With new developments in the healthcare employment scenario, one of the popular and emergent careers is that of travel nursing. In this article, I talk about current range of traveling nurse salary, which will be helpful for people interested in taking it up, as a career.
What is Travel Nursing?
Prior to diving into the details of remuneration offered, let's get to know what a career as a traveling nurse is like. The healthcare field and especially hospitals, always fall short of nursing staff. Nurses are the ones who tend to patients and their role in the whole working of a hospital is vital. It's probably the toughest of all hospital jobs, after that of a doctor.
Travel nursing is temporarily filling in nursing positions at hospitals. So, you nurse and travel to different destinations on short term appointments. This is something like freelance nursing, where you are hired on demand when a hospital is falling short of nursing staff. It's a fact that shortage in nursing positions all over the country gave rise to this career option. If you are a registered nurse, this career gives you the option of gaining a lot of experience at various hospitals
It is a well paying career with top dollars to be earned. Typically, nursing position assignments last for three months to a year or more. Often, housing facility is provided by the employer or one is offered a housing subsidy. There are myriad reasons why people prefer going for a travel nursing job. One is the high pay of course and others are career growth and may be an opportunity for adventure. It's the kind of adventure, where you have less chances of settling in to a monotony and you keep traveling to new places, as well as meeting new people. As of 2009, there were about 340 travel nursing agencies spread all over the country, that handle recruitment. The demand for nurses has been rising and so has the salary.
These agencies handle everything from forwarding applications of nurses to various hospitals to arranging for the interview dates. The candidate is provided with all the details about the assignment and briefed regarding the same.
Eligibility to become a travel nurse is same as that for any other nursing job. You need to be a licensed nurse with adequate experience on the job. The work hours and responsibilities are also the same as a normal nursing job. The only difference is the shortness of assignments and changing environment. If you love traveling and adapt to changing conditions, this travel nursing job will be a good option.
The salary package of a travel nurse depends on many factors like experience of the candidate, cost of living in job location and the duration of assignment. Typically, the hourly earning is $35 to $45. The recruiting agency generally pays for relocation, housing and also pays bonuses. Assignments in cities and regions with high cost of living pay more.
California is a place that offers some of the best traveling nursing salaries. It is difficult to provide an estimate of the yearly income, but it is certainly a cut above non-traveling nurse salaries. The income includes bonuses offered by the recruiting companies, which can range up to or more than $6000 per assignment. The prime advantage of working as a travel nurse lies in the fact that you can choose your breaks and holidays, as you want them.
Also, you can choose a contract according to your convenience. Research reveals that the median salary works out to be around $65,000 to $70,000. While experienced nurses, with a specialized skill set may earn more than $90,000, while the ones starting out may earn around $40,000 to $50,000 a year. Massachusetts, California, Hawaii and New Jersey are some of the states offering the highest salaries. As discussed before, there is a large spread in the salary range, according to location, experience, skill set and qualifications. For more information, you may contact the 'Professional Association of Nurse Travelers'.
Overall, if you like traveling and are open to new challenges everyday, this job will suit you. The average salary is on the rise and it will continue rising with time, as supply of efficient work force falls short of demand.