More and more people are looking for jobs that offer freedom and flexibility while still allowing them to do what they love. One of the best options for this is a career in travel healthcare.
As a healthcare traveler, you’re able to see different places, find professional growth opportunities, and make a difference in the lives of people across the country. Here, we’ll discuss the top reasons to take up this career, as well as some things to consider beforehand.
5 reasons to become a healthcare traveler
While state and local governments cut healthcare funding and put jobs in jeopardy, the world of travel healthcare affords you opportunities that many other workers don’t have.
1. Job security
If hospitals are closing due to lack of funding, and people are losing jobs in your hometown, a travel job will put you where the action is. You’ll go where you’re needed. When you’re not needed anymore, you’ll go somewhere else that needs you. I like the sound of job security, don’t you?
2. Great benefits
While many companies and institutions are slashing benefits to minimize worker layoffs, travel healthcare jobs offer excellent benefits. Benefits can include health insurance, dental and vision coverage, a matching 401(k) program, life insurance, reimbursement for continuing education and licensing fees, travel money, bonuses, and many other things you’re probably not getting from your current job.
3. Housing assistance
Can’t get a home loan? No problem! With a job in travel healthcare, your staffing agency will help you secure housing for each of your assignments. No worries!
4. Travel while working
With so many people having financial problems, few people can afford to travel for pleasure. You’ll be traveling for work, but you won’t be working 24 hours a day. Enjoy each new city as you work your way around the country.
5. Freedom in choosing different specialties
With a travel healthcare job, you’ll be able to work in a variety of settings, perhaps in different specialties. In an unsteady employment market, employees aren’t always able to make a job change when they find they’re unhappy with their current situation. In the travel healthcare field, you’re free to try your hand at new things until you find where you’re most comfortable without having to worry about getting stuck in a job you don’t like.
7 factors to consider before becoming a healthcare traveler
You have finally decided to go after your dream of working as a nurse traveler. You’re excited about the prospect of moving to a new city, making new friends and starting a new job. But if you are lucky enough to have more than one travel assignment to choose from, how do you decide which assignment to take?
Of course, salary is likely on the top of your list when choosing assignments, but there are other factors to weigh. Choosing between assignments may not always be an easy decision. There can be advantages and disadvantages to different assignments. It takes careful consideration and thought in order to choose the assignment, which suits you best. When making your choice, consider some of the following factors:
1. Travel assignment location
One of the biggest factors when choosing which assignment to take may be the location. For example, some people may be interested in a location that is only a few hours’ drive away from their home. Others may want to be on the opposite side of the country. Maybe you are looking to travel somewhere warm or to a place you have never been.
2. Benefits and PTO
Determine what type of benefits you will have with each assignment. If the travel assignments you are considering are through the same staffing company, benefits may be the same, but make sure that is the case. Benefits offered may include health and dental insurance, life insurance, tuition reimbursement, retirement plans, and possibly paid time off.
3. Sign-on and other types of assignment bonuses
Some staffing companies may offer a bonus on completion of an assignment or after having completed a certain number of assignments. Additionally, a particular travel job may also come with a sign on bonus. Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you know if any bonuses are offered.
4. Potential housing arrangements
Housing arrangements may vary by assignment. You may have the option of sharing an apartment, living alone, or staying with a friend or relative who lives in the area. Determine what your housing arrangements would be for each of the assignments you are considering. One type of housing may stand out above the rest, which can influence your decision.
5. Opportunity for healthcare career growth
Some healthcare travel jobs may provide you with new challenges and opportunities for professional growth. If that is something you are looking for in a job, it is an important factor to consider. For instance, some facilities may perform innovative procedures, which would provide learning opportunities.
6. Type of medical facility
It is important to remember not every healthcare travel job is in an acute care hospital. Some assignments may be in long-term care facilities, rehabilitation hospitals, or other settings. When you are choosing between travel assignments, consider what type of facility you are most interested in.
7. Length of your travel assignment
Many travel assignments are 13 weeks, but some may be longer or shorter. If you have a preference, this may be an important thing for you to consider when choosing assignments.
Healthcare traveler FAQs
Before you make a decision on whether a healthcare travel job is a good fit, you probably have a lot of questions. Becoming well informed on what to expect with travel assignments will help you decide if you should pursue a healthcare travel job. Some common questions are answered below.
How do you know a healthcare travel job is right for you?
If you love new experiences and want to travel, working as a traveler may be a good fit. You may not be sure until you give it a try. But remember, sometimes you have to take a chance and just go for it!
How much experience do you need to work as a healthcare traveler?
The amount of experience you need to work as a traveler varies. In general, most recruiting agencies want you to have at least one year of experience.
Will you need a medical license in the state you will be working as a healthcare traveler?
Depending on what healthcare job you have, you may need a license in the state where your assignment will be. Nurses may fall under the Interstate Nurse Licensure Compact, which allows nurses to practice in their home state and other states participating in the agreement. If you need to pay for a state license, your staffing agency may be willing to reimburse you.
What happens when your healthcare travel assignment ends?
Shortly before or after your assignment ends you can let your agency know if you would like another assignment. Extending your contract at your current assignment may also be an option. Of course, there is always the option to go back home.
Overcoming obstacles to becoming a healthcare traveler
Maybe you are considering working as a healthcare traveler, but still have not completely made up your mind. Ask yourself what is holding you back. Whether you are working as a nurse, physical or occupational therapist, becoming a healthcare traveler can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Not only will you have the opportunity to see a new part of the country and meet new people, but it’s a chance to learn new skills and broaden your professional experience.
One big obstacle, which may hold you back from pursuing your career as a healthcare traveler, is the fear you won’t like your assignment. Keep in mind, anytime you start a new job or move to a new city, you run the risk of not liking your new situation. Sometimes you need to take a risk in order to get the rewards, and working as a healthcare traveler is no different.