As hospitals face staff shortages in nursing, they look for creative ways to fill the void. They often hire one of the thousands of travel nurses, who temporarily fill a position away from home.
Demand for travel nurses is high, and you may find this line of work very appealing. Before you make a life-altering decision, you should be aware of the pros and cons of travel nursing.
Read on to learn what they are and how to make the right decision for yourself.
Pro: Travel and Experiences
At the top of the list, you get to experience different parts of the country. You can expose yourself to new cultures and ways of doing things.
Many people find this exciting and a major reason why they choose to become travel nurses.
Pro: Potential Higher Income
On average, registered nursed earn $73,300 a year. The amount that hospitals would pay depends on the location and your level of experience.
You can expect to earn more as a traveling nurse. Hospitals are going to pay you more because they include a stipend for housing and meals. Your stipend is often tax-free, which can provide significant tax savings as well.
Pro: New Friends With Less Office Politics
You have the ability to make friends at work wherever you are. You'll end up with a network of friends all over the country, which gives you the excuse to travel to visit them as often as you like.
Another advantage is that you don't have to get involved in the office politics of the hospital. You're on temporary assignment, so you can keep your relationships without worrying about work-drama.
Con: Removed from Support System
The hardest thing about being a travel nurse is that you’re away from your friends and family. While you’re likely to make new friends at your new assignment, it’s not the same. You may experience homesickness and miss your friends and routine.
Con: Travel Nurses Have More to Manage
While you do have potential tax savings as a traveling nurse, you have more to manage personally. You have to maintain a “tax home” or place of residence whether you pay rent or mortgage on a home in order to qualify for certain deductions.
You’ll need to have a tax professional that understands what the requirements are so you don’t run afoul of the IRS.
You also have to manage and maintain your nursing license in multiple states. You have to have a system in place to stay on top of deadlines.
The Pros and Cons of Travel Nursing
There’s no doubt that travel nursing can be rewarding in many ways. Before you commit to it, though, you need to go in with eyes wide open. You have to understand the pros and cons of travel nursing.
On the downside, you have a few more things to manage while you’re removed from your friends and family. Travel nursing can give you higher income, tax savings, and new and exciting adventures. You also don’t get caught up in typical office politics.