While the life of a travel nurse may seem basic, there are a number of common misconceptions that have been allowed to circulate. False truths and myths tend to get passed around by people who have never worked as a travel nurse and these stories are rarely based in any form of reality.
Those who have heard certain facts and figures about the profession may have been discouraged, so let’s take a moment to dissect all of the misconceptions that have been allowed to build over the years. Read on to learn more about the common misconceptions about travel nursing and why they are wrong.
1. Travel Nursing Assignments Always End After 13 Weeks
A lot of people shy away from travel nursing, because they do not care for the idea of having to pack up and move every 13 weeks. While travel nursing jobs typically do last for just 13 weeks, they can often last much longer than originally expected. The 13 week period is not uniform and there are a variety of choices available.
Travel nurses can be given the option to decide to extend their assignments and this benefits all parties involved, including the hospital. If the nurse’s assignment takes place in a city where there are multiple opportunities to be had, they can move around between different hospitals and remain in the same area for an extended period of time.
2. I’ll Have To Spend A Lot Of Time Away From My Loved Ones
Most think that being a travel nurse means sacrificing all of your time with family or friends and never being able to spend time with them. In reality, travel nurses regularly find employment in places that are close to home. They can also establish work schedules that allow them to come home for three or four day periods, so that they can recharge their batteries and spend time with their loved ones.
For example, let’s say a travel nurse has found an assignment that is roughly an hour from home, that offers them the chance to work four consecutive 12 hour shifts. From there, they can receive the benefits that come with a travel assignment and be able to go home for a few days in between work weeks. The idea that all travel nurses are stuck by themselves in a strange city for weeks at a time with no one to ease their loneliness is an erroneous one.
3. Travel Nursing Is A Profession Suited For Young People
While many would consider travel nursing to be a profession for the younger people out there, travel nurses are typically in their 40s and 50s. Travel nurses who have already accrued several years of experience in their chosen field tend to do much better than travel nurses who are just starting out. When a nurse is experienced, they have far more confidence, which allows them to step in and immediately help out.
In fact, travel nurses in their latter years are able to take on more assignments, because of their added flexibility. They will share their work with those who are closest to them, by bringing their spouses on long term assignments or taking trips with their adult children in tow. For a person who wishes to see more of the country, travel nursing is a great way to do just that.
4. Travel Nurses Are All Single People With No Family Life
People who have a strong family bond or a significant other that they care deeply for are usually discouraged from becoming travel nurses and told that the profession is best suited for single people who do not have a family life to speak of. However, there are lots of travel nurses who have the latitude to bring their family members with them on assignments and in a world where more and more people are working at jobs that provide them with an increased level of mobility, it is becoming easier for couples to remain connected.
Travel nurses can use their unique profession as a way to plan fun vacations with their loved ones and spouses, bringing them along for the ride. Other travel nurses will even opt to bring their children with them, so that they are able to develop a much more well-rounded view of the world. There is no reason why a travel nurse can’t enjoy all of the benefits that come with family life and married life, while also advancing their career.
5. There Are No Pets Allowed
When a travel nurse is given a new assignment and they are asked to head to an unfamiliar region, the concept of being able to bring their beloved pets with them offers a great deal of solace. The idea that a travel nurse has to leave their pets behind when they begin a new assignment is patently false and taking your pet along is not only allowed, it is also encouraged.
Pets are wonderful traveling companions and they can certainly help a travel nurse to ease into the transition. It is important for prospective travel nurses to remember that their recruiters will need to know about their pet situation before arrival. By providing advance notice, this allows the recruiter to upgrade a travel nurse’s housing, so that they are able to live in comfort. Pets are also instrumental in providing an increased sense of safety for a travel nurse who is new to a city.
Hopefully, I hit all the highlights. If this article doesn’t clear any misconceptions you may have had, perhaps the NATHO (National Association of Travel Healthcare Organizations) can provide more clarity.