Travel nursing is a diverse and rewarding career path that offers nurses a chance to explore new cities, meet new people, and enhance their professional skills. If you’re a registered nurse or nurse practitioner considering a change or still pursuing your nursing degree, a travel nursing job in NYC might be the perfect opportunity for you. In addition to the larger compensation packages offered to healthcare travelers compared to permanent positions, travel nurses also have the chance to work with engaged professionals across the country while strengthening their resumes.
The World of Travel Nurses
Within the realm of travel nursing, there are various types of nurses specializing in different fields. These specialized travel nurses are highly sought after and well-compensated. Whether you’re a charge nurse, an oncology nurse, or a nurse midwife, the world of travel nursing offers countless opportunities to expand your nursing career. Understanding the different types of nurses available can help current nurses and nursing students determine if a travel nursing career is right for them.
The Role of a Travel Nurse
So, what exactly does a travel nurse do? Travel nurses play a vital role in our national healthcare system by providing skilled staffing on-demand for hospitals across the country. They step in to fill coverage gaps and ensure that patient care isn’t compromised. Travel nurses fulfill the same duties as permanent nurses and are critical members of the healthcare team. Their expertise and experience allow them to seamlessly integrate into new healthcare organizations and contribute to the care of patients.
The Different Types of Travel Nurses
If you’re wondering if an RN can be a travel nurse, the answer is a resounding yes! Registered nurses are in high demand nationwide, and specializing in a particular area of care can improve your compensation and chances of securing desirable travel assignments. Let’s delve into some of the top types of travel nurses:
1. RN – Emergency Room
Emergency Room nurses thrive in fast-paced environments and are always in high demand for travel positions. They possess a calm demeanor, quick thinking skills, and the ability to provide excellent care in challenging situations. If you enjoy a dynamic and high-pressure setting, becoming an emergency nurse might be the perfect fit for you.
2. RN – ICU
Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurses are highly sought after, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. These nurses provide specialized care to critically ill patients. Working as an ICU nurse demands skill and resilience, but it can be a highly rewarding career path.
3. RN – Medical-Surgical
Medical-surgical nurses are often new graduates who have chosen this common career path. They care for patients recovering from surgeries or dealing with acute medical conditions. Medical-surgical nurses usually hold a Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) certification and have a couple of years of experience.
4. RN – PCU
Progressive Care Unit (PCU) nurses provide care for patients who no longer need intensive care but still require a high level of nursing attention. Their role is similar to that of ICU nurses, as they perform critical tasks and monitor patients’ conditions closely.
5. RN – Telemetry
Telemetry nurses specialize in monitoring patients through electronic supervision. They use advanced equipment, such as electrocardiograms, to monitor vital signs, especially in patients recovering from cardiovascular issues. Although monitoring is a significant part of their role, telemetry nurses must also be prepared to provide critical care when necessary.
6. RN – NICU
Registered nurses specializing in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) care for newborns requiring specialized nursing care. Their responsibilities include feeding, administering medication, and ensuring the well-being of premature and sick newborns. Working in the NICU can be challenging, but the rewards are immeasurable.
7. RN – Labor and Delivery
Labor and delivery nurses provide care to mothers and infants during childbirth. This role requires experience and specialized certifications, such as Inpatient Obstetric Nursing (RNC-OB), Basic Life Support (BLS), and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). If you have a passion for welcoming new life into the world, this field might be perfect for you.
8. RN – Operating Room
Operating Room (OR) nurses are an integral part of surgical care teams. They fulfill various roles, including preparing patients for surgery, assisting surgeons during procedures, and providing post-operative care. Perioperative nurses often hold the Certified Perioperative Nurse (CNOR) certification.
9. RN – PACU
Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) nurses care for patients as they recover from the effects of anesthesia following surgery. PACU nurses provide essential post-operative care and may hold certifications such as Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN).
10. RN – Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Psychiatric-mental health nurses specialize in providing direct care for patients with mental illnesses, substance abuse issues, and anxiety disorders. They work in a variety of healthcare settings and often hold national certifications. Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) work with individuals of all ages.
The Lucrative World of Travel Nursing
Determining which travel nursing specialty offers the highest pay can be challenging. Compensation varies depending on location and assignment specifics. Generally, nursing specialties requiring a higher degree of specialization command higher wages due to the demand for their expertise. Circumstances, such as the need for surge staffing during the COVID-19 pandemic, can also impact compensation.
High Demand for Travel Nurses
According to a study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, states such as New Jersey, Texas, South Carolina, Alaska, and California have a significant demand for RNs and travel LVN jobs. The demand for registered nurses is projected to outweigh supply in many states, ensuring strong demand for travel nurses in the future.
Becoming a Travel Nurse
If you’re already a registered nurse, you’re on the path to becoming a travel nurse. After completing your education and passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), you’ll need to obtain any necessary licenses for the states where you want to work. Gaining at least two years of experience will make you eligible for competitive travel assignments. Working with a reputable travel nurse staffing agency like Host Healthcare can help you find exciting opportunities that align with your career goals.
Travel nursing offers a world of possibilities for nurses seeking new challenges and diverse experiences. As a travel nurse, you can embark on rewarding adventures, contribute to patient care across the country, and enjoy the benefits of a competitive compensation package. Whether you specialize in the NICU, ICU, PACU, or ER, the demand for travel nurses is ever-present. If you’re ready to kick-start your journey as a travel nurse, contact Host Healthcare and explore the world of travel nursing today.
- Chaunie Brusie, “Why Travel Nurses Typically Make More Money Than Staff Nurses.”
- Nicole Hong, “Volunteers Rushed to Help New York Hospitals. They Found a Bottleneck.”
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Supply and Demand Projections of the Nursing Workforce: 2014-2030.”