Andrew Wettengel / Friday, August 9, 2019 / Categories: Work World


Because travel nursing is a relatively new segment of the nursing profession, it still seems to be subject to misconceptions. Some are major untruths, while others are merely misunderstandings about what the gypsy life is really like.

“Although the travel nursing industry has been flourishing for the past 20 years, the concept of mobile health care is still filled with plenty of interesting and sometimes misleading information, some of which may have prevented you from taking your skills on the road,” writes Claire Brocato on TravelNursing.com. “As travel nursing continues to grow, there is bound to be misinformation that surfaces from time to time.”

Here’s a summary of some of the most common myths.

  • Myth: Far-away assignments offer better tax advantages. Not true, but even recruiters have been known to believe in the so-called “50-mile rule” stating that travel nurses are eligible for tax-free stipends when on assignment at least 50 miles from their tax homes. Real IRS info on what is and isn’t tax advantaged is stated here.
  • Myth: The gypsy life is only for extroverts. Yes, travel nurses must work effectively with new people and be comfortable in unfamiliar work environments. But they need not be outgoing, be extremely social or fit into any particular personality mold. It’s more important that they're skilled, hardworking, personable, polite and compassionate.
  • Myth: Travel nursing is for the young. While many nurses like to start traveling within a couple of years of graduation from nursing school, a recent study determined that the average age to get started is 41. Plenty of nurses wait until their children are older or they have fewer responsibilities at home before beginning the life of adventure.
  • Myth: Travel nursing means leaving loved ones behind. First off, you may be able to secure jobs that are within commuting distance. Secondly, many gypsy nurses choose to bring pets, children, friends or significant others along for the experience, especially if the others are on a break or able to work remotely. As long as your recruiter is aware of your wants and needs, he or she should be able to arrange for appropriate housing so your loved ones can support your career and accompany you on after-hours adventures in your new city.
  • Myth: Assignments are only available in major metro areas. Jobs in major cities may be more common, but demand for travel nurses is growing across the U.S. Your recruiter can often help you locate less-urban jobs if that’s what you prefer.
  • Myth: Each assignment is done after 13 weeks. Though that’s the standard interval, travel nurses who impress their supervisors are often given the option of staying on longer. Further, if you plan carefully you can move seamlessly from assignment to assignment to minimize gaps in income and maximize your wealth of experiences. 


Still confused about the details of travel nursing? Call and talk to a recruiter who can clear up any lingering questions so you can embark on your new career.  


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