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Benefits of Extending Your Travel Nursing Job

Happy nurseYou’re halfway through your travel nursing job and absolutely love it — and the thought of moving back home or heading somewhere else makes you sad. Why not extend your contract instead of packing your suitcase again?

While it’s not an option at every facility, it’s worth asking your recruiter and your nurse manager about the possibility of working an extra few weeks or months. Here are a few reasons to stick with your current assignment:

You don’t have to move again

Packing is a pain. Unpacking is a bigger pain. And driving across the country with a car full of gear is the biggest pain in the world. Save yourself the hassle of trips to the grocery store for cardboard boxes and stay put a little longer. You’re already familiar with your apartment and your new neighborhood, and this way you have a bit more time to plan a new adventure.

You’re oriented with the unit where you work

Remember your first day as a travel nurse when you just needed to find the closest bathroom and supply closet? Fortunately, orientation is in the past and you now know where everything is, how to use the EHR and which times are least busy in the cafeteria. You can probably even give patients directions now.

You’ll probably get first pick on the schedule because you’re already on staff

Even if you signed on to work a specific schedule, you probably ended up taking a few shifts you didn’t love as the new kid on the block. Once you’ve worked at the hospital for a few months, however, you’re more likely to have more say in the days and times you want to work. It’ll be easier to request days off when you need them as well, because your coworkers know and trust you.

You have more time to explore the city

Whether you’re working on the East or West coast, in the desert or the mountains, you probably haven’t had a chance to see everything you wanted to. Use your extension as a time to visit nearby attractions, eat at the top restaurants, and head to the closest national parks and monuments. You’ll regret leaving without sightseeing a bit more and taking photos you can look back on later.

You’ll keep more money in your pocket

Even without factoring in the costs of traveling, taking a new assignment can require fingerprinting and new immunizations. You may also have to pay to hook up cable and internet in your new place or shell out money for another pet deposit if Fluffy is along for the ride. And if you’ll be taking a long break between jobs, storing your gear can also be expensive. You may be better off staying at your current job and saving up for a new adventure until you’re ready to move on.

RELATED: Start-up costs of travel nursing

Extending your contract can take a bit of time, but it can help you gain more nursing experience, make lasting friendships and grow to love the region where you work.

Want more suggestions for your first travel nursing job? Check out Six Tips for New Travel Nurses.

About the author

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Lindsay Wilcox

Lindsay Wilcox is a healthcare writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional writing experience. When she's not circling typos, she's enjoying fish tacos and hanging out with her family.

3 Comments

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  • You are so full of it!! The primary reason most travelers travel, is because of all the reasons you listed for staying. If we wanted to have all of the “benefits” that you were listing, we would never have left our full time positions to travel in the first place!

    • Thanks for the feedback, John. Some of our travelers find it is better to extend their contracts because they do feel more like full-time jobs. However, you’re right. Full-time jobs do offer more stable benefits than travel jobs do. You have to weigh your options and decide what’s most important to you.

  • Without a doubt extending my assignments was 100% beneficial to myself and the organizations I served. It allowed me to positively experience a broader spectrum of the areas culture and season.

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