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Transitioning from Permanent Staff to Travel Nursing: What to Expect

Travel Healthcare

The world of healthcare evolves daily, and with it, the needs and demands of medical institutions grow as well. Since 2020, travel nursing has experienced a surge in demand. The need for travel nurses has expanded dramatically as a result of staffing shortages and rising patient demand, which is partly attributable to COVID-19. Historically, 3 to 4 percent of the nursing staff were travel nurses. They now make up closer to 8 to 10% of all nursing positions. So, what does this mean for you as a registered nurse? It presents an excellent opportunity to venture into travel nursing, and it’s essential to know what awaits you on this journey.

Understanding Travel Nursing

Travel nursing typically involves nurses taking short-term contract jobs in various locations, catering to hospitals or clinics that have a temporary staffing shortage. Furthermore, these assignments often last from 8 to 26 weeks, although the duration varies based on the facility’s needs.

For many, travel nurse jobs provide a blend of professional growth, financial incentives, and the chance to explore new places.

Travel Nurse vs Staff Nurse

As you contemplate this career shift, it’s vital to grasp the distinctions between a travel nurse and a staff nurse:

  • Flexibility: Unlike permanent staff nursing positions, travel nursing offers more flexibility in terms of job location and duration. In short, you have the privilege to choose where you want to work and for how long.
  • Diverse Experience: Taking on various travel nurse assignments exposes you to different medical practices, patient populations, and healthcare systems. This diversity enhances your skills and makes you a more versatile nurse.
  • Compensation and Benefits: Travel nurse jobs frequently come with competitive pay, housing stipends, and other enticing benefits, often surpassing those of permanent staff positions.
  • Adaptability: While staff nurses often remain in one environment, travel nurses adapt to new settings regularly, which is both a challenge and a thrill.

Preparing for the Transition

Transitioning from a permanent role to travel nursing requires a bit of groundwork:

  • Research and Select a Reputable Staffing Firm: Partnering with a reliable travel nursing staffing firm ensures you get matched with the best travel nurse assignments and receive comprehensive support throughout your journey.
  • Complete Necessary Paperwork: This includes acquiring licenses for different states, updating your resume, and undergoing specific medical examinations or training.
  • Embrace Flexibility: The very nature of travel nurse jobs means you’ll be moving around. A flexible mindset helps you adapt swiftly to new work environments and teams.

Challenges and Rewards

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Every career shift presents its own set of challenges and rewards:

Challenge – New Environments Frequently

With each new assignment, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with a new work culture, protocols, and team dynamics.

Reward – Personal Growth

Overcoming these challenges fosters personal growth. You become more adaptable, resilient, and gain a broader perspective of nursing.

Challenge – Being Away from Home

Travel nursing means being away from family and friends, which is sometimes tough.

Reward – Exploration and Adventure

While you might miss home, each travel nurse assignment offers a unique opportunity to explore a new city, state, or even country. Discover new cultures, cuisines, and experiences.

Is Travel Nursing Right for You?

Travel nursing isn’t for everyone, but for those who crave variety in their work, desire to travel, and seek continuous learning opportunities, it’s a path worth considering. Therefore, reflect on your career goals, personal aspirations, and the kind of experiences you want to gather in your nursing career. If variety, exploration, and growth rank high on your list, travel nurse jobs beckon you.

In conclusion, the journey from a permanent staff nurse to a travel nurse comes with its unique blend of challenges and rewards. But with the right preparation, mindset, and partnership with a leading travel nursing staffing firm, the road ahead looks promising.

Embrace the opportunity, dive into the world of travel nurse assignments, and chart a fulfilling trajectory in your nursing career.

Looking to start your career as a travel nurse? Get in touch with us! We’ll be more than happy to help.

About Voca: The Spirit of Work

Voca is a relationship organization focused on uniting talented healthcare professionals across
nursing and allied, as well as travel and local with exceptional companies. Headquartered in
Rochester, MN, Voca works coast-to-coast supporting national, regional, and local healthcare companies. Voca is proud to be certified by The Joint Commission, which evaluates and accredits healthcare staffing agency organizations and programs in the United States. We are committed to creating and maintaining a workplace in which all employees have an opportunity to
participate and contribute to our mutual success and are valued for their skills, experience, and
unique perspective. For more information, visit https://myvoca.com/.