Travel Nurse the Non-Traditional Way

With changes in the economy came changes in the way health care is provided. Many people have chosen to wait to have elective surgeries. Finance conscience individuals are utilizing health care services more only when absolutely necessary. As a result of these changes in consumer health care habits, health care facilities have changed the way they provide services. Down sizing has hit the health care industry like a sledge hammer. Diminishing hospital census’ demand decreases in hospital staffing or at least reduced hours for regular staffers. Thus is born a decreased need for travel nurses.

Travel nursing, however, is still a viable option for a nurse with a little ingenuity. Health care is still very much a necessity in our society. A nurse with options can still find suitable, constant employment and enjoy travel as an added benefit. Here are some ways to increase your travel nurse options.

Relocate for one year at a time.
The traditional travel nurse assignment generally runs an average of three months. Consider working for local non-travel agencies a year at a time. You can relocate on your own. Have more locations to choose from. Year to year relocation also alleviates the “Will I find another assignment?” blues every three months.

Vary your area of specialty.
Specialty nursing does carry prestige, however can limit the number of opportunities available. Broaden your fields of experience and you become more valuable to more facilities. A nurse who doesn’t feel that any particular area of nurse related health care is beneath them will find more opportunities to travel and may also find new areas of interest not before considered.

Choose local agencies in a geographical area of interest to you.
Choose area of geographical interest to where you would like to travel. Some have been known to travel the north-eastern or north-western states in the summer months to beat the heat and then migrate south and west in the winters to flee the snow and cold. Many times this arrangement has appeal to agencies as they will have sufficient coverage as their regular staff submit their vacation request. Consider signing up with local nursing agencies that staff regionally. Many local agencies staff several states and can assign placement in those states where you have current license. Combine this with a multi-state license, (see below), and your value as a nurse increases to a local agency. For Bayada Nurses Agency have offices in nineteen states of which eight are in compact states. Excel Staffing Services Inc provides staffing in seventeen states of which eight are also compact states.

Consider camp nursing.
Get expanded experience by working during your vacation from your regular job as a camp nurse. There are many summer camp opportunities that may have been overlooked by the conventional thinking nurse. Naturally there the well known kids camps. Then there are also many specialty health related camps, i.e. diabetes, weight loss, and special needs camps. There are sports camps. Music camps. Religious camps. The number of specialty camps is unlimited. Many camps include tuition for camp aged children of the working nurse as part of the contractual package.

Obtain a multi-state nursing license.
There are twenty-three states that are part of a nursing compact. Obtaining a nursing license in any one of these states will entitle you to work in any of the other twenty-two states without having to obtain an additional license. This makes you more available at a moments notice to be able to relocate and thus more appealing to agencies that need a nurse on short notice. The main requirement to qualify for this type of license is that you must become a resident of the licensing state. This should only prove a small requirement for the true traveler. For more information visit the Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators (NLCA) website at https://www.ncsbn.org/158.htm.

If travel nursing is your desire, don’t let the current economy serve as an excuse not to go. Take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves yet only take a small amount of initiative to make them productive. Show prospective employers your worth by presenting situations and opportunities that they themselves and other nurses may not have noted. You will be richly rewarded by constant employment and varied travel opportunities.