Psych nursing is an area of care that is rapidly gaining importance on the health care scene. Over the next 30 years, millions of baby boomers will become elderly and many will experience the mental issues associated with aging: dementia, drug confusion, Alzheimer's….the list is long and complicated. This will result in a tremendous rise in the need for psych nurses in general, and a special need for traveling psych nurses to handle crisis situations. Add boomers to the general statistics and you'll see that travel psych nursing is a career filled with opportunity.
About the Job
Average contract lengths run for 13 to 15 weeks. Your responsibilities will be to step in and start work immediately, just as in a permanent job, often with little orientation. It's challenging, but you already know what you're doing. You have the training and the experience they need, or they wouldn't have hired you.
When you arrive in your new city, an apartment convenient to the medical facility will be waiting for you. Your rent and utilities are paid, and you have the option of taking the housing allowance and finding a place of your own if you prefer. Your travel expenses to and from your job will be reimbursed.
If you love to meet new people and visit new places, this is a great job. While you're traveling, you can build your contact network along with your experience. If you decide to settle down, you'll have a wide range of places you're already familiar with and contacts everywhere. Traveling psych nurses enjoy well above average pay, plus extra bonuses and benefits that really make the job worthwhile. You also get some flexibility. If you need a break between contracts to go home and recharge – do it. It's your choice.
Just as some people aren’t cut out to be long-distance truck drivers, flight attendants, or soldiers, some people simply dislike travel jobs. Leaving home, family, and friends can be unsettling. Also, you never really know what you're walking into. You may find a resentful, unhelpful staff, or you may find a staff so desperate for help that they welcome you with open arms…and are hard to say goodbye to. Either way, it's up to you to be tactful and cooperative, and to approach your job with confidence, no matter what office politics swirl around you.
If you love your job, love to explore new areas, and welcome new challenges, travel psych nursing is a great career choice. It takes adaptability and a measure of diplomacy, two skills every experienced psych nurse should already have in their toolkit.