January 15, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Travel nurses are hired on short term contracts through agencies that specialise in matching your personal and professional preferences with nursing vacancies available around the world.
There is no fixed duration. Every assignment varies, depending on the healthcare employer as well as the agency that you go through. An assignment could be as short as 6 to 8 weeks or as long as 24 to 25 weeks. Depending on the circumstances and any employment restrictions, you may also be able to extend or renew the contract if it is agreeable to you and the healthcare employer. Some contracts are ‘temporary only’ so if you are looking for a long-time position, you need to make sure you find out the details before taking on the assignment.
Although there are usually vacancies available at some place or the other for almost all nursing positions, Registered Nurses are far and away the most in demand. If you are an LPN, it may be a good idea to do an online LPN to RN course so you can obtain your certification even while you are working at your current employment. The most important thing to make sure is that you sign up only at an accredited school.
If a match is found, these agencies will facilitate the whole process by helping you out with all of the formalities, from visa and licensing requirements to travel and housing at the new location. The exact details will be included in the contract that you sign with the travel nursing agency. In some cases you may be provided furnished housing at your destination and in other cases you may be given housing allowance as well as help with finding a suitable local housing. For travel nursing agencies, nurses looking for travelling jobs are a treasured asset and they will usually make sure that all dealings are above board so that their reputation remains intact. However, you should keep in mind that different agencies have different policies and of course, different fees too so make sure you read the contract minutely to see who pays for what and what is the agency’s liability should anything go wrong.
How much you make as a travel nurse will vary widely depending on several factors – type of healthcare setting and its geographic location as well as your nursing speciality, years of experience and areas of expertise. The bottom line is you have control over which job to accept. You may decide that the opportunity to live and work in a particular place far outweighs the lower salary being offered. The ultimate decision is yours to make.