Despite the influx of licensed nurses every year, there is still a considerable shortage of nurses in far-flung places. This critical shortage of nurses in various parts of the world has brought the concept of travel nursing to the forefront of the healthcare profession. What is travel nursing?
Succinctly, travel nursing is where well-qualified and experienced registered nurses (RNs) from different clinical backgrounds are sent for short-term placements in other countries, including exotic locations like the Caribbean and Hawaii. These nurses typically work for independent staffing agencies. The work of travel nurses is usually temporary, sometimes lasting only 13 weeks, filling employment gaps in critical care settings.
More often than not, RNs with ten months and upwards of clinical experience and well-referred can apply for the position. Work locations can range from rural areas and research institutions to resorts and cruise ships. Aside from the appeal of traveling to a different country for work, employers offer housing, higher pay, and covered relocation costs to attract RNs.
According to public awareness and image-building campaigns meant to address the shortage of nurses, nursing is an area of specialty in the healthcare profession where demand exceeds supply. And for nurses with flexible schedules, travel nursing can be an alluring career since it offers higher pay, flexibility, diversity, and travel opportunities.
If you are an RN who loves traveling and exploring new cultures, a travel nursing job may be a perfect fit for you. It would help if you coordinated with placement companies or staffing agencies to discover job openings. Usually, they will give you an application that you must complete. They will likewise hook you up with a recruiter or directly with the employer, and it would help if you discussed your plans and interests with them. It would help if you also prepared for telephone and in-person interviews with healthcare facilities that may employ you.
The staffing agency or the employer itself usually works closely with travel agencies. Once they offer you a position, one of those travel agencies will help you with your travel documents. On the other hand, the staffing agency will help with licensure and credentialing, orientation, housing, utilities, and furniture. As for the accommodation, as mentioned earlier, it can be provided free or subsidized.
Gaining a Deeper Understanding of the Travel Nursing Profession
What is fantastic about the travel nursing profession is it merges the job you are passionate about with your love for traveling, imbibing new experiences, and meeting new people. Depending on the staffing agency, you may be assigned to work in medical facilities as a travel nurse or work as part of an agency for traveling RNs.
As a travel nurse, you will travel to a different country and work in a hospital or medical facility. As a traveling nurse professional or RN, you will be sent to other areas or assigned to various top-notch medical facilities throughout the country with a chance to meet different people and see the sights. Working as a traveling RN likewise allows you the opportunity to enhance and embrace a broader range of nursing skills. Why do we say that? Because you will be working in various medical facilities and getting the chance to learn from some of the best doctors in the world.
Nevertheless, more than the chance to learn from some of the best doctors the world has to offer and the opportunity to develop your skills further, there is another upside to working as a traveling nurse. It is the opportunity to share your knowledge and skills with other nurses and your expertise and compassion to patients.
It would help if you avoided comparing travel nursing with most other forms of business travel. Why is that? There will be little to no time to enjoy everything the place offers when you travel for business. Between business conferences, tradeshows, or anything similar, there will be little time to explore the area for sightseeing or shopping. The host company might take you to some entertainment venue after dinner, but that is it.
With travel nursing, you will not only be visiting the place to work. You will be living there for some time, too. Hence, when you are off work, you can use your time to stroll the area, take in the sights, visit museums, shop, dine, attend sporting events, go to entertainment venues, and soak up the local culture. You can do “touristy” things with a travel nursing profession, making traveling and working away from home so much more exciting.
Things to Keep in Mind
Keep in mind that there is a process involved in becoming a traveling nurse. You cannot simply bring out your suitcase, throw some clothes in it, and head out into the unknown, hoping that the first destination you reach will have a hospital or medical facility ready and willing to let you fill a nursing position. It does not work that way.
The opportunity of being a travel nurse is only open to “nursing professionals,” meaning RNs and licensed practical nurses (LPNs). The position is likewise available to radiologists and occupational, speech, and physical therapists. Moreover, you must meet the requirements and go through the process before you can start working the job.
First off, you must have graduated from a nursing program accredited by the United States or Canada. However, what if it has been a long time since you have graduated and no longer have a copy of your degree? Or what if you only have an associate degree in nursing or can only complete a nursing certificate program?
If such is the case, it would be best to consider buying degrees online, such as completing an online RN to BSN program. Do not worry about getting into trouble if you do that because you will not. Many people have been buying degrees online since they have proven that it is the fastest way to obtain degrees and pursue employment. And, thus far, they have been successful in their endeavors.
“Will potential employers know the difference if I buy university degree?” The simple answer is no. Why? Because buying online degrees does not necessarily mean you are getting fake ones. You will not be dealing with a diploma mill. Instead, you will be buying degrees online from a legitimate degree provider affiliated with prominent and distinguished universities worldwide. You will essentially be purchasing an authentic degree that your potential employer can verify with the issuing university. You can read the full info here.
After securing your degree, the next thing you need to do is ensure your license is up-to-date. If you are coming from Canada to work in the United States, you must provide valid proof of working permit and license to practice. Likewise, it would be best to keep in mind that each state and country has its own set of requirements for allowing non-citizen healthcare professionals to practice inside their borders.
Some people may dissuade you from pursuing a travel nursing career, saying that the process involved in becoming one is cumbersome. However, the seemingly tedious process is necessary if you want to be assured of a position once you get to your destination. What is more, you will only be eligible for the no-cost or subsidized lodging if you commit yourself to an agency handling travel nursing professionals.
The application forms you will be filling out ensures that you will be placed in a hospital, medical facility, or any other institution or with any individual in need of nurses. The forms are necessary for record-keeping. Besides, hospitals and medical facilities are more at ease working with travel nurses affiliated with an agency.
When you have a professional agency backing you up, the process of finding and asking for applications from regulatory agencies for nurses is streamlined. Moreover, because these agencies are in contact with some of the world’s top-notch hospitals and medical facilities, they get firsthand information about available positions for travel nursing professionals. They can likewise secure high pay and various incentives for you.
There is plenty of information about these agencies for travel nursing professionals on the Internet. It would be a good idea for you to check different websites to read up on the role of these agencies. Also, you can check the agencies’ websites themselves and try to find out their credentials to see if they are affiliated with the proper authorities. If a website seems too good to be true, it probably is; thus, you need to be wary. Do a background check before giving them your personal information.
Indeed, the travel nursing profession can be a lucrative career, but only if you know how to secure a position. Such is possible if you have yourself listed in a placement agency. There is a high demand for travel nurses, and this demand keeps on increasing owing to the shortage of nurses in the United States and different parts of the world.
Travel nursing is an excellent way to develop your skills as a nurse, especially when you start working in various settings and with different healthcare professionals. Likewise, it is a great way to meet new people, learn about other cultures, and develop your people skills. Finally, it is the best way to perform your sworn duty of providing quality health care to people and traveling to places you have always wanted to visit.