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"Travel nursing offers two benefits that really make it stand out from other careers," says Ken Clark, senior vice president of travel staffing for Onward Healthcare, based in Wilton, Connecticut. First, travel nursing has some of the best compensation benefits and lifestyle options of any profession. "Travel nurses earn very competitive pay, including bonuses for completing certain assignments and recruiting their friends and colleagues," Clark says, in addition to no-cost medical and dental insurance, 401(k)s, and basic life insurance offered with most assignments.

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Second is the opportunity to travel across the country and see the United States while developing a career in nursing. "We have many nurses who travel to Florida in the winter, shoot up to the Northeast in the summer, and hit other parts of the country in between," says Clark. He adds that despite the current economic climate, the demand for nurses from hospitals is as strong as ever, especially in pediatric and neonatal intensive care, labor and delivery, and the OR.



One year of hospital-based experience in a specialty area and an active nursing license for the location of the assignment are necessary. "You must also fill out an application through your travel nursing company and complete the required skills checklists for your position," says Clark. "In addition, you must provide valid references, complete a phone interview with the hiring hospital, and complete fairly typical screening requirements, such as drug screening, a background check, and so on."


A typical travel assignment is 13 weeks, and there's a nationwide demand all year round. However, Clark explains, the availability of positions follows general demographic trends. "For example," he says, "in the winter more of the U.S. population travels south, so those markets need more nurses during that time of the year." He is seeing travel nursing and per diem nursing opportunities beginning to merge in some markets. One effect this has had on the field is that the travel nurse has more opportunities to work assignments that are shorter than 13 weeks.


Your Guide to Job Opportunities in Travel Nursing


Cross Country TravCorps


(800) 387-3118


Web site:


FASTAFF Travel Nursing


6501 S. Fiddler's Green Circle, Ste. 200


Greenwood Village, CO 80111


(877) 912-9481




Web site:


Medical Express


(800) 544-7255


Web site:


InteliStaf Travel


4101 McEwen, Ste. 800


Dallas, TX 75244


(866) 579-9227


Fax: (800) 700-1338




Web site:




(866) 557-6050


Web site:


Preferred Healthcare Staffing


(800) 735-4774


Web site:


Supplemental Health Care


(866) 664-7184


Web site:


White Glove


85 Bartlett Street


Brooklyn, NY 11206


(866) 387-8100


Web site: