Questions About Traveling Nurse Jobs

Mar 02, 2012

If you are pursuing a nursing degree at Colorado Christian University, either in our BSN program or the RN-BSN program, you may be wondering what your options are once you graduate. Fortunately, there is a very high demand for nurses at this time, so you will have plenty of opportunities for employment upon graduation--that is, if you know where to look and know just how many different types of nursing positions exist in the world of health care.

What is typical compensation for traveling nurse jobs and are there bonuses?

Travel nurses are paid well. To learn more about the types of nursing positions and what the salaries are for those positions, please read "Pursue More Nursing Positions..." But please keep in mind that traveling nurse jobs pay differently than other jobs, and nursing agencies salary policies vary. You are usually hired by an agency who pays you based on your assignment. Most assignments last for several weeks, and then you usually get re-assigned, if you do a good job. Travelers on assignment with travel nurse staffing agencies will receive a take home pay rate that includes a daily allowance for meals and other necessities. Travel nurses are usually guaranteed a minimum number of hours for every assignment and may also get paid overtime. While on assignment, traveling nurses will be paid by the payroll department of your travel nursing company. As far as bonuses are concerned, many facilities that work with traveling nurse agencies offer sign-on and completion bonuses (which vary) for some traveling nurse jobs. Also, some pay a referral bonus of a few hundred dollars when a friend or family member you referred completes a thirteen-week assignment. So, compensation is good and bonuses are aplenty for traveling nurse jobs.

Can I participate in a 401K as a traveling nurse?

Participation in a 401K depends on the agency, and many do allow their traveling nurses to participate in their 401(k) plans. Some agencies allow you to start contributing on your first day; others do not. You can inquire about benefits such as this when you interview with a traveling nurse agency.

Will I get any special discounts for travel and other expenses?

Many organizations offer discounts for travel nurses for food, lodging, cell phones, road-side assistance, and even health club memberships.

Can I choose where I will travel to once I'm hired by an agency?

Most travel nursing agencies do their best to place nurses where they'd like to go, but, unfortunately, sometimes the demand is greater in places that may not be a nurse's first choice of travel. Traveling nurses must be willing to go where the jobs are, and even if you're a great nurse, if you gain a reputation for turning down a lot of work, you may not get offered as many positions. When you're first starting out, enthusiasm and flexibility are very important. If you truly are passionate about serving others and helping the sick, you will go where you are needed. If you read about travel nurse positions on the Internet, you will learn that often times, remote locations in sparsely populated areas need nurses to travel to their locations. Any respectable agency will make sure you are safe and well taken care of no matter where you are sent. It's important to research the agency's reputation and see what experienced traveling nurses have to say about a particular agency.

What if I need help or am asked to do something for which I've had no training?

Many agencies offer 24-hour-a-day support lines to answer your questions, and agency representatives will make sure you are placed in a facility or office for which you have received the proper training. If you have never worked in an operating room, you would not be sent to a surgical center. Also, continuing education opportunities are offered to traveling nurses to increase their knowledge base and give them experience with more procedures.

To learn a little bit more about this exciting career, please read "Traveling Nurses Jobs: See the World and Help Others."