From the basics to the benefits, before applying for travel nurse positions it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into. Travel nursing is a good way to keep your career exciting and visit the places you’ve always wanted to while utilizing your well-deserved license. Here are some FAQs to help ease your worries and better prepare you!
- What qualifications are needed to become a travel nurse?
You must be a graduate of an accredited nursing program within the United States or sometimes Canada, as well. You must be able to provide valid licensing or certificates, along with proof of your right to work in the U.S. Depending on your specialty and the medical facility, minimum experience requirements may vary. Typically, it is requested that travel nurses have at least 18 months of experience under their belt. Specific specialties such as psych, rehab, and med/surg may require a minimum of two years experience.
- Do I have to sign a long-term contract?
No, the assignments are typically 13 weeks long, some companies offer per diem positions too. Permanent positions are also available, in which case a long-term contract may be required. You always have the freedom to choose travel-nursing jobs that fit what you’re looking for.
- Where are travel nurse assignments located?
Through our search engine you are able to choose whatever destination you desire! You are eligible to select a specific location or search for travel assignments throughout the nation to see where best fits you. There is a wide range of medical facilities looking for travel nurses; you may want to work in teaching institutes, research facilities, or maybe you’re more comfortable with small health care centers or community hospitals, the choice is yours!
- What is considered full-time for a travel-nurse?
For travel nurses working eight-10 hour shifts, a 40-hour work week is considered a full-time nurse. However, 36-hour work weeks are considered full-time for travel nurses that work 12-hour shifts. Typically, contracts will guarantee a minimum weekly payment agreement for full-time schedules.
- What type of housing accommodations can I expect?
Typically, travel nurses share a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condominium or apartment that is close to their workplace. If you choose to find your own housing, the agency will arrange monthly rent stipends. Each travel nursing company is different; make sure to explore your options with your recruiter specifically.
- Do agencies pay for 100% of my housing?
It usually depends on the agency, but if you take the agency provided housing then yes. If you choose to find your own place, and go with the stipend option then as long as you can find something within the budget it should also be covered by the agency. Usually, travel nurse companies pay for utilities, up to a certain limit, as well. Luxuries such as cable and internet may not be covered by the agency, but be sure to check with your recruiter!
- Is the housing provided furnished?
Yes, the housing provided is always furnished, with utilities already set up by the agency you’re working with. Take note, some agencies only provide the minimum such as:
- 1 queen size bed
- 1 night stand
- 1 dresser
- 1 lamp
- small table
- 4 chairs
- 1 couch
- 1 chair
- end table
- coffee table
- 1 lamp
- TV stand
Extra accommodations such as dishes, linens, TV, vacuum, etc. is available sometimes at an extra cost, depends on the agency.
- Will I have a roommate?
Usually, no. However, some short-term assignments may require you to room with somebody. Before you even apply, this should be addressed by the agency though.
- May I bring a pet?
Yes, you are allowed to bring a pet! It is something you will definitely need to talk with your recruiter about prior to your assignment because they will have to find you pet friendly housing. You will most likely need to pay a pet deposit as well.
- How much will I be paid?
As a travel nurse, pay rate depends on your specialty, the facility, and it’s location. Generally, pay rates for travel nurses are higher than that of equally experienced permanent staff members.
- Will I be reimbursed for travel expenses?
Travelers are usually reimbursed for their round-trip mileage at the rate of 30 cents per mile and tax-free! Travel nurse companies typically pay the traveler directly.
- Do agencies offer health care and dental coverage?
Yes, most agencies do offer health care and dental coverage; packages may vary depending on the company. Before you sign a contract, make sure you learn about all the options and details about the type of coverage offered.
- As a travel nurse, will I be eligible for 401k programs?
Many of the travel nurse agencies offer retirement or 401k programs. The programs vary by company, so be sure to check the details.