Stop Believing These Travel Nursing Myths

Stop Believing These 5 Travel Nursing Myths

Travel nursing as a profession has been flourishing over the past 20 years as demand for qualified nurses in the United States and around the world has skyrocketed. Becoming a travel nurse is a great way to earn an impressive salary, advance your career, and explore new places. It’s a job that is perfect for those who want to travel and choose when and where they want to work.

However, with rapid growth has come confusion and misinformation about this career choice. There are many myths and inaccuracies about travel nursing that may discourage people from considering this career path. This article aims to dispel common misconceptions and discuss the facts you need to know before deciding whether or not to become a travel nurse.

Five Common Travel Nursing Myths Debunked

1. Traveling Nurses Always Get “Bad” Patient Assignments

This is perhaps the most common myth about travel nursing. The idea that travel nurses always get “bad” or undesirable assignments is often held by nurses who have never worked as a traveler. In fact, the opposite is true. Travel nurses often get the best assignments. In general, travel nurses have much more control over where they want to take an assignment than the typical hospital employee. They can choose from a wide variety of employers and even pick their own jobs based on preferences regarding location, hours, availability, and other factors. Some agencies even let employees pick their own shifts.

Most travel nurses report that they get good assignments at nice facilities where they will have a positive experience. This is because travel nurses are employed by their agency, not the hospital they work at. Agencies work hard to match you with quality assignments in great facilities because they are motivated to keep you happy so that you will return for future contracts.

2. Travel Nurses Always Have to Float

This is another frequently held misconception about travel nursing. Many nurses assume that travel nurses are required to float or are usually picked first to float. While it’s true that travel nurses are often the first to float when another unit needs help, they do not float every shift and don’t necessarily float more than staff nurses.

In fact, most travel nurses report floating only occasionally and it is unlikely that you will need to float at all if you don’t want to. You should have control over your assignments so you may be able to negotiate your way out of floating altogether if you so desire.

3. Travel Nurses Don’t Qualify for Health Benefits

This is a persistent myth that keeps many aspiring nurses from even considering travel nursing as a viable career choice. Many believe that travel nurses don’t qualify for health insurance or that they will have to pay for their own coverage which is more expensive. This is simply not true.

While travel nurses are not eligible for benefits through their host facility, most agencies provide their employees with excellent benefits packages from top-rated carriers. These typically include health insurance, referral bonuses, continuing education reimbursement, free CEU’s, and more. You’ll need to check the details of your contract as coverage will vary from agency to agency, but generally speaking, travel nurses are eligible for group health, dental, and vision insurance just like any other employee.

4. Travel Nurses Have to Change Jobs and Move Every 13 Weeks

The myth that travel nurses always have to move and change jobs frequently is another reason many individuals steer clear of this career path. This is simply not true. While the typical traveler does take on a new contract every 13 weeks or so, it’s often because they decide to, not because they have to.

Most assignments provide you with the option to extend and it is common for an assignment to be renewed multiple times. Many travel nurses choose to extend when they want to stay in a specific location or when they receive a request for help from their host facility.

5. Traveling Nurses Aren’t Treated Well by Permanent Staff

The nature of travel nursing makes it easy to believe that traveling staff are treated poorly by permanent employees. This is a common belief, but this idea is completely false. In fact, most permanent staff members are grateful for the help and appreciate travel nurses because they ease the burden on existing staff. Many traveling nurses report that they are treated as equals by permanent staff and that they receive much better treatment than they would as staff nurses.

In Conclusion

Travel nursing is a wonderful and rewarding career choice that offers many benefits for nurses and agencies alike. The tremendous flexibility offered by the position allows individuals to experience new places and increased control over the type of work they do. Most importantly, travel nursing gives you the opportunity to see the country while doing the job you love. This is why many highly qualified nurses choose to work as travelers and why many travel nurse agencies have experienced rapid growth in this field.

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