by Heather Johnson
Not all nurses are content with a stationary job within a hospital or clinic. For those with a nomadic streak, it is a good idea to consider a career as a travel nurse practitioner. What is a travel nurse, you ask? This is a licensed nurse who takes short-term positions all over the country, filling in for vacancies almost like an office temp (albeit, a very well-trained temp).
Such a career choice may not be suited for everyone. Those with a family, of course, may not wish to be away from home constantly. In fact, some travel nurses don’t even have a permanent home anywhere. Rather, he/she rents temporary housing after arriving at each position. The typical travel nurse position lasts from 3 months to a year.
Initially, a travel nurse is brought to a facility in order to fill in for a nurse who has left or is on leave. After the position has been permanently filled or the previous nurse returns, the travel nurse will move on to the next job. In many cases, however, a travel nurse will get somewhat settled into the position and the employers will attempt to recruit the travel nurse for permanent placement.
For those who become a travel nurse in order to see the country, being recruited will not be appealing. However, being a travel nurse is also a great way to discover a permanent “dream” job. How would you like to be a nurse practitioner in Hawaii, perhaps? It is possible to put in a request for transfer to certain locations. Although positions won’t always be available, you will be shortlisted for a position there when one opens.
The best way to enter the world of travel nursing is by contacting a nurse recruiting company. This agency will actively find positions for the nurse, just like a run-of-the-mill temp agency. Be forewarned, however, that a nurse recruiter must be paid a fee. The fee may be worth the convenience of not having to search for jobs, however.
While travel nursing may not appeal to everyone, it can be a great way to find the perfect position or to see the country. Those looking for excitement and travel while pursuing a nursing career will probably be eager to look into this lifestyle choice. Sidebar: While each state has different requirements for nursing licenses, it should be noted that travel nurses could obtain temporary licenses that are valid up to a year.
Heather Johnson is a regular commentator on the subject of Online RN to MSN. She welcomes your feedback and potential job inquiries at heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.