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Thinking About Travel Nursing? Important Questions to Ask

July 12, 2021

Travel nursing is one of the most exciting healthcare occupations available, and Prolink has lots of opportunities for those who are interested in beginning or continuing their travel nursing career. Travel nursing offers the ability to travel around the country making a difference in a variety of different healthcare facilities. The position often comes with higher pay and tax-free money, and if you enjoy the requirements of travel nursing, it can be an incredibly fulfilling career. Explore the following questions to see whether travel nursing is a good fit for you! 

1. Do You Have Enough Experience? 

Many healthcare facilities want travel nurses with at least 18 to 24 months of bedside experience. Speak with your recruiter to determine if you have enough on-the-job training. You may find that you need to work a bit longer as a traditional nurse before going the travel nurse route.

2. What Contract Terms are Important to You? 

Travel nursing contracts can last as long as six months or as little as eight weeks. Other than the length of time, you’ll want to think about bill rates and housing stipends. Your recruiter can help you determine the payment and benefits packages that are most important to you. These elements can then be used to filter the jobs best suited for you during your employment search.

3. Do You Have the Right Licenses? 

Jumping from state to state to find work certainly is possible as a travel nurse, but only if you have the proper licensure. Before you accept a contract for an assignment, you’ll want to check with your recruiter that you are qualified to accept. That includes having the right licenses. That means, as a travel nurse, you will be responsible for obtaining licenses in every state they work in. The exception to the rule is the compact license, which enables you to work in up to 35 states. More states may enter the compact in the future, so getting one of these licenses is likely worth the investment. 

4. Is Your Paperwork in Order? 

Travel nursing can involve a ton of paperwork. Signing contracts, sending authorizations for background checks, and onboarding documents for every assignment only add to the confusion. You’ll need to be organized to keep everything straight. The good news is that Prolink will help you keep your paperwork under control. We make easy work of things like applications, onboarding documents, and other papers you may have to sign, read, or fill out.

5. How Will You Find and Secure Housing? 

After you’ve secured an assignment, you’ll next want to think about housing. If you’re going to be working at a hospital for 13 weeks, you might want to find an apartment close by. Many contracts come with housing stipends you can use to rent houses and apartments. This makes finding and paying for housing easier and can sometimes mean more money in your pocket. Keep in mind that finding suitable housing may be more difficult if you plan to travel with pets, friends, or family. 

6. What Will You take With You on Assignment? 

An important consideration you should make as a travel nurse is what to pack for each assignment. Because you’ll be moving so often, you might want to pack light. There are a lot of furnished rentals available in larger (and sometimes even smaller) markets, so you may be able to find housing with furniture included. They may also provide silverware, dishes, and other items necessary to make your temporary housing comfortable. In addition to your essentials, you might want to take knickknacks and photographs with sentimental value, just so you have something that reminds you of home.

7. Where Will You Work?

Travel nurses can go anywhere there are positions available. You may find yourself visiting the east coast, west coast, or somewhere down south. From Alaska to Hawaii and everywhere in between, Prolink has positions close to wherever you want to be. If you have your sights set on a particular location, let your recruiter know. However, the more flexible you are, the higher your chances of finding fast placement. With nursing shortages hitting some facilities particularly hard, you may find placement sooner than you think. And you never know, visiting certain places to work may open up opportunities to call those locations home at some point in the future.  

8. Will You Specialize? 

Travel nurses who specialize in certain fields will be more in demand and have an opportunity to earn higher salaries. Travel nurses can specialize in subfields like oncology, cardiology, geriatrics, and critical care. By specializing, you may find that hospitals want to float you from one unit to another. You can help fill critical shortages and increase patient care, all while earning higher amounts for your training and experience. 

Ready to Live the Travel Nurse Lifestyle? 

Prolink's travel nurses have good odds of finding work right away. With their clinical skills and willingness to help, travel nurses can have their recruiters secure them work in other states and all-new healthcare facilities. As long as you have answered the above questions and come away satisfied that you can meet the challenges of the occupation, you may find that travel nursing is indeed right for you. 

Partner with Prolink and get paired with a motivated healthcare recruiter. Get help with finding a job, securing state licenses, and organizing paperwork. We take the stress out of travel nursing. Apply today and start on the path to this rewarding and lucrative career.

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