A travel nurse is a licensed RN that takes short-term positions across the country. With the shortage of nursing staff, travel nurses are in high demand. Healthcare facilities are willing to pay top dollar for nurses to fill in for short periods of time.

Becoming a travel nurse has its perks, especially if you like to travel. Becoming a travel nurse will take you not only all over the country, but with some agencies, all over the world. The best part is you are seeing the world while doing what you love and getting paid for it. Of course another perk to becoming a travel nurse is the increase in pay. Another perk is working in different settings and gaining new knowledge and new skills. Becoming a travel nurse also gives you the freedom to take time off in between assignments.

The benefits of becoming a travel nurse include housing, health benefits, higher pay and bonuses. As a travel nurse, you will have a housing specialist arrange for you to have a safe, convenient place to live that is close to work. This place is also furnished, so all you need is your clothes and personal items. Becoming a travel nurse also gets you health benefits. This includes free comprehensive health, life and dental insurance with prescription drug coverage on every assignment. If you have dependents, they can be covered at an additional cost. Professional liability is another health benefit that is included. When looking into becoming a travel nurse, most nurses choose this specialty because of the pay. Of course, it varies from region to region. Below is a list of regions and about what you would get paid hourly if you were working in that area.

• Northeast – $35-$38
• Southeast and South – $26-$30
• West Coast – $30-$35
• Midwest and Central – $28-$31
• Hawaii – $24-$30
• Alaska – $35-$45

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Bonuses that you may receive are completion bonuses, referral bonuses, loyalty bonuses and longevity bonuses. As you can see, becoming a travel nurse will benefit mostly in pay and the longer you stay with a certain agency, the more bonuses you will see.

With every job, of course, there are always difficulties or cons that come with it. Becoming a travel nurse isn’t any different. Having to constantly deal with working and living in an unfamiliar place can be tough when you are trying to learn your way around or make friends. If you are trying to budget your money and your pay rate is changing every three months or so, that can be difficult. Some of the staff members of the facility you are working for may be hostile towards you. There are sometimes uncertainties about the next job if you are having a difficult time lining one up. Becoming a travel nurse does require sacrifices when it comes to settling down, making friends, buying a home or getting settled in with a familiar staff in a familiar place. With all of these cons, however, most travel nurses will tell you that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.