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Top Traveling Nurse Pros and Cons

Mohamed Basha
RN CMC Founder and CEO of TLC Nursing Association
Updated November 22, 2023
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Are you a nurse who loves to travel? Are you looking for a change but not sure where to go next? Then you should know top traveling nurse pros and cons. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably considered travel nursing, but there might be some doubts holding you back. After all, change can be a scary thing, but it can also provide you with a wealth of experience, the opportunity to meet new people, and have new adventures. With variety, flexibility, and the potential to make more money than you would in a traditional nursing position, travel nursing is worth your serious consideration.

Read on for the top pros and cons of this rewarding career path.

Adventure and travel

Travel nurses travel, so this is one of the biggest draws for those who love to see new places. If you’re someone who dislikes feeling stuck in a rut and gets bored with the same old routine, travel nursing is a great option. The opportunity to travel and see new areas of the country (or the world!), meet new people, explore, and have variety in your work are definite benefits of travel nursing.

Higher pay

Salaries can vary greatly depending on where you are assigned, but overall, travel nurses earn more than their stationary counterparts. Also, consider how your state’s nursing pay compares with the national average. If you live in a state that pays less, then chances are you’ll be able to earn more as a travel nurse in a different state. In addition, there is the potential for referral and retention bonuses, as well as reimbursement for travel expenses including lodging and transportation.

For a detailed guide and more information on how travel nurses are paid, visit this helpful resource.

Meeting new people

Travel nurses tend to bond quickly with other travel nurses. After all, you’ve got one very big thing in common right off the bat! In addition, the permanent staff are typically quite welcoming toward travel nurses (they mean more help, after all) so friendships can develop quickly.

Flexibility between jobs

One of the best parts about working as a travel nurse, travel LPN, or travel CNA is flexibility. When you decide on your travel assignments, you can also decide when to take some well-deserved time off to spend with your friends and family. As a travel nurse, you also have the flexibility to choose when you work and whether to take on additional assignments.


In addition to the variety that comes with travel itself, if you’re tired of working in the same specialty, travel nursing can provide you with the opportunity to try something new. Think of it as a chance to try before you buy. If you love the many benefits of travel nursing, you can stick with it for years to come. If not, you’ll have a better idea of which facilities, specialties, and geographical areas you most enjoy.

Avoiding work politics

Do you run from drama? One of the most cited benefits to travel nursing is being able to avoid office politics and focus more on patient care. Unfortunately, burnout and compassion fatigue are common among nurses but travel nursing, with its short-term assignments and frequent location changes, can help protect you from some of these issues.

Resume building

A career as a travel nurse is a great way to build your resume. Travel nurses have the benefit of a skillset like few others in the nursing field. From your professional contacts, diversity of on-the-job skills, and experience in a variety of environments, your resume will stand out to future employers.

Travel nursing, whether as a travel RN, travel LPN, or travel CNA, has a wide array of benefits, but what about the drawbacks? As with any career, there are several to be aware of.


In today’s world, we are connected through technology, yet loneliness remains an epidemic. Travel nurses, due to their lengthy stays far from close friends and family, may be more susceptible to loneliness and the negative mental and physical health effects that come with it.

The good news is that travel nursing provides the flexibility to take time off between assignments to be with friends and family. Here are some other great ways to stay connected with those you love most – even when you’re far from home.

Multiple licenses

Travel nurses must be licensed in every state where they work; however, nurses can reduce some of the time and cost of obtaining individual licenses by obtaining a multistate license via the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), which allows nurses to practice in all NLC states.

Travel logistics

For all its benefits, traveling frequently comes with its share of headaches as well. These can include things like:

  • the hassle of frequently arranging travel plans, such as packing, arranging flights, moving expenses, etc. if you don’t work for an agency
  • Making sure you have insurance coverage between contract periods
  • Personal medical issues such as filling prescriptions and finding new doctors

As with any career, it’s important to remember the good along with the not-so-good. And always keep in mind that being informed before deciding on a new career path is the best way to be prepared!

Ready to apply for your next adventure? TLC Nursing is here to help!