Travel nurses are expected to earn more than $100,000 in 2018, according to a recent survey by the American Nurses Association.
But while they can be attractive for young and inexperienced nurses looking to gain a foot in the door, they also may be vulnerable to other employers.
The survey found that 70% of U.S. nursing jobs are in the travel nursing industry.
“It’s the one industry that I’m worried about,” said Ashley Dauch, a nurse in Texas and an associate editor at U.K. nursing magazine Nursing Care.
Travel nurses tend to be young, educated and often from middle-income families.
Travel nursing jobs pay a median of $62,000 annually, according the ANA’s survey, and the jobs are predominantly located in the U.P. and other regions.
Dau, a first-year nursing student at Boston College, is planning to get her nursing degree after working for more than a year as a home health aide at a hotel in San Francisco.
She is eager to move into her first job after a year, but said she is not sure if she will be able to do so if she moves to a larger hotel or a different area.
“The cost of living is a little more than I’d like to be paying in an apartment,” she said.
“I would definitely prefer to live closer to the city than in the country.”
Travel nurses can be found in the cities of Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and San Francisco, as well as the nation’s capital.
The ANA survey found the top occupations for nurses are home health aides and home health support assistants.
Travelers can also be found as nurse interns at hospitals, nursing homes and hospice care facilities.
Anecdotal evidence suggests nurses may have more trouble finding employment in rural areas.
A nurse from Ohio was asked if she would consider a career in the rural area of Ohio, but she declined, according a post on an ANA website.
“You could see the pay is not that good,” she wrote.
“And the jobs could be less demanding.”
She added that she also might be more inclined to choose a career with a small business rather than a large one.
The nurses association also released a list of jobs that have the highest demand in 2018.
Among those on the list are home care aides, certified nurse midwives, social workers, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, registered nurse assistants and nurses.
The list also includes nursing assistants, social care aides and registered nurse practitioners.