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Travel Nursing

10 Top Benefits of Becoming a Travel Nurse

Updated May 2, 2023

With seemingly endless pros and very few cons, the travel nursing profession presents nearly limitless opportunities. You’ve probably already heard about the excellent pay and benefits packages often offered to travel nurses. Beyond the financial appeal, there are many reasons why you might choose to follow this career path and many aspects of travel nursing you won’t find in other professional environments. Explore 10 top benefits of becoming a travel nurse and decide if this career path is right for you.

10 Benefits of Travel Nursing over Traditional Nursing

Travel nurse

1. Opportunities to Explore New Places

You can find travel jobs in almost any city, providing endless opportunities to pick and choose your adventures. As a travel nurse, you can explore the entire country and discover what you adore most about each location. It’s a great way to travel while doing what you love. Whether you like skiing in the mountains, walking on the beach or hustling in a big city, you can find the perfect assignment for your lifestyle.

The opportunity to experience different places and environments before choosing where you’d like to settle down is one of the most significant benefits of travel nursing. You can mark off places on your bucket list or live like a local for 13 weeks in a city you’ve always been curious about. You won’t just be a visitor—you’ll get a complete experience. Many choose travel nursing to segue into a full-time job in a new location they’ve fallen in love with.

2. Job Freedom and Flexibility

Travel nursing is a unique field in that you have power over your options because you can choose where to go and when to work. Contracts vary in position and location, and you can select according to your precise reasons and needs. You have complete control over the assignments you choose to work and when you choose to have time off. You won’t find this level of freedom and flexibility in many jobs.

Vivian Health offers an extensive list of current job openings. Consider your options and inform your recruiter which positions interest you and where you’re willing to go. As a travel nurse, you can accept assignments based on any criteria you’d like, whether it’s your hobbies and interests, curiosity about a new place or wanting to be close to family.

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3. It Works for Nurses of Any Age

If you’ve heard that all travel nurses are young, that’s a myth. You’re never too old to be a travel nurse. In fact, many travel nurses are professionals who choose to travel for the last part of their careers right before or during their retirement. Younger travel nurses often opt for the field before they start families or because they enjoy the freedom to visit the country without any obligations.

Travel nurses hail from many different backgrounds, and they span many ages and demographics. If you’re reaching retirement age, travel nursing may be perfect for you because you can choose to work or not work for months at a time. You can travel across the country, work a little bit, then visit your grandchildren.

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4. Travel Nursing Jobs Include Housing

Travel nurse housing stipend
Did you know staffing agencies can handle your housing when you’re a travel nurse? Finding a new place to stay every time you accept a job opportunity isn’t something you’ll have to worry about. Your options for housing will range from fully furnished studio or one-bedroom apartments to extended stays at hotels. All accommodations are typically private unless you request a roommate.

Many travel nurses accept the housing provided because it’s one less thing to deal with as they move to a new city and begin working. However, you can also find your own accommodations and potentially score untaxed housing stipends if you qualify. You’re also welcome to travel with friends or stay with family members.

RELATED: How Travel Nurse Housing Stipends Work

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5. You Can Avoid Office Politics

One difficult aspect of working in hospitals and other healthcare settings is that management issues and office politics can be rampant, just like in many other workplaces. With traditional nursing, you’re likely to face the same issues every day and be around the same people all the time—for better or worse. Sometimes, you can get caught up in the drama, whether you intend to or not.

For travel nurses, things are different. One of the blessings of short-term contracts is that once your 13 weeks are up, you can move on and leave the drama behind. Burnout and compassion fatigue are also prevalent among nurses. But the potential of becoming mentally and physically exhausted decreases if you spend only a few months in any one location.

These benefits allow you to focus on why you enjoy your job and go back to the basics of helping people. With travel nursing, you can forget the drama and office politics and focus solely on the patient and the care you provide for them.

RELATED: 3 Tips for How to Handle Nursing Burnout

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6. It Provides Professional Growth

When you work in various environments alongside different professionals, processes and equipment, you expand your nursing skills and develop new skills, such as critical thinking, adaptability and organization. Whether you choose an assignment at a large teaching facility, or you like to work at a small rural facility, you’ll learn how to:

  • Be flexible in different settings
  • Gain independence
  • Develop your people skills
  • Enhance your cultural competency

Some experiences are only accessible through travel and interacting with a wide variety of professional environments and patient populations. Travel nursing offers this type of experience, and you have the opportunity to work at some of the top facilities in the country. Keep in mind that you won’t gain just professional skills but life skills as well. By traveling, you gain exposure to a little bit of everything.

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7. Opportunities to Try New Specialties

Nurse organizations boost your career / nurses in class

You can work as a healthcare professional in so many ways, but sometimes, people become stuck in the same specialty for years. It’s especially easy to feel like you can’t go anywhere if your hometown offers limited nursing and healthcare specialties. When nurses travel, they often have the opportunity to choose different specialties and expand their skills.

Branching out and adopting new specialties provides you with a unique skill set that makes you an even more attractive hire for staff and travel roles. If you’re ready to upgrade your nursing resume, travel nursing offers an excellent opportunity to gain new skills. Between your range of on-the-job experiences, mixture of work settings and extensive network of professional contacts, you can build a career that stands out from the crowd.

RELATED: How to Build a Winning Resume: A Webinar

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8. Endless Chances to Meet New People

Do you love meeting new people? One of the best aspects of being a travel nurse is becoming friends with and working with people you might otherwise have never met. You’ll create friendships and professional relationships as you’re put in touch with people from different cultures and neighborhoods, with varied interests and hobbies. Socially, you’ll have many chances to cultivate relationships you never would have dreamed of before.

However, you’ll likely still miss your old friendships even as you meet new people. Since travel nurses accept contract positions that typically last for just 13 weeks, you can always take breaks between your assignments to visit friends and loved ones. These breaks make it easier to keep up with that side of your relationships while giving you time to focus on self-care. 

9. Choose to Work Close to Loved Ones

With travel nursing, you have the power to choose exactly where you’d like to work, and this provides you with the unique opportunity to step back and consider what’s happening with loved ones in your life. In travel nursing, you’re not constantly stuck halfway across the country from your family. Instead, you can visit everyone, even if they’re scattered around America. 

Has your father experienced poor health recently? You can choose to work in the city where he lives. Is your daughter having her first child? You can work at a hospital close to her. The ability to pick and choose where you live and work is especially beneficial when you encounter unexpected challenges in your life. As a travel nurse, it’s easier to work your family situations into your schedule and change your assignments so you can be there for loved ones.

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10. Enjoy Job Security in Travel Nursing

Travel nurses rarely worry that there’s a chance they’ll become unemployed. This career field remains in high demand year after year. Demand for travel nurses hit a 20-year high between 2015 and 2016, then soared even higher during the COVID-19 pandemic between 2020 and 2022, when wages hit a record high. While wages have since declined, they’re still higher than pre-pandemic levels, and demand remains steady.

Healthcare has traditionally been a secure career field. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities consistently need healthcare professionals to replace those who retire or change jobs or simply to boost their staff as patient demands continue rising. As a travel nurse, you’ll always be in demand, whether you’re helping fill a staff shortage or working seasonally. If job security is important to you, travel nursing is definitely an occupation to look into.

The Bottom Line

If you enjoy meeting new people, want to have adventures and could benefit from expanding your professional and personal skills, travel nursing could be the right fit for you. Travel nursing offers a flexible and adventurous lifestyle that few other fields have. It’s a great way to experience life and explore the country while gaining the ability to adapt to any type of environment. Plus, many facilities would lack skilled healthcare professionals if it weren’t for travel nurses, so you can make even more of a difference than nurses already do.

Explore your travel nursing job options on Vivian and pack your bags to start your next adventure.

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Vivian Health

Vivian Health is the leading jobs marketplace built to serve healthcare professionals first. Our transparent job information not only helps nurses and allied health professionals find their next opportunity but empowers them to grow their careers.

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