Travel Nurses – The Requirements & Benefits

Nursing shortages have led to an increase in patient death. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, there were 2.4 million deaths in the U.S. in 2000. In 2010, it increased to 2.5 million. The New England Journal of Medicine published research findings, which correlated hospital deaths and understaffed hospitals. According to the article, a patient’s risk of dying increased with the number of work shifts that a hospital is understaffed.

What does all this mean? Hospitals have reached out more than ever to fill their hospitals by hiring travel nurses.

Travel Nurses

What is a Travel Nurse?

Travel nurses are hired to work in a specific location for a limited amount of time. Their assignments generally last 13 weeks, and they travel wherever they are needed. According to, a travel nurse can expect to make about $75,000 yearly, based on a 48-hour work year with an average of $40 hourly, earning them an average of 10-15 percent more than a traditional nurse.

What Makes a Great Travel Nurse?

Flexibility, adaptability, excellent people skills, ability to jive quickly with the team, professional accountability, commitment to patient service, and compassion are all essential qualities employers look for when selecting a travel nurse job.


For those restless individuals who get sick of the same scenery day in and day out, travel nursing is your cure. In a matter of months, you can go from working the hospitals of Washington, D.C. to the beach properties of Honolulu, Hawaii. If you hate seasons, opt to work in a state where it’s always sunny, like Arizona.

Because of the high demand, traveling nurses often receive higher wages than a full-time permanent employee, stated on On top of that, travel nursing companies offer clean, quality and free housing close to the hospital. Health and wellness benefits are offered as well, which includes health, dental and vision insurance.

Depending on your stay and how well you do, hospitals may even offer full-time positions.

What to Expect

In order to be considered for a travel nursing gig, travel nurses need 12-18 months of hospital-based experience in their desired field. Depending on the specialty, more experience may be required. Once nurses have met the requirements, they’re free to choose the right location for them.

Getting Started

In order to find the best jobs in an ideal city, nurses must first find a travel nursing company. Through the company, nurses are able to find their perfect location and the best duration for them. Asking fellow travel nurses and friends in the field is a fantastic place to start. Once a company is found, submit applications for potential jobs. Look in a state you’ve always wanted to travel to. Hawaii and Arizona are both competitive places due to their weather and nursing shortages.

Once an application is submitted, find a recruiter about your wants, needs and goals for your career. The rest falls into place: ideal hospitals, phone interviews and ultimately the position.

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