In the Media: The Straight Story about Travel Nursing

Jan 13, 2014, 3:00 PM

This is part of the January 2014 issue of Sharing Nursing's Knowledge.

Travel nursing has gotten some bad press recently thanks to Scrubbing In, a salacious new “reality” show on MTV about a group of young travel nurses in California.

More realistic and less sensational information can be found at The Gypsy Nurse, a blog about travel nursing by Candy Treft, RN, a veteran of the field. It is aimed at nurses who suffer from what she calls “hypertravelosis,” a tongue-in-cheek condition in which nurses have an overactive need and desire to travel. The treatment plan, of course, involves becoming a travel nurse.

Treft was inspired to become a nurse when she found herself unemployed and attempting to support herself and two young children. She decided to become a travel nurse in 2004, and has since worked in 16 states and in Europe. She has also traveled throughout North, Central, and South America.

“I live, work, eat, sleep, and breathe TRAVEL,” she writes on her site.

The Gypsy Nurse bills itself as the place where “travel nurses and dreamers come to find all the information they need to begin their journey into a career as a travel nurse.” It includes a step-by-step guide to becoming a travel nurse, interviews with other travel nurses about the field, and information about licensure, networking opportunities, continuing education resources, and opportunities to ask professionals about their experiences.

As for Scrubbing In, Treft says she empathizes with some of the characters but believes travel nurses should keep the challenges they experience at home and at work to themselves.

Scrubbing In has brought to the public that which we as nurses would like to remain private,” she wrote in an opinion piece for a nursing website.

Read more about Scrubbing In.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.