Have you have ever felt shorthanded at work or burnt out from your current job? If so, you should consider traveling in your provider role. An advanced practice provider is needed to fill gaps of coverage due to FMLA’s, increased patient numbers, or hospital growth. CRNAs, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants are now some of the most in-demand travelers due to the physician shortages beginning to grow. So, I would like to share 5 reasons why you could find it beneficial to travel.
Let’s be honest. If you’re going to travel then you want to make it worth your while. Luckily, traveling as a provider pays well. The median pay for a PA in 2017 was $104,000 per year with the top 10% earning over $146,000. While the median pay is just over $100,000, some states average much higher pay rates. California, Alaska, and Massachusetts are some of the highest paying states with a median salary over $117,000 and are all great travel destinations as well. In 2017, the average medical school debt was $190,000. Providers are commonly paid more in areas with higher patient loads or under-served populations.
Expand in your Scope of Practice
Providers can often times be burnt out with their current work, putting in over 40 hours and struggling to have any kind of work-life balance or normalcy. Travel work allows providers to work in the same specialty, but expand their knowledge by working in different clinics and settings that may operate differently. Connecting with different clinics and hospitals through traveling gives providers more autonomy to determine what fields of practice are most interesting to them and allows the ability to further pursue those.
Providers thrive in all areas of care, which means you can travel and work in many different settings (Emergency Medicine, Urgent Care, Oncology, Pediatrics, Women’s Health, and Acute Care). This can be convenient for a provider who’s been working in the same field and wants change, a provider who loves what they do but wants a lighter work load, or simply a provider who’s interested in venturing to places they haven’t been while still advancing in their career.
Do you like to explore new areas of the country? Locum positions in particular allow for enough time to enjoy and explore a new environment while still avoiding the commitment of a permanent position. Many people dream of exploring areas they’ve never been while also continuing their career; traveling as an advanced practice provider allows the option to do both. I have a current traveler who is crossing off the states as she travels around the country. Her goal is to work in or visit every state. I love that traveling as a provider has allowed her to work towards this goal! While working you can visit the Grand Canyon, go on a trip out east to run the Boston Marathon, or visit your favorite baseball field (Wrigley Field).
Traveling as an advanced practice provider also comes with some great benefits. As a traveler with Aureus, you receive competitive compensations, housing provided, travel provided, PTO, holiday pay, tax free per diems, medical / dental/vision, 401k, and professional liability insurance coverage. We also cover license reimbursement and CMEs. With us paying your housing and travel as well as providing benefits, that great compensation package is going straight into your pocket to help with bills or pay down those student loans. This is one of the huge advantages to traveling. Many providers put their personal belongings in storage and utilize company paid housing since it is a tax free benefit!
Lastly, traveling offers the opportunity for personal growth. Moving to a new location isn’t easy. Understanding a new environment, working with new people, and exposing yourself to a new job are all challenges to overcome but the personal fulfillment you’ll gain at the end of a new travel position will far outweigh the initial discomfort. Providers often times seek work in underserved areas, which allow them to provide care to patients that would otherwise not have received any. A career as a physician assistant is very rewarding; 89% of physician assistants reported having very high levels of job satisfaction. Regardless of the location or specialty, there’s a lot to love as a PA and also a lot to go out and experience. I hope you have now gained some insight into traveling as a provider. So, I want to know what travel location is on your bucket list?