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Busting the 5 Biggest Myths of Travel Nursing

Mariya Rizwan, PharmD

Travel nursing is exciting if you want to visit new places, explore regions, touch various lives, and serve people of different races and ethnicities.

To become a travel nurse, you need to have one to two years of working experience as a nurse. Your job will be contract-based through an agency. Often, contracts vary from six weeks to one year, mostly 13 weeks. When you receive the contract, check all the details, such as pay rates and where you are posted. Before you move to a new place, it is a good idea to research whether it suits you.

Sometimes, nurses move to a new place to explore it but feel they need to visit more exciting places. Therefore, it is important to research the new city before moving.

Myths about Travel Nursing

To learn more about travel nursing, connect with your peers who are travel nurses. They can provide you with the ground reality and guide you well. You can also connect with others through social media. However, make sure you connect to reliable people. Sometimes, the other person may give you the wrong information, leaving you confused and unmotivated. In this blog, we will bust five common myths associated with travel nursing.

Myth No. 1: Working at Various Hospitals Looks Bad on Your Resume

This myth is the exact opposite of the truth. Travel nurses work in different places and gather a lot of experience. Working in changing environments can be challenging, but it also shows your resilience, that you can adjust anywhere and work well. Travel nursing makes you adaptable, which makes you even more marketable.

Working in different settings and hospitals gives you plenty of experience that is helpful in your career. That can also give you an insight into where you want to work if you consider working for a long-term job.

Travel nursing gives you plenty of exposure, and the work experience on your resume makes you even more suitable for jobs.

Myth No. 2: Travel Nurses Don’t Earn as Much as Staff Nurses

That’s not true. Travel nurses can earn even more than staff nurses. Their pay rates may vary from place to place. However, travel nurses are generally well-paid and receive additional benefits, such as tax-free stipends. They also get other benefits, such as health insurance and retirement plans. Travel nursing is no less than a complete job.

Myth No. 3: Travel Nurses Have to Move Every 13 Weeks

That’s not true. Travel nurses can extend their contract if they feel the facility suits them and the need for a nurse remains. They are given an option to extend the contract and work for a longer period. The biggest perk of being a travel nurse is flexibility. Once you are done with your contract, you can take some time off by talking to your nursing agency and enjoying a break.

Myth No. 4: There Are Only Travel Nursing Jobs in Big Cities

Rural areas and small towns also need more nurses. Therefore, there is also a need for a travel nurse. Becoming a travel nurse doesn't mean you will always have to work in big cities. Your experience will vary from a busy large tertiary hospital to a small clinic setting in the villages and farms.

Varying jobs with travel nursing will give you ample exposure and experience to thrive in different conditions and work environments. It will train you in various aspects. However, keep in mind that your pay will vary from assignment to assignment, depending on where you work.

Myth No. 5: You Don’t Have Control Over Your Life

That’s completely wrong. Travel nurses have more control over their lives. The agency will never force you to accept an assignment as a travel nurse. You choose it only if it suits you. Choose the assignment that is suitable for you and makes you feel excited. Moreover, as a travel nurse, you can take breaks between your assignments, which gives you more control over your life. During the break period, you can focus on all the pending chores you want to give attention to.

Being a staff nurse, you can not take breaks as per your needs during your career, as you can do as a travel nurse. Making small contracts also energizes you, making your life more varied and exciting.

Consequences of Myths With Travel Nursing

Myths and rumors associated with travel nursing make it difficult to work as a travel nurse and prevent nurses from entering the field. Nurses are reluctant to start their careers in travel nursing because of these myths, which have a negative impact on the job.

The reality is that travel nursing is exciting. You get to have new ventures now and then. You meet new people, serve at different places, and gather plenty of experiences. It makes you adaptable and even more marketable. Moreover, it is a perfect fit if you love traveling and exploring new places. You will have plenty of experience on your resume at different locations and settings while enjoying and discovering new places.

The Bottom Line

There are many other myths about travel nursing: a married person with children can’t manage as a travel nurse, you don’t get enough benefits, you don’t get enough personal time, or you may seem like a job hopper.

But all these myths are wrong, and they are not viable. Instead, you can manage well as a travel nurse with your family. Many families enjoy exploring new towns together. You also get benefits such as insurance plans and retirement plans. Moreover, you get more personal time than staff nurses because you can take breaks between two contracts. You will never be referred to as a job hopper because travel nursing is a separate job that requires you to work for a limited period.

Travel nurses are valuable because they serve when there is a shortage. Without them and their contribution, managing patients' well-being can become arduous and harm the healthcare system.

About the Author:

Mariya Rizwan is an experienced pharmacist who has been working as a medical writer for four years. Her passion lies in crafting articles on topics ranging from Pharmacology, General Medicine, Pathology to Pharmacognosy.

Mariya is an independent contributor to CEUfast’s Nursing Blog Program.

Laura is an independent contributor to CEUfast’s Nursing Blog Program. Please note that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog post are solely of the independent contributor and do not necessarily represent those of CEUfast. This blog post is not medical advice. Always consult with your personal healthcare provider for any health-related questions or concerns.

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