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Everyone wants to make travel nurse money but is travel nursing right for you?

We go to nursing school and have a dream of one day travel nursing. The high pay, the flexible work schedule, traveling around the world, it can be incredibly appealing. Once we pass our nclex it finally seems like that goal is in reach, but is travel nursing really for everyone?

Main points:

1. The pros and cons of staff nursing

2. The pros and cons of travel nursing

3. How to decide on a goal if you start travel nursing

There are pros and cons to both types of nursing and its dependent upon which state you live in. Most travel nurses have about 1-2 years’ experience before they start traveling, but check with the hospital and the company you’ll work with.

So, what are the pros and cons of staff nursing?


Stable benefits

Stable pay

Familiar environment

Must be staff if changing specialties

Better hours (if you chose specialties like outpatient or procedural nursing)


Lower pay

Less flexibility (may get PTO denied) Understaffed and may have to do mandatory OT

What are the pros and cons of travel nursing?


Higher paying jobs

Less mandatory activities on top of 3x12s

Unlimited time off (can work time off into your contract) Traveling to new cities


Unstable pay (contracts may be canceled) Some companies don’t offer health insurance Moving every 3 months

Learning new hospitals/ environments

Getting 2 orientation shifts, then on the floor by yourself

When deciding to take a staff job or travel contract, set a goal.

Many nurses travel with the goal of making more money in order to save or to travel more often. Whatever you decide your goal is, make sure you know your goal you chose a travel contract. Just a friendly tip, sometimes the highest paying jobs, may not be the best!

Ultimately, they both have pros and cons, you just have to decide what you want your nursing career to look like! The beauty of nursing is that we ALWAYS have options!

Take home points:

1. There are pros and cons to staff nursing and travel nursing

2. Travel nursing can be great for adventure and making money 3. YOU get to decide what your nursing career gets to look like!

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