Money is a major incentive in the world of travel nursing. Even so, try not to make money the ONLY consideration when deciding whether to start a travel career or when weighing two different contracts. Money matters, but travel nursing should never be all about the money. Consider these three things as well:
Cultures of America
Travel nurses are in such high demand that there are opportunities everywhere. If your first contract choice (be it financially driven or location-driven) isn’t available, give your best effort to consider what is interesting about the contract areas that are open to you.
Recruiter Matthew Swift likes to remind his travelers that all states have different cultures you can learn from. “Consider if I drove from Nebraska to Wyoming. If I was in Europe, I basically went through two different countries with two different languages,” says Matthew. You can learn a lot by being open to traveling somewhere you initially weren’t considering.
You’ll also benefit from experiencing different cultural situations within different hospitals. If you’ve always worked at smaller hospitals heavily weighted in one demographic population, you’re likely to learn new things culturally at a larger hospital in a denser, more diverse area of the country. Culturally, there may be opportunities to ask patients if there is anything culture-related that you need to respect during their care. “Travel nurses have opportunity to experience, through their patients, many different cultures and their unique needs—spiritual, physical and emotional,” says Recruiter Sandra Kreutzian. “Examples of this could be confirming certain foods a patient can’t eat, modifying the direction their hospital bed faces, or providing a mat for prayer time.”
Being diverse in your selection of travel contracts will award you more opportunities to build your resume in a way that shows you are adaptable. Different facilities will have their own styles of care, charting, and different ways to approach patient situations—all opportunities to diversify your skill set.
Having multiple charting systems under your belt, as well as being able to speak to multiple ways of handing the same type of cases in different settings, can only help your ability to get hired for full-time positions. Not to mention your ability to progress through the hospital when growth opportunities are presented to you.
Embrace the New
And as always, never underestimate the impact being able to experience somewhere new and grow your social network can have on your well-being. Don’t let the difference between a $250/month “loss” cause you to lose out on growth opportunities—be they checking off a new state, professional networks or professional growth.