Travel Nurses Become Growing Portion of Profession

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Early, late-career professional carving a new path

On increasing number of nursing professionals are finding a creative way to address concerns over the inability to travel and see the country while maintaining a career.

Travel nursing has caught in in a big way with millennials and younger baby boomers alike. The appeal of seeing different places and receiving a higher level of pay outweighs the uncertainty of not knowing where you’ll call ‘home’ for a few months at a time.

Travel nurses sign on with agencies that place them in short-term assignments, typically lasting about 13 weeks. Employers can ask for a second stint if they still need the help, but if that doesn’t happen, the nurse will start looking for a new assignment toward the end of the contract.

John Nolan, vice president of Heartland Healthcare Providers in Kansas City, explained the appeal to ADVANCE.

“Technology and flexibility have made travel nursing assignments more appealing to millennial RNs,” he said. “The two reasons we hear that nurses want to take agency assignments are better pay and new experiences to not only build their resume, but allow them to experience new places to live and work.”

With greater flexibility and an ability to value higher pay above consistency and predictability, the concept of the ‘traveling nurse’ may become a recruiting tool for future classes of 20-something RNs.

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Rob Senior
Rob Senior

Rob has 15 years of experience writing and editing for healthcare. He previously worked for ADVANCE from 2002 to 2012.

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