In terms of compensation, the traveling nurses tends to make anywhere between 10-15% more than the staff nurse with incentives and bonuses added to the package. For many nurses, being a travel nurse opens the opportunity to see parts of the country they would not ordinarily see in the course of normal employment. If you aren't able to travel because of children or financial obligations, you can still experience the thrill of being a travel nurse by accepting assignments closer to home. Of course, when you are able to do so, you can ask for assignments in other cities or states. That is one of the benefits of being a travel nurse with a placement agency: it leaves you in control of which assignments you accept. Unlike a staff position, you are not required to report to work every day as per a set schedule unless you are on an assignment. When you are in between assignments, the choice is yours to accept or decline, and often times with a travel nurse, bonuses are paid to those who complete assignments.
Are the assignments always in hospitals or nursing homes? That depends on the assignment, but the potential is also there for private duty. Some nurses prefer private duty cases, and in many cases, the pay is higher than it is in a facility-based assignment. Let the placement agency know if you prefer a particular kind of environment because they will try to accommodate you whenever possible. The key role is to meet the needs of both the patient or facility and the nurse. The more comfortable the nurse is with the position to which she has been assigned, the easier it will be for her to perform her job.
Travel nursing opens up many opportunities in the field, and for the nurse who is good at what she does, and not adverse to relocation, opportunities in other states as a staff nurse may be a thought to consider. This is a good way to feel the waters and see if you like different scenery before making the permanent decision to move to an unfamiliar place. This type of position is not for everyone, but if you like to travel and try different things, this is the kind of position you will love. Not only will you see other parts of the country, you will experience a completely different world of individuality in the new people you will meet.