Travel Nursing: Why You Should Consider Taking Your Nursing Career on the Road

by Greg DePersio

2 min read

With travel nursing, you can earn a great income, enjoy job security, and get paid to see the world. If you have nothing tying you down to a specific location, a career as a travel nurse offers a fantastic alternative to a permanent staff nurse position. Unlike some travel jobs that involve significant downtime between paying gigs, travel nursing positions offer guaranteed hours and even overtime. You don’t have to worry about going without a paycheque between one job ending and a new one starting. Travel nurses in Canada are not independent contractors but employees of the agencies that hire them.

High Pay

Travel nurses in Canada make significantly more money than staff nurses. As of March 2017, Payscale.com reports that the average pay for a registered nurse in Canada is $32.86 per hour. A typical rate for a travel nurse is $45 per hour and can go as high as $55 with experience and in certain areas. On top of the attractive hourly pay, many agencies offer per-diem pay for housing and meals. If your job sends you to a northern or isolated area, you can earn an additional tax-free allowance to offset the cost of living in these places. Like a staff nurse, you’ll work a full-time schedule that typically consists of either three 12-hour shifts or five eight-hour shifts per week, and you’ll earn overtime pay for anything above that.

High Demand

The reason why travel nurses make so much more than staff nurses is simple supply and demand. The need for travel nurses is surging, and the number of nurses willing to take these positions is insufficient to meet the demand. Agencies offer higher pay to entice nurses to give these jobs a second look. Another benefit of supply and demand being out of balance is you know you’ll have job security. Workers in other fields live with the constant worry of layoffs, but travel nurses know that even if a specific job doesn’t work out, they’ll have multiple agencies vying for their services.

Flexibility

Aside from being a pilot, a flight attendant, or in the military, how many jobs pay you to travel and see new places? If you’re a new graduate who’s just starting a professional career, a travel job gives you great way to try out different parts of the country and possibly figure out where you’d like to settle down one day. Maybe you’ve lived your entire life in the same area and never considered if you’d be happier somewhere else. A travel assignment lets you expand your horizons and find your spot. Best of all, if you find yourself unhappy somewhere, you have the flexibility to contact the agency and have them send you somewhere else. Travel nursing jobs are in high demand and offer fantastic pay, strong job security, and flexibility. If you’re not tied down to one location, consider the benefits of taking a position like this.

References & Resources

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