Gas costs too much

Although the housing market is weak and the cost of gasoline is soaring, the travel nursing profession is surging ahead. Demand for jobs in the healthcare sector remains strong, fueled by the influx of aging baby boomers and their children, reports the Associated Press and Money/CNN.

American Traveler, the nation’s largest independent travel nursing agency, reports March has been the strongest month of 2008 due to the dramatic increase of travel nurse jobs. In some cases salary ranges have reached $100K, depending on specialty and location. Says Mary Kay Hull, VP of Recruitment at American Traveler:

“Not only have we raised the bar on travel nurse salaries by as much as 20 percent in the last year, we’ve incorporated new benefits such as pre-paid gas cards on select assignments, a huge plus for professionals who typically do a lot of driving and sightseeing.”

As salaries for staff RN positions have flat-lined, hourly pay for travel nursing jobs has increased. Particular growth has been seen in the Pacific Northwest and in northeastern states like Connecticut. With benefits such as free private housing, travel and licensure reimbursements, free health insurance and education, it’s no surprise more RNs are choosing to travel as the economy cools.

“Take the cost of rent, health insurance and gas out of your financial picture and you find that your quality of life improves significantly. We’re prepared to give travel nurses everything they need to lessen the burden of living expenses while at the same time moving their careers forward,” said Hull.

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