What is a Travel Nurse?

As a Sobat Hitunggaji, you might be wondering what a travel nurse is. In simple terms, a travel nurse is a registered nurse who travels across the country to work temporary nursing positions in different healthcare facilities. These nurses fill in the gaps where there is a shortage of healthcare providers and can be employed in various settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities.

Source healthyworkforceinstitute.com

Strengths and Weaknesses

Like any other occupation, being a travel nurse comes with its own set of pros and cons.


Flexibility: One of the biggest strengths of being a travel nurse is the flexibility it offers. Travel nurses have the flexibility to choose their assignments, schedule, location, and even the type of facility they want to work in.

Exposure: Being a travel nurse gives you the opportunity to work in different healthcare settings, which can greatly broaden your nursing skills and knowledge. You get to work with different teams of healthcare professionals and learn from them, which can be a great asset to your career.

Higher Pay: Travel nurses are in high demand, and therefore are often paid higher rates than permanent staff. Since travel nurses do not receive benefits like retirement, insurance, vacation or sick pay, their salary is usually higher to accommodate for this.

Adventure: Travel nursing is a great way to add some excitement to your nursing career. With opportunities to work in different states and even countries, travel nurses can enjoy different cultures and experiences while still performing the job they love.

Networking: Travel nurses have the chance to meet new people with different backgrounds and perspectives. This allows for great networking opportunities that can open up career paths or lead to new job offers.

Enhanced Resume: Working as a travel nurse can enhance your resume and make you a more attractive candidate for future job opportunities. Working with different healthcare systems and patients in different cities can add significant value to your resume.

Housing and Travel Expenses Covered: Most travel nurse contracts include housing and travel expenses, which can help you save money while on assignment.


Human Connection: Unlike permanent nurses, a travel nurse might experience gaps in human connections between colleagues, patients, and even the community.

Instability: Travel nursing offers no job security since the contracts are temporary in nature and may leave nurses unemployed If they don’t line up other job opportunities.

Loneliness: Travel nursing often involves moving from place to place, which can cause loneliness and isolation.

Stress: Travel nurses are often tasked with being responsible from the moment they take the assignment. They have to adjust to new environments and cultures, keep up with the orientation in new facilities, all while still providing the best patient care possible.

Uncertainty of the Assignment: The assignment could be very uncertain, where the nurse could be assigned to unstable places, with fewer facilities, untrustworthy colleagues, or lower amenities, hence making it hard for travel nurses to do their job properly.

Requirements: Because of the temporary nature of the job, travel nurses are expected to hit the ground running and must have a minimum of two years of experience.

Short-Staffed Facilities: Travel nurses are often hired to fill in staffing shortages. Facilities that are short-staffed may also be dealing with other quality of care issues, such as substandard training or skipped maintenance. This can cause additional stress on travel nurses and create challenges in the workplace.

What Does it Take to Become a Travel Nurse?

To become a travel nurse, you will need to have a nursing degree from an accredited nursing program and have a nursing license in the state where you plan to work.

Some of the qualifications required to become a travel nurse include:

Qualification Description
Active Nursing License A state-issued nursing license that allows you to practice as a registered nurse within the state.
Clinical Experience A minimum of two years of recent clinical experience as a registered nurse.
Certifications Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Certifications. Travel Nurse Certifications may also be required.
Criminal Background Check Travel Nurse agencies carry out criminal background checks to ensure that candidates have no criminal records in the past.
Immunizations Vaccinations against specific diseases required by the hospital, clinic, or healthcare facility.
Physical Examination A recent physical exam to certify that the nurse is physically capable of performing medical duties.
Drug Test To ensure that nurses report to work sober, travel nurse agencies will require that applicant tests negative for drugs before starting an assignment.

Once you have these qualifications, you will need to apply to travel nursing agencies that will then find jobs for you based on your preferences and availability. Travel nurses work for various travel nursing agencies, so it’s essential to research different agencies before applying.

Frequently Asked Questions About Travel Nursing

1. What are the benefits of becoming a travel nurse?

As outlined in the strengths and weaknesses section, travel nursing offers many benefits. Some of these include higher pay, flexibility, exposure to different healthcare settings, adventure, networking opportunities, and an enhanced resume.

2. Is travel nursing a good career choice?

Travel nursing is a great career choice for those who want to combine their love of patient care with adventure and flexibility. As a travel nurse, you get to travel to different parts of the country, meet new people, and work in diverse healthcare settings, which can add significant value to your nursing skills and resume.

3. What are the salary and benefits of travel nurses?

Salaries for travel nurses vary based on location, specialty, experience, and the staffing requirements of the facility. However, travel nurses are paid higher rates than permanent nurses to accommodate for their lack of benefits like retirement, insurance, vacation, or sick pay.

4. What are some of the challenges associated with travel nursing?

Some of the challenges associated with travel nursing include job insecurity, loneliness, adjusting to new environments, and dealing with staffing shortages. Travel nurses must also be highly adaptable and able to acclimate to new surroundings quickly.

5. How long are travel nurse assignments?

Travel nurse assignments typically last between 8 to 26 weeks, depending on the staffing needs of the facility.

6. Do travel nursing agencies provide housing?

Most travel nursing agencies provide housing and travel expenses for their employees. This can help travel nurses save money and also make the process of relocating to a new place easier.

7. What sets travel nursing apart from other nursing jobs?

Travel nursing offers a unique combination of adventure, flexibility, and exposure to different healthcare settings and cultures. As a travel nurse, you get to work with diverse teams of healthcare professionals and broaden your nursing skills and knowledge.


In conclusion, being a travel nurse comes with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. While it is not for everyone, travel nursing is an excellent career choice for nurses who crave adventure, flexibility, and exposure to different healthcare settings. If you’re interested in becoming a travel nurse, make sure to do your research and work with a reputable travel nurse agency.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article by Sobat Hitunggaji. We hope it was informative and educational. We encourage you to take action and explore whether travel nursing is right for you.

This article is for informational purposes only. Please consult your healthcare provider or nursing agency for personalized advice.

Learn more about the life of a travel nurse with this American Express Business Travel article.

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