From the basics to the benefits, before applying for travel nurse positions, it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into. Travel nursing is a good way to keep your career exciting. Plus you get to visit the places you’ve always wanted to go while utilizing your well-deserved license! Here are answers to some frequently asked questions to help you prepare! Let’s dive in to some important travel nursing FAQs.
The Basics | Travel Nursing FAQs
1. What qualifications do I need to become a travel nurse?
You must be a graduate of an accredited nursing program within the United States. You need a valid licensing or certificates, along with proof of your right to work in the U.S. Depending on your specialty and the medical facility, minimum experience requirements may vary. Typically, agencies want travel nurses to have at least one year of experience under their belt. Specific specialties such as psych, rehab, and med/surg may require a minimum of two years experience. The more experience you have, the more you’ll stand out above the competition.
2. Do I have to sign a long-term contract?
No, the assignments are typically 13 weeks long. Some companies offer per diem positions too. You can always extend your stay if you really like an assignment. The great thing about travel nursing is you don’t have to sign a long-term contract, but you can go back to full-time whenever you feel the time is right.
3. Where are travel nurse assignments located?
Through our job search engine you are able to choose whatever destination you desire! You are eligible to select a specific location or search for travel assignments throughout the nation to see where best fits you. There is a wide range of medical facilities looking for travel nurses. You may want to work in teaching institutes, research facilities, or maybe you’re more comfortable with small health care centers or community hospitals. The choice is yours!
4. What is considered full-time for a travel-nurse?
For travel nurses working eight-10 hour shifts, a 40-hour work week is considered a full-time nurse. However, 36-hour work weeks are considered full-time for travel nurses that work 12-hour shifts. Typically, contracts will guarantee a minimum weekly payment agreement for full-time schedules.
Travel Nursing FAQs About Housing
1. What type of housing accommodations can I expect?
There are two ways to go about getting temporary housing as a travel nurse. One way is to find your own housing and take what’s called a stipend to pay for it. The other way is to take agency provided housing, which typically provides you with the bare minimum necessities and is close to the hospital.
2. Do agencies pay for 100% of my housing?
It usually depends on the agency, but if you take the agency provided housing then yes. If you choose to find your own place and take a housing stipend, it might not cover your housing costs 100%. For example, you may get a housing stipend of $800 a month, based on the average rent in your assignment location. However, if you want a sweet pad right on the beach, your rent may go over that amount. Usually, travel nurse companies pay for utilities, up to a certain limit, as well. However, your agency may not cover luxuries such as cable and internet, so be sure to check with your recruiter!
3. Is the housing provided furnished?
Yes, the housing provided is always furnished, with utilities already set up by the agency you’re working with. It’s always a good idea to double check with them what’s included in your housing, what’s already there, and what you need to bring.
4. Will I have a roommate?
Usually, no. However, some short-term assignments may require you to room with somebody. Before you even apply, this should be addressed by the agency.
5. May I bring a pet?
Yes, you typically can bring a pet. However, you may need to pay extra. It is something you will definitely need to talk with your recruiter about prior to your assignment because they will have to find you pet friendly housing. You will most likely need to pay a pet deposit as well.
Travel Nursing FAQs About Benefits
1. How much will I be paid?
As a travel nurse, pay rate depends on your specialty, the facility, and its location. Generally, pay rates for travel nurses are higher than that of equally experienced permanent staff members. Here’s a video that explains travel nurse pay.
2. Will my agency reimburse me for travel expenses?
Travelers are reimbursed for travel expenses such as gas, housing, and food. Here’s a breakdown of how you can make sure you qualify for this tax-free money:
3. Do agencies offer health care and dental coverage?
Yes, most agencies do offer health care and dental coverage; packages may vary depending on the company. Before you sign a contract, make sure you learn about all the options and details about the type of coverage offered. You can compare agencies and their benefits on our website.
4. As a travel nurse, will I be eligible for 401k programs?
Many of the travel nurse agencies offer retirement or 401k programs. The programs vary by company, so be sure to check the details.
Do you have any other questions about travel nursing? Check out our travel nursing FAQs page!