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Working as a Travel Nurse

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Registered nurses are medical health professionals who have completed at least two years of training in the field of nursing at a school of nursing or community college. Graduates must then pass state licensing exams. Once a nurse has earned her state license she can look for a job in the many varied fields of nursing. One of the most popular employment areas of nursing is known as travel nursing.

Travel Nurse Jobs

Traveling nurses work in many parts of the country. They help deal with the medical effects of short term disasters such as hurricanes, volcanic eruptions or earthquakes. Travel nurses also help hospitals and nursing homes fill staff shortages. A travel nurse may assist workers helping people dig after their homes have collapsed, fill in for a nurse on maternity leave or help a busy urban hospital deal with an influx of patients for a period of time.

A travel nurse might spend a month in a hospital in a burn unit in Florida during December and then head to Texas for three months or California for six months.

Travel Nurse Agencies

A travel nurse agency is a company that specializes in the employment of traveling nurses. Agencies vet candidates for employment, create contracts, set up assignments and act as a middleman between the travel nurse and her assignments.

Most traveling nurse agencies require candidates to have completed their education and training. Nursing agencies also require most registered nurses to have at least two years of full time employment in a hospital setting. A potential travel nurse may also be required to have specific training and certifications such as neonatal resuscitation in order to work in an NICU or experience with kidney patients to work on a dialysis unit.

Many travel nursing agencies have contracts in different states. A traveling nurse must have a valid state license for each state where she wants to work. A travel nursing agency owner will work with her to earn any additional state licenses so that she has as many working opportunities as possible.

Benefits of Travel Nursing

Working as a traveling nurse can have many benefits. Travel nurses often earn a higher hourly wage than their on staff counterparts. A travel nurse can decide to work for six months and then take the next month off. Many travel nursing agencies provide travel nurses with additional benefits such as health insurance, a housing allowance and completion bonus if they full all the requirements of their contracts.

Travel nurses are expected to be quick learners. Some hospitals will provide the nurse with a few hours of onsite orientation. Many expect the nurse to be fully ready to work in a position within a short period of her arrival.

A job as a travel nurse can be fun and exciting. For a registered nurse with the right credentials travel nursing can be the perfect way to see many parts of the country and advance their careers.