Industry Trends & Insights

The Tea: Why Right Now Is the Perfect Time to Try Travel Nursing

The Trusted Team
June 4, 2021
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Here’s what’s happened since we shared The Tea three months ago: 

  1. US COVID-19 cases dipped to their lowest in 11 months,
  2. More than half of US adults have been vaccinated
  3. Hospital demand across the country is shifting to other needs.
The TLDR? Travel nurses are in greater demand than ever before.

Curious as to where the most need is and why now might be the best time to try travel nursing?

We turned to our Community Ambassador team here at Trusted for their best advice—and insider tips—on what they think every new traveler should take into consideration. 🍵

#1: Travel nursing benefits go beyond pay

While on the surface, travel nurse pay continues to stabilize back to “normal”, pre-COVID rates, there’s so much more to consider when thinking about travel nursing. Nikki Motta, a critical care travel nurse, shares, “Sure, the pay has decreased a bit, but travel nursing gives me far more control over my schedule and that’s something that’s very important to me."

A common hesitation about travel nursing is a fear of being left without work between contracts. According to Motta, the opposite is typically true: she’s chosen to extend many of her contracts, allowing her to look for her next position more thoughtfully, and plan time off when she wants to take it.

Her advice for those nurses considering traveling? Consider what’s really important to you in a job besides pay. “Even with travel pay returning to normal rates, I’m still making more money as a traveler than as a staff nurse—and I have total control over when I work and when I take time off,” says Motta.

#2: Traveling can help you avoid burnout

One thing that isn’t talked about is the positive impact that traveling can have on burnout. “A huge perk of traveling is having a say in which management you work under, and not having some of the same responsibilities as a staff nurse, like staff meetings, politics, or committees,” says Kailin Haugh, a pediatric critical care travel nurse.

“If you’re feeling depleted by some of the sameness in your staff job, travel nursing can be a great way to revitalize your energy for nursing,” she shares. Whether it’s a change of scenery in management, care setting, facility, or just location, travel nursing could be the change you need job-wise.

#3: Expand your skillset and perspective as a nurse

Feeling a bit like you’ve maxed out on your learning in your current position? Travel nursing can be a great way to challenge yourself and develop new skills. “One of my goals is to be a really well-rounded nurse, and travel nursing has really helped me broaden my skill set across different specialties,” says Tayler Oakes, a pediatric oncology travel nurse. 

Her advice? Try travel nursing for the education it provides. “I encourage new and experienced travelers alike to push their boundaries on what they think they’re capable of. For instance, if you’re a peds critical care nurse, you might want to consider trying another specialty, like telemetry,” says Oakes.

High travel nursing demand in a post-vaccine world 

At Trusted, we’re seeing a change in demand trends for travel nurses across the country. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The number of open travel nursing jobs is the highest it’s been all year—this means that competition is lower for open roles than it was a few months ago. 
  • OR/PeriOps and L&D are the most in-demand specialties, as more people pursue elective procedures and so-called “pandemic babies” are born. 
  • The highest number of open travel nursing assignments are in Texas and Florida, followed closely by California.

Curious to see what travel nursing roles are out there for you?

Sign up for a free Trusted profile today to explore open travel nursing opportunities in real-time, browse full pay breakdowns and detailed facility information, and join the conversation in our 10,000+ nurse online community.


The Tea serves up the latest travel nursing intel, giving you the info you need to take control of your travel journey. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or new to the game, we’d love to hear what questions you havefeel free to drop us a note at to have your questions answered by Trusted travel experts. 💌

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