Travel Nurse

Supply short-term nursing care in a wide variety of locations.

Quick Stats


Outlook
Very Good

Salary Range
$44,000 – $95,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Travel Nurses do?

The world is full of on-the-road workers who are required to travel for their jobs. Sales Representatives, for instance, Travel Writers, Truck Drivers, Flight Attendants, Circus Performers. And, of course, Travel Nurses, who call the road their home — a lot like roadies, but dedicated to medicine instead of music.

Believe it or not, although airports have very little in common with hospitals, and suitcases are a far cry from scalpels, a Nurse is just as likely to be spotted with a Rollaboard as a Pilot. Not a traditional Nurse, perhaps, but certainly a Travel Nurse.

That’s because if you’re a Travel Nurse, you’re a Licensed Vocational Nurse or a Registered Nurse who’s paid to travel to work at understaffed hospitals, offices, clinics, etc., as part of short-term assignments that typically last between eight and 52 weeks. During that time, you perform all the typical duties of a Nurse, such as assisting Doctors, interacting with patients, maintaining records, checking vital signs, drawing blood, dressing wounds, giving diagnostic tests, and administering medications. Instead of a full-time employee, however, you’re a nursing “temp.”

Like a Substitute Teacher for Nurses, you help healthcare facilities when they need additional staff, typically because of staffing shortages, spikes in demand — due to seasonal shifts or emergency circumstances — or temporary vacancies (for instance, when staff Nurses are on maternity leave).

The road is rough, but it’s also rewarding. Not only do you get to travel the world, but you also get to help people — often earning higher wages, free housing, and complimentary airfare.


Should I be a Travel Nurse?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Physical Therapy Nurse, Traveling Nurse

    How to become a Travel Nurse

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