What assignment length is the best when it comes to travel nursing, and what exactly are your options? Although there is typically a standard length for travel nurse assignments, there are scenarios where you could work a longer or shorter period of time. Keep in mind that depending on the length of time you’re going to be somewhere, your packing list may be different as well as your housing options. Length of time could also affect what shifts you are working, your schedule flexibility, and of course, pay. If you’re traveling with a partner or your entire family, it’s also important to consider how a short or long travel assignment may affect them. Keeping all of that in mind, here are the four length options to consider when it comes to your assignment duration!
What Length is the Best for Travel Nurse Assignments? Four Options to Consider
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If you are new to travel nursing, you’re probably trying to decide what assignment length is best for you, or what your options even are. Here are the four options you can consider when it comes to picking an assignment.
1. Standard Travel Nurse Assignment Length
The standard length of a travel contract is 13 weeks. Across the board, you’ll find that most agencies are looking for nurses to fill a 13-week contract. Although the length of time you’ll work is ultimately up to the hospital, this 13-week standard is essentially the length of time most hospitals prefer. It’s just long enough to get you acclimated to the position but not so long that you’re considered permanent. Of course, although 13 weeks is the standard, what shifts you work and the number of hours you get can vary greatly from one assignment to the next.
2. Shorter Travel Nurse Assignments
In certain circumstances, it is possible to get a shorter contract of four to six weeks. If a hospital has someone out on short-term disability, for example, they may need a temporary nurse for just a short amount of time. If you’re looking for a shorter assignment, you’ll have to talk to your recruiter about it so that they know to keep an eye out for these unique opportunities.
3. Longer Travel Nurse Assignments
Travel nurses typically have the option to extend their contract if they are loving their destination. Sometimes if someone really likes their location, they’ll request to stay in their contract for an extended period of time. This is why it’s always a great option to stick to the standard 13 weeks first. If you love it, you can always extend your time. If it’s not your favorite place, you can move on at the end of the 13 weeks.
4. What assignment length is the best for you?
Consider all of your options and then determine what assignment length is best for you. Keep in mind that it may be harder to find travel nurse assignments if you only want to take ones that are shorter or longer than the standard 13 weeks. It’s best to discuss all of this with your recruiter, who will make your search for a travel nurse contract so much easier. If you have special circumstances, let them know that up front. You may find as you delve into the travel nursing industry that you enjoy all of the travel assignment length options at different times in your career. It’s important to be flexible, so don’t be afraid to try them all!
For those of you who are experienced in travel nursing – tell us what assignment length is best for you and why? Let us know how long you prefer to work at your different travel nurse destinations in the comments below!