MAPPING OUT PLANS: USING TRAVEL NURSING TO EXPLORE A POSSIBLE MOVE
For many traveling nurses, a major perk of their careers is the ability to check out new cities to consider as future residences.
That's a nice benefit, indeed. When you think about it, not many careers allow you to take your time seriously exploring another area while maintaining the security of a stable, professional job with a good, steady paycheck.
“Traveling is a great way to relocate,” advises a recent article on Travel Nursing Central. “What a great way to figure things out without burning bridges by leaving one hospital and going to another.”
Some specific advantages to this strategy:
- The insider scoop. With your new ties to the local medical community, you can learn from insiders which local hospitals and facilities are considered optimal places to work on a permanent basis.
- Valuable contacts. Networking with (and hopefully impressing) supervisors at your temporary assignment may pay off if they can later serve as references for local jobs. You never know who may be connected in any given medical community.
- It’s all in the details. Living in an area for several months can provide you with an objective view of the advantages and disadvantages of any given location — much more so than simply visiting as a tourist.
- A paid-for transition? If you need time to transition to a new permanent job, you could work indefinitely in that area as a traveling nurse, continuing to earn income while you seek housing, familiarize yourself with amenities and make other necessary life changes. Note that travel expense reimbursements to and from your assignment(s) may also be tax free if you return home for a period after each assignment is complete.
One word of caution: If you plan to use your travel nursing as a launching pad to a more permanent job, be aware that many travel nursing agencies enforce non-compete clauses that prohibit you from taking work from other medical facilities for a time frame after leaving them. Sometimes new employers will buy out your remaining contract, but at least be aware of your contract stipulations before planning a switch to a permanent nursing job.