Travel nursing is a field of nursing that involves placing qualified medical nurses in different positions across the globe. Travel nursing was likely developed as an answer to the nursing shortage and is one of the most important sectors in the healthcare industry as it helps bridge the gap between the demand and supply of nursing personnel.
Travel nursing not only helps bridge the gap between the demand and supply of nursing personnel in different regions, but it also plays a vital role in health tourism. For example, a sick patient who has to travel out of the country for medical assistance may require the services of a travel nurse who will assist and take care of his or her health needs during the duration of the trip. Travel nurses also serve as medical companions for people travelling for work or holiday.
If you are looking at a career in travel nursing, this is one of the most rewarding nursing jobs you can do. However, it can also be stressful and expensive.
That said; there are a number of ways you can save and make the most of your money when on an assignment as a travel nurse.
Here are a few ideas
Find your own housing
Most travel nursing assignments involve travelling out of your state and country, and in a situation where the patient has no fixed accommodation arrangement, your agency will provide funds for hotel and accommodation. However, living in a hotel for the duration of your nursing assignment can be quite expensive, so if your assignment is medium to long term, you should consider getting a short-lease accommodation.
Consider difficult assignments
Like every other travel-related occupation, difficult or out of way assignments tend to pay higher, therefore, you can opt for difficult assignments so that you qualify for higher pay.
A difficult assignment may involve working with a difficult patient, working in a less than desirable location, or working under dangerous conditions. Most of these assignments are usually hard to fill, which is why they pay better.
Work with the right agency
The agency you work for determines how much you earn, therefore, if you want to earn better, look for and work for the right travel nurse agency. Reliable agencies usually disclose how much they pay and don’t shirk their responsibilities when it comes to allowances, compensations, and other fringe benefits.
They are usually transparent about their dealings, making it easy for nurses to easily decide if the position or assignment is right for them.
Top paying travel nurse agencies have one thing in common, they only hire the best. Therefore, if you want your name to be on the list of top travel nurses that gets the call for top-paying jobs, you have to make sure you are well organised, have the right qualifications, and have a rich portfolio.
The travel nurse industry is fierce and competitive, and unless you can give agencies a good reason to hire you, you may remain stuck with shady and poor paying travel nurse agencies.
Work with multiple agencies
It is a good idea to have your name on the list of multiple agencies. This way, you are never out of an assignment, because there will always be a need for travel nurses, if not from one agency, then from another.
It is important to point out, however, that because you are in essence working with multiple recruiters who could be in stiff competition with one another, you have to be honest and above board in your dealings. If you are asked whether you work with multiple agencies, say the truth. At the same time, don’t pit one agency against the other, and always keep in touch even if you don’t choose their assignment.
Look for local jobs during your downtime
While it is true that travel nurses are always in high demand, the truth is that there are times when you will be in-between assignments. But you can also use this downtime to earn some extra money.
When you are out of an assignment, you can volunteer or apply to work for a short duration at local health centres and clinics. The money you will make during the short time can go a long way to boost your savings account, or can help hold you until a new travel assignment comes.
Travel nursing is an exciting and rewarding profession. As a travel nurse, you have the opportunity to experience diverse cultures, visit diverse locations, and meet new people. But sometimes, travelling from one place to the other may mean extra expenses and very little time for personal stuff.
However, if you are able to apply some of the ideas covered in this article, you will be able to solve at least one of the problems travel nurses face – making the most of your money.