TOO OLD, TOO YOUNG: AT WHAT AGE SHOULD YOU START TRAVEL NURSING?
Andrew Wettengel / Friday, July 19, 2019 / Categories: Work World

TOO OLD, TOO YOUNG: AT WHAT AGE SHOULD YOU START TRAVEL NURSING?

 

 

So when is the best time of life to launch your career as a travel nurse?

The short answer is that the call to travel nursing can happen at any age. Some nurses jump into the life of adventure shortly after launching their careers, while others wait until they’ve logged several years in the profession. A certain percentage wait until their children are grown, while others don’t embrace the gypsy life until they’re mature, well-seasoned and ready for new experiences and inspiration.

A recent study outlined on Bluepipes.com determined that the average age to start travel nursing is 41.14, while the median age is 42. That said, once you’ve put in your first year in a traditional nursing job, you’re really never too old or too young to get started. The same article points out that 25% launch their travel careers between 20 and 29; 19% between 30 and 39; 28% between 40 and 49; 24% between 50 and 59 and 5% after age 60.

Because age is truly just a number, here are some questions to ask yourself to evaluate whether your timing is really right.

·    Why does travel nursing appeal to you? Yes, it can be lucrative, but you should be motivated by more than money. You’ll want to be on board with the opportunities to gain new experiences, meet new people, learn new skills, help patients in meaningful ways and/or build your resume.

·    Are you confident in your abilities? Because travel nurses must continually adjust to new environments and challenges, you could become overwhelmed if your professional skills don’t already feel like second nature to you. Wait until your work seems comfortable, routine and well within your wheelhouse. “Do you take the initiative in directing your patient’s care, or do you simply let things unfold?” asks RN David Morrison on Travelnursingblogs.com. "Do you feel as though you have good organization skills, or are you always one of the nurses staying behind an extra 15 to 30 minutes to get things done? You must be very independent as a travel nurse because the facilities are expecting a proficient nurse who can hit the ground running.”

·    Are you relatively free of family responsibilities? While your agency can likely arrange for your spouse and/or children to go with you on assignment, that can be stressful for some nurses. Conversely, being away from your family can also present problems. Think about how your family situation will emotionally and logistically jibe with your new career before getting started.

·   Are you ready for a major change? You must be comfortable with the idea of uprooting yourself, living and working in new environments, building new relationships and changing your daily routines. If you’re used to a steady, predictable life you may have a hard time making the adjustment — or you may find the change energizing and refreshing.

·   Have you talked to real-life travel nurses? Have frank discussions with those who have walked the walk so you understand what the traveling life is really like. They can fill you in on all the pros and cons, including key factors you may not have considered.

Our answer here is, there is no standard time of your life to get into it. We all have our own paths, therefore, this "wanderer journey" could be perfect for you at any point of time on your own path. We're here to help you figure that out though, we are confident we can do that. So if you've considered becoming a traveling nurse, please don't hesitate to reach out. Let's dance. 

 

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