Travel LPN Jobs: Travel Nursing Jobs for LPNs 2022

By Sarah Collins

04/14/2022



Travel nursing is becoming more and more popular. Nurses want to go where their services are most needed and pick up the extra pay that comes with that.

As a travel nurse, you get to experience new areas, make new friends, and make a difference at health care facilities. But how do you land a travel nursing job as an LPN?

A licensed practical nursing (LPN) degree qualifies you to practice as a travel nurse. Read on to discover all you need to know about the travel LPN career path.

Key Takeaways

  • Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are essential healthcare team members.
  • To become a travel LPN, you’ll likely need to go through a travel agency to get started.
  • To be a travel nurse, you’ll need to have a valid license for the state you intend to practice.

Licensed Practical Nurses Travel Nurses Are in Demand

The need for nurses is high, including travel nurses. Travel nurses can fill in positions quickly, ensuring that hospitals and other health care facilities remain appropriately staffed.

As noted by Health Affairs, while nursing shortages have been a growing concern in past years, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated nursing shortages. Because of the intense work of caring for COVID-19 patients, many nurses have opted to travel nursing to make more for their nursing work.

Different nurses can become travel nurses, including registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs).

What Is Travel Nursing?

Travel nurses help fill in staffing gaps at hospitals and other facilities. For example, a nurse is on maternity leave for a few months. A travel nurse might come in and cover that nurse’s position during that time to avoid a staff shortage.

Or, let’s say a hospital had several nurses leave. While the hospital looks to hire long-term staff, travel nurses can fill the positions in the meantime to make sure that the quality of nursing care remains high.

The Role of an LPN

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) perform essential nursing care in long-term and acute settings. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that LPNs perform primary nursing care within their scope of practice.

Typical LPN roles include the following:

  • Work with other healthcare team members to provide high-quality patient care.
  • Notify providers and nurses about changes in patients’ conditions.
  • Monitor patients’ conditions through activities like taking vitals.
  • Administer medications within their scope of practice.
  • Assist patients in activities of daily living such as dressing or bathing.

As a travel LPN, you always work within your scope of practice, but you can do it at different locations in areas where nursing care is most needed.

You Can Start Your Search for an LPN Travel Nursing Job Online

It can be hard to know where to start when looking for a travel LPN job. The internet is like a vast wasteland where it can be hard to find what you’re looking for.

To start as a travel nurse, you’ll need to work with a nursing travel agency. These agencies will help you line up your contracts so that you can start on your first assignment.

As noted by travelnursing.org and verywellhealth, here are just a few of the agencies you can go through to start your career as a travel nurse:

This group helps travel nurses all over the U.S. They help find travel jobs for RNs, LPNs and other medical professionals. The company offers insight into the best travel nursing jobs based on your needs and goals. They take a very straightforward approach on their website, giving you the pros and cons of potential travel nursing jobs.

This agency also helps travel nurses in all areas of the U.S. and has been doing so for over 37 years. They help LPNs and RNs find travel nursing jobs.

AYA Healthcare is the largest travel nursing agency in North America and is ranked #1 by many travel nurses. Their site mainly tailors their options to RNs, but they have some contract positions for LPNs available.

FlexCare Medical Staffing helps travel nurses all over the country. The main appeal of the brand is a “one-stop” point, meaning you can get all the information and help you need through their agency.

Looking at agencies or job boards is a great way to start finding a travel position that works for you.

How Does the Licensing for Travel Nursing Work?

As a travel nurse, you’ll need to be licensed in the state where you work. Some states have agreements where if you have a license in one of the states, you can practice in another if they are under the same compact.

The rules have become even broader since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some states authorize nurses from other states to come and work to fill essential gaps in care.

What a Travel Agency Does

A nursing travel agency helps you find a facility to work based on where you live, what jobs you qualify for, and where you want to work. You get paid through the agency, and often the agency offers you a variety of benefits.

Once you pick a location, your agency can either set up housing for you close to the hospital or give you a stipend so that you can find and pay for your place. Careful research of the agency can help you know the benefits they offer and how they assist you with your travel nursing career.

How Long Do Contracts Last?

Your contract as a travel nurse establishes how long you’ll work at a particular facility or with a specific group. But the exact length of the contract is up to you. Most contracts last about 13 weeks. If a hospital needs you to stay on longer, you might have the option to extend your contract.

Research the State Where You Want to Work

It’s essential to do your homework. Go over the requirements for travel nurses in the state where you want to practice. As you get ready for an assignment, research the area where the facility is so you can plan your living arrangements and off-work activities.

The cost of living varies from state to state, so it is important to research which states offer better benefits for travel nurses. You can also work with your travel agency to get the housing you need.

For example, let’s say you go to a city close to where you live. In this case, it might be easier for you to find housing on your own and use your travel nursing stipend to pay for it. Other times, it might be easier to let your agency find accommodation for you.

Types of Travel Nursing Jobs

The options for travel nurses are about as diverse as the field of nursing itself. You can choose where you work based on your specialty and previous experience. The high level of control of when and where to work is what many nurses love about travel nursing.

When you start searching for jobs with an agency, let them know specific details like shifts and specialty preferences. Knowing what you want can help tailor the options your travel agent gives you.

For example, if your experience is in pediatrics, the travel agency can help you find LPN travel jobs in pediatric nursing. Pre-op? Emergency? ICU? You can find a role in almost any specialty, including areas like long-term care and options in the outpatient setting.

Benefits and Drawbacks of a Travel LPN Job

Travel nursing has a lot of perks, but it’s essential to look at both the drawbacks and benefits of being a travel nurse as an LPN.

Benefits

  • Pay Increase

In general, travel nurses make more than nurses staying in the same location. As noted by Zip Recruiter, the average annual salary for travel LPNs is $74,893 per year. In contrast, the average income for LPNs overall is $48,820 per year.

  • More Control

You get to pick the locations you want and the timeframe of your contracts. And you can even take time off in-between assignments. These options give you much flexibility and personal control over your career.

  • Travel and Experience

You’ll be working at different locations, which means you get to experience these areas. In addition, you learn to work with a vast number of people and gain practical experience at different facilities.

Drawbacks

  • Short Training Time

Wherever you end up, the facility needs help, and they need it right away. Expect a few orientation shifts, but then be ready to jump in with both feet.

  • Changing Schedules and Workload

Every location you work at will be different. You won’t be at a place for very long. Be prepared to adjust to different settings and adapt to your schedule and workload changes based on your location.

  • Life-Work Balance

Travel nurses travel a lot. So, it can be difficult to balance things like family dynamics and other at-home responsibilities. Be sure to talk with the people closest to you about your plans and ensure you are on the same page about travel nursing demands.

Start Your Career as a Travel LPN Today

Travel nursing might seem daunting at first. After all, you are working in new settings and have to be ready to hit the ground running as soon as you start. But with your experience, you know that you are up to the challenge.

Take control of your schedule and where you work today by stepping into travel nursing.

 

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