What are the pros/cons of travel nursing?

Specialties Travel


How popular is it to be a travel nurse? Is it fairly easy to get contracts?

Do you need a BSN or just an ADN?


92 Posts

Specializes in M/S, Tele, Peds, ER.

It's a bit more difficult to get assignments now than it was before "The Recession!" (so sick of this "recession"..) Let me rephrase that, you can't be as PICKY as before.

When I started a year ago I could take my sweet time deciding between contracts, the hospitals fought over me! Now there's so much less that you gotta jump on them when you see one that fits your needs/wants, and you're fighting against all the other out-of-work travellers for jobs. Hospitals have cut back, and the travellers were the first thing to be cut....understandably really.


1. More money, same job

2. Travel, see different places, adventure!


1. Instability, ever-changing environment, just when you get the swing of things at one place, you're off to another and start at the bottom again

2. SOME places/nurses (not all, dare I say the minority in my experience) are a little discriminating against the travellers, give them the sh*tty assignments, make em float everywhere first, etc (due to anger for you being paid more and "taking their jobs" when you're actually HELPING them and definately NOT taking their jobs because you're TEMPORARY until they find someone to fill it)

I very much enjoyed my year travelling around the country. If you have someone that can go with you (friend/spouse/whatever) it definately helps, especially for your first assignment. However it can also be done alone successfully if you're a sociable, pleasant person that "makes friends easily".

The fewer your home-life responsibilities the easier. This including of course children, other dependents, even pets. Travel light. Be flexible.

I stopped because I'm ready to grow some roots again and "settle down". I discovered that deep beyond my adventurous side was a home-body who still wants to travel, but wants to be able to come HOME afterwards. I'll just vacation more :)


92 Posts

Specializes in M/S, Tele, Peds, ER.

All that talking and I didn't even answer your questions...

1. Travelling is fairly popular among those who have few enough obligations to be able to do it.

2. See above

3. BSN/ADN whatever, doesn't matter, as long as you're an RN, they prefer 2 years of experience of whatever specialty you travel under. Some prefer "travel experience" already so sometimes it can be a little more tough to get that first assigment.

Getting assignments depends a lot on what your specialty is too... ICU nurses are the highest in demand. Any specialty really. Med/Surg is just a little more difficult because its a specialty that an ICU nurse could be qualified for as well, so there are more canidates for the job competing against you.


24 Posts


I have been wondering about travel nursing as well. How exactly does it work? Does the agency tell you how long the contract for your services will be up front? Or do you find out once you start the job? Do you have to work with this agency for a minimum length of time or can you just use them once for one specific job?

Any info would be great


TheCommuter, BSN, RN

102 Articles; 27,612 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

Moved to the Travel Nursing forum. Good luck!

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