The Benefits of a Long-Term Nursing Position


The Benefits of a Long-Term Nursing Position

By Leigh Morgan, contributor

One of the most significant benefits of working as a travel nurse is that you can work at several medical facilities each year instead of staying in the same place for a long time. Once you have some experience under your belt, however, you may be asked to fill a long-term nursing position in a high-need area. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits and disadvantages of accepting a long-term contract instead of multiple short-term assignments.

Stability vs. freedom of nursing assignments

Accepting a long-term nursing position gives you more stability, which is especially important if you travel with family members instead of traveling alone. Children who switch schools frequently encounter academic and social challenges, according to an article published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. If you have a spouse or live-in significant other, frequent moves may also impact his or her career. Therefore, it can make sense to accept a long-term contract instead of accepting multiple short-term nursing contracts each year.

If you are single, however, accepting a long-term position can limit your ability to travel and experience new things. Accepting a short-term travel nursing assignment gives you more freedom because you get to decide where you live and when you want to move on to the next contract.

Career Development Opportunities

When it comes to career development, accepting a long-term position has its pros and cons. One of the biggest advantages is that you'll have the opportunity to build long-term relationships with nurses and mid-level practitioners who can mentor you for the duration of the assignment. Mentoring is valuable, as it can help you improve your clinical skills and develop leadership skills, according to the University of Texas Arlington.

On the other hand, staying in one place too long can cause your career to stagnate. If you work with the same people all the time, you won't have many opportunities to be exposed to new ideas. You may also miss out on opportunities to use cutting-edge technology or learn about new treatments before they are available everywhere. Finally, a long-term position may lead to emotional burnout, especially if you work in a specialty such as oncology or critical care. Emotional burnout is one of the greatest drawbacks of the nursing profession, according to Loyola University Chicago. Accepting a short-term contract can help you move into a position with better working conditions and a lower risk of job-related burnout.

If you are ready for your next nursing assignment, search our jobs database by your specialty of interest.

Salary and Benefits

Travel nurses typically earn more than nurses who are less flexible with their hours and locations. Therefore, accepting several short-term nursing contracts at different facilities can help you boost your annual earnings, giving you more money to spend on food, housing, utilities and other expenses. The salary boost may even help you afford to make much-needed home improvements or take a long vacation. Forbes Contributor Liz Ryan explains that changing jobs also gives you an opportunity to re-establish your value, increasing the amount of money you earn each year.

If you accept a long-term nursing position, you won't have as many opportunities to re-establish your value, which may limit the number of pay increases you receive. Furthermore, workers are no longer expected to stay at the same job for decades. Switching jobs can help you advance your career by exposing you to new ideas and giving you opportunities for continuous learning, according to Fast Company contributor Vivian Giang. Your new knowledge and skills can help you increase your earnings even more.

Personal Preferences

If you have to choose between a long-term nursing position and a short-term one, think about your personal preferences before you make a decision. For someone who loves to travel the world and meet new people, working in one position for a long time may feel too restrictive. If you prefer stability over the opportunity to make new friends, however, a long-term position may be the right move.

As a travel nurse, you have many career options, from accepting a long-term nursing position with your favorite medical facility to completing several short-term assignments in a single year. If you're faced with a decision between long-term and short-term work, don't accept a contract without thinking of how it will affect your personal stability, your salary and your career goals. Each type of position has benefits and disadvantages, and only you can decide which one is a better fit for your personal and professional needs. 

RELATEDThe Beginner's Guide to Becoming a Travel Nurse

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