Travel Nursing

Finding the Right Travel Nurse Company

Posted in Travel Nursing, Uncategorized

Finding the Right Travel Nurse Company

There are many travel nursing agencies to choose from and not all are the same. You will have to do some homework to find the right travel nurse agency for you. Guaranteed there will be travel agencies advertising on nurse Websites all over the Internet. Click on the ads and start researching.

The first thing to be aware of is that some agencies entice nurses with ads promoting huge salaries for travel nurses. Take this with a grain of salt as most of the time these figures represent much more than just your take home pay. They include such items as benefit packages, sign-on or completion bonuses, and moving and housing allowances in addition to the actual gross pay.

The nursing shortage has created and helped to sustain the travel nursing field for over twenty years. Hospitals are willing to pay huge sums of money to fill voids and vacancies. Travel nursing agencies make money off of having nurses to fulfill these contracts. So another important factor to consider in finding the right travel nurse company is where are their priorities and loyalties.

Without nurses, these agencies have nothing to offer. Nurses need to remember this and demand an agency treat them well. The agency needs to negotiate in their favor and go to bat for them should the need arise.

In finding the right travel nurse company, you need to do your homework, and you need to learn about other’s experiences and then to interview prospective companies to determine a good fit for your specific needs. Seek out information on travel nurse blogs, websites and forums. Network with travel nurses and find out what they know about travel nurse companies.

For the new travel nurse, some agencies are just better prepared to help than others. Some depend largely on experienced travel nurses to fill their contracts and others are more willing to work with novices and mold them to fit their needs.

You will need to consider YOUR needs first.

  • Where are you thinking about working? What state and what type of facility?
  • What kind of experience do you have? (ER, ICU, psych, peds, OR, etc.?)
  • Are you traveling alone or with a spouse, children, friends, pets?
  • How much help or support do you need?
  • Are you able to figure things out on your own with minimal guidance?
  • What are Your needs in regards to finances, benefits, housing, career goals?

Some of the specific questions to ask of an agency include:

  • How long they have been in business?
  • Are managers and recruiters nurses or health care professionals?
  • Where do they place travel nurses? (What states or countries?)
  • What kinds hospitals do they work with? Teaching hospitals, community, rural, and what trauma level?
  • How long are their typical assignments?
  • Do they pay travel expenses?
  • Do they offer hourly or salary assignments? Are they flexible with this?
  • What kind of benefits do they offer, the cost and how soon do they start?
  • What is their typical housing arrangement? (Apartments, extended stay hotels?)
  • Is someone available 24/7 to assist with problems?
  • Can you expect personal service and assistance?
  • Do they have any nurses willing to speak about their experiences with the agency?
  • Why are they the best choice in a travel nursing company?

Remember that you are in charge of your career and always have the freedom to change agencies. Do your homework and find a travel nurse company that best fits your needs. After some careful consideration of the assignment, you should be ready to try travel nursing.

By Kathy Quan RN BSN the author of The Everything New Nurse Book, and author/owner of

Is Travel Nursing for Me?

Posted in Travel Nursing

Is Travel Nursing Right For Me?

To become a travel nurse you will need a minimum of one year clinical experience in a hospital. You should have mastered basic skills and be confident in your abilities. You need to be able to learn quickly and to work independently. You also need to be able to “play well with others,” even when they don’t want to play with you.

The more experience you have, the better prepared you will be for travel nursing. Your skills and experience will open more opportunities. Travel nurses are contracted to fill vacancies and to help lessen the shortage of nurses throughout the country. Even though they are filling a need and helping to lighten the load for the regular staff, they may not always meet with a warm welcome.

Hospitals pay premium salaries to travel nurses and fees to travel nurse agencies to find adequate staff to meet their staffing ratios and keep beds and units open. It is no secret to the regular nursing staff that these nurses make more money and perhaps have more perks than they do while they work side by side in the same units.

The travel nurse therefore has to live up to expectations of being perfect and being worthy of the higher pay, and perhaps better benefits and perks. Personal and professional jealousies are not uncommon. The travel nurses make the big bucks, get to travel and see the country, and don’t have to shoulder the responsibilities or deal with the politics.

Just the same as any new or float nurse would probably be given the worst or most challenging assignments, you can be assured travel nurses are usually “abused” in the same way. Expect to be dumped on. Be prepared to live up to this challenge.

In exchange, you will have the opportunity to see the country and quite possibly many places in the world. You will have the opportunity to live with the locals and learn the culture. You will have the opportunity to see the sights and enjoy the events and venues.

Southern California and Florida are big draws with all the amusement parks (Disneyland/Disney World, Universal Studios and water parks galore) as well as warm weather and sunshine, beaches, sports teams and fabulous cuisine. Colorado and Utah offer beautiful country and the best ski opportunities that last all winter long and then some.

Travel nursing also provides professional opportunities you may not have in your hometown. Perhaps you have always wanted to work in a large teaching hospital, or would love the experience of a state of the art trauma unit. Maybe you’d love the adrenaline rush of a large county hospital emergency room. On the other hand, maybe you’d love to get away from the big city and work in a quiet rural area for a change.

All nursing is a lifelong learning experience. Travel nursing can offer you many opportunities to expand your horizons and to learn new things. Every four to thirteen weeks you could have a new assignment in a new city.

Travel nursing is not for everyone. You have to have an adventurous spirit. Someone who needs to put down roots, and to have routines probably won’t even consider travel nursing, much less ever like it. You will need to have a thick skin to deal with the staff who resent you. Leadership qualities and a great sense of humor can’t hurt either.

By Kathy Quan RN BSN

Kathy is the author of The Everything New Nurse Book, and author/owner of

Top Reasons to Become a Travel Nurse

Posted in Travel Nursing, Uncategorized

Whether you have or haven’t thought about becoming a travel nurse, here are some of the top reasons you might want to consider it again:


Fulfill your desire to travel and still have a great job! If you are a restless soul and two weeks of vacation is never enough for you to satisfy your urges to travel and see the country, then travel nursing may be an option for you to explore. With typical assignments lasting thirteen weeks you could experience four different cities in one year.


Explore new nursing opportunities not available in your community. If you have always wanted to work in a large teaching hospital but none are available in your hometown, you may want to explore travel nursing possibilities. Or perhaps you want the challenge of a large burn unit, or work in a cancer research hospital. Travel assignments may be your answer.


Expand your resume with new experiences, skills, competencies, and professional knowledge. If your current employer offers you little challenges and few opportunities to learn new things, or to showcase other skills and talents you may have, a travel assignment may open new doors. Learning new treatments, procedures and techniques may be limited in your current job, but traveling to a new region and a new venue may afford you this chance.


Spend the winter in a warm climate such as Florida or California and escape the summer heat in Alaska. Explore big cites or small rural communities. Perhaps you are very tired of shoveling snow and skidding around on icy roads. Spend the winter in a warm climate and return home when the sun comes out again. Or maybe you live where it’s too warm for you and spending a summer in the cool climate of Alaska while enjoying the tremendous landscapes would give you the break you want.


Ski all winter in Colorado or Vermont and surf all summer in Hawaii. Maybe you just can’t get enough skiing in the winter or surfing in the summer. Make a move to live with close to the slopes or waves. Spend your days off enjoying your favorite pastime.


Earn top pay, great benefits and perks such as free housing. Explore what all is included in the package deals agencies entice you with, but it is true that travel nurses can make big salaries.


Meet new people and make new friends. Moving forces you to meet new people and make new friends. Learn about new cultures, dialects and lifestyles in various regions throughout your own country. From the big cities to the back woods, hospitals have a shortage of nurses and travel nurses help to meet their needs.

Travel with your children and let American history become real to them. Spend a semester in historic Boston, Philadelphia, or Washington DC and let your children see and explore where historic events took place in America.


Make life one continuous vacation by traveling and working in major tourist cities. It may be way too much to take in Disneyland, Universal Studios, and get a chance to see a TV show being taped in a week’s vacation. But spend a thirteen week assignment in Southern California and you can do this and much much more. Maybe spot a few celebrities along the way.


Spend extended time with friends and relatives outside of your hometown. If you have always wanted to spend more time with family or friends in another state, travel nursing may give to the opportunity to do so.


Travel across your own metropolis and earn a stipend to stay in your own home. Or if you are moving for a spouse’s job, explore hospitals where you’re going to relocate before pursuing a permanent position.

Travel nursing can provide you with many possibilities and this list may give you many new reasons to consider it.

By Kathy Quan RN BSN

Kathy is the author of The Everything New Nurse Book, and author/owner of

Travel Nurse Information Request

Posted in Travel Nursing, Uncategorized

Nurses, fill this quick form out ONLY if you are a REGISTERED NURSE looking for information about Travel Nursing or becoming a travel nurse. We are not currently accepting travel nursing information requests from licensed practical nurses. If you are an LPN interested in a nursing job please visit our nursing jobs section via the jobs tab in the above menu.   (Again, this form is for REGISTERED NURSES only.  Do not use if you are not an RN looking to Travel)

* Please note: This Travel Nursing Information request will be sent to our Travel Nurse Employment Sponsors and they will contact you with information regarding getting started with their Travel Nursing Company as soon as possible.

At Ultimate Nurse we pride ourselves in promoting only the best Travel Nursing Companies. We have fully researched these Travel Nurse Staffing companies and are 100% confident that they treat their Travel Nurses like Nurses deserve to be treated.

– The Ultimate Nurse Staff

What is a Travel Nurse?

Posted in Travel Nursing

What is a Travel Nurse?

Nurses have a tremendous understanding of the cliche “Necessity is the mother of invention.” The nursing shortage has presented a problem that isn’t going to be resolved quickly. The health care industry has expanded to provide young people with many more career options, and too few have chosen nursing for far too long.

Importing a few hundred or thousand nurses from the places like the Philippines or Nigeria is not going to solve staffing crises the way it once did. The need is too severe, and these countries are feeling their own shortage of nurses.

Like consumers, nurses have learned that one way to leverage better salaries, and working conditions is to create competition. And so out of necessity, entrepreneurs began to look for ways to ease the crisis and of course make money at the same time.

For years, hospitals, clinics and other facilities have used nursing registries when they needed substitute staff or to fill longer term needs when they had seasonally high patient loads. That thought process and model eventually gave birth to the idea of travel nursing.

Travel nurses help to alleviate the shortage of nurses primarily in hospitals throughout the U.S. A few travel nursing agencies are beginning to offer international travel opportunities. Travel nurses accept assignments that range typically from four to twenty-six weeks. These assignments can be as close as fifty miles from your home to clear across the country.

Travel assignments are usually for a specific unit or units, but the travel nurse should expect to float where needed as long as s/he has been oriented to that unit. The specifics are detailed in the contract negotiated between the travel agency and the hospital. The travel nurse should have a good understanding of any assignment before accepting it.

One objective is to try to match the skills and experience of the nurse to the hospital. Another is to provide nurses the opportunity to expand their experience base while providing excellent quality care.

Some think the typical travel nurse is young, single, unattached and without children. This is not always the case. Travel nurses come in all sizes and shapes. Many have children, spouses, and even pets. It’s all about adapting. Travel nurses are not always RNs. Travel nurse opportunities are open to LP/VNs as well.

A travel nurse should have a solid base of experience and skills. Hospitals pay premium rates for travel nurses, and the regular staff is well aware of this fact. They may even have very high, and sometimes unrealistic, expectations that the travel nurses should be perfect.
The travel nurse should be professional, self-confident and a quick learner. The purpose is to meet a need, not to create a burden for the regular staff. A thick skin would be recommended, as anyone who is too meek or highly sensitive may not survive the travel nursing experience.

A good travel nurse should be able to ask appropriate questions and seek advice or assistance if they are unsure of something. (Do no harm!) Knowing how and when to use and follow a Policy and Procedures manual is essential. Not every facility does things the same way.Travel nursing provides nurses terrific opportunities to see the country and enjoy new experiences.

By Kathy Quan RN BSN PHN

Kathy is the author of The Everything New Nurse Book, and author/owner of

How to Become a Travel Nurse

Posted in Travel Nursing

How to Become a Travel Nurse

To become a travel nurse you must have an active license as an RN or LP/VN (practical or vocational nurse) in good standing. You must also have at least one year of recent hospital nursing experience.

The next step is to do your homework. Research and decide where you think you would like to spend a travel assignment and for how long. California, Arizona and Florida usually have the most opportunities, but travel nurses are used in all 50 states. Most travel assignments last from four to twenty-six weeks. The average is thirteen. You can also opt to renew and stay on at a facility if they choose to offer a renewal of the contract.

Next you need to research travel nursing agencies who will help you to become a travel nurse. They will recruit for the assignment, arrange contracts and assist in finding housing, etc. There are many to choose from in all different sizes and varieties. Some offer a benefits package, completion or referral bonuses, and an array of other perks. Some are very hands-on and others expect to give you information and expect you to do the leg work.

For example, to be a travel nurse, you will need a nursing license in each of the state(s) where you wish to work. Some agencies will assist you with the process, and others will simply give you the information and expect you to accomplish this yourself. Some states need fingerprints and some do not. Some take a couple of weeks to process and others only a couple of days.

Some states have a “compact” license. There is a national coalition of states that allow you to work in their state with a license from any of the other states which subscribe to the “compact” agreement. Only about one-third of the states currently subscribe to this policy though. In these states however, all you have to do is present the hospital with your current license from any compact state.

By doing your homework, you’ll find many sources to help you become a travel nurse. Many online nursing forums have active discussions about the pros and cons of travel nursing and various travel nursing agencies. You can read and discuss the options with peers to help make your decisions. You can sign up with more than one travel nursing agency, and of course, change at will. This is your career and you are in charge.

Contact the agency and schedule an interview or sign up online. They will have you complete some forms and conduct a background check. Usually they will arrange an interview and conduct a skills assessment to make appropriate decisions about placing you.

You’ll be assigned a recruiter to discuss your specific needs, goals and the travel nursing opportunities available. When a match is available, the recruiter will contact you. Be sure to explore all aspects of the assignment before making a commitment. Most importantly, be sure you are serious and prepared to fulfill the obligation.

By Kathy Quan RN BSN PHN
Kathy is the author of The Everything New Nurse Book, and author/owner of