What Makes Your Wanderlust Take Flight? Unveiling the Secrets that Motivate Travel Nurses


Kim Lee | March 24th, 2024

Have you ever scrolled through social media and seen a nurse friend posing next to breathtaking sand dunes in Dubai or marveling at the Northern Lights in Iceland? And maybe, just maybe, a tiny spark of wanderlust ignited within you? You’re not alone. There’s a whole world of travel nursing out there, and it’s attracting nurses in droves. But what exactly motivates nurses to pack their scrubs and stethoscopes and head off to explore new places while providing care? Buckle up, because we’re about to unveil the secrets behind the exciting world of travel nursing. 

Why Wander? Unveiling the Motivations for Travel Nurses 

So, what makes travel nurses tick? Well, it’s a combination of factors, but here are a few of the biggies: 

  • Adventure Awaits: Let’s face it, nursing can get routine. Travel nursing injects a dose of excitement into your career. Imagine swapping your usual commute for exploring a new city every few months! Travel nurses get to experience diverse cultures, cuisines, and landscapes, all while enriching their lives with new experiences. 
  • See the World, One Assignment at a Time: For nurses with a case of the travel bug, travel nursing is a dream come true. It allows you to visit places you’ve always wanted to see, all while getting paid for your expertise. Ever dreamed of scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef? Travel nursing in Australia could make that happen! 
  • Boost Your Resume and Skillset: Travel nursing exposes you to a wide range of healthcare settings and patient populations. You’ll gain valuable experience in different specialties, hone your critical thinking skills, and become a more well-rounded nurse. This diverse experience looks fantastic on your resume and can open doors to new career opportunities down the road. 
  • Financial Freedom and Flexibility: Travel nursing can be quite lucrative. Many travel nurses enjoy higher pay compared to traditional staff positions, along with tax-free housing stipends and other benefits. This financial freedom allows you to save for future goals, pay off debt, or simply travel more! Plus, travel nursing offers schedule flexibility. You get to choose your assignments, contract lengths, and locations, giving you more control over your work-life balance. 
  • Escape the Ordinary: Maybe you’re feeling burnt out or unfulfilled in your current nursing role. Travel nursing can be a breath of fresh air. A new environment, new colleagues, and new challenges can reignite your passion for nursing and help you rediscover the joy of caring for patients. 

Beyond the Glamorous Photos: Things to Consider Before Taking Flight 

While travel nursing can be an amazing experience, it’s not all sunshine and beaches (although, there can be plenty of that too!). Here are a few things to keep in mind before taking the plunge: 

  • It’s Not a Vacation: Travel nursing is a demanding profession. You’ll likely be working long hours and may need to adapt to new protocols and procedures quickly. Be prepared to hit the ground running and prioritize patient care above sightseeing. 
  • Being Away from Home: This can be a tough one. Travel nursing often means being away from loved ones for extended periods. Consider how you’ll manage your personal life and stay connected with those who matter most. 
  • Finding Your Niche: Travel nursing offers a variety of specialties. Take some time to explore your interests and choose assignments that align with your skills and career goals. 
  • Licensing and Credentials: Make sure you have the necessary licenses and certifications for the state(s) where you want to work. Licensing processes can vary, so plan accordingly. 
  • Finding the Right Agency: A reputable travel nursing agency can make a big difference in your experience. Do your research, ask questions, and choose an agency that offers support, guidance, and competitive contracts. 

Soaring High: Essential Tips for New Travel Nurses 

Ready to embark on your travel nursing adventure? Here are some tips to help you take flight: 

  • Research, Research, Research: Learn about different travel nursing agencies, locations, and specialties. Talk to experienced travel nurses to get their insights and advice. 
  • Sharpen Your Skills: Always be honing your nursing skills and staying up-to-date on current best practices. This will make you a more competitive candidate for travel assignments. 
  • Pack Light, But Pack Smart: You’ll be living out of a suitcase for a while, so focus on versatile clothing and essentials. Don’t forget important documents, scrubs, and a good stethoscope! 
  • Embrace the Unknown: Be prepared to adapt to new environments and embrace the challenges that come with travel nursing. A positive attitude and willingness to learn will go a long way in making your travel nursing experience successful. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, step outside your comfort zone, and make the most of every opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. Remember, travel nursing is an adventure, and with the right preparation and mindset, you can soar to new heights in your career while exploring the wonders of the world. 

Ready to Take Off? Essential Resources for Travel Nurses 

Feeling inspired? Here are some helpful resources to get you started on your travel nursing journey: 

Happy travels, and happy nursing! 



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