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Tips and Education

Why Travel Nursing is Here to Stay

October 11, 2022

It’s not a hidden fact that travel nursing sky-rocketed when the pandemic hit in 2020. The hospitals faced shortages never seen before, and healthcare facilities needed a solution with no end to the waves of Covid-19. 

Travel nursing has been around since the late 1970s after New Orleans’s hospitals began seeing staffing shortages around Mardi Gras and hired temporary staff. Since then, travel nursing has become widely used nationwide for hospitals, clinics, and health care facilities to employ temporary staff to fill the staffing gaps. 

While there was a shortage of nurses before the 2020 pandemic, it escalated significantly after Covid-19 hit. Within the last couple of years, many travel nurses started earning a significantly higher wage than staff nurses. According to Indeed.com, the average annual salary for a travel nurse is $109,187 in 2022, whereas the average salary for staff nurses is $77,600 per year, according to the Bureau of Statistics (BLS). Exact salaries vary depending on one’s modality, the location of the assignment, and the length of one’s contract. This also doesn’t factor in the number of assignments a traveler chooses to take within a year. For example, if one only takes two 13-week assignments, their annual income will most likely be lower than the average travel nurse.

Frontline Heroes & the Burnout 

The National Library of Medicine defines nursing burnout as nurse burnout is a widespread phenomenon characterized by a reduction in nurses’ energy that manifests in emotional exhaustion, lack of motivation, and feelings of frustration and may lead to reductions in work efficacy.

A few years back, facilities and hospitals began seeing nurses leave their professions entirely due to fatigue, depletion, and overall burnout. Many factors play into healthcare workers becoming mentally exhausted and burnt out. The long hours, the pandemic, short staff, the immense pressure to make life-altering decisions are just a few of the many things that weigh on healthcare workers’ shoulders.

There’s a reason why healthcare workers were on the front page of every newspaper and headline during the height of the pandemic. Nurses are the backbone of a smooth and functional healthcare system, and their duties & skills are essential to ensure people are adequately cared for and receiving the treatment they need. Staffing shortages left many nurses to face burnout like never before. 

Easing the Problem 

With nurses leaving facilities left and right, hospitals turned to short-term travel nurses to provide temporary relief. Travel nurses typically come in for 13 weeks to help the regular hospital staff; sometimes, they can extend their assignment. With the high demand for healthcare staff, travel nurses’ pay packages were increasing to amounts never seen before. This sudden shift in urgency & high pay left many healthcare workers to transition into the traveling world. According to sources, reports indicate that in 2020, traveling RNs were offered nearly $8,000 a week. This put immense pressure on healthcare facilities to maintain their staff and finding temporary staff was a safety net

The Experience

The younger generation of healthcare workers takes up the higher percentage of travel nurses. The reason why that is? This offer allows younger people who have yet to have kids or become married yet take advantage of traveling and seeing new places while making money they could make annually in just months. With so many places to choose from and a steady flow of income, while furthering your career, it’s difficult for any healthcare worker to say no to this option.

For nurses who have just a couple of years under their belt, traveling allows them to grow professionally in their field rapidly. The reason behind this is simple: the multitude of facilities/hospitals they go to brings in new people to network with, advice, more patients, knowledge, experiences, and a new environment for them to learn in. This applies to nurses who have been in their field years too! Traveling is a way to switch it up and offer a change from their regular pace. No two places are the same.

The Perks!

Travel nursing is something many healthcare workers have fallen in love with. They can learn from numerous facilities and meet people from all over. If the hospital or facility they’re at agrees, they even have the option to extend their assignment if they love it! On the flip side, if one doesn’t end up loving where they’re at… well, the good news is it’s only temporary.

Housing benefits are a huge perk to travel nursing too. As a travel nurse, you can either find a place to stay on your own (through a housing stipend) or get an offer with a place to stay through your agency. Here at Titan Medical, we typically leave that option up to what’s most comfortable for you! Many places reach out to travel agencies to offer their hotel, Air BnB, or home for nurses. The continuous flow of housing and placements makes this process very simple for agencies to get their travelers to stay at safe, reliable, and top-rated places while on assignment!

Many nurses turn to travel because of the flexibility it offers them. When talking with your recruiter, you can go through your wants and needs to find an assignment that is right for you. At Titan Medical, we ensure that you have a schedule that allows you to thrive while traveling with us. Don’t want a night shift? No worries, let’s get you a day shift! Want a shorter assignment that’s not a full 13 weeks? Then let’s find you one with the right length! Titan Medical is here to ensure you’re feeling your best when finding an assignment. 

One of the best perks of travel nursing is choosing your next adventure. The fact that you can personally decide where you’d like to explore based on your lifestyle and interest makes this option hard to turn down. If you’re not a fan of the hustling big-city life, then you’re able to pick a rural and quieter place! If you want to go to the beach on your day off, choose an assignment in an area that allows you to be a beach bum. If you’re a fan of hiking, you can find a city near the mountains to hike in on your off days!

Start your Travel Journey!

Travel nursing is likely here to stay for the long run. The new work from home culture has allowed people of all professions to explore brand new areas while being able to work and make a living. While most healthcare professionals can’t work from home, travel nursing allows for long periods of traveling while making a comfortable living! 

Healthcare workers love the flexibility, and high-paying jobs that travel nursing offers them. Many agencies, like Titan, are flexible enough to allow pets and family members to travel with you, a benefit that many nurses appreciate and take advantage of!

Are you ready to join the travel healthcare world and find your perfect assignment? Our recruiters at Titan Medical are dedicated to finding you a place you love & will thrive at! Give Titan Medical a call today at 866.332.9600, and we’d love to assist in seeking your next adventure!