By Christine Whitmarsh, RN, BSN
Contrary to popular belief in nursing, there are job opportunities for practical nurses (LVNs and LPNs) outside of nursing homes. This is not to “bash” nursing homes in any way. My first nursing job was in a nursing home and it was an amazing learning experience that prepared me for the jobs that followed. My point is that practical nurses have similar opportunities as RNs, and that includes travel nursing.
Similar to traveling RNs, traveling LPNs can also work in nursing assignments from sunny California to scenic New England. Working as a practical nurse is also a smart way to experience the ins and outs of the nursing field step by step, rather than all at once as a new graduate RN. Those who transition from LPN can solidify their practical nursing skills first and then build on those with RN training later on. As a traveling practical nurse, you also have the advantage of learning skills in a national training environment, versus in just one local facility. Another perk of working as a traveling LPN is the higher pay than most LPNs normally make in a staff position.
As with travel RNs, traveling LPNs should do their research and find an agency that best suits their salary expectations, career goals (especially in regards to further education), benefits, standard contract terms and referral bonuses. It’s also a good idea to find out which travel agencies have the most assignments in the region of the country you are most interested in being assigned to. For those who do their research, are persistent and allow themselves to dream big – opportunities await.
Christine Whitmarsh is a Registered Nurse with a BSN from the University of Rhode Island. She is a freelance health journalist and medical writer and a contributor to Travel Nurse Source and Allied Travel Careers.