Are you considering becoming a travel nurse? This career offers plenty of unique opportunities and chances to see the country. Before you enter the field, you’ll want to check out all the pros and cons.
That way, you can see if the career is right for you. There are 10 main pros and cons to consider, so let’s start.
Pros of Being a Travel Nurse
First, let’s discuss the pros of being a travel nurse. Many RNs switch to this career to earn a higher income and experience a change of scenery. There are plenty of advantages for you to consider.
1. Earn a Higher Salary
For many people, the biggest pro of becoming a travel nurse would have to be the pay increase. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the average travel nurse makes $51 per hour.
On average, that means they make $1,800 per week and have an annual average salary of $88,320. The pay is competitive, so you can always earn more than that. Depending on your experience, it could be a six-figure salary. Travel nurses also can receive more benefits and bonuses than other types of nurses.
That said, if a hospital or other institution needs more staff, they can pay you more to work there temporarily as a travel nurse.
Overall, switching to a career in travel nursing means a significant pay increase. This benefit allows you to increase the quality of your lifestyle, making it the most important benefit for most people.
2. You Get To Travel the Country
Of course, another benefit would have to be getting to travel. You’ll get to see and experience so much more than if you worked as a nurse in a permanent location. You live in different places, moving around as needed, making it perfect for those who love to explore and experience new things.
As you travel, you’ll make new friends, see new sights, and live in new places. Nothing becomes stale or boring because you’ll move to another place after a few months.
3. You Get To Work in Various Facilities
As you travel, you’ll work in a variety of places. If you don’t like a particular place, you won’t be there longer than a few months.
You’ll learn more about your work preferences as you work in different facilities. For example, you may find that you prefer working in certain types of settings more than others.
4. The Work is Very Flexible
Next, the work you would do as a travel nurse is very flexible. When you finish a contract at a facility, you can move on to the next right away or take a break.
This benefit allows travel nurses to have a more stable work-life balance. Plus, you’ll have control over your income when choosing when and where you want to work.
5. You’ll Gain More Experience
You’ll gain professional knowledge and experience much faster as a nurse who works in various settings. You won’t need to perform the same exact tasks daily. Plus, you’ll learn from watching many professionals in different settings.
You’ll experience the medical field in so many ways that you can quickly advance your career using what you learned.
6. You’ll Have More Networking Opportunities
As the final pro, you’ll have many career networking opportunities as a travel nurse. You’ll meet many medical professionals that you can build relationships with. Networking will allow you to further your career even more, which leads to even more benefits.
Overall, there are plenty of pros to consider! You’re sure to enjoy all of them in your career as a travel nurse.
Cons of Being a Travel Nurse
Of course, no matter what field you’re in, there will always be some cons to consider. Traveling can be tiring, you may need to get your nursing license in multiple states, and your salary and benefits can be inconsistent.
Still, many nurses view the pros as outweighing the cons. Here are the cons that you need to know.
7. You Might Have an Inconsistent Salary and Benefits
For many nurses, earning an inconsistent salary is the most significant con to this career. Every contract can offer different pay and benefits, which can be hard to keep track of.
Plus, some contracts will pay more than others, and it can be challenging to get used to having less money when switching pay rates every few months.
8. You May Need Multiple Licenses
You’ll need to get your nursing license in any state that you want to work in. If you’re traveling the country and frequently moving, getting your license before the start of every new contract can be stressful.
However, you can make it easier by choosing temporary nursing licenses in the states that offer them when you know the contract isn’t last very long. Other states offer licenses that you can use several states, which are much more convenient for travel nurses.
Overall, you always need the correct licenses, so it’s important to do some research before every contract.
9. Traveling Can Become Tiring
Moving to a new location every three months or so is stressful, especially when traveling far away. You’ll need to consider how you’ll get there and what housing arrangements you’ll have.
Many travel nurses become homesick as well.
10. The Taxes are Confusing
Lastly, travel nurses can have extremely confusing taxes. If you’re moving around frequently between different states, you’ll need to file a non-resident state return for each state you work in. Plus, you’ll need to file your taxes in your home state.
Making a tax mistake can be very costly, so you’ll want to ensure you have a professional look over your taxes.
Is Travel Nursing Right For You?
After reading the list of all the main pros and cons, you should better understand if travel nursing is right for you! Many travel nurses feel that the pros outweigh the cons drastically since they can earn a higher income and progress in their careers.
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