Andrew Wettengel / Wednesday, April 24, 2019 / Categories: Work World


Even though travel nursing has been around for at least two decades, many inside and outside the medical community still have misconceptions about what it involves. Here are 8 of the most common:

Myth: It isn’t a secure career path. In fact, the current nationwide shortage of medical workers — and the convenience of hiring travel nurses — means they’re very much in demand. Further, the already attractive compensation may also involve free housing, travel reimbursement, per diem allowances and bonuses. “A lot of these hospitals are willing to pay more money to bring these travelers onboard,” recruiter Suzanne Johnson recently told “We’re definitely seeing the positions grow (and) the salary ranges increase.”

Myth: It involves moving every 13 weeks. Not necessarily. Some assignments can be extended and others are longer-term from the start. Further, many travelers can find successive assignments within one city.

Myth: It requires time away from friends and family. No. Many travel nurses take assignments close to home so they can maintain their current social lives. Others take friends, significant others or family members along with them on remote assignments so they can explore new destinations together.

Myth: Pets can’t come. More and more agencies are encouraging travel nurses to bring pets to increase comfort and ward off homesickness.

Myth: Travel nursing looks bad on a resume. In truth, it often allows you to add a wider variety of experiences and skills to your list of assets. It may also demonstrate that you’re adaptable and able to learn quickly.

Myth: Positions are only available in metro areas. Lesser-populated and rural areas are increasingly taking advantage of the convenience and competence offered by travel nurses.

Myth: Travel nursing is for the young. Younger people do seem to enjoy the lifestyle, but there’s no reason well-seasoned or retired nurses can’t experience the same travel opportunities and new experiences. Many older nurses seize the opportunity to visit family and friends in other cities. Or simply a means to an end, with bucket list items of traveling the country with their significant other, once they become empty nesters. 

Myth: Travel nurses are resented by permanent staffers. While gypsy nurses must ensure they’re being more helpful than high-maintenance, their ability to reduce workloads tends to make them especially popular with year-round staffers.


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