stipulate that you would like to search for facilities that are open to a testing option. It limits your options greatly, but there are still very good options. 
I wish you well. 

jnb1740, BSN

21 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac. Has 25 years experience.

Now, that being said, unfortunately you may encounter some barriers being unvaxxed, especially in left-wing blue states. You may need to travel to more freedom minded states, like Florida. I would even take lower pay myself if I had to, but that's up to you. I am so sick of the vax and mask mandates. Ever since these vax mandates came out in late 2021, I tell all young people now, DO NOT go into nursing unless you want to be masked up forever.