“The Gypsy Nurse” and Travel Nursing


On Monday, November 5th, we will be joined on RN.FM Radio by Candy Treft, aka: “The Gypsy Nurse“. Candy is a travel nurse extraordinaire and will share with us her secrets and stories of life on the road.

Please enjoy this brief guest blog post by The Gypsy Nurse.

There are nearly three million nurses in the US right now. That’s a huge number–so large in fact that it’s difficult to imagine that there is a nursing shortage. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, in 2010 there were 2.7 million nursing jobs with an expected growth rate of 26% by the year 2020. That’s an increase of 700,000 nurses. In addition to the increased number of nursing jobs, the nursing profession is facing losing a large amount of nurses as the ‘baby boomers’ retire.

How does all of this relate to Travel Nursing?

Hospitals are already facing intermittent and regional shortages of nurses. Travel nurses are in demand. There are an estimated 25,500 RNs working travel nursing jobs in the U.S. A willingness to move to a new city and work for an unknown hospital or healthcare facility is a demanding task. Travel nurses are expected to be in increased demand in the next 10 years.

What does it take to become a travel nurse?

This is the question that I frequently hear from nurses across the country that are looking for something different, suffering from burnout or just ready for a change. This is the question behind the development of The Gypsy Nurse.com There are many variables in travel nursing beyond simply moving to a new area.

When I first began working as a travel nurse in 2004, I found a couple of resources online that could answer my questions. Most of the resources that I found were forums. While forums are a great tool and resource, I felt that something was missing. I wanted to read about the things that were really important. Contract negotiations? Pay? Benefits? Tax Implications? What to expect from orientation? How to handle a cancelled contract? I couldn’t find any one place that addressed all of these issues. It was frustrating and I made many mistakes and learned a lot over the past 8 years.

As you can see from the above questions, Travel Nursing is a complicated subject with an endless amount of sub-categories. We are part sub-contractor, part business traveler and always a nurse. So many variables to consider and no one place to find the resources and answers.

The Gypsy Nurse
was born from a desire to help, support and address these issues. My hope is that The Gypsy Nurse will be the one-stop-shop for all things Travel Nursing. I welcome guest writers and contributors. I don’t profess to have all of the answers but I am dedicated to finding them and presenting them in an easy to follow format.

I would like to see the next generation of travel nurses begin the career with a true understanding of this unique profession. Well educated and informed and knowing what to expect and how to handle the (sometimes) difficult situations that may be encountered.