Travel Nursing for LPNs
So, you have graduated and are looking at all of your available options. Or maybe you are thinking of attending school to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and are wondering what routes you will have available to take for jobs when the time comes.
We all know that for a Registered Nurse, there are plenty of traveling job opportunities. These travel jobs come with contracts. Some contracts can be signed for just a few weeks, others a year or more. The good thing about contracts, though, is you can pick and choose what time length is best for you.
Can an LPN Be a Travel Nurse?
The good news is that a Licensed Practical Nurse can actually work as a travel nurse. Most of the contracts you will find will require the LPN to have worked for a minimum of one year, but that is not always the case. Even freshly licensed nurses can receive travel job opportunities in top states like California, Hawaii, and New York.
Travel LPN Requirements
Every state will have different requirements. First, you will need to obtain your nursing license for the state you are choosing to work in. This will require a background check, applying for the license, and waiting for it to come in. The waiting game for your license is usually around 6-8 weeks, give or take, so it is best to plan ahead if you think you will be wanting to travel for work. Most of the jobs that are needing help are those in a hospital setting, but that is not always the case. If it is a hospital setting, every state, and even every institution has different policies and procedures. It will be very important for you to read over these to see how your employer does things. Hospitals are very fast-paced. This is why most contracts like you to have that one-year of experience.
There are many amazing benefits to being a travel nurse. For one, if you love to travel, you can travel and work without having to take a vacation, which is a big perk for most. You also get to learn the diversity of each country, state, city, and person you encounter. You will meet quite a few people, from work, of course, and also different settings and places that you choose to attend. You will get to try different foods depending on where you go and learn about the culture of new places. If you thoroughly enjoy where you are working and the contract is up, some facilities will offer to renew the contract again. Housing is paid for up to a certain amount through your contract. Your traveling expenses are also paid for and you will more than likely be given a vehicle to drive while you are on assignment. Most traveling agencies offer amazing benefits including dental, medical, and even retirement. Your pets are also usually allowed, but you will need to let the agency know so they can secure the right living quarters for you.
Study during this time to go from LPN to RN.
For all the amazing benefits of travel nursing, there are a few downfalls. Homesickness is a huge deal and can be quite isolating. You may have created rituals and habits back home that just are not the same in your new habitat. While your travel nursing job may be temporary, if you are not enjoying it, it can feel like a lifetime. Although your housing is paid for, if you are traveling with family, you may be asked to pay for part of the housing. These are all things that have to be considered before you make the final decision to take the job and sign the contract.
Most of the time you will be able to choose any state you would like to work in because nurses are needed everywhere. Sometimes you may even get to narrow it down by choosing the city and state you would like to work in if there is a contract available. If there is not a contract available in a place you were looking forward to, you can take a shorter assignment in another area until your preferred city becomes available. Becoming a travel nurse is not only fun, but it looks great on your resume for the experience. The hours are very standard, much like any other hospital setting. Being a travel nurse takes a special kind of person, but many find the perks and rewards beyond worthwhile.
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