Travel vs. Permanent Healthcare Positions

Cross Country Search
March 10, 2023 04:46 AM (GMT-04:00)
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Travel Assignment or Permanent Position, Which is Best?

If you've been wondering whether it’s best to build your healthcare career as a traveler or a permanent provider, you’re not alone. Countless nurses and allied healthcare professionals across the nation have considered these two possibilities. Whether working close to home or traveling is a better decision truly depends on factors like your personality, lifestyle, preferences and family situation. That’s why we’ve created this handy chart – to help you compare the two workstyles and determine which one is best for you.

Travel Assignment vs. Permanent Position

 Travel Assignment
 Permanent Position
  • Various locations
  • May be near your home or across the nation
  • One location
  • Either W-2 employee with benefits like health insurance and retirement plans
  • Or 1099 independent contractor without traditional benefits
  • Generally, W-2 employee, often with benefits like health insurance and retirement plans
  • Hourly or salaried
  • May or may not have bonus opportunities
  • Hourly or salaried
  • May or may not have bonus & relocation assistance opportunities
  • Often 36-48 hours per week
  • Varies
  • Often 36-40 hours per week
  • Some positions may expect you to work overtime
  • Typically not eligible for paid time off, but may have some version of PTO
  • Generally will have paid time off for sick leave and vacation time
  Length of job
  • Assignment lengths vary, often around 13 weeks
  • Can be short-or long-term but less than one year
  • Indefinitely
  Experience requirements
  • Must have 1-2 years of prior experience
  • Not eligible right after graduation
  • Varies by position and role. But, some roles allow yout begin begin right after graduating
  Work and life preferences
 May appeal to you if you:
  • Are adventurous
  • Love change
  • Can adapt to various work settings
  • Are a fast learner
  • Like to meet new colleagues and patients
  • Enjoy discovering new towns and communities
  • Like traveling
 May appeal to you if you:
  • Want to set down roots
  • Prefer to stay in one place
  • Aim to climb your organization’s ladder
  • Want to build a work family
  • Like to get close to your community
  • Want to get to know patients
  Personality traits
 Best if you are:
  • Flexible
  • Adaptable
  • Upbeat
  • Confident
  • Positive
  • Energetic
  • Communicative
  • Quick learner
  • Team player
 Best if you are:
  • Responsible
  • Reliable
  • Committed
  • Trustworthy
  • Welcoming
  • Collaborative
  • Knowledgeable
  • Team-oriented
  • Natural leader
  Family life
 Ideal if you:
  • Don’t have a partner, children or pets
  • Do have a partner, children or pets, but can easily bring them along
  • Do have a partner who can watch children or pets, are able to take short assignments and then return to your family
 Ideal if you:
  • Have a partner, children or pets and need to stay rooted in one place
  • Prefer to remain, stationary near friends, community, schools, and/or extended family
  • Have a mortgage and home you want to live in and not have to rent out
 If you travel, you can:
  • Enjoy a sense of freedom
  • See new places
  • Learn how other organizations practice medicine
  • Explore areas before deciding where to settle down
  • Take as much unpaid time off between assignments as you want
  • Meet new people and build a national network of colleagues
  • Try out different specialties
  • Avoid burnout
  • Earn great pay
 If you’re permanent, you can:
  • Enjoy greater job security and certainty of your future
  • Pursue leadership opportunities and growth within your organization
  • Build strong professional relationships
  • Contribute to research at your facility
  • Take advantage of possible tuition reimbursement
  • Enjoy a more stable personal life
  • Have great income stability with opportunities for raises over time

Clearly, being a traveler and taking a permanent position appeal to different types of individuals...or even the same individual, just during different phases of life. Both arrangements offer outstanding rewards! So, which one is best for you?

As a healthcare provider, you have virtually unlimited options when it comes to crafting your career. Start your adventure with Cross Country Search.

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