Licensed practical nursing is an awesome and in-demand field, and becoming a travel LPN is actually easier than you think.
Unlike registered nurses, becoming an LPN only takes between 12-18 months of schooling before you’re qualified to work — and the pay is still excellent.
If you’re currently an LPN, on your way to becoming one, or if you’re just trying to learn more about what being an LPN is all about, here are a few reasons why you should consider travel work as a licensed practical nurse.
Wages Are Significantly Higher for Travel LPNs
Although the data on yearly salaries is all over the place — some travel LPNs only take a few contracts each year while others have few or no breaks between assignments — it’s estimated that the average salary for travel LPNs is around $74,000 per year.
Just for comparison, the average salary for staff LPNs is around $51,000 per year. That’s still pretty good, but the wages for travel work are significantly higher.
Some people think that working as a travel LPN means that the higher wages are offset by longer periods between jobs, but the reality is that demand has been so high for qualified LPNs that time off between contracts is almost always a choice.
You Get to Choose the Assignments You Want (And Turn Down the Ones You Don’t)
When you become an LPN, you can focus on taking jobs that are more in line with the specialty you are interested in. If you don’t have one area of interest, being a travel LPN means you can jump around from specialty to specialty until you find the one that suits you perfectly.
Specializing in your field is the key to earning the most possible money. Becoming a travel LPN is a safe way to test the waters and make sure you won’t choose a specialty that may be lucrative but far less enjoyable for you.
You’ll be able to find the perfect balance between compensation and difficulty as you’re jumping from contract to contract.
You Get to See the Country
Travel LPN jobs are in high demand, so there’s a good chance you will be able to pick and choose what parts of the country you travel to.
Some people choose to go wherever the money takes them, and that’s fine, but if you’re interested in exploring every nook and cranny of the U.S., then you can pick places that you’d like to visit — no matter where you go, the wages will still make it worth your time.
Even though parts of the country are seeing declines in pay for medical travel jobs, other states have seen a year-over-year increase from 2021, which was a peak for travel pay.
And keep in mind, the declines in pay are only relative to hyper-inflated peaks during the pandemic. The wages themselves are still high, and there’s good reason to believe they’ll remain that way.
You Get to (Mostly) Choose Your Schedule
As a travel LPN, you won’t have to worry about missing family events since you have a voice in deciding when and how long your contracts are.
Even within the contract, there’s a good chance you can choose what days of the week you work, but this isn’t a guarantee.
And yes, the higher wages from being a travel LPN open up the opportunity to take some serious time off between jobs, so you can focus on whatever it is that’s important to you.
Whether that be training for higher-paying work, visiting friends and family, or just living your life to the fullest, contract work as a medical traveler will allow you to do it all.
You Will be Supercharging Your Nursing Experience
One of the biggest cons about travel nursing can actually become your biggest strength. As a travel nurse, you will float from facility to facility around the country, working with different administrators, physicians, and RNs.
Each facility will be different in terms of equipment, rules, technology, software, culture, and a million other things. Some will be so different from others that it will feel like you’ve almost changed careers. This may be a headache at first, but the value this adds to your career will be felt down the road.
After a few years of jumping around and seeing how different hospitals operate, you will find that you can fit in anywhere and get up to speed much quicker than other LPNs, a skill that will be reflected in your wages
Outside of gaining many different types of experiences, you will also be gaining experience with different types of patients with different issues, giving you deeper experience with many different types of diseases, disorders, medications, and treatments than you would otherwise.
This won’t just make you better at your job — it will make you more valuable to an employer.
With all these benefits, it’s hard to say no to a job as a travel LPN, especially if you’re in a position where you can just pick up and move. Not everyone can do it, but if you can, it’ll be the experience of a lifetime.
Looking for an Assignment? Let’s Talk
If you’re looking for your first medical travel assignment — or if you’re looking for your next assignment — we’re here to help.