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6 Reasons Nurses Choose to Travel

Posted on: September 12, 2019

6Reasons Intext

Pursuing a career in travel nursing goes far beyond making more money and having a flexible work schedule. In 2016, an Allianz study asked people over the age of 50 about their regrets. The number one regret? Not traveling and lacking adventure in their lives. With travel nursing, you can fill this void and experience a range of other benefits. Here are six potential benefits and core reasons why nurses choose to travel:

Gain Experience

A career in travel nursing helps diversify a nurse’s skill set in their area of expertise. Hospitals design their policies and procedures around evidence-based practice. Sometimes, these evidence-based policies and procedures are not consistent throughout the nation, because it takes time to filter to other areas of the United States. Through expanding their competencies, nurses can grow more confident in their hands-on and critical thinking skills, regardless of where their next assignment is.

Jackie Ludwig, an RN from Cleveland, Ohio, explains that she pursued travel nursing because she wanted to see the country. She was able to gather the minimal amount of experience at a large teaching hospital to help prepare for the road ahead, and she went for it. 

Jackie cautions, “Travel nursing is truly not for everyone. You have to be adaptable to change, which was perfect for me because I was young and ready for anything. I think the longer you work in one place, the longer you stay set in your ways.” 


The health and retirement benefits are comparable to a standard nursing workplace, if not better. Oftentimes, the nurse is offered a 401K plan and health benefits for their family during their travel.

Additionally, staffing companies cover living costs. For Barton Healthcare Staffing in particular, our nurses are full-fledged W2 employees and are eligible for health, dental and vision insurance, a 401k, and a stipend to cover travel and lodging. That way, you can use that money to cover expenses, book the way you are comfortable travelling, and control that process so it meets your personal wants and needs. Looking to travel with a pet? You can do that too!

Increase in Pay

You can’t beat the pay associated with travel nursing, and that’s because they deserve it. Packing your bags and moving across the United States isn’t the right choice for everyone, but the decision is worthwhile for many nurses. 

 ”It takes a special type of person to be a travel nurse,” Jackie says. “It’s not all about the money. You have to be outgoing, adaptable, friendly, and always open to learning more.” 

Extra Vacation Time

As a travel nurse, you reap the benefits of a pay increase as well as spare vacation time in between assignments. You choose when you want to work, and where! 

“When I traveled, there would often be a month time-frame in between assignments,” said nurse Jackie. “I was able to keep my health insurance and retirement during this time frame, which was nice. The time off gave me the opportunity to go home and see family without the financial burden.”


One of the best things about travel nursing is the sightseeing. Jackie says, “The best part about traveling to your favorite destination is that it doesn’t cost you a dime.”

“The major difference between traveling and staying home is that in Cleveland, I haven’t seen everything,” says Jackie. “When I went to Palm Springs, California, we did every single thing we wanted to do because time was limited and we had no other obligations other than my assignment.”

Expanding Your Network

Meeting other nurses in your specialty is also especially rewarding.“NICU nurses have a unique personality and share an instant bond,” explains Jackie. “People were always so willing to help me, disproving the old saying that nurses ‘eat their young’.” 

By broadening both their traveling and nursing experience, nurses no longer feel “stuck” working in one location. The appeal of travel nursing isn’t only about making more money - it’s about gaining more experiences. Travel nursing opens your eyes to an unmatched world of possibilities, and there’s no room for regret in that.  

Ready to start travelling? Contact an account manager today to learn about our open travel nurse positions!

Janine Kelbach, BSN, RNC-OB
About Janine Kelbach, BSN, RNC-OB

Janine Kelbach, BSN, RNC-OB is an Ohio-based nurse and freelance writer. She is currently still working as an RN in labor and delivery, married to her best friend, and raising her two boys, and two Great Danes. She loves to help other nurses start their freelance businesses. She is the author of the book Entreprenuse and cohost of the podcast The SavvyScribe. You can find her on LinkedIn and her website