Am I being overoptimistic about travel nursing?

  1. Im finishing up my first year of nursing at a SNF and have spoken with two agencies in my area that specialize in work in my state. Both say 1 year of experience is all they require to work everything but acute care (in my case). My husband works out of town frequently as well as working around the clock and any day of the week. We just bought a new home and I have one 4 year old and one on the way.

    I couple women I know working for agencies have told me some very exciting things about traveling and I don't want to be overly optimistic, but they tell me they chose their schedules, make a very good salary, often work in town and both have benefits.

    We were lucky, we didnt have to put our eldest in daycare until he was 2 or so but I am not interested in putting my infant in daycare and depending on my mom and sister to get two kids to and from daycare on days that I work. I am hoping that as a travel nurse I can make a great income working within 60 miles of my home easily and on the days that work best for my husbands schedule. He makes a good deal of money so he does take priority.

    I'm trying to get words of caution, encouragement, personal wisdom etc.
    Do you think this could be a good option for me to be there for my babies and still bring in a decent income? Thank you for your responses
  2. Visit HumbleDaughter profile page

    About HumbleDaughter

    Joined: Aug '17; Posts: 6


  3. by   ChrisMMS
    Hello HumbleDaughter,

    While the situations your peers have mentioned do happen from time to time with travel nursing it isn't always as ideal as people make it seem. Depending on what area you live in the float pool or per-diem pool maybe very high which lowers the need for travel nurses. The areas that have a high need for travel nurses are generally in areas that are not "travel vacation destinations". There is a triangle that is associated with travel nursing were you are only able to have 2 of the 3. Location, Money, and Specialty. If you want to be in a very specific location you will either need to take a lower pay compared to other travel destinations or you may need a very specific specialty and so on. Also I would talk to the agencies and ask them what margins they work on, every company works on a different margin of commission that they take from you. Some companies will be much higher than others and some lower, however all these agencies generally pull from the same job pool so another agency can offer you the same position as another for a lower or higher pay rate. I would also consider getting additional certifications in the area that you are looking to travel nurse for, the more certifications you have the more advantage you have over other applicants and the more marketable it makes you. Overall I believe that travel nursing can be a great opportunity for you to make extra money and still be available to your children, but keep in mind that a "perfect" situation may not exist. If you have any other questions please let me know!

    Best Regards,
  4. by   NedRN
    Close to 100% of all nurse travelers work in acute care. Pays more than LTC. Also, a good portion of traveler's take home pay are tax free stipends. You are not eligible for those working at home. Benefits are usually much worse for travelers.

    But why not call some agencies to find out more details?
  5. by   HumbleDaughter
    Thank you, and I apologize for the typos. Wrote this late after work and had to write it a few times before it would post and I got a little sloppy in my subsequent attempts