Life as a travel nurse is never boring, and many health care professionals are choosing this career option for the many benefits that it provides. Travel nurses typically work with a staffing agency to help fill shortages for health care workers within hospitals and other medical facilities. As a travel nurse, you will typically be provided with assignments that are a specific distance from your permanent home. In exchange for your willingness to move periodically to a new location, you may also receive perks such as a housing stipend that help you to get even more out of your career. Learning more about how often does a travel nurse change locations helps you to begin deciding how you can benefit from a job that offers the ultimate flexibility for finding a workplace that helps you meet your career goals.
There are many myths about travel nursing, and one of these is the idea that you have a set amount of time that you must stay in one place. Although you will usually sign a contract with each new position, you may find it good to know that some assignment lengths can vary significantly. Some medical facilities may only need nurses to fill in gaps that last for a few weeks while they prepare to open up a new department, or they may need someone more long-term to cover medical leave for other nurses. In some cases, a health care provider may prefer working with travel nurses simply for the unique skill set that they bring to the medical field.
How Long is the Average Assignment?
The average travel nursing assignment is usually around 5 to 13 weeks. However, you’ll find assignments that may be shorter than a month to as long as 26 weeks. The differences between these lengths of time help you to enjoy more flexibility when it comes to planning your career. While some nurses enjoy longer assignments that let them get to know more people and learn more about the facility, others like shorter assignments that keep life interesting. You can even follow up a long assignment with a short one to fit the needs of your current lifestyle. For instance, you might want to explore a new city, and your short assignment lets you do that while working. Then, you might choose the longer assignment to enjoy some stability in your home life and career.
What are the Benefits of Changing Locations?
There are many reasons why you might want to change locations. Travel nurses enjoy having flexibility with their work assignments that let them enjoy these perks.
- Avoid becoming stagnant in your career
- Nurture a love for traveling and seeing new sights
- Be close to formerly long distance family members
- Have the option of taking time off between assignments
- Experience what it is like to work with different health care companies
You should also know that you may not always have to move homes when an assignment ends. You might reach the end of your stay at a healthcare facility and then follow it up by working in a different one that is nearby. This allows you to stay within the same city while still enjoying the benefits of doing something new with your career. If you do decide to move to a new city, then your agency will help you with planning for housing and other moving necessities.
Can Assignments be Extended?
Health care companies often extend travel nursing assignments. They may do so out of an increased or continuing need for nurses to work in their facility, or they may be willing to work with you to keep you on staff if you ask. If you are hoping that your assignment will be extended, then the best thing to do is let your staffing agency know that you are loving the position or area in which you are living. If possible, they can work with the health care provider to extend your stay. Some travel nurses extend their assignment multiple times, and it is possible to stay for several years at the same medical facility. Ultimately, the level of flexibility that you enjoy depends upon how you choose to work with your staffing agency to manage your career.
Are you interested in becoming a travel nurse? If so, reach out to our agency. We can help you find a position in an area that fuels your desire to gain more experience in the healthcare field, contact us today!