Blur the line between work and play.
What is Travel Nursing?
You may have heard whispered tales of an awesome opportunity where you get paid to travel throughout the country, exploring amazing sights and attractions while working as an RN.
Well, guess what? The rumors are true.
Travel Nursing is a niche within the healthcare staffing industry through which RNs are placed in temporary positions at facilities nationwide.
Because of the nursing shortage, the demand for skilled nurses is high. Compensation and benefits are very competitive, but the biggest payoff of all is being able to literally choose your own adventure.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to explore the Pacific Northwest. How does 13 weeks in Seattle sound? Sounds something like this: World-class culture, dining, and shopping throughout the week, plus days off hiking Mount Rainier and taking excursions across the gorgeous Pac-NW region.
And if the Emerald City’s not for you, just get out your compass app and spin it towards wherever YOU want to go.
Skiing in Breckenridge. Beaching it in San Diego. Lobster rolls in Cape Cod. Endless shopping in Chicago. Luaus in Honolulu. BBQ in Kansas City. Bright lights in Las Vegas. Northern lights in Anchorage. Sightseeing in D.C. Southern charm in Atlanta. Broadway shows in NYC. Red Sox games in Boston. Live music in Austin.
So, in summary, what is Travel Nursing? Travel Nursing is awesome. Working as a Travel Nurse is an opportunity unique to your profession, and one you’ll definitely want to explore!
What are the benefits of Travel Nursing?
Where do we start? As a Travel Nurse you get to essentially travel the country while being paid to do your job. You can: Visit and explore areas you’re interested in. (You can even sort of “try on” hospitals/cities, for if you’re ever ready to go perm.)
- Get great pay and benefits
- Have adventures nationwide and experience tons of environmental variety
- Serve patients where your help is truly needed
- Build your skills and resume — Travel Nursing looks great to future employers
- Experience a variety of hospital protocols and patient segments, making you a stronger nurse
- Avoid hospital politics
What qualifications are needed for Travel Nursing?
You need to be a licensed RN, having passed the NCLEX exam, and also have 1-2 years recent hospital experience.
Why do I need the 1-2 years clinical experience to start Travel Nursing — and do I really need it?
It’s tough to hear when you’re anxious to begin traveling, but, yes — having the necessary experience under your belt is totally important.
As a Travel Nurse you will be expected to adapt to each new facility quickly and with little orientation. As you learn the ropes of new co-workers, surroundings, systems, and other foreign factors, it is absolutely crucial that your clinical skills are 100% on point. It’s worth it to your sanity and professional reputation (and license!) to wait until you’ve gotten a chance to master nursing prior to getting out there and mastering Travel Nursing. Trust us, this is definitely a “good things come to those who wait”-type situation.
What can I do to prepare while I gain the necessary qualifications and experience?
As a student or recent grad you may not want to hear this: Do your homework. Not that kind of homework! Learning everything you can about the Travel Nursing industry will help you prepare in the meantime. Read Travel Nursing blogs, check out industry resources, research in-demand specialties, and investigate companies. You should consider the marketability of various specialties before choosing yours, as some are in higher demand within the Travel Nursing industry. Also, getting any necessary licenses and certifications in place in a timely fashion will help you secure the jobs you want in the future. As you get closer, you can even find a recruiter and begin to build a relationship so that person knows exactly what you want when the time comes.
How long will I be at each assignment?
The standard Travel Nursing contract is 13 weeks, although they can definitely vary in length anywhere from 4-26 weeks. You may also be in a position to extend your assignment (usually for another 13 weeks), depending upon the facility’s needs.
Where will I live on assignment?
You have two options when it comes to housing
1. Take company housing, which means we work to find you paid, private housing and take care of setting everything up, from furniture to utilities.
2. Find your own housing and receive a housing stipend in lieu of housing costs.
Experts usually recommend taking company housing on your first assignment, just because you have so many other things to adapt to on your maiden voyage. But, after that, if you have a place to stay with friends or family, or you want to find your own short-term housing, that stipend is just more money in your pocket!
Can I bring my pets? What about my significant other or family?
Yes! And yes! Medical Solutions is proud to be a pet friendly company — we’ll even pay your pet deposits. Bringing your pets and/or family along is a fantastic way to share the experience, and we will do everything we can to help make that happen for you.
When I’m ready, how do I get started traveling with Medical Solutions?
Fill out a fast app on our website.
Visit our Career Consultant pages and contact a member of our team directly.
Give us a ring at 1.866.633.3548! Feel free to also get in touch if you have any questions not addressed here.
How to Become a Travel Nurse
To be a travel nurse you must first be a licensed RN (having passed the NCLEX exam) and have at least one to two years of hospital experience.
But, beyond that, what kind of development will help you prepare for a career in Travel Nursing?
It’s mentioned above, but let’s talk some more about the importance of experience in Travel Nursing. When you arrive at an assignment, you’ll be expected to jump right in with little to no orientation. Any orientation provided usually only covers a facility’s rules and layout — and you’ll have plenty to adapt to in a new location. It benefits you, the facility, and your patients for you to arrive with sharp, practiced clinical skills.
The industry standard used to be one year of recent hospital experience, but it now hovers more around two years. Don’t think of this as an obstacle, look at it as a necessity that will protect your sanity, license, and patient outcomes.
Attaining the proper certifications shows employers and patients that you are an expert in your specialty. Get the certifications you’ll need to demonstrate your clinical authority and increase your job prospects.
Volunteer work for local or global organizations in need looks great on your resume and it gives you a glimpse into yet another clinical setting, which only strengthens your nursing chops!
You can practice many non-clinical skills that will help you succeed as a Travel Nurse. Work to always have a good attitude and practice professionalism. This includes how you dress, communicate, behave, and much, much more. If there’s an area you are weak in or one that’s foreign to you, check out a book or take a class to improve it.
Each year, in celebration of Nurses Week, Medical Solutions sponsors the Nurses of Tomorrow Scholarship competition. In 2015, our RN to BSN Academy partner Nebraska Methodist College joined the effort to help us double the scholarship awards.
Based upon a brief essay and other criteria, three aspiring nurses each receive a $2000 scholarship to put towards tuition and/or other academic expenses. We know it can be hard out there for students, financially and otherwise, and we want to make your life easier!
One of the 2014 winners, Racheal D., from Cerritos College in Norwalk, California, answered the question “What will you do as a nurse to ensure you always provide exceptional care?” by writing:
“Exceptional care is being part of a human interaction. As a nurse and even now as a student nurse, my personal goal and purpose is to give efficient, competent care, in a holistic way. Not just caring for the disease process, or management of the problem, but being an ear to listen, a therapeutic touch on the hand to comfort, and clarify or reinforce when they felt overwhelmed with the news they received. Exceptional nurses take an extra five minutes to listen, even if that means they chart off the clock. For me, providing care as a nurse is a responsibility that requires knowledge, advocacy, and a heart for the hurting.”
(Learn more about the 2015 winners here.)
Medical Solutions hosts the Nurses of Tomorrow Scholarship competition in an effort to support and help develop the next generation of nurses, nurse leaders, and nurse educators. You’ve got a lot on your plate, and a little financial assistance can go a long way in your academic pursuits.
We hope that by investing in the training and education of nurse scholars like you, we’re helping to combat the ever-growing nurse shortage and contributing to improved patient care throughout the nation.
Could you use an extra $1000 to put towards your academic expenses? The contest kicks off every year in May — click here to learn more about the Nurses of Tomorrow Scholarship competition and be sure to return to enter!
At Medical Solutions, we’re constantly inspired by the selfless service our Travelers provide. Following their example, we think it’s very important to give back to our local and global community. To achieve that, we created a Community Partners team that empowers our employees to make a difference, whether through financial donations, resources, or time volunteered.
Our internal team members spend at least one full work day each year volunteering offsite for charitable organizations. We also regularly hold drives for back-to-school supplies for underprivileged students, personal care items for the homeless, holiday presents, meals, and diapers for families in need, drinking water, pet food and supplies, and whatever other need arises in the community.
Some of the charities we’ve worked with include:
- The Humane Society
- Habitat for Humanity
- The Sienna/Francis House Homeless Shelter
- The Hope Center for Kids
- Big Brothers and Big Sisters
- Open Door Mission
- Food Bank for the Heartland
- American Lung Association
- Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
- Ronald McDonald House
- Autism Center of Tupelo & SIDS Research
- Nurses House
- Roundup River Ranch
On a global level, Medical Solutions donated two clean water towers to villages in rural Cambodia through Planet Water — one on behalf of our Travel Nurses and one on behalf of our internal team.
Why Travel With Medical Solutions?
There are a lot of options out there for Travel Nurse staffing companies, and when you’re considering Travel Nursing or getting started in the industry it can be overwhelming. But just like discovering your best friend or favorite taco restaurant, we know the right fit is out there for you. You just have to consider what you want from a company and trust your gut.
So, why travel with Medical Solutions? Well, with us you can …
Medical Solutions ranked among Travel Nursing Central’s 2015 Top Travel Nursing Companies, based upon user ratings, and has held a prominent spot on the annual list for many years.
In Travel Nursing Central’s 2014 list of Top Travel Nursing Companies, Medical Solutions received a Gold Medal, based upon user ratings.
Plus, in 2014 we won the Better Business Bureau’s Integrity Award.
And that’s just what we’ve been up to recently!
Our awesome housing team will help you find a great place to hang your hat while on assignment. We’ll find you a private residence and take care of everything,including furniture and housewares, plus utility setup and deposits. We’ll even find a pet-friendly pad and pay your pet deposit if you’ll be traveling with a furry friend.
Or maybe you’ve already got a place to stay, perhaps with family or friends in the area? That’s fine too, and in that case, you’ll receive a housing stipend!
Medical Solutions Travelers get access to a huge slate of benefits, including:
- Medical insurance starting at just $15 per week
- Licensure and certification reimbursement
- Financial assistance through our RN to BSN program
- Access to our Go Rewards — with tons of exclusive discounts on goods and services
- Loyalty and Referral bonuses
We also recognize and reward two Travelers each month through our Traveler of the Month/Rising Star awards, and we created Travel Nurses Day, celebrated each October, as a way to honor you. Plus, we like to send special surprises to our Travelers … but we can’t say anything more about that because then it wouldn’t be a surprise, would it?
Travel Nurses do important, specialized work, and there is a lot to know in order to succeed to your fullest within the industry. You want to be savvy on agencies, recruiters, hospitals, patient care, housing, benefits, continuing education, licensure, traveling with pets, how to get to an assignment, saving on gas, getting around a new city, adapting to a new facility, and SO MUCH MORE.
But don’t panic! Through videos, blogs, articles, and tips from other Travelers, we have got you covered with our treasure trove of Travel Nurse resources. We’re invested in your success and we want to provide you with great tools along the way.
For example in 2013, we responded to Traveler feedback by drastically cutting medical insurance premiums. As a result, we currently offer a single, basic policy starting at just $15 per week! In 2015 Travelers asked us to provide a better timesheet experience. Once again, we were on it ASAP — providing solutions to make Travelers’ lives easier.
If you’ve got a suggestion in between surveys, feel free to visit our Idea Box. You could even end up winning a $100 Amazon gift card if your idea is so awesome that we put it to use.
Although they’re traditionally called “recruiters” ours are Career Consultants, because their main objective is to help Travel Nurses build awesome careers.
Nearly every Travel Nursing expert will advise that the most important thing you can do to succeed in the industry is to have a solid relationship with a great recruiter. We agree. That’s why we hire only the best, most professional, fun, hard-working folks.
But how do you find this person and forge a relationship with him or her? We offer Career Consultant pages so you can get a little taste of what makes our team members tick before you commit to someone — from their favorite hobbies and interests, to testimonials from other Travelers. Get to know them by watching a brief video, and when you find “the one” you can make contact straight from the page!
Hey, let’s be friends.
Whether it’s through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube or whatever’s about to emerge as the next big thing, we are extremely active through our many social media accounts. Besides sharing fun and informative content with our friends and followers, we regularly host contests through these platforms. Could be Nurses Week, Travel Nurses Day, or just, y’know, Tuesday.
We also love it when our Travelers send us feedback and social shout-outs. So give us a digital holla!
Just like you’ve got love for your school, when you work for us, you’ve got Medical Solutions pride. Our online store, Stitches, is chock full of company and nurse-themed gear, including ball caps and stocking caps, t-shirts, polos, hoodies, jackets, coffee cups, pet gear, water bottles, lunch bags, scrubs, and more. There’s plenty of well-crafted Medical Solutions gear, but there are also several hilarious nursing T-shirts that will make people stop, read, laugh, and compliment your style and great wit. Don’t Bogart the cool things — tell ‘em where you got it!
Medical Solutions is currently the fourth-largest Travel Nurse company in the nation, and, as recently reported by Staffing Industry Analysts, the 13th-largest amongst all healthcare staffing companies. We’ve also ranked on the prestigious Inc. 5000 list eight times in the past nine years, including one year on the Inc. 500.
Impressive stats, and we are definitely continuing to grow, but it’s also crucial to us that we maintain a focus on what’s important — our Travelers! While Medical Solutions’ growth makes it a great company to hitch your wagon to, we’re committed to never outgrowing our emphasis on Traveler needs and positive workplace culture.
Above all, have a great time along the way.
When accepting any job, things like pay and benefits are huge considerations, as they should be. And, at the end of the day, you also want to work for a company that cares about you, and one that you’re proud of. But even further beyond that, what honestly matters on a day to day basis is working with folks who make every day fun.
Work with Medical Solutions and we promise you’ll have a blast!