The 3 Reasons Why We Chose Travel Nursing

The 3 Reasons Why We Chose Travel Nursing

Ever since we started dating, we have always loved traveling. Every chance we got, we were planning our schedules to get days off for us to take a trip. We became addicted. The more we traveled, the more we craved travel. Unfortunately, our staff jobs didn’t provide us with the income or the freedom to travel the way we really wanted too.

Being ICU nurses, we have been reminded over and over again how precious life is. We found out about travel nursing and knew it was something that would be perfect for us. We had worked for 4 years as staff at our home hospital @ WVU and had gained so much knowledge and so many experiences. Regardless, we had no idea what to expect when we left our cozy jobs to start over. All we knew is we would look back with regret if we didn’t take the chance + we're so glad we did it. Believe us, travel nursing isn't always amazing - check out our previous post on the pros + cons of travel nursing (click the link if you're interested). Everyone has their own endless reasons for starting travel nursing.

We knew that travel nursing would be an adventure and we could go on to break this category down to many subcategories. For now, we are using "adventure" as an umbrella term for so many different reasons. Moving to a new city, meeting new people, and learning new skills is the adventure that comes directly with the job itself. Essentially, travel nursing has given us the opportunity to move to new places and give each job and location a trial run without a commitment of greater than three months. Since we only work three days each week, we have the remaining four days to explore our new location. We actually have started calling ourselves "temporary locals" when asked where we're from because of traveling so much. 

We also did it for the adventure outside of the job. In order for us to start our journey, we decided we would buy an RV and live in it while we traveled the country assignment to assignment. We go further into detail on why we chose full-time RVing for this adventure in our previous blog post (click the hyperlink to see why). We decided to move out of our 3,000 sq ft townhouse and into a 300 sq ft RV. We have learned to live off so much less than we thought we needed and have learned to be so much more self-sufficient.

Another reason why we chose the travel nursing lifestyle was for the money. If you've read our others posts, you know that we had over $100k in debt from getting our education alone. You also know that we then proceeded to buy three vehicles, an RV, and a townhouse. Needless to say, we were on a mission to get out of debt and become financially free as fast as possible. We had already built our budget and knew we had some work to do (for more info on how to "build a budget" click the hyperlink).

When you become a travel nurse, you sign a contract and agree to work a certain amount of hours + weeks. For the most part, assignments are 13 weeks long and require you to work 36 hours each week. As travel nurses, we are working the same amount of hours that we worked as staff nurses, but we’re doubling our income! Sadly, travel nursing doesn’t pay as well as it used to, and if money is the only reason you’re interested in traveling — I wouldn’t suggest it. We also recommend being somewhat financially stable before rushing into travel nursing. Sometimes you may have to work in less desirable locations to make the money you’re envisioning. Although the money is a perk, we don’t chase the highest paying contracts. If you’re patient, the right job will come along. That's how we ended up at our favorite assignment yet. Despite the market for travel nurses being down, there will always be a nursing shortage and even at the lowest paying jobs in the country, we would still be doubling the income we made as staff nurses when we were working in West Virginia. 

The third reason why we chose travel nursing is freedom. We loved our staff jobs and the seniority we had earned after being there for four years. It just wasn't enough for us. We craved traveling and although we still traveled a ton as staff, we were limited to the amount of time off we could take each year. Having the freedom to build time off into our contract is incredible. If the hospital doesn't agree to our request during the interview, we just move on to the next interview. Luckily, we've never been declined time off to date. Aside from traveling during a contract, we love to travel in between contracts. Once a contract ends, we have the freedom to start a new contract immediately or we can play around on FUNemployment. This is probably our favorite part of travel nursing altogether. In one year of travel nursing alone, we have traveled to fifteen countries, spent six weeks exploring Europe, and have taken a total of four months off for FUNemployment. With the freedom from travel nursing, we can be picky and choose where we want to work and what shifts we want to work. We also don't have to work any holidays for as long as we travel and can spend the holidays with our family.

There are so many other reasons why we chose travel nursing. Since we have each other and don't have any kids, we decided it was worth it for us to do it while we can and while we have our health. Having the ability to be on an endless adventure living in a home-on-wheels while making money and traveling the world together are just a few of our favorite reasons behind our "why".

Follow along with us while
We're Out N About
Lindsay + Chase

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