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 often offer guaranteed hours and even overtime. This means travel nurses don’t have to worry as much about going without a paycheque between one job ending and a new one starting.
What’s the Pay Like for Travel Nurses?
Travel nurses in Canada often make significantly more money than staff nurses, at an average of $31.78 per hour, as of 2018. Many agencies offer per-diem pay for housing and meals. If your job sends you to a northern or isolated area, you may earn an additional tax-free allowance to offset the cost of living in these places. Like staff nurses, travel nurses typically work a full-time schedule that consists of either three 12-hour shifts or five 8-hour shifts per week, and you can earn overtime pay for anything above that.
What’s the Demand for Travel Nurses?
Why does travel nursing pay so much better than staff nursing? Supply and demand are a couple of the reasons, along with a need for remotely located nursing jobs. While the need for travel nurses rises constantly, the number of nurses willing to take these positions proves insufficient to meet the demand, so healthcare agencies offer higher pay to entice nurses to give these jobs a second look. Job security serves as another benefit of this unbalanced supply and demand. Workers in other fields often worry about layoffs, but travel nurses know that even if a specific job doesn’t work out, they have multiple agencies vying for their services.
How Much Flexibility Do Travel Nurses Have?
Aside from careers as pilots, flight attendants, or military personnel, how many jobs pay you to travel and see new places? If you just graduated and don’t want to start a professional career, a travel job gives you a great way to try out different parts of the country and possibly figure out where you want 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 in one place, you have the flexibility to contact the agency and have them send you somewhere else. While Canada considers most travel nurses employees of the agencies that hire them, Quebec has programs and incentives geared toward tempting independent nurse contractors to work there.
Canada has a high demand for those willing to take on travel nursing jobs. This career offers fantastic pay, strong job security, and flexibility. If you don’t have strong ties to one location, this type of healthcare profession offers a challenging yet rewarding career.
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