LIFE

What Does A Travel Nurse Do?

When there is a staffing shortage, healthcare organizations hire travel nurses. What is a travel nurse? Travel nurses temporarily fill roles as qualified experts in areas with a strong demand for nurses. They rush into clinics, hospitals, and other locations to provide people nationwide with top-notch medical care.

A nationwide staffing shortage brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic led to a rise in demand for travel nurses. Health officials credit two primary explanations for this change:

First, as CNN writes, hospitals are having a more challenging time replacing departing staff nurses because they are worn out and disillusioned. Second, according to AP News, many nurses leave their secure positions for lucrative temporary employment that pays $5,000 or more per week when they work through travel nurse companies.

Examining the duties and obligations of travel nurses, reading travel nursing advice, and knowing about the pay and job prospects for travel nurses can all be helpful to students and professionals interested in this career path.

The Travel Nurse’s History

A response to the high-census healthcare environments was the development of the travel nurse industry in the 1970s.

When there is a high census, there are more patients than the facility’s current personnel is equipped to handle. Therefore, a high census indicates understaffing at an institution.

A healthcare center experiences a low census when there aren’t enough patients to require the entire nursing staff. Low census essentially denotes a facility’s temporary overstaffing.

During winter, the 1970s saw a steady influx of nurses from the north due to nursing shortages in warmer southern states like Florida. These nurses followed the seasonal influx of so-called snowbirds, or those who relocate for a portion of the year to avoid the bitter northern winters.

These travel nurse salary arrangements were initially informal. Although they were hired as regular, permanent employees who would leave at the end of the season, nurses would travel to fulfill demand.

These healthcare institutions did not offer housing or further compensation to these nurses because they did not have a particular arrangement with their hospitals and clinics. Facilities in states with warmer climates that couldn’t afford to hire as many staff members year-round found success with this.

Professionals today resemble travel nurses in many ways. For example, travel nurses frequently work for healthcare staffing companies that are experts in placing temporary workers all across the nation. In exchange for a portion of what a hospital would pay a travel nurse, agencies push for safe housing, competitive pay, and all-expenses-paid transportation for its travel nurses to new assignments.

Travel male Nurse

What to Expect as a Travel Nurse: Culture Fit

Who works as a travel nurse? Travel nurses frequently take on positions in understaffed healthcare facilities. Facilities anticipate carrying out the typical nurse’s responsibilities with little to no care context. Travel nurses must therefore learn to feel at ease working in these frantic, hectic settings.

For instance, a travel nurse may accept a position at a newborn intensive care unit that is gravely understaffed. Travel nurses may need to pick up these facts because the on-staff nurses might need more time or energy to review every element of the hospital charting system or information about particular patients.

When hired to fill a temporary role, travel nurses sign a contract. This may persist for days, weeks, months, or even longer. Travel nurses either stay put when their contracts expire or move on to another area and opportunity.

Even though most postings last between eight and 26 weeks, the length of their contracts can vary. While some temporary travel nurses seek to land full-time employment and find a temporary assignment they prefer, many preserve their flexible schedules and continue to travel.

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