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One of the reasons nurses look into becoming a traveling nurse is the salary. Travel nurses salaries vary from region to region and even from one assignment to the next.
A brief run down on the approximate hourly pay by region:
Northeast - $35-$38
Southeast and South - $26-$30
West Coast - $30-$35
Midwest and Central - $28-$31
Hawaii - $24-$30
Alaska - $35-$45
These amounts are not guaranteed. They're included here to give you an idea of the hourly pay rates across the country.
If you're curious to know where most nurses are heading, here are the five most recruited destinations:
The five recruited nursing specialties:
Intensive Care Unit
Possible additional bonuses you may receive with travel nursing agencies:
You will need to have a degree from an accredited nursing program in the United States or Canada to become a travel nurse. Also you need to provide a valid professional practice license or certification and proof of your right to be employed in the United States. Some employers require at least one year of professional nursing experience before they can hire you, but don't get frustrated because the nursing jobs and nursing salaries will increase with every year you work in the field. Additionally, being a travel nurse will show that you have a broad base of experience and that you are flexible. This is an excellent way to show your ability to successfully adapt to new environments and situations.
While packing for your new travel nurse assignment, create a checklist of what you plan to bring. Pack as light as you can. You can always send for more of your things after you get settled in to your new place. Here are some extra items you might want to think about bringing with you: a can opener, corkscrew, light bulbs, laundry basket, hair dryer, blender, toaster, VCR, vacuum, PC, portable radio, extra eyeglasses, clock radio, camera, camcorder, umbrella.
Don't forget your prescription medicines or contact lenses and solutions. Make sure you have enough to get you through the new travel nurse job or are able to go somwhere to get prescription refills as necessary. Have your mail stopped or forwarded to where you'll be staying. Stop your newspaper delivery if needed too.
Ask your recruiter whether your house/apartment will be furnished or not, and what appliances will be there, like a microwave, a TV, a vacuum, a washer and dryer.
Bring some personal keepsakes to make your house more 'homey', like photos, scented candles, plants or your favorite books and writing journals.
Make arrangements to pick up your house keys when you arrive. Also arrange for your cable and other utilities to be turned on in time for your arrival. When you get there, check out your house/apartment and report any problems as soon as possible.
In the travel nursing agency world, the health benefit packages are getting better and better. Know that you should be given comprehensive health, and dental insurance along with prescription drug coverage. Your dependents may also be covered at an additional cost and you might be able to receive supplemental insurance that provides income if you're unable to work as a result of a non-work-related illness. Professional liability insurance might also be offered to you. Examine these various coverages when deciding potential travel nursing companies in your decision to find the best for you.
Each state has different rules and regulations regarding whether one needs a license to be a traveling nurse in their state. If it is a 'compact state,' then you don't need a new license. But if you choose to work in a state that requires a new license, make sure your travel nurse company or travel nurse agency lets you know and assists you with becoming licensed.
You may work whereever you like to as a travel nurse, from all over the United States and Canada and Mexico, to outside the country as an international travel nurse. Travel nurses are needed almost everywhere, from small nursing clinics in small towns to large, upscale medical facilities in large cities downtown. It is really up to you! Just be sure to do your research about the location where you will be before acception a traveling nurse position.
*Before leaving for your traveling nurse assignment, make a checklist of what you plan to bring, including items such as a can opener, corkscrew, light bulbs, laundry basket, hair dryer, blender, toaster, VCR, vacuum, PC, portable radio, extra eyeglasses, clock radio, camera, camcorder and umbrella. You never know exactly what you will have or not have accessible to you. But try to pack as light as you can. You can always send for more of your things after you get settled in at your new apartment/home.
*Ask your recruiter whether your apartment will be furnished or non-furnished. Will there be a vacuum, a washer and dryer, a microwave, a TV?
*Don't forget your prescription medicines or contact lenses and solutions. Make sure you have enough to get you through the work assignment or know where to get prescription refills as necessary.
*Have your mail stopped or forwarded to where you'll be staying, depending on how long you will be gone. Do not forget to pause your newspaper delivery if necessary.
*If you like, bring some decorative items to make your house more 'homey', like photos, scented candles, plants or your favorite novels.
*Make arrangements to pick up your new apartment/house keys when you arrive. Also, arrange for your cable and other utilities to be turned on in time for your arrival. When you get there, check out your apartment/house and report any problems as soon as possible.
*If you're driving, have your car's oil changed and check your tire pressure. Include jumper cables, a flashlight and first aid kit in the trunk on your car. Bring a cell phone in case of emergencies.