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Why Nursing Careers Are Good for Wanderlust


Love travel? Become a nurse!

Starting a career can be frightening for a thousand reasons. One of the most common of them is the fear of being trapped, stuck at the same company, doing the same or similar tasks for the rest of your life. Few people still want to work 40 years at one job just to earn a pension, especially now when traveling the world has become so available. It is true that few jobs allow you to visit new places, meet different people, and learn a breadth of skills from being in new environments—but some do, especially in the healthcare field. If you want a career where you can travel and fulfill your wanderlust, here are five reasons you should become a nurse.

1. National certification

Nursing certification credentials are recognized nationally—which means once you train and pass your National Clinical Licensure Exam (NCLEX) in one state, you can work anywhere in the country. That’s a significant freedom that many professionals lack. Police officers, for example, can’t even work in an adjacent town without going through another set of training and starting from scratch. Lawyers, psychologists, and even realtors have to apply for new (and often expensive) state credentials, which usually involve exams. With national certification, nursing is a mobile career, giving you the freedom to work at a hospital in your hometown one year and Honolulu or New York City the next. Whenever you feel the draw of wanderlust to change jobs, you don’t have to change your career as a nurse. You can just pick up and move.

2. In demand, everywhere

While journalists, bankers, and chefs technically have that same degree of mobility, most professionals will have a harder time finding job openings in Anchorage, Alaska if they decide to move there on a whim. Wherever there are people, though, there will likely be a demand for nurses. Just about every small town has a physician’s office or hospital within driving distance—places that must regularly hire new nurses. Most traveling nurses apply for jobs first, since it’s easier to move someplace if you know you have a job there, but it works the other way around, especially if you move to a city with more than one hospital. Either way, if you crave adventure and living in a variety of places, the high demand for nurses can satiate that desire for a mobile career.

3. Experience is experience

The drawback of wanderlust is that it usually looks bad on a resumé. If you decide to live for a year in New Zealand, you’ll probably become great at washing dishes, digging culverts, and other jobs you can work for a day or week, but those aren’t relevant skills in most career fields. When you apply for new jobs, time spent traveling is often seen as time wasted. Nursing is different. As long as you’re working as a nurse, it doesn’t matter where or in what kind of facility: You’re still accumulating years of experience. Better yet, nursing is a profession that benefits from working in various environments, since you pick up new skills and learn new approaches by working with different kinds of people. Instead of apologizing for the three years you spent as a traveling nurse, you can leverage that experience as another reason a hospital should hire you.

4. “Largest category of health workers in the world.”

Nurses Are in Demand AbroadThat’s a quote from the World Health Organization about nurses, and it’s true. Nurses are seen as the backbone of every healthcare system in every country in the world. Doctors are of course valuable, but their practices are often specialized to treat skin conditions, hearts, or infectious diseases. Nurses are trained to serve everyone, with any sickness, in all corners of the planet.

If you’re inclined toward international travel, nursing can be one of the best and most valuable career choices. Service-oriented trips from all kinds of non-profit and religious organizations are always looking to take nurses along with them, and more permanent overseas positions are available too. Nursing jobs can be found in national parks, on cruise ships, at island resorts, and in the heart of every city around the globe. Nurses who want to work abroad for parts of their career or their whole lives can.

Visit the International Council of Nurses for more information.

5. You’re in good company.

Wanderlust is often misinterpreted as something selfish, a drive to fulfill your craving for new and constant stimulation. That’s not the case for most people who love to travel. Many would like to do good for others all over the world, and nursing is one of the few mobile careers in which altruism is possible. When you work as a nurse, whether it’s in a Utah children’s hospital or a refugee camp in Sudan, you’re helping to save lives, and you’re giving hope just by doing your job. It’s fulfilling work and good work, and it’s a career that puts you in contact with other healthcare workers who similarly want to help people. Nursing is a mobile career, with options that allow you to travel and see the world—and to meet and work with Medical Assistants, doctors, and other physicians who want the same things.

If you want to start the road toward your nursing career today, read more about our expedited nursing program, where you can become a registered nurse in as little as two years. Be sure to contact us for more information!