The American Nurse Association states more than 500,000 seasoned Registered Nurses (RNs) are expected to retire by 2022. With the already escalating demand for nurses, this is a staggering amount of upcoming vacancies. Nursing positions are opening from state to state, but who will answer the call? Do you have what it takes to become a Travel Nurse?
What is Travel Nursing?
The concept of Travel Nursing was devised because of the nursing shortage across the nation. A Travel Nurse is a nurse hired to work in temporary nursing positions around the country, mostly in hospitals. The working assignment could range from 13 to 26 weeks, depending on varying requirements. The duties of Travel Nurses are comparable to non-travel RNs. These responsibilities include caring for patients, administering medication, recording patient information, coordinating patient care, etc.
What qualifications are needed to become a Travel Nurse?
Being a Travel Nurse is an amazing career choice for any who have been a practicing bedside nurse for a minimum of two year. If an individual is specialized in specific areas such as OB, NICU, ICU, or Cath Lab, then they may need an additional year of experience in that field. A Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) is not always required, however, many hospitals prefer nurses who’ve obtained that degree. Once a Travel Nurse selects a specific location, it’s important to obtain a nursing license for that state. Nurses also need to maintain their RN license as well as keep up with Continuing Education Units.
What are the benefits of Travel Nursing?
There’s a myriad of advantages to becoming a Travel Nurse. Those who value adventure and embrace the opportunities of experiencing new surroundings would enjoy the versatility of Travel Nursing. It’s considered a major benefit for Travel Nurses to be able to select where they live and work. One popular location for Travel Nurses is in the state of New York. Most enjoy the year-round activities such as touring New York City, visiting the suburbs, hiking, camping and much more. It’s almost like a working vacation!
Another perk to Travel Nursing is the possibility of higher wages, the gain of professional development, and the advantage of working in diverse environments. For convenient and stress-free transitions, the nurses’ traveling expenses and housing arrangements are usually included in the job. Plus, Travel Nursing is a family affair, considering loved ones are welcomed to accompany Travel Nurses. An additional plus is that Travel Nurses usually receive health and wellness benefits.
One of the most frequently asked questions by nurses considering a travel nursing position is how do taxes affect them?
This is very important to understand prior to starting a career as a Travel Nurse.
Those interested in this career must first determine if they meet the government’s requirement which enables them to deem themselves as a Travel Nurse.
There are several factors that must be taken into consideration when determining eligibility to be considered a “true traveler” in the traveling nurse world. One must be traveling over 50 miles from their home in order to legally qualify and be considered a traveler. Some staffing companies will say there is no written rule about distance. The government will allow nurses to earn tax-free money if their place of employment is located far enough away that they must stay overnight prior to returning home.
“Home” is also another factor when determining eligibility. In order to receive tax-free stipends, you must maintain a “tax home.” Prior to signing with a staffing agency, there’s a necessary form that must be filled out, stating and providing proof that you keep a tax home. If you do not have a tax home, you can still be a travel nurse. You may not qualify for a tax-free stipend; however, you may earn incentive bonuses.
Being a Travel nurse is an excellent way to advance your career, experience life to the fullest, and ignite your spark of adventure.