Travel Nursing: Is It Right For You?

Diana Price - Author
By

Feb. 26 2017, Updated 11:07 a.m. ET

If you’ve ever picked up a nursing magazine, you’ve probably been mesmerized by those glossy ads for working as a travel nurse in exotic Hawaii, lounging on the beaches of Florida, or skiing in the beautiful mountains of the Colorado Rockies. It sounds too good to be true, to make big money and get paid to travel. Maybe not too good to be true, but it isn’t for everyone. Here are some things to consider before you pack up your bags — and your life — and become a travel nurse.

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Couples And Families Can Do It, But Travel Nursing Is Best For Singles

While a few nurses travel with children, it’s difficult and obviously can only really be done outside the school year unless you have a spouse who can home school. Your nursing travel agency can set up accommodations, but they aren’t going to splurge on a two bedroom apartment because you have kids with you. In fact, many are moving to hotels with kitchenettes over temporary apartments, so your living quarters can get cramped. According to Gypsy Nurse, you can request a larger living space if you are willing to pay for the difference. But you’ll have to deal with daycare in an unfamiliar city unless your kids are old enough to stay alone at your hotel or apartment.

Some nurses only bring a spouse or significant other, as the pay rates are more than enough to support two. The best of both worlds with couples is when both are nurses with flexible specialties so they can get assignments in the same city or even the same hospital. In those situations, one will often take the lodging provided by the company, while the other asks for a housing stipend to find their own.

While couples can make travel nursing work, it’s no surprise that becoming a travel nurse is ideal for singles. It’s a great way to see the country and scope out different cities you may want to consider for permanent residence. It’s also a great way to choose cities where you can stay a little cooler in the summer up north, and warm up a bit down south in the winter.

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