May 21, 2024
Austin, Texas, USA

Exploring the Benefits of Working as a Travel ICU Nurse

Travel ICU Nurse

There are few experiences more rewarding or challenging than working as a travel ICU nurse. Working in the Intensive Care Unit means witnessing patients at their sickest and seeing many of them lose their battle with illness.

ICU travel nurses also work short assignments, allowing them to meet a variety of people from different areas and backgrounds. This can broaden their networks and even help them find a permanent job in the future.


Unlike permanent nurses, traveling ICU RNs can leave their current assignment when their contract ends. This allows them to experience a new city or region without worrying about finding a new job. This flexibility makes it easier to balance work with life.

Traveling nurses are in high demand, which means that hospitals often request them for specific responsibilities. For example, ICU RNs might be asked to float to other units within the hospital if their specialty is needed. This can include steps down units, direct observation units, or the telemetry unit.

ICU RNs who work as travelers typically earn competitive hourly pay rates. These rates are augmented by benefits like shift differentials, overtime, and completion bonuses. Additionally, travel nursing staffing companies usually provide nurses with free furnished housing or a monthly stipend to cover housing expenses. They also get access to medical and dental coverage, a 401k, license reimbursement, tuition assistance, and other travel perks.

Travel Experience

As an ICU travel nurse, you can take advantage of a variety of opportunities that would be hard to find at a permanent job. You’ll get to experience different parts of the country and network with other nurses from all backgrounds. You can also sort out your likes and dislikes regarding hospital environments and methods of caring for patients so you can decide what you want in a permanent job.

ICU travel nurse positions tend to pay higher rates than other specialty assignments because of the specialized skill sets required for this role. This is especially true of ICU travel jobs designated as crisis rate assignments.

Additionally, ICU travel nurse jobs typically have shorter lead times than other nursing specialties. This makes landing an ICU travel nursing assignment easier for both agency and nurse candidates.

Networking Opportunities

With a job that often takes you to different hospital locations around the country, travel nurses make new connections with plenty of people. Many of these relationships lead to future jobs, whether it’s a permanent position in the same facility or a new contract somewhere else.

ICU nurses work with critically ill patients who are often in need of long-term care and close monitoring. As a result, they interact with a wide range of doctors, specialists and healthcare professionals on a daily basis. This makes them a critical part of the team in hospitals that are short-staffed or facing an ongoing shortage of nursing staff.

Because of this, traveling ICU nurses get to see how medical facilities operate all over the country. This gives them a better understanding of what they like and don’t like about different locations when it comes to a potential permanent placement. This allows them to choose a location that fits their preferences and lifestyle.

Earning Potential

One of the best things about working as a travel nurse is that you have the potential to earn great salaries. In addition, nursing staffing agencies often offer travel nurses daily non-taxable per diems and housing stipends to help offset some of the cost of living in the locations where they work.

The reason why is that hospitals are frequently short-staffed, and the need for nurses across all specialties is great. Intensive care unit (ICU) nurses are especially in demand, so you have the chance to make a large impact on the medical field. Additionally, working in different hospital environments allows you to sort out your likes and dislikes regarding certain aspects of the job. This could help you determine if you would like to pursue a permanent position or not. Moreover, you will be able to gain a higher repertoire of skills that you can apply to future assignments, no matter where the location.

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