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9 Travel Nursing Myths Busted

Posted by travel | August 22, 2012 | Travel Nursing Jobs

You don’t hear a lot about travel nursing, which is probably why there are so many misconceptions about it. Travel nursing can be a personally and financially rewarding career. However, many are put off by the various myths and rumors they’ve heard about it. This article will set the record straight by busting the nine most common myths about travel nursing so nurses can feel comfortable entering this exciting career.

Myth #1 – Every 13 weeks, you have to move

Fact – The average length of a travel nursing assignment is 13 weeks. However, this is not true for every assignment. Some assignments are shorter and some are longer. Additionally, nurses can usually extend the time they spend in their current assignment, much to the delight of the hospital and the travel nursing agency. Depending on the agency, nurses may also be able to choose to take assignments within a certain geographical area so they don’t have to move around much.

Myth #2 – Being a travel nurse is like being in the military, long tours away from home

Fact – While it is true that some assignments will be far from home, there are typically assignments available close to home as well. This depends a lot on the travel nurse agency and the local area. A travel nurse can request assignments that are only a few hours away from here they live so he or she can travel home on days off. However, some medical facilities and travel nursing agencies have restrictions in place that don’t allow travel nurses to apply for local assignments. It is best to talk to the recruiter about this before signing on.

Myth #3 – Travel nursing is not for people over 40, 50, 60+

Fact – Actually, travel nursing is perfect for middle- and late-aged nurses. Typically, nurses over 40 have accumulated years of experience that serve them well in their assignments. They typically have the self-confidence required to walk into a strange hospital and start working as if they had been there for years.

Travel nursing is good for older nurses with families too. Nurses can take a retired spouse with them on their trips or even the whole family. It will certainly give them something to do if the kids are all grown up and moved out of the house. If you have ever wanted to travel and see the world, travel nursing is an excellent way to do that and get paid.

Myth #4 – People with families can’t be travel nurses

Fact – The truth is, there are quite a few travel nurses that bring their families along with them on their assignments. Sometimes the family relocates completely to the new city while others treat the excursions like extended vacations. It is an excellent way to introduce children to the joy of travel and seeing new places.

Myth #5 – Pets aren’t allowed on the assignments

Fact – Pets are welcomed on assignments. Not only do pets make excellent travel companions, but they can make a strange city feel little friendlier. In addition to that, a well-trained dog can keep a single nurse secure in his or her new hometown. The only stipulation is that you will need to let the travel nursing agency know that you will be taking a pet along so that they can make the appropriate housing accommodations.

Myth #6 – You can’t make enough money with travel nursing to support a family

Fact – While it is true that travel nurses are only paid per assignment, they can still make enough money to support themselves or a family. Travel nursing jobs pay well. Even with the reduced demand for them because of the economy, there is still enough work available that a travel nurse can generate an income to support his or her lifestyle. A combination of planning and being sensible with personal finances can go a long way towards helping travel nurse stay afloat.

Additionally, travel nurses can take assignments in areas that have lower costs of living. This will allow them to stretch their money further. Another option is to sign up with a travel nurse agency that offers travel reimbursement, free housing and other useful benefits.

Myth #7 – Regular nurses don’t like travel nurses

Fact – This is not true at all. Typically, travel nurses are called in to relieve the permanent nursing staff so that they can take vacations or alleviate a nursing shortage. Generally speaking regular nurses love to see travel nurses because it means their lives are about to get a lot easier, especially since they don’t have to bring an inexperienced nurse up to speed.

Myth #8 – Jumping around to so many different places looks bad on my resume

Fact – In some industries, having so many jobs within a short span of time does look bad on a resume. For travel nurses, though, this is actually a good thing. Travel nurses learn a lot in their tenures, different nursing methods etc, that employers consider their breadth of knowledge to be beneficial to their medical facilities. Additionally, travel nurses prove they are flexible and are able to adapt to new situations quickly, both critical traits for nurses in every field.

Myth #9 – Travel nursing agencies offer no flexibility in assignments

Fact – Travel nursing agencies want their clients and nurses to be happy. Happy clients and travel nurses means more business and retention of talented staff. Therefore, they are not in the business of forcing nurses to accept assignments they don’t want. Travel nurses have the option to accept or pass on any assignment offered to them.

It is important to note that job opportunities may be limited at smaller travel nurse agencies. Therefore, a nurse may not be offered as many or as varied assignments. If this is a concern, then it is best to sign on with a larger agency where there tends to be a lot more variety.