Travel Nurse Salary

Travel nursing is a career in consideration by many people who are interested in seeing the world. These nurses may work across the country and around the world. They accept long- or short-term temporary assignments, which last for 13 weeks or more. They usually get to choose which locations they travel to, whether it is a small, rural facility or a teaching hospital. Some travel nurses prefer to work in big cities, and others choose small, quiet towns. Besides the attractive travel nurse salary they receive, they also receive excellent benefits, such as free health and dental insurance, 401(k), free private housing accommodations, and many times, sign-on bonuses.

A travel nurse may work in a critical care setting, at a rural location, on a cruise ship, or on a special project. In this role, it is important to be comfortable with diverse populations as moving from place to place is common. There is the ongoing issue of obtaining licensures, with little time to adjust to new locations. Reimbursement by insurance companies for services is sometimes a challenge when immunization and counseling services are involved.

At least 12 months acute care clinical experience is necessary, and adaptability, flexibility, and strong interpersonal skills are good personality traits for the role. Travel nurses should have an understanding of world geography and cultural attitudes toward the body. Travel nurses should be trained in infectious diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, and rabies. As they travel, they may be required to administer immunizations and need to be educated on a variety of diseases, outbreaks, and medicine.

A travel nurse salary can be as high as $110,000 a year, which is higher than many other nursing salaries. Some travel nurses go on assignments that pay a premium hourly wage in excess of $40 per hour.

Travel medicine has emerged as a growing industry, with more than 6,000 nurses in the field. Travel nurses report satisfaction on the job by serving people in need internationally. They are continually learning about new vaccines and tropical diseases in order to have positive impacts on the world. Because travel health is not taught in nursing schools, most professionals are self-taught. At this time, there are no national or state certifications in travel health nursing. The International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) administers a professional exam, and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a computer-based course to help prepare for the job.

A travel nurse job is an exciting way to build a career and explore new places. Some people travel only once to a preferred destination, while others travel for years. At times, travel nurses are able to travel with family and friends.

There are different types of travel nursing careers. Some of these positions are in support roles for traveling nurses in the field. The clinical coordinator helps to prescreen and qualify potential travel nurses. They review candidate qualifications to match them up with appropriate work assignments. The clinical coordinator reviews candidates' overall work experiences, licensures, skills, and attitudes and submits them to potential positions. At times, the clinical coordinator may also provide advice to clients on clinical matters.

A nurse consultant liaises between the travel nurse and hospital to make sure all needs are met. The nurse consultant also helps RN applicants to find jobs that best suit their personal and professional goals. They assist travel nurses with any questions and needs before, during, and after every trip.

The clinical documentation liaison helps the travel nurse remain compliant with required regulations, standards, and licensures. They track all pertinent documentation and candidate information.

Last Updated: 08/20/2013


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