Travel Nursing Jobs

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Normally, when looking for jobs, applicants look mainly on the salary aspect, however, this should not be the case when it comes to travel nursing jobs.  The primary reason is that it is one of the best careers in the healthcare industry and has some of the most interesting benefits.  At times, the benefits and compensation can be even better compared to full-time nurses in permanent positions.  Because of this, applicants need to be aware of these interesting benefits to maximize their potentials.

Basically, a travel nurse normally works with any travel nursing company or agency for short-term assignments through the country.  The goal is to resolve staff shortages that may be experienced in various states.  Before choosing the company or agency to work for, it is vital to be aware that the compensation and benefit packages can vary substantially including the work environment. 

It is equally important to look at the track record of the company or agency in placing travel nurses in good assignments.  Some of the interesting benefits of travel nursing jobs you should be aware of are:

  • Lucrative Pay

Compared to other nursing assignments, travel nurses normally have more take home pay.  The lucrative pay rates include daily allowances for both meals and incidentals that the travel nurses may incur.  Normally the practice is that there would be a guaranteed number of hours for every assignment location, which may include overtime pay. Payment of salaries is usually handled by the payroll department of the travel nursing company or agency.

  • Bonuses

There are actually two types of bonuses that are associated with travel nursing jobs.  The first is the sign-on and completion bonus.  This is something that only some companies or agencies offer in conjunction with their travel partners.  The sign-on and completion bonus is intended to put a little extra money in the pocket of travel nurses. 

Because the implementation can be significantly different among companies or agencies, it is good to ask about its details before deciding to take employment offers. The other type of bonus associated with travel nurses is the referral bonus.  This is given when friends or colleagues are referred to travel nurses, which contributes to the strengthening of the industry.  Referring friends or colleagues to travel partners means receiving incentives that are based on certain guidelines. 

Normally, there is a condition for the completion of a minimum of 13-week assignment before this bonus is given out.  Various conditions may apply depending on the company or agency.

  • Guaranteed Pay

This benefit means that even when low census situations occur and the travel nurses are called off, they will still get a specific amount for their assignment.  There is of course significant difference on how this benefit is implemented in the industry by the various companies or agencies.  However, it is important to be aware of this so you can ask for a clarification before taking on travel nursing jobs.

  • Retirement Plans

Many benefit from 401(k) retirement plans that have been setup in cooperation with the travel partners.  These plans normally allow contributions to start on the very first day of assignment with a maximum amount that can remain tax free.  The company or agency will independently determine the maximum amount that will be applied.  At times, the maximum amount of the contribution can be affected by the age, which means it can go higher as you grow older.

  • Discount programs from affiliates

Since travel nursing jobs take people to various places of assignment, the potential need for certain things and amenities may arise.  Some companies or agencies have an existing discount programs with affiliates that will allow travel nurses to get special rates for certain products or services like mobile phones, roadside assistance, club memberships, or luggage among others.

  • Flexible travel assignments

It would be to the benefit of the travel nurse to have a reasonably flexible travel assignment.  This means that if you are the type who is interested in experiencing metropolitan lifestyle, then you can be assigned in localities like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago.  You may also be sent out in areas where you can experience more of nature like Denver, Phoenix, or Seattle.  Essentially, you can travel to any of the 50 states based on your preference.

This also means having the flexibility of maintaining homebound commitments.  It is vital to realize that there are a number of companies or agencies that maintain local travel programs that will allow travel nurses to remain local, but receive the compensation and benefits of those who usually pack their bags and move out to different assignment destinations.

  • Insurance Packages

One of the most important benefits that every travel nurse must be aware of is the medical and dental insurance package.  Having this as part of your compensation plan will ensure access to immediate healthcare coverage regardless of your assignment locality.  Normally there are different plan options available that will allow sticking to current physicians as well as receiving expanded dental coverage.

Aside from the medical and dental insurance package, every travel nurse can also receive a basic life insurance and accidental death benefit.  This benefit comes with dismemberment insurance coverage at no additional cost.  When on the road or frequently travelling, this gives travel nurses the peace of mind that their families will be compensated fully in case something happens to them while on assignment.

  • Quality Housing

Perhaps one of the more interesting and better benefits that can be received by travel nurses, the availability of free quality housing can lead not only to immense savings, but also comfort while on assignment.  These quality housing units are normally, private, conveniently located, comfortable, and fully furnished. 

The premium appliances and equipment are provided with no extra cost to the travel nurse, but be aware that implementation may vary depending on the company or agency. This benefit however, does not discount the fact that some travel nurses may opt to provide their own accommodations. 

In these instances, the benefits will be shifted to allow for generous housing allowances to compensate for the expenses that will be incurred during the assignment period.

  • Travel Reimbursements

This benefit allows travel nurses to go to their assignment destinations without having to worry about the expenses that they will have to shoulder.  This is because the company or agency provides them with travel reimbursement for particular expenses during their assignments.  The interesting fact about this benefit is that it is given out tax-free, which means that the travel nurse will get the reimbursement amount in full.

  • Continuing Education

One of the things to look for when looking for a company or agency is one that invests in its employees.  For travel nurses, this means getting benefits of continuing education that will allow them to remain on top of their field by exposure to current innovations and practices. This gives them the chance to keep abreast of all the developments in the healthcare industry.

These are just some of the interesting benefits that every travel nurse should be aware of.  This will help them to decide what travel nursing jobs to seriously consider.

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