Travel nursing encompasses a wide variety of nursing positions, job settings, payment structures, and contract stipulations. If you’re interested in joining the ranks of over 25,000 travel nurses in the U.S., it’s best to shake off any travel nurse myths and discover the truth about salary, housing, and conditions before you begin the search for a job opening.
At Maxim Staffing, our highly trained recruiters are dedicated to connecting qualified candidates with travel nursing opportunities that best fit their needs. Our career site is a one-stop resource for certified nurses interested in travel nursing possibilities and the perfect place to find openings nationwide.
Common Myths About Travel Nursing
First, however, it is essential to have an accurate picture of what a travel nurse experiences, including dispelling common myths and reinforcing facts about the profession.
Myth: Housing for Travel Nurses Is Free
As a travel nurse, you are typically responsible for paying for your housing costs. However, with most contracts, you receive a stipend to help offset some of these housing costs. This stipend is in addition to your hourly pay and is also not usually subject to tax. The truth is that housing stipends can vary greatly from location to location. The U.S. General Services Association website allows you to search for maximum housing allowances by zip code to get a better idea of the cost of living in any given area of the country.
Myth: Parents of Children or Pets Are Ineligible for Travel Nursing
Those interested in travel nursing do not have to be single without any children or pets. The fact is that nurses with spouses, children, and pets are just as eligible as nurses who do not. The key to a successful travel nursing transition is proper prior planning and preparation. Often, talking with experienced travel nurses who might have found ways to make relocating a family easier, such as only traveling during the summer months to avoid changing schools.
Other ways that you can prepare to move your family to a new destination for travel nursing include:
- Creating a plan to handle any mail or packages
- Packing lightly, but including items such as bedding, clothes, kitchen items, cleaning supplies, and a laptop
- Speaking with your Recruiter about child care and housing options
- Researching your potential new neighborhood and schools
Common Facts About Travel Nursing
We’ve dispelled some travel nurse myths, so let’s lay out some facts.
Fact: Travel Nursing Pays Well
Exact compensation figures for travel nurses depend on a variety of factors, including their specialty or the location of their assignment. Generally speaking, though, travel nurses make more in a year than their non-travel counterparts. According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary range for travel nurses is anywhere between $85k and $110k annually, which is at least $10k more than their registered nurse (RN) colleagues.
In addition to their salaries, travel nurses often also receive allowances or reimbursements for daily expenses, which are exempt from taxes. This type of pay structure means a higher net income compared to a non-travel nurse whose entire income is taxable. Travel nursing positions also provide more opportunities for overtime work and extra shifts compared to a traditional hospital-based job.
Fact: Your Recruiter Matters
When thinking about choosing a travel nursing or locum tenens agency to aid you in your job search, pay attention to your initial interactions with the recruiters. Recruiters can make or break your experience and often have more of a direct effect on your job placement and career satisfaction than the actual agency. Instead of comparing agencies, focus on comparing recruiters. Your relationship with your recruiter should feel like a true partnership, rather than an employee-and-employer relationship. Be sure to tell recruiters what you are looking for in your next position, such as a certain level of pay or a specific city because they are trained to be your best advocate to make that happen.
For more information, check out these Essential Travel Nurse Tips!
Choose Maxim Staffing to Start Your Travel Nursing Career
Our Maxim team is proud to be an industry leader in healthcare staffing, and we go the extra mile for our valued healthcare professionals by providing them with a wide range of benefits to enhance their quality of life.
Our healthcare professional benefits include:
- Medical, dental, prescription and vision plans
- Long-term disability and life insurance options
- 401 (k) retirement plan
- Weekly paychecks
- An emergency on-call line is available 24/7
- MyTime program to earn up to 24 hours of paid time off each year
To learn more about how Maxim can help to jumpstart your nursing career, visit us online today to explore our job openings. When you partner with Maxim, you are choosing to advance your nursing career, so contact our team today.