I’m a travel nurse. You can make $6,000 a week and live in cool places — but some jobs are too good to be true.

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Ali Brown in nursing scrubs.
  • Ali Brown is a travel nurse presently primarily based in Billings, Montana. 
  • Brown turned a travel nurse in 2014, and loves the pay and travel. She’s lived in Colorado, South Carolina, Virginia, and elsewhere. 
  • “Every hospital is unique, so it’s been cool to have different levels of experience,” Brown instructed Insider.

This as-told-to essay relies on a dialog with Ali Brown, a travel nurse presently primarily based in Billings, Montana. It has been edited for size and readability. 

I began working as a touring nurse, or “traveler” as we are saying, in 2014. I’m from Baltimore, Maryland, and my first project was in close by Northern Virginia, which was nice as a result of it was a child step into the touring world. I used to be in a position to go house on weekends if I wished to, and that turned out to be actually useful as two of my grandparents handed away throughout my time there. 

I used to be a nurse for 5 years earlier than I turned a ‘traveler’

Travelers are not new nurses. Most companies require no less than a 12 months of expertise, if not two years. You want to be in a position to hit the bottom operating. In order to fill momentary wants, hospitals rent travel nurses like me as a result of I’m in a position to leap proper in after a couple of days of orientation as a substitute of needing 9 months of coaching.

Travel nurses save hospitals cash on such coaching. Especially in sure specialised areas, like operating-room nurses, hospitals need somebody with expertise in their discipline who will not want a lot of hand-holding. 

Travel nurses sometimes register with an company that gives us with job openings

Larger companies positively have extra contracts, but generally you can really feel misplaced in the combination. Smaller companies could have a extra private contact, but they do not have as many contract choices, so you could have to determine which issues extra to you.

Contracts are normally a minimal of 13 weeks with the choice to prolong. If you are a traveler, one of many nice benefits is realizing that you just solely have to put up with a job for 13 weeks.

Sometimes, there are uncommon conditions the place folks would possibly get to a job and name their coordinator and say, “Hey, I don’t feel safe. I’m not staying here.” But for probably the most half, you can simply suck it up for 13 weeks and transfer on. 

I ended up extending my first project for the utmost period of time, which is 364 days

For tax functions, that is how lengthy you can keep at one project for. You’re thought-about a resident of that state for those who keep longer than that. After my time was up, I used to be prepared to take the present on the street. I went to Kansas City, Kansas, the place I additionally maxed out my contract and stayed for one more 364 days. 

I’ve cherished all the areas I’ve labored at: Denver, Colorado; Richmond, Virginia; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. But I left a piece of my coronary heart in Kansas City. The metropolis actually charmed me, and I made lifelong pals throughout my time there. 

Every hospital is exclusive, so it has been cool to have these totally different ranges of expertise. Some have been educating hospitals the place we had fellows and residents and all these additional palms. At smaller hospitals, the nurses are answerable for extra. Even although coronary heart surgical procedure is similar in all places, you can nonetheless deliver your information and experiences to new places.

For a lot of vacationers, the true incentive is that you just receives a commission greater than a workers nurse

The listed hourly charge for a workers nurse normally averages round $30 to $40 an hour. Those hourly charges are decrease for those who’re a travel nurse, but you obtain a dwelling expense stipend and a housing stipend, which are thought-about reimbursements, not revenue.

Travelers have to be actually cautious to comply with the principles, although. You want to present that you just’re actually paying a mortgage that’s honest market worth, not simply taking the cash for different makes use of. If you get audited, you may find yourself having to pay taxes on that, which can be a lot of cash. 

Some specialties — particularly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — pay a lot extra. A good contract pre-pandemic was $2,000 per week, but throughout the pandemic there have been jobs posted for ICU and working nurses for $6,000 a week.

High hourly charges for a traveler job aren’t at all times a good signal

If a travel nurse contract has an exceptionally good hourly charge, there’s most likely a motive nobody desires to work there. Maybe it is in the center of nowhere, or it has a actually aggravating work tradition, but a tremendous excessive charge is unquestionably a crimson flag.

Luckily, there are social media networks for travel nurses the place you can ask forward earlier than you settle for a contract and see if others have inside data on the job. I’ve used these to test on housing costs in potential contract areas to assist me decide if I can afford to work there. 

The job attracts everybody as a result of the cash is so good

There are positively individuals who are good at being a travel nurse and those that do it as a result of they can transfer a lot, since they do not work nicely with others.

I like touring. It’s an superior approach to see the nation and expertise all kinds of various places. I make time to discover the totally different cities I live in and places close by. Right now I’m in Montana, and I’m inside driving distance of Yellowstone National Park, so I made certain to go to. 

The magic of a traveler is that they can come in and maintain quiet, see how the hospital works, and then find out how to work efficiently with the workers there. You bide your time, and possibly provide your individual enter after you have been there for a bit.

Being a good traveler means being versatile. My expertise as a travel nurse has taught me so many various layers of perspective that I can use in my profession shifting ahead. 

Are you a travel nurse with a story in regards to the job? Email Manseen Logan at [email protected].

Read the unique article on Business Insider

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