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I am a new nursing student and am interested in learning about the Traveling Nurse Association. I would like to learn what the best things are about being a traveling nurse and what are some of the drawbacks. Is it hard to have a family as a traveling nurse? What are some of the benefits that are offered? Where is your favorite place to travel?



Specializes in Emergency room, Neurosurgery ICU. Has 10 years experience.

Travel Nursing Agencies generally require a minimum of 2 years of recent experience in the specialty for which you want to practice. I have never heard of an agency hiring a new grad as a traveler. That being said, if one is single or in a relationship where the partner can relocate, it can be great. Traveling is rather difficult on family life, though, as the RN is gone for 8-13 weeks (13 weeks seems to be the average contract length).

I was in Houston, TX, Midland, Mich and St. Paul, MN for travel contracts. All were nice. Houston wanted me to stay longer (EMR conversion, and they loved me, and I them), but I missed my hubby desperately. My kids are all more or less grown, so it was easier for me, but I still missed them. I did, however, greatly enjoy seeing areas of the country I either had never been to, or hadn't seen since I was a kid on vacation with my family.

In all honesty, it may seem lucrative, but essentially, the agency gets a set amount of money per RN per contract. They then separate that money between relocation fees/travel stipend, daily stipend, housing and your pay... some of these things can be place under the "tax-free" column (you need to save EVERY receipt for EVERYTHING!) (oh, and for the most part, the insurance coverage generally really isn't great)

The agencies either out right pay for licensing, or reimburse for it. They also cover most extra certifications you may need, BLS, ALCS, etc.

Most hospitals require a UDS before every contract, as well as proof of immunizations (agency usually pays for what's needed), as well as medical clearance to work

It seemed to me I had to "prove" my credentials at every hospital before staff would trust that I knew my stuff (neuroICU in all 3). {Before I did travel I had 4 years ER and 4 years NeuroICu in a really big name hospital, world renowned for its neuroICU....}

There are plenty of great things about traveling, but you need to get experience before you can do it

oh, and ALWAYS read the fine print and talk about EVERYTHING with the recruiter, like nursing's "if it wasn't charted it wasn't done", in traveling, "if it wasn't discussed and put in the contract", it ain't happening....