A medical-surgical nurse now finds jobs more readily available as the demand for med-surg travel nurses across the United States continues to rise. Medical-surgical travel nurses work in various healthcare settings in major hospitals, medical facilities, and outpatient surgical centers. If you want to become a med-surg travel nurse, this article explores everything you need to know about med surg travel nurse jobs.
What Does a Medical-Surgical Nurse Do?
Medical-surgical nursing (med-surg), a critical nursing specialty, forms the foundation of nursing. Prior med-surg experience is a critical requirement for many nursing sub-specialties. A medical-surgical nurse is responsible for taking care of adult patients with acute medical issues and those preparing for or recovering from surgeries.
Med-surg nurses are extensively knowledgeable and serve as experts in their field. They boast advanced prioritization, organizational, assessment, and communication skills. These nurses prove excellent at coordinating care between the interprofessional healthcare team.
Medical-surgical nurses can find acute and sub-acute environments such as clinics, hospitals, urgent care centers, ambulatory care units, and specialty and long-term care facilities. These nurses can work on general hospital floors, including:
● General surgery
What Is Medical-Surgical Travel Nursing?
Medical-surgical travel registered nurses (RNs) take care of adult patients before and after surgical procedures. They monitor vital signs, operate equipment such as feeding tubes, IVs, and catheters, and provide patient wound care.
Besides monitoring vital signs during surgery, the RN can also administer medication, educate patients, and help ensure successful recoveries and the best results from the surgical procedures.
However, traveling RNs take short-term assignments at hospitals and other healthcare facilities, usually up to 13 weeks. Medical-surgical travel nursing offers tremendous flexibility, and med surg nurses can freely choose when and where they wish to work.
These RNs often connect with staffing agencies such as American Mobile Healthcare. Besides providing job alerts, these agencies help med surg RNs find med-surg travel nurse jobs, administer their benefits, and prepare for transitions to new jobs.
Where Can a Medical-Surgical Travel RN Work?
A medical-surgical travel RN can work either locally or internationally. A domestic travel RN can only accept assignments within the United States. The duration of domestic assignments usually ranges from eight to thirteen weeks, depending on the needs of the hospital or healthcare facility.
One of the primary roles of domestic travel med-surg nurses is to respond to various crises, like natural disaster relief and disease outbreaks. Med-surg nurses on domestic assignments can easily work at multiple hospitals and healthcare facilities, thanks to the shorter contracts.
Medical-surgical RNs on international assignments have an opportunity to travel outside of the United States and provide patient care across the globe. Those looking for international travel med surg nurse jobs should possess exceptional communication skills and be ready to tackle new challenges.
The duration of international travel nursing assignments usually ranges from one to two years. Like domestic assignments, medical-surgical RNs on international assignments can respond to various crises by providing medical aid and patient care to numerous countries.
The location becomes a vital consideration for any med surg RN looking for an international opportunity. Medical-surgical nurses on international assignments can work in rural or remote settings. Therefore, you should be ready to adapt to different cultures and environmental conditions.
How Do I Become a Med Surg Travel Nurse?
If you want to get into the medical surgical nursing career, you must meet several requirements. Since each healthcare facility differs, certification and experience requirements may vary depending on the contract.
Nonetheless, the primary requirement for anyone aspiring to be a med surg travel RN includes a nursing degree from an accredited nursing school. In addition, you should have at least a two-year associate’s degree. Also, note that some healthcare facilities only hire medical-surgical travel nurses with a four-year bachelor’s degree.
Most healthcare facilities also require travel med surg nurses to possess at least one or two years of clinical experience, preferably in a medical-surgical setting. As an RN, you do not have to pass any additional examinations to qualify for a med-surg travel nursing position.
However, RNs with certain specialties may need to have associated credentials and certifications, such as:
- Medical or Surgical Nursing: Basic Life Support (BLS), Stroke Care Certification, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and Telemetry Certification
- Intensive Care Nursing (ICU): Critical Care Nursing, Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), BLS, ACLS
- Women’s Health, Labor, and Delivery Nursing: Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) Certification, BLS, PALS, ACLS
- Emergency Room Nursing: Trauma Nurse Core Course Certification (TNCC), BLS, NRP, ACLS, PALS
If you plan to work as a med surg RN on an international assignment, you will need to meet additional requirements, including obtaining a passport, work visa, and various immunizations. You will also need to familiarize yourself with the common diseases in your specific destination.
Learning a new language will increase your chances of getting international med surg travel nursing jobs. A med surg nurse who has met all the requirements can apply for a med surg travel position and begin their travel med surg RN journey.
If you do not already have the necessary state license, a reputable medical-surgical nurse agency can help you with the licensure process and even pay your fees.
List of Documents for Med Surg Travel Nurse Jobs
Having your documents in order will increase your chances of getting a travel med surg position. Let’s review the list of essential documents to have when applying for med surg travel RN jobs:
● Copies of all valid professional licenses for the states yet to become paperless
● Proof of annual seasonal influenza vaccination
● Proof of a Tdap vaccine
● Documentation comprising implantation date, read date, and mm of at least the last two PPDs
● Duly signed ACLS, PALS, and BLS certifications, including a QR code or eCard code issued by the American Heart Association (AHA)
● A physician statement dated within 12 months of your start date
● A copy of your respirator fit test results
● Legible color copy of your driver’s license
● A certified copy of your high school transcripts and a high school diploma
● A certified copy of your college transcripts specifying degree earned and date of degree and your college diploma
● Titer results with laboratory values for Rubella, Rubeola, Varicella, and Mumps. Some healthcare facilities may also require Hep B and Hep C titers, so it’s advisable to also have their results.
As of July 2021, many hospitals and healthcare facilities require staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Your agent will advise you on the additional requirements for your preferred assignments.
Many med surg travel RN jobs also require applicants to have clinical references on file. Therefore, consider gathering the necessary contact information. Also worthy of note is that applying for international travel assignments can be more challenging than domestic travel. After completing the proper documentation, international travelers need to wait for the processing before traveling to their assigned country.
What Is a Typical Med Surgical Nursing Salary?
The pay for medical surgical travel nurse jobs usually varies depending on the state and medical facility. As of January 2022, New York, Oregon, Maryland, and California had some of the highest paying med-surg nursing jobs, ranging from $4,000 to over $5,000 a week.
However, the median annual wage for med surg travel RN is about $73,300. Besides the competitive pay, med-surg travelers also enjoy generous benefits, including:
- Free, high-quality housing
- Professional liability insurance
- Vision insurance
- Life insurance
- Disability insurance for nurses and their families
Reputable med surg travel nurse agencies often provide extra perks such as licensing assistance, referral bonuses, and free continuing education. Domestic travelers usually earn more than their international counterparts.
Salaries largely depend on the agency. Therefore, med surg travel nurses should consider job alerts from different companies and choose one that offers the most competitive pay and best assignment locations.
Medical-surgical nurses can increase their pay by obtaining the Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) credential. This certification proves their career commitment, confidence, and abilities.
Another great thing about being a med-surg RN is that travelers can bring their families on assignments. However, this may be challenging for a med-surg RN with a large family because most agencies only provide or pay for one-bedroom apartments.
Nurse travelers can also share assignments and living spaces. Sharing an assignment and living space with a fellow med-surg travel RN makes an excellent option to explore a new location with someone you know while keeping your living expenses low.
Benefits of Using Travel Nursing IO
TravelNursing.io focuses on helping registered nurses find high-paying med surg travel nurse jobs and resources to build their nursing careers. Consider some of the attributes that make us stand out from others:
We do the heavy lifting.
We have partnered with the top recruitment agencies to match highly skilled and experienced RNs with hospitals, clinics, and other patient health facilities offering the best pay for your specialty. If you are a qualified RN, you need to fill out a simple form, and we will handle the rest. You cannot find an easier way to become a med-surg travel nurse.
We offer the best opportunities.
Since we work with the country’s leading travel nursing agencies, we can connect you with med surg nurse jobs that best suit your needs.
We offer the best destinations.
At Travel Nursing, you get the opportunity to choose where you want to work. We offer med-surg travel nursing jobs in all 50 states.
We have the best-paying jobs.
Working with multiple top-level agencies allows us to connect you with various recruiters, so you can easily find one offering the best pay for your skills and experience.