There are many different factors that draw nurses to careers as travelers. However, there are also some aspects of the travel nursing lifestyle that may not be for everyone. While we encourage all nurses interested in travel careers to talk to someone before making a decision, we thought it might be useful to list a few of the so-called pros and cons of travel nursing.
We say "so-called" because as you'll see, a lot of these are subjective. Some of the cons may be things you might not see as a problem and some of the pros could be things that may not actually appeal to you. Travel nursing is a lifestyle decision as much as it is a professional one, so be sure to do your research and draw your own conclusions.
Pro: Travel, Of Course
The ability to see the world while still maintaining full-time employment is something that many people only dream of, but travel nurses get to make that dream a reality. Spend your free time taking a dip in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, celebrate once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and create a bucket list of dream locations to visit and actually check them off, all with the best benefits supporting you.
Con: Packing and Moving Around Often
If you're someone who hates the idea of moving around a lot, travel nursing might not be the career for you. But while traveling far and wide is obviously one of the main attractions for many people, the flexibility of travel nursing also allows candidates to stay closer to home, if they so choose. If you're interested in the concept of travel nursing, but the thought of moving across the country is holding you back, we'd recommend at least speaking to an experienced recruiter, to get a better idea of your options.
Pro: Varied Experiences
Nurses interested in expanding their knowledge base to different practice areas can find a lot of success as travelers. Different facilities have different needs, and travel nurses are often the ones to fill those needs. A traveler can gain experience in numerous different areas in a relatively short amount of time.
Con: Professional Advancement
Because travel nurses are short-term employees, it can be difficult to build up the professional clout needed to advance—at least in title, anyway. Travel nurses advance their skills and their life experience every day, but if you're someone who is interested in moving to a managerial or administrative role someday, you may want to stay at one facility longer than travel nursing contracts generally allow.
Pro: Patient Care
The flip side of the professional advancement argument is that travel nurses get to maintain a career of hands-on patient care, which is an incredibly attractive aspect of travel nursing for many. Travelers often say that the best part of the job is being able to focus on the patients, rather than the distractions that can come with a more "traditional" employment option.
If you're interested in learning more about becoming a travel nurse, click below to download our free visual guide!