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.
Now, we say "so-called" pros and cons 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 most beautiful parts of the country 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 Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico, 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 packing and moving every 3 months, travel nursing might not seem very appealing. However, the flexibility of travel nursing also allows candidates to stay closer to home if they choose assignments in their existing area.
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 that are closer to home. You may find you can work in a healthcare system close by and receive our industry-leading benefits, including vacations through our loyalty program Club CoreMed!
Pro: Varied Experiences
A traveler can acquire experience in a wide variety of areas and gain incredible insights into his or her preferences in a relatively short amount of time. As you serve travel contracts in different places, you’ll discover the nursing areas that you thrive in and areas of care that bring you joy and fulfillment in your job (and vice versa). Additionally, if you explore travel nursing options across the country, you’ll discover the places you love and could see yourself settling in the future.
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.
Conversely, as you travel from place to place, you’re expanding your network. So, while it could take a little bit longer to advance your career, you are showcasing your abilities to a wider audience and making connections with colleagues and healthcare directors who can serve as valuable references for you later on.
Pro: Patient Care
The flipside 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 and the politics of climbing the ladder at a singular location.
Discover Our Ultimate Guide to Travel Nursing