Travel Nursing Challenges and Opportunities

September 4th, 2018 | Posted by admin in Travel Nursing, Travel Tips, Traveler Tips

It’s estimated that more than 32,000 RNs spent at least a part of 2017 as a travel nurse.

A travel nurse works on one or many assignments that take place outside the range which they would typically commute to work. These assignments typically last 13 weeks though it changes with the needs of the company. It’s up to the travel nursing companies like PPR to connect interested nurses with the healthcare organizations that are often short-staffed and equally benefit from staffing.

The journey to become a travel nurse is not for the weak.

The rigorous process to obtain a nursing degree and pass the NCLEX is more than most can handle. For the first time in 2018, healthcare staffing is seeing double-digit growth in the student populations from internationally educated candidates for the NCLEX. Pass rates vary wildly by where you received your education, how many times you’ve taken the exam previously, and time of year. After years of dedication to education and studying during all of your weekends and evenings, you may be intrigued by the concept of a profession that allows you to travel. However, with your first challenge of education overcome, you must first gain experience in your field/specialty.

Many registered nurses opt not to travel, and this can in part be related to the perception of how much paperwork you need to submit. Generally, most RNs don’t have substantially greater or fewer documents to submit — staffing agencies and the facilities that hire them are equally held to strict regulatory guidelines often written by The Joint Commission. While it may be one of the first challenges you’ll face when considered travel nursing, remember that standards like these are in place for your protection. It’s likely that you’ll be required to supply the following information:

– State License – this is often one of the most burdensome documents to obtain. Allow several weeks to complete the full process.
– Standard Employment Document – As with any job, you’ll be required to submit employment paperwork including I-9 (immigration status), W-2 (tax status for withholding), and supplemental documentation for direct deposit and insurance options.
– Health & Wellness – You may likely be required to submit a urine test, criminal background check, TB testing (or records from the last 3-12 months), and an up-to-date physical with vaccination history

If you are an RN and you choose to travel, remember that each facility may have their own unique challenges and opportunities, which is why most RNs will do consecutive assignments, sometimes even with their loved one or partner all through the same staffing agency. Once the dust settles and your bags are unpacked, you’ll be ready to enjoy a new city or see a new side of a familiar one. Travel nursing may put extra strain on you, which is why agencies help facilitate the hiring process to make sure you can still have time to be flexible with your time as you’re traveling and managing your family and social life.

The best way to create a foundation for your future in travel nursing is to gain as much experience as you need to feel prepared to travel. Every day, RNs around the country pack up their belongings and set their sights on a new city as a travel nurse, though it may not be as simple as it sounds. Generally, travel nursing companies will assist RNs with 2-3 years of recent experience in the specialty in which they plan to work. Travel nursing is an enjoyable experience but can be hard when you’re first adjusting. For this reason, you need to be sure to keep up to date with the commonly required certifications for your specialty (e.g. BLS, ACLS, PALS, TNCC, etc). Plan your continuing education credits ahead of time to best prepare for an extended travel assignment.

In addition to managing a host of complexities related to connecting experienced RNs with healthcare hospitals and healthcare systems, larger travel nursing companies including PPR Travel Nursing have the opportunity to attract the most competitive candidates through bonuses and incentives, higher pay, lodging subsidies, and sometimes end-of-assignment bonuses. To learn more about customized travel opportunities based on your location and experience, connect with our team and begin your travel nursing adventure today.

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