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You should consider participating in an international travel nursing program if you’re a nurse with cultural interest and want to take the next step in your nursing career. By being an international travel nurse, you can travel, work with seasoned medical professionals from all over the globe, and expand your professional network while honing your patient-care abilities and earning a vast range of expertise to add to your résumé. Knowing what foreign travel nursing is, what it requires, and how it might benefit you can help you decide if it’s the appropriate step for your nursing career.
In this introductory guide, we’ll go through the fundamentals of international travel nursing and how to locate one, so you can make a logical decision.
What Is International Travel Nursing?
International travel nursing is a career choice for nurses that entails living in another country and working in direct patient care. International travel nurses collaborate with other medical professionals in hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, and other medical institutions, treating patients and promoting good healthcare in that area. The duration of placement can range from a few months to a year or more.
Responsibilities Of an International Travel Nurse
International travel nurses often have the following responsibilities, though some may vary depending on the region and facility in which they work:
- As needed, complete onboarding, orientation, and training at a new location.
- Caring for a diverse patient population, including individuals living in rural areas, underprivileged communities, areas affected by complicated chronic illnesses, and post-disaster zones.
- An international travel nurse collaborates with doctors, specialists, other nurses, and other medical personnel to treat patients.
- Taking vital signs, going through medical histories, and keeping track of symptoms are all part of the examination process of international travel nurses.
- Taking care of wounds and dressings.
- Giving medications and applying vaccines.
- Assisting patients in recovery with eating, bathing, and other self-care tasks.
- Creating, managing, or updating patient records systems.
- Educating patient populations on specific health conditions and overall wellness.
- Maintaining a safe and clean treatment environment.
Are Travel Nurses in High Demand?
Yes, travel nurses are constantly needed. For various reasons—including the difficulties of the job and the vital necessity for them in hospitals—travel nurses are paid more than permanent nurses. In addition, they are paid an hourly, non-taxable stipend to cover their travel and living expenses, making them exceptionally well-compensated nurses.
Benefits of International Travel Nursing
Here are some of the many benefits you can expect from the international travel nursing career:
More Diverse Nursing Experience
As an international travel nurse, you will be exposed to a wide range of challenges and unique scenarios, allowing you to become a more successful nurse. You can broaden your horizons by experiencing with:
You may treat patients of many races and ethnicities, socioeconomic groups, and religions. Having experience treating people from various backgrounds might help you become more empathic and communicative.
Conditions and Illnesses
Because several countries have more serious rates of certain diseases and illnesses, gaining hands-on experience with conditions you wouldn’t ordinarily treat in the United States might help you prepare for more challenging patients wherever you work.
Because best practices differ by country, practitioner, and facility, you may be exposed to novel techniques of treating individuals and specific illnesses that you haven’t tried or are unfamiliar with. This chance will allow you to enhance your nursing expertise and patient-care approach.
International travel nursing offers a variety of flexible alternatives, including time off between assignments, the length of your placements, the distance you’re willing to go, and the places you’d like to work in. This experience gives you more freedom than traditional nursing jobs, which require you to work full-time and permanently.
You could work at a large or small hospital, in a wealthy or impoverished neighborhood, in a clinic for specialized patient populations, or in various other settings. Having expertise in multiple fields improves your adaptability while broadening your nursing practice.
Expanding Your Network
When you work in a new patient care setting, you get to work with new practitioners from whom you can learn. As an international travel nurse, you will be performing at different institutions and increasing your network every few months, years, or decades. At this rate, you can quickly establish a global network of medical experts who can attest to your treatment abilities, dedication, and professionalism, as well as serve as a resource for finding future patient care employment.
Improved Communication Skills
Living in another country may require you to improve your language abilities. Speaking, writing, and listening in another language are necessary for working as a nurse in another country. Being bilingual is crucial as a nurse since it allows you to speak with and treat a broader range of patients.
You increase your communication skills by acquiring new ones utilized in different nations and learning or strengthening skills in another language. Some countries, for example, use nonverbal cues differently from the United States. In instances like these, your ability to read body language, adapt, and improvise improves as well.
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Higher Cultural Awareness
When you travel and work in different parts of the world, you can broaden your cultural understanding and respect. These experiences can make you a more compassionate person and nurse. These qualities can make you a better candidate for future nursing positions, especially ones with leadership responsibilities and at institutions with a diverse patient population.
Potentially Higher Benefits and Compensation
With international travel nursing, you get higher benefits and compensation, which may comprise the following items, depending on the organization you are put through and where you are placed:
- An hourly rate of pay.
- Lodgings stipends or furnished housing provided.
- Compensation for travel to and from the destination.
- Stipend for food and recreation.
- Medical, vision, and dental insurance are all available.
- Paid vacation.
- Reimbursement for training and licensing.
- A bonus after a project.
What Is The Salary For an International Travel Nurse?
Travel nurses might earn up to $109,185 per year on average. On the other hand, earning potential varies greatly depending on the country, location, and facility in which you are working. Salary is also influenced by your educational background, years of experience, applicable certifications, and nursing specialty.
How To Become An International Travel Nurse
Becoming an international travel nurse is a journey that starts with the following:
Certifications and Credentials Needed
You must have a license to demonstrate your skill in patient care procedures and ethics to qualify for any nursing position. The qualifications for licensing vary per state and country, but the majority of them include:
- A bachelor’s degree in nursing from a respected program or a diploma from a training program for licensed practical nurses (LPNs).
- Completion of a specific number of clinical hours involving direct patient care.
- Passing the National Council Licensure Examination–Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) or an equivalent LPN examination.
- Continuing education credits. Required to keep your license current.
- Also, when applying to an overseas travel nursing program or role, you must typically present proof of licensing.
Consider A Specialty
A specialty certification may qualify you for positions in countries or facilities where nurses with unique abilities and experience are needed to address specific diseases. Furthermore, specialization might boost your earning potential and increase your chances of landing a leadership position.
The following are some of the specialties in which you might consider earning an advanced degree or certification:
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- Nursing in a surgical setting
- Anesthesia for Intensive Care Units
- Neonatal care
- Intensive treatment
- Delivery and labor
- Hospital emergency room
When applying for international travel nursing jobs, make sure to include your advanced degree, qualification, or experience on your resume.
Join a Travel Nursing Organization
Consider joining a group such as the National Association of Travel Healthcare Organizations to receive access to travel nursing placement agencies, open travel nursing positions abroad, training opportunities, and other helpful information.
Try Volunteering Abroad
Short-term travel nursing positions are available in the United States and abroad that allow you to donate your nursing expertise in facilities or regions where healthcare experts are in high demand, such as post-disaster zones. While you won’t be paid, seeking these short-term options can help you determine if travel nursing is suitable for you before committing to a longer-term commitment.
Volunteer travel nursing can help you get into an international nursing program by demonstrating prior travel nursing experience and an ability to adapt. These experiences can also help you improve your resume for local nursing jobs.
Meet The Country’s Requirements
You may need to get additional documentation to meet the country’s criteria in which you wish to work in addition to meeting US standards. You can work with the agency to handle this process, or you can look into the requirements of the country’s healthcare regulatory body if you’re applying on your own.
You may be required to meet the following requirements:
You will never run out of things to learn, whether it is a new certification or the constant improvement and practice in your area. Supplemental education will make the interview process more accessible, and you will be a great candidate for international travel nursing.
Licensure In That Country
Make sure to have all the paperwork ready so you won’t have to face any problem regarding the licensure in the country you are traveling to work.
Undergo Additional Training
Constant training is needed, and it will never be too much. Train in the new facility or familiarize yourself with the place you’re traveling, so you understand the basics and even train yourself for specific conditions.
Passing a physical and getting vaccinations is vital. Make sure you have all your vaccines so you can be protected.
5 Tips For International Travel Nurses
Travel With A Partner
No matter the company —a fellow nurse, your significant other, a spouse— traveling with a partner that can be there for you is an irreplaceable privilege, so if you have the chance of doing so, it is highly recommended that you consider it.
Arrive Before Your Assignment To Get Settled In
While travel nursing assignments in the US typically last between eight and 26 weeks, international nursing jobs are often longer, so it would be great if you could prepare yourself calmly and with time. Arrive before your assignment and see how everything works.
Learn The Language
Of course, knowing at least the basics will help you greatly while working as an international nurse. You must communicate as well as possible to help patients in their treatment process.
Packing lightly might be one of the hardest things to do, but it is needed. Try to pack as lightly as you can so you can travel comfortably and without much stress.
Request A Tour of the Medical Facility
Before starting your assignment, request a tour of the facilities, more so if you didn't have the time to gather enough information. Getting to know the medical facility where you're going to work is vital and will help you immensely.
Choosing Where To Go As An International Travel Nurse
Working as an international traveling nurse lets you work in some of the most prominent facilities in the world, improve your clinical and professional capabilities, decide where you want to work and when, and earn competitive compensation with excellent benefits. International Traveling as a nurse also offers free or subsidized private housing, the chance of meeting new people, and the possibility of forming lasting friendships. You can even bring your spouse, family pet, or a friend with you on the trip, so sleep on it and choose the best destination, one that’s going to fit your goals.
Where Are Travel Nurses Needed Abroad?
Travel nursing jobs exist in a variety of locations around the world. Australia, New Zealand, China, and the Middle East have the greatest need for U.S. nurses.
Rapid response nurses who can provide critical care in the aftermath of natural disasters and areas prone to high disease rates may be in high demand in places prone to these kinds of disasters.
It’s worth noting, though, that finding an agency or assignment that will send you to a nation where you don’t speak the language is uncommon. Before you may be considered for a nursing position in a foreign country, you must have a basic understanding of the local language.
Are you looking to start a new journey as an international travel nurse? We hope this introductory guide will help you take the leap and apply for nursing abroad. Stability Healthcare has the perfect job for you! Let us be your open door.